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The Facts About Manitoba’s Economy

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02Mar

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  • Fact: Manitoba workers are paid less than workers in most Canadian provinces.
  • Fact: Manitoba has the fewest small businesses employers per capita in Canada.

We’ll be discussing our economic realities June 13 at “Manitoba Could Be…” a policy summit discussing how we can thrive again. Register now. 

The Facts About Manitoba’s Economy

There has been a great deal of local news coverage of an opinion asserting a perceived strength of Manitoba’s economy. There’s only one problem with these reports and the underlying opinion: they don’t tell the whole story.

Here are some facts about Manitoba’s economy:

Fact: As reported by the Conference Board, Manitoba’s GDP (gross domestic product) has been projected to grow at a faster rate than most provinces. This “new” projected growth for 2015 is actually identical to a projection for 2015 that the Conference Board made in 2013.

Fact: The growth of Manitoba’s GDP hasn’t surged – rather, the GDP growth of resource heavy provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland) has slowed down due to likely temporary low and plummeting commodity prices. This point was buried at the end of the Conference Board’s one-page report.

Fact: The Conference Board projection for generally average economic growth is partly based on the spillover effects of wasteful debt-spending on projects like Hydro’s BiPole III line and over-budget and uneconomic dam mega projects. If pursued to completion, the unnecessary projects will translate into Manitoba Hydro bills doubling or tripling for ratepayers in the province.

We’ll be discussing our economic realities June 13 at “Manitoba Could Be…” a policy summit discussing how we can thrive again. Register now. 

Government spending factors into GDP figures whether or not the spending is necessary. So while the NDP reports last week that the latest provincial deficit will be be higher than expected and once again close in on half a billion, Manitoba sinks further and further into our already $30 billion plus summary debt.

In other words, any blip up in interest rates or construction costs or slow down in private sector “growth” in the coming year will worsen the financial consequences for Manitobans tomorrow. Meanwhile , ongoing financial mismanagement by the provincial government only further compounds the struggles faced by Manitoba’s economy.
Here are some relevant facts about Manitoba’s economy:
Fact: Manitoba workers are paid less than workers in most Canadian provinces. We’re even paid less than workers in the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fact: Manitoba has the fewest small businesses employers per capita in Canada. Our province remains the most difficult place to start and operate a successful small business.

Fact: Manitoba has the highest income and sales tax burden outside of Quebec and the Maritimes. So not only is Manitoba the hardest place to find good paying work, but whatever you earn here you keep less.

Manitoba Forward believes good public policy is vital.  Take a look our principles for a vibrant and prosperous Manitoba, including recommendations on how we should and could manage our debt and spending towards sustainably grow our economy.

Dave Shorr
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