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MBI Business Brief – October 21, 2022

Centre Port Map. Image provided by Focus Equities/CentrePort Canada Rail Park.

CentrePort sees $40 million boost from Manitoba government and names interim leader

The Manitoba government announced it will invest up to $40 million in servicing infrastructure to support the development of CentrePort South on Oct. 21. Approxmately $60 million is required for water and sewer infrastructure for the first phase of CentrePort South’s expansion, with the City of Winnipeg committing $20 million contingent on provincial and federal matching contributions.

“CentrePort is a key economic driver that will continue to create the ongoing investment and high-paying jobs essential for Winnipeg and all Manitobans,” said Premier Heather Stefanson. “Our government is pleased to provide needed certainty to the City of Winnipeg on this strategic infrastructure priority while continuing to call on the federal government to signal its own $20-million cost-matching intentions.”

The federal goverment has not yet committed to $20 million in funding for the project. The premier said that if needed, the provincial government will fund up to two-thirds of the project cost.

“We applaud the Manitoba government’s initiative and its commitment to moving servicing forward in CentrePort South,” said Diane Gray, outgoing president and CEO, CentrePort Canada Inc. “Servicing these lands is an incredible step forward in furthering the development of the tri-modal inland port project, which will lead to increased employment and economic growth for the region. Upon full-build out, this area is expected to create over 16,000 person-years of employment and increase Manitoba’s GDP by over $950 million.”

CentrePort Canada is North America’s largest tri-modal inland port and foreign trade zone, with 20,000 acres located in Winnipeg and the RM of Rosser, that provide access to rail, truck and air cargo operations.

“We’ve seen the success of CentrePort North and now is the time to export that same model to develop prime industrial and residential land within the city,” said Martin McGarry, CEO, Cushman & Wakefield Stevenson, and president and CEO of MMI Asset Management. “This investment will be a key economic driver and everyone stands to benefit – CentrePort, Winnipeg and Manitoba. I applaud the Manitoba government for taking this bold step forward.”

Two days earlier, CentrePort also announced Aimee Goyer has been named interim managing director, effective Oct. 22. She is replacing Diane Gray, who announced her departure earlier this fall. Gray joins Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) as president, effective October 31, 2022.

Goyer has been with CentrePort for over six years, leading its marketing and communications. She previously held roles with Economic Development Winnipeg and Calgary Economic Development and will act as interim managing director while the search for leadership takes place.

Small craft harbour coming to Hollow Water First Nation

Hon. Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced on Oct. 21 that a contract has been awarded to build a new small craft harbour at Hollow Water First Nation.

A competitive process specifically targeting Indigenous businesses under the Procurement Strategy for Indigenous Business (PSIB) awarded the contract for the construction of the harbour Zhemaak Inc. of Berens River, Manitoba. The contract is valued at $1.3 million. When built, the small craft harbour will have a timber crib wharf, two floating docks with gangways, and a pre-cast concrete launch ramp. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall with the harbour operational in spring 2023.

Downtown Brandon receives $400k in funding

This week, the Manitoba government announced it will support the Brandon Downtown Revitalization Incentive Program with $400,000 in funding.

“Economies around the world continue to feel the detrimental effects of the global pandemic, so we are proud to support the Brandon Downtown Revitalization Incentive Program as part of the continuing collaborative effort of local authorities to rejuvenate the business community in downtown Brandon,” said Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen. “Encouraging a healthy, vibrant downtown is vital to sustaining economic growth for Brandon and a stronger province for us all.”

The program, launched by the Brandon Downtown Development Corporation, the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the City of Brandon’s economic development department, will address the  the resurgence of the downtown business community including downtown investment, main floor business incubation and marketing.

“We want to continue driving downtown Brandon’s revitalization by identifying and encouraging investment and revitalization opportunities. Our city’s downtown area has a critical and unique role in economic and social development,” said Emeka Egeson, executive director, Brandon Downtown Development Corporation. “It continues to create a critical mass where commercial, cultural, and civic activities are concentrated. This concentration facilitates business, learning, and cultural exchange.”

The $400,000 investment is part of the province’s $50-million Pandemic Long-Term Recovery Fund and will be administered by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce.

New advisory committee launched

Premier Heather Stefanson announced the creation of a new Economic Advisory Council on Competitiveness. The council will focus on the competitiveness of the province and provide advice, and recommendations on issues pertaining to Manitoba’s economic growth.

Curt Vossen, president and CEO of Richardson International, will serve as chair of the council. The other members of the committee include:

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