Last Updated on septembre 7, 2016
The economic ideal of no boom or bust, just simple, steady growth, is seemingly being achieved in one unlikely Canadian city.
Winnipeg, Manitoba sits quietly between the more spoken-about provinces of Alberta and Ontario, yet it is home to a range of industries, a good few entrepreneurs and greater-than-average economic growth.
While others, most notably Alberta, suffer the consequences of over-reliance on oil, Winnipeg keeps ticking over as the engine of Manitoba, avoiding the extremes and keeping on the straight and narrow.
Be it manufacturing in the shape of Boeing and Standard Aero, or financial such as Great-West Life, Winnipeg boasts big companies from a variety of industries. Agricultural leader Richardson International calls it home and there are several technology start-ups.
Winnipeg’s provincial immigration policies mean the city is growing by 10,000 people a year, making the total population, currently 800,000, likely to hit one million by 2035.
Projections suggest an economy that will grow 2.2 per cent this year against a national average of 1.2 per cent, and unemployment of 5.4 per cent, the lowest of any province and beating the national average of 7 per cent. An average house costs $300,000 as is generally within spitting distance of the downtown area.
The caution comes with the growing deficit, looking set to reaching $773 million this year against a forecast of $350 million.
The Canada-wide problem of a lack of venture capital is also an issue, with just $4 million in deals done in 2015. Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association puts the country-wide figure at $2.3 billion.
But it’s the likes of Joshua Simair’s food delivery company Skip the Dishes that are driving Winnipeg in the right direction.
He launched in 2013, attracted by the talent available and low cost of living, and now employs 300 people. He has zero regrets about choosing Winnipeg given the initial success of his young company.
Winnipeg may not be one of Canada’s traditional powerhouses, but the economy is changing the world over and the landscape is changing with it.
Perhaps the reason the city is seldom spoken about outside the boundaries of Manitoba is the exact same reason it is prospering while others are struggling. Winnipeg just quietly goes about its business.
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