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The Kinew government abolishes a structure that attracted investment to Manitoba

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The Minister responsible for Economic Development, Investment and Trade of Manitoba , Jamie Moses, wants to better regulate the role of the former economic development council.

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The economic development council, an organization responsible for promoting investment in Manitoba and attached to the former government, has been abolished by the new government team which questions its usefulness.

Minister responsible for Economic Development, Investment and Trade, Jamie Moses, believes the council is highly politicized.

Jamie Moses claims he worked outside the boundaries and scope of the Department of Economic Development.

Created early in the In the year 2022 by the former Progressive Conservative government, the economic development board's mission was to foster strong economic growth, attract investment, promote trade and create high-quality jobs for Manitobans , according to a press release issued at the time.

Official Michael Swistun, who headed the economic development council secretariat for 20 months, says the structure helped attract hundreds of millions of dollars from 'investments in the province.

Mr. Swistun said he was working closely with the ministry, dismissing allegations to the contrary.

In addition, he points out in a message published on LinkedIn that the economic development council helped obtain funds to rebuild the rail line to Churchill. He also discusses his role in awarding licenses and permits for a $900 million solar glass manufacturing plant in Selkirk, not to mention establishing direct flights from Winnipeg to Los Angeles and Atlanta.

For his part, former Minister of Economic Development Jeff Wharton maintains that the council and its secretariat served as a point of contact for businesses in Manitoba and elsewhere. the exterior.

But the new government, without providing precise information on the basis for its questioning of the council, indicated that it had not found proof that this structure had received approval from the Treasury Board to rent offices in the center. city ​​of Winnipeg. A document provided by the government indicates that rent and operating costs were $300,000 per year.

During question period Friday, the Progressive Conservative Party criticized the Manitoba New Democratic Party over the council's elimination, saying the premier was dismantling the economic horse that pulled the social cart.

According to the province, two positions were eliminated when the board was dissolved, and the remaining employees joined the Ministry of Economic Development.

Mr. Swistun himself was informed that he had lost his job just hours after the NDP government took office on October 18.

Minister Jamie Moses indicates that he will ensure the continuity of work on Manitoba's economic development projects, given that employees continue to work on the same projects.

What we did was we took the projects that the board was working on and we integrated them into the current ministry so that they can benefit from proper review and analysis, which was not the case before, he explains in an interview.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">New Democrats believe the council is as ineffective as the Manitoba Surgical and Diagnostic Services Restoration Task Force, which the government also abolished.

With information from Ian Froese

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