WINNIPEG – It was one of Premier Brian Pallister’s biggest campaign promises, and now it has come to fruition.
Manitoba has officially joined the New West Trade Partnership, which originally came into effect July 1, 2010 between Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia and has been fully implemented since 2013.
Not long after the PC’s took office, Pallister made it known that they would join the alliance that the former NDP government decided against joining.
“I would say there are some real opportunities here that weren’t there in the past. But it will all depend on the initiative and the entrepreneurial behaviour of the people of Manitoba,” Pallister explained. “Business opportunities don’t just fall into your lap, they have to be pursued. We’ll be encouraging Manitobans to seize the opportunities that are there.”
The trade agreement serves to remove barriers to the movement of goods, services and people between and within the four provinces.
“Even in terms of attracting capital to our province, there are reduced barriers now to that and increased opportunities for us to do that,” Pallister added. “The best definition of a job that I’ve ever heard is ‘capital at risk.’ We depend on Manitobans seeing opportunity here and then putting capital at risk to find those opportunities for better markets and expanding where appropriate.”
Pallister also says that the trucking, agri-food and services industries will see early gains from the deal.