News Release - Manitoba

September 18, 2013


Investment Contributes to More Jobs, Housing Starts, Increased Tourism Spending, Economic Growth: Bjornson

The Manitoba government will provide $163,300 to help Enterprise Riel boost tourism and economic opportunities for francophone businesses, Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson announced today.

“This investment will build upon an already vibrant francophone tourism industry and demonstrate the value that bilingualism adds to our province,” said Bjornson.  “We are pleased to support Entreprises Riel, whose hard work and leadership has been a catalyst for significant cultural and economic growth in Winnipeg’s francophone communities.”

The minister said the funding will support business owners who want to provide bilingual services in Winnipeg’s Riel district, help immigrant francophone business owners to integrate into the local business community and help develop strategic properties that are currently undeveloped or underdeveloped.

“The government’s commitment to assist Entreprises Riel in its work is really an investment in Manitoba’s economy,” said André Massicotte, chair of the organization’s board of directors.  “Today’s announcement is extremely important for the Riel district and it is a clear message to the community that economic development and tourism remain a priority for the provincial government.”

“Launching a new business is a daunting task and our chosen location offered a few extra challenges,” said Stéphane Wild, co-owner, Chez Sophie sur le pont.  “Entreprises Riel was with us every step of the way, from lease negotiations to permits and licences.  They have been a formidable partner.”

In addition to the current funding, since 2004, the provincial and federal governments have contributed $1.07 million to Entreprises Riel through the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement.

From 2009-2012, Entreprises Riel generated an economic impact of almost $123 million including $2.31 million in visitor expenditures, $79.75 million in housing starts, $4.54 million in property taxes and $36.35 million in construction jobs, the minister said.

Entreprises Riel is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for francophone economic, community and tourism development initiatives in Winnipeg’s Riel District including St. Boniface, St. Norbert and St. Vital.  Tourisme Rielis the division of Entreprises Riel that develops francophone tourism products and promotes various attractions, services and historical sites in the region. 

- 30 -