Local Representative On Economic Development Committee

Government of Manitoba Media Release |

The new Rural Economic Development Steering Committee held its first meeting on Sept. 22, 2015 with the focus on a co-operative plan to bolster economic development in rural Manitoba.

“Rural development in Manitoba contributes to strong local economies,” said Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn. “There are many groups invested in the success and prosperity of rural communities, and they are coming together to create a development plan for our future.”

The Rural Economic Development Steering Committee was developed as a result of a proposal from the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and includes a range of experienced individuals with expertise in economic development, regional partnerships, rural policy and business. Over the next few months, the committee will consult with invested parties and draft a Rural Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan, creating a roadmap for economic development in rural Manitoba, the minister said. This strategy will identify needs and opportunities, which could include areas like key infrastructure, technology, community development, labour skills, and housing, he added.

“This is an exciting opportunity for stakeholders to collaborate on an economic development strategy for Manitoba,” said Joe Masi and Donna Morken, committee co-chairs. “We look forward to developing a strategy that will benefit all Manitoba communities.”

For the purposes of the strategy, rural Manitoba is defined as the area outside of the city of Winnipeg which includes all cities, towns, villages, rural municipalities, First Nations and other communities, with the exception of northern Manitoba.

“Over the past 15 years, there have been many studies and consultations about economic development in rural Manitoba,” the minister said. “The committee will combine existing information with feedback from stakeholders to create an action plan addressing the current and future needs for continued prosperity in rural communities.”

The Rural Economic Development Steering Committee is co-chaired by Masi and Morken and its members are Bill Ashton, Carissa Caruk-Ganzar, Chuck Davidson, Mary Greber, Joel Lemoine, Ken Munro, Mark Myrowich, Elaine Palson and Eleanor Brockington.