Manitoba is a province of economic growth and economic disparity. It is a province with low unemployment rates, diverse development and incredible resource wealth (Brandon and McCracken 2016: 3). On the flip side Manitoba has high rates of economic and social exclusion. In 2011 between 105 000 and 164 000 Manitobans were living in poverty (Bernas 2015: 13). Manitoba has continuously had some of the highest child poverty rates in Canada (ibid: 15), the highest homicide rates (Statistics Canada 2015), and it has been called the most racist city in Canada (Maclean’s 2015). This paradox of development and disparity is not without hope. In Manitoba there is also a rich set of grassroots organizations intent on tackling poverty, racism, crime and disparity. These groups, institutions and initiatives have looked to the process of Community Economic Development (CED) as a means of creating broader social and economic inclusion. CED does not focus on the creation of profitable businesses alone. It also seeks to improve local communities through stable employment, improved health, a better physical environment and community control of resources. The practice of CED is prevalent in Manitoba encompassing economic activity from catering to construction, from the Introduction car you drive to the gas you put into it (Social Purchasing Portal Winnipeg 2016). This paper explores the theory, policy and practice of CED in Manitoba. The history of Manitoba’s CED culture is featured. The current robust and diverse CED environment in Manitoba is highlighted. Successes and failures are discussed in order to show where CED has room to grow in the future while keeping in mind the difficulties in its implementation.
Grant: Partnering for Change: Community-Based Solutions for Aboriginal and Inner-City Poverty - 2012-2019
Category: Community Economic Development