Out With the Old Winnipeg – 2011 is Nearly Here

We’ve had this talk before. Your slow, stubborn, and deliberate march to an out dated drum beat has to change. The reason? The rest of the world dropped that same beat for a more up beat tune a good 5, if not 10 years ago.

An article printed today about the past year in local business irked me. The overtones of the article reeked of ‘..can’t change it, it’s Winnipeg..’ and that’s just the wrong idea. There was very little in the way of positive news in the article, and the surprise feigned at the end of the article? Either poorly placed, or the article was written over a number of days. It’s not a badly written article, it lists what’s happened in the cities business sector in 2010 in a broad spectrum. Talking about the stadium, the bankrupcy protection of CanWest, CentrePort and a few others. Speaking of how the Yes! Winnipeg is boasting about $1.4 billion in economic activity and new jobs over the next 5 years, how CentrePort is doomed? to slow growth because, hey, it’s Winnipeg.

I don’t pretend to understand the best ways to prod a city to economic boom, but I do understand that this pace needs to change. Why does CenterPort have to grow slowly? The actual verbiage tied to CentrePort alone was “..this is Winnipeg; slow and steady is the best kind of growth we can hope for at CentrePort.” About the Yes! Winnipeg “initiative” possibly attracting only 1(!!) new business to Winnipeg. Saying that it’s the private sector group that has a vested interest in the growth of the city’s economy and that the public sector could learn from them. I’m sorry, but the private sectors growth just doesn’t cut it in this world.

The image in my mind when I read the article, was an old study, full of large, overstuffed old men. Cigar smoke hanging in the air, brandy on the tables, and doing nothing. Playing politics and not doing anything to encourage the city to the greatness it should have. We’re at the geographic center of North America for crying out loud. Any company that requires any distribution of any kind should be banging down our doors to have a warehouse here. The idea that “..this is Winnipeg; slow and steady is the best kind of growth we can hope for..” needs to change.