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The Manitoba government is changing its economic development practices.

In phase one of a new Economic Growth Action Plan, the province will establish a new Manitoba Economic Development office and an Economic Growth Committee of Cabinet, seven regional and strategic partnerships to deliver economic development programs and front-line services, and the creation of new economic development programs.

In regards to the Economic Growth Committee of Cabinet, Premier Brian Pallister says the province needs to focus resources and target them effectively.

“If you want to try to put out a fire you don’t have 2,500 hoses, you know? You need to focus on getting the job done. In our case, we want to create economic opportunities-- I guess, in a way, we want to light a fire.”

Pallister announced the plan’s launch today at the State of the Province address at a Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Pallister says the expectation is the provincial government will be more of a backroom coordinator rather than a front office.

“We’ll use other agencies to deliver those programs, such as the Winnipeg Economic Development office and others.”

Pallister says one area the province really needs to focus on is economic development in rural Manitoba.

The new plan comes after two government-commissioned reports on economic development: one released by Deloitte in March, and one led by Dave Angus and Barb Gamey.

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