Taking it Higher: WAA on MB 2018 Budget
March 13, 2018
You might not automatically think an international airport would be terribly interested in a government budget. As a non-share capital corporation, we don’t receive funding from any level of government. In fact, we are a significant contributor to government through taxes, as well as through land rent we pay to the federal government. Yet the airport is one of Manitoba’s biggest economic drivers, contributing $3.4 billion in economic impact to our province and supporting over 17,000 jobs. As such, WAA watched yesterday’s provincial budget with keen interest.
WAA has seen first-hand the impact of having a mismatch of economic development delivery agencies and agendas in our province. This is something we have raised for some time as the lack of coordination continues to see our region suffer the results, missing out on coordinated growth opportunities. We are pleased to see a renewed commitment to address this issue in Budget 2018. WAA is eager to work with the Province and others to help form a new mandate for economic development in our province - one that is aligned with priorities and measured against intended outcomes.
Perhaps no area has been neglected more, or provides greater opportunity, than Northern Manitoba. There is incredible potential in the North and it is positive to see this year’s budget place a priority on the North for the benefit of all Manitobans. Our airport is a key link to the North and we are energized by the commitment in this year’s budget to develop a long-term plan for sustained growth.
WAA is also an interested observer of the Province’s efforts to transform service delivery, to leverage talent and foster innovation. WAA began this process internally over two years ago, and continues to benefit from the changes we have implemented. It is invigorating to think of the possibilities that exist for the Province as it undertakes a similar process.
As one of Manitoba’s largest economic drivers, yesterday’s budget, and in fact every government budget, is of great interest to our airport. We are excited about the blueprint provided and look forward to working with the Province, partnering to deliver on making Manitoba the most improved province.