CHARLOTTETOWN—New investments by the Manitoba government will increase francophone tourism and help build and expand francophone businesses, creating jobs and contributing to the province’s diverse economy, Premier Greg Selinger announced here today where he is representing the province at the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie
“This investment will promote Manitoba’s unique, vibrant francophone communities as exciting places to live and visit, and great places to do business,” said Premier Selinger. “It will improve tourism and experiences for visitors, and lend a helping hand to francophone entrepreneurs looking to develop or expand.”
Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba (CDEM) will receive $490,900, with $254,800 going to Entreprises Riel for a total $745,700 of investment in economic development and tourism
CDEM funding will help new entrepreneurs develop business plans and marketing strategies, and offer training and workshops in the areas of taxation, import/export, starting a business, finance and technology, the premier said. CDEM will also provide assistance to local municipal community development corporations and co-ordinate the implementation of major economic development projects.
CDEM’s tourism activities will include the development of a Crow Wing Trail Horse Drawn Tour that will take participants from St. Malo to Emerson, revamping bilingual pamphlets and tourism guides, and marketing and feasibility studies in support of the Francophone tourism industry.
“A successful strategy in tourism and economic development requires a strong partnership with the Province of Manitoba and we are pleased to be associated to those initiatives that will help further develop the tourism industry and a greener economy in our 17 bilingual municipalities,” said Louis Allain, executive director, CDEM. “Our other focus will be on sustainable development in our bilingual municipalities. In collaboration with the Province of Manitoba, we are committed to the common wealth of our citizens and their surrounding ecology.”
Entreprises Riel funding will support entrepreneurs and business owners who have an interest in providing bilingual services in the Riel district, and will help Francophone immigrants integrate into the business community, Premier Selinger said. It will also support the promotion of Francophone tourism attractions and products in the Riel district including enhanced tourist information services, new tour packages and improved training for travel counsellors.
“Today’s announcement of financial support to Entreprises Riel and its affiliate Tourisme Riel, is truly an investment in the economic future of our communities,” said André Massicotte, board chair, Enterprises Riel. “Winnipeg’s bilingual communities are growing to be strong contributors to Manitoba’s economy due in part to the government’s understanding of the value of bilingualism in business and tourism which is demonstrated through this investment.”
Premier Selinger noted previous funding of CDEM from the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement helped create 48 year-round, new or expanded tourism businesses, 183 new jobs,
23 tourism-related strategic and business plans, and 34 tourism seminars with over 500 participants. CDEM’s economic development initiatives generated urban investments of $11.6 million and rural investments of $15.3 million, 562 participants in training, 431 youth jobs, 162 jobs for new Canadians and 63 new Canadian businesses, either created or bought.
During the past year, Entreprises Riel has been involved in over $50 million in new development and housing projects, and its tourism initiatives generated an economic impact over $535,000.
CDEM, established in 1996, is an economic development council whose role is to stimulate, encourage and co-ordinate economic development in Manitoba’s 17 bilingual municipalities. Through its tourism component, Joie de Vivre, CDEM develops and promotes the value of French language and culture to Manitoba’s tourism industry and economy, showcasing bilingual municipalities and the Franco-Manitoban heritage.
Entreprises Riel, launched in 1998, is an economic development and destination marketing and tourism product development agency. It promotes the added value of French language in business and tourism in the Riel district of the city of Winnipeg, which includes the communities of St. Boniface, St. Norbert and St. Vital. Corporate leaders from all three communities make up Entreprises Riel’s board of directors.