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Premier Pallister called upon to lead Manitobans in hope, economic recovery

The MHCA has called upon Premier Brian Pallister to put an equally vigorous effort into leading Manitoba into economic recovery, alongside his government’s necessary work to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In a letter sent April 15 to the premier by MHCA Chair Jack Meseyton and President Chris Lorenc, on behalf of the Board of Directors, the association notes Pallister has the opportunity now to champion messages that instill hope in Manitobans who are worried for their jobs and the economy, and to lead an economic recovery plan that restores confidence in the business community and consumers.

“As you well know there is broad alarm and concern about our economy,” the letter reads.

“There is a clear and coincident ask of you as Premier to pivot to messages which focus on jobs and economic recovery to help restore consumer confidence. Workers and their families, businesses small, medium and large and consumers all are worried. They need to see and hear those concerns directly addressed by their Premier.”

The letter arises out of resolutions approved at a special teleconference meeting of the Board of Directors Wednesday, where a range of issues around the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact were discussed.

The letter to the premier states:

“As unanimously endorsed by the Board, we ask for your visible leadership in supporting the below initiatives to kick-start economic recovery:

  1. Pivot public messaging to include a focus equal to COVID-19 mitigation, to short, medium and long-term economic recovery;
  2. Accelerate and enhance by over-committing provincial capital core infrastructure budgets by up to double, alone and/or jointly with the federal government, to get people working and money churning in the economy. This would leave a legacy of benefit to Manitobans for decades to come. We understand you and colleague Premiers will be teleconferencing with the Prime Minister on April 16 during which federal infrastructure programs will be discussed. This provides an immediate opportunity to press the Prime Minister – we are pressing at the federal level as well – to significantly enhance and accelerate the flow of federal infrastructure programs;
  3. Direct resumption this season of the Provincial Quarry Rehabilitation Program whose reserve account holds more than $8 million dedicated by legislation to quarry rehabilitation programs. This is a direct, immediate, fully funded way of putting small rural contractors and their employees back to work rehabilitating spent pits and quarries in local rural communities; and
  4. Announce the creation of an economic recovery task force led by 5-7 key business leaders, resourced by Manitoba, equipped to reach out, assess and offer advice directly to you on the economic recovery matters.”

The MHCA has sent the letter, copied to six provincial ministers engaged in economic development and to 13 stakeholder organizations, to all association members, asking each to send their own endorsement of the request for an economic recovery plan.

To read the full letter, click here.