I’m very pleased that our Manitoba government is taking another step for northern economic development. As announced this week by Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen, we have appointed five new members to the board of the Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF), including Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook.
As we implement the Look North strategy to improve economic growth in northern Manitoba, the CEDF is the regional economic development partner for the region to co-ordinate the delivery of services for businesses and communities. The CEDF will lead the implementation of the Look North initiative.
This follows through on our work with northerners to build a brighter economic future in the region, after the CEDF was announced this past winter as part of our Economic Growth Action Plan. The board’s renewed mandate is, in part, to work with northern municipalities, Indigenous communities, businesses and others to help grow local companies and industries.
As we explore new ways to achieve success for communities, our government remains committed to supporting non-profit organizations. On April 1, funding allocated through the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund will continue as an approved extension for Small Grants $50,000 and Travel & Training $14,000 to March 31, 2021 to Thompson Neighbourhood Renewal Corp.
We are working with Manitoba’s communities in other ways, too. After granting municipalities unconditional operating basket funding in 2017 as a simplified approach to providing them with a fair say on how provincial operating support is invested, our budget this year commits an additional $10 million to the funding basket. This is in response to municipalities’ requests for stable and predictable funding to address their infrastructure needs, and gives them more flexibility. Through this improvement, the City of Thompson will automatically receive the maximum funding threshold of $246,000 annually.
As we fix Manitoba’s finances, repair provincial services and rebuild the economy, our government is investing in infrastructure projects in the north and will continue to work with local and federal partners to deliver on the region’s priorities.