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MBI Business Brief – November 4, 2022

Purolator unveiled its 2022 limited-edition holiday box designs that celebrate emerging Canadian artists, including Manitoban Scott A. Ford. As part of this year’s campaign, Purolator is donating $5,000 to Harvest Manitoba through its Purolator Tackle Hunger® program. (CNW Group/Purolator Inc.)

WestJet takes off to Los Angeles

WestJet’s new route, linking Winnipeg to Los Angeles, took its inaugural flight at 7.00 am on Oct. 31.

“With a thriving film and television industry, our Manitoban guests and partners have long awaited this integral connection and will benefit substantially from convenient flights between both cities,” said John Weatherill, WestJet chief commercial officer. “As the only airline providing direct connectivity between Winnipeg and Los Angeles, this route not only supports our efforts to bolster the economic success of the communities we serve but provides a vital link that will stimulate new business, investment and tourism opportunities.”

Flights will run three times a week between Winnipeg and Los Angeles, which is another boost for Manitoba’s growing film and entertainment sector.

“The excitement surrounding this new, non-stop route between Winnipeg and Los Angeles has been building ever since it was announced a few months ago,” said Winnipeg Airports Authority president & CEO Nick Hays. “Not only does it significantly enhance the connectivity of the region we serve, but it’s also meaningful for our local economy, particularly the province’s thriving film industry. We’re ecstatic to help bring this valuable route to Winnipeg Richardson International Airport and are proud to see our longstanding partnership with WestJet continue to grow to benefit all Manitobans.”

The flight included a delegation of leaders from the province’s film, tourism and economic development sectors, as well as government officials, who headed to Los Angeles to promote Manitoba as a destination for creative industries.

“L.A. is a hotbed for film, video game development and animation. Through the convenience of this direct connection, we’re excited to build more opportunities for Manitoba’s creative industries,” said Dayna Spring, president & CEO, Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW). “However, the U.S. is a key market for us across all sectors with California being one of the top three states for investment in Manitoba. This connection will open future economic possibilities in additional sectors, including the biosciences and tech sectors.”

Maple Leaf Foods accelerating production at Winnipeg facility

Maple Leaf Foods announced on Nov. 1 that it has ramped up at its new Bacon Centre of Excellence in Winnipeg.

Commercial production began earlier in 2022 at the Maple Leaf 73,000 square-foot expansion project. Demand for bacon from consumers and commercial customers has led to an increase in production, due in part to Maple Leaf’s partnership with A&W Canada.

“A&W has been an important customer and business partner of Maple Leaf Foods for many years,” said Michael H. McCain, Maple Leaf Foods’ CEO. “Both A&W and Maple Leaf Foods are powerhouse Canadian companies that are leading the way in delivering sustainable meats from humanely raised animals without antibiotics. Our ability to supply A&W’s bacon needs with this strategic investment in Canada is yet another example of how we are working together to create shared value.”

Maple Leaf anticipates that the Bacon Centre of Excellence will deliver approximately $30 million to its annual Adjusted EBIDTA once the project is fully online by mid-2023.

Manitoba artist chosen by Purolator

Purolator unveiled its 2022 limited-edition holiday box designs that celebrate emerging Canadian artists on Nov. 1, and Manitoba artist Scott Ford will see his work featured on the boxes.

“This design depicts a whimsical version of Manitoba’s hibernating animals having a winter meal together in a burrow, with snow falling outside,” said Ford. “I was inspired by our very cold Winnipeg winters, where staying inside with family and food, in contrast with the blustering weather, often feels like we’re holed-up in our own burrow. Gathering with my extended family for a holiday meal is a rare and special occasion and is also the only time of year when my parents will light their fireplace.”

Ford is an award-winning comic creator, illustrator and designer from Winnipeg.

As part of the Purolator campaign, the company also donated $5,000 to Harvest Manitoba through its Purolator Tackle Hunger® program.

“Harvest Manitoba and our partner food bank agencies across the province continue to see record levels of need,” said Vince Barletta, president and CEO, Harvest Manitoba. “In March of 2021, we served 10,000 households per month, which was a record at the time. Now, this past August, that number is almost 15,000 hampers per month. Purolator’s Holiday Box campaign and the support of the community helps us provide food to the thousands of families that we serve.”

Loblaws eliminating plastic bags in Manitoba

Loblaws announced on Oct. 31 that the company will discontinue single-use plastic bags in all its stores in Manitoba, including No Frills®, Real Canadian Superstore®, Extra Foods® and Wholesale Club®.

“We are a purpose-led organization, with a goal to help Canadians live life well. Our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint is an important part of that,” said Robert Sawyer, COO, Loblaw Companies Limited. “Our efforts to remove single-use plastic bags from our stores have already resulted in 13 billion fewer bags going to landfill. But we know there’s more work to be done. Today’s announcement represents our continued commitment to protecting our environment across the province and beyond.”

Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags, and reusable bags and plastic totes will also be available for purchase.

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