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The Manitoba government says there are untapped opportunities in the province’s economy, which it promises its new economic development strategy will unleash.

A new government committee, a provincewide economic development office, tax and innovation incentives, and plans specific to Winnipeg, rural areas and northern Manitoba are all part of the province’s plan, unveiled Thursday.

Premier Brian Pallister pledged to chart a new economic course prioritizing collaboration between an otherwise unco-ordinated system in his third state of the province address, delivered at a Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

In unveiling his long-anticipated economic development strategy, Pallister vowed to create new agencies and tap existing organizations to boost the economy.

The plan follows consultations with more than 500 people by former Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce head Dave Angus and Payworks CEO Barb Gamey, as well as a previous Deloitte report commissioned by the province .

"We are establishing a modern approach to address today’s challenges and unlock the untapped economic opportunities in our province and around the world," Pallister said in a news release. New cabinet committee, development agency

He promised a new cabinet committee of Progressive Conservative MLAs overseeing a "whole-of-government" approach to strengthen the economy, and the formation of a provincial economic development office to lead major initiatives and investment projects, said the news release.

The premier also said the government would overhaul tax-increment financing — a funding mechanism that uses future tax revenue to stimulate present-day growth — and create a innovation program.

As well, the province says regional partner organizations will deliver targeted economic development programs and services.

Economic Development Winnipeg will take on that role in the province’s capital, while the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region will focus on the capital region. Vale closed down its smelting and refining operations in Thompson earlier this year. The Communities Economic Development Fund, a Crown corporation, will be responsible for economic development programs in northern Manitoba, the province said Thursday. (CBC News ) A new regional organization will focus on rural Manitoba, and the Communities Economic Development Fund, a Crown corporation, will be responsible for economic development programs in northern Manitoba, a region that has been hit hard by job losses.

North Forge Technology Exchange, World Trade Centre and Travel Manitoba will look after innovation, trade and tourism, respectively.

Pallister also said the province will review all existing economic development programs and begin consultations next year on ensuring Manitoba has the right skills, knowledge and talent to thrive in the future.

The report from Angus and Gamey noted that Manitoba should better align business goals with educational institutions, develop strategies to enhance each industry and find opportunities for the growing Indigenous population.

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