Minister Vandal unveils new PrairiesCan service location and announces investments in projects across northern Manitoba

News release

Over $2.3 million in investments for businesses and organizations across northern Manitoba

Over $2.3 million to northern Manitoba businesses and organizations announced at the unveiling of one of seven new PrairiesCan service locations

August 4, 2022 – Thompson, Manitoba – Prairies Economic Development Canada

Northern Manitoba is home to vibrant communities, some of the province’s richest natural resources, and most iconic tourism locations. The region has extensive economic opportunity and is a key contributor to the province’s overall prosperity. Throughout the Prairies, communities have unique needs and priorities. As a result, the government of Canada has committed to an enhanced approach to community economic development, and is opening seven new regional offices across the Prairies to serve better more communities.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, officially unveiled the new PrairiesCan service location in Thompson, Manitoba to bring PrairiesCan directly to the community and focus on the unique circumstances of northern Manitoba. The new office shares a space with the Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF), allowing close cooperation with the CEDF towards the economic future of the North and its people.

As part of the grand opening, Minister Vandal announced $2,350,435 for seven projects in communities across northern Manitoba. Projects supported through this announcement include the diversification of Thompson’s economy by building upon the area’s formidable winter testing abilities, delivering digital training and coaching to northern Manitoba tourism businesses, and constructing outdoor Indigenous gathering spaces at several University College of the North campuses.

Today’s opening and announcement mark a new chapter for PrairiesCan. Northern Manitoba has endless opportunities for growth and economic prosperity.

Minister Vandal also reiterated this week’s news that the government of Canada and the province of Manitoba are jointly investing up to $147.6 million in the Arctic Gateway Group for the operation and maintenance of the Hudson Bay Railway, which will keep Indigenous and Northern communities in Manitoba connected, maintain supply chains, and promote tourism.

The government of Canada is listening to Indigenous, rural, and Northern communities in Manitoba and across Canada, and is responding by bringing resources and services directly where it is needed. 


“Northern Manitoba is as beautiful as it is filled with opportunity. By opening this new PrairiesCan service location we are working directly with organizations and community members to offer programs and services tailored to the unique needs and opportunities of northern Manitoba. We are making the necessary investments to keep communities connected, improve food security, keep trade routes open, and promote tourism. A strong North means a strong regional economy that reaches every community and our government looks forward to working collaboratively to make that happen.”
– The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan

“Thompson is a pretty unique place in Canada, and anyone helping to grow our economy needs to spend some time on the ground here to understand it. It’s exciting to have new federal partners operating in Thompson and the north, to help open new doors for businesses and entrepreneurs in Manitoba.”
– Mayor Colleen Smook, City of Thompson

“PrairiesCan has left an enormous economic impact on this region for years through support of development projects.  Seeing an office open in the north is exciting and further evidence of PrariesCan support and influence on economic development in northern Manitoba.”
– Chris Thevenot, CEO, Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF)

“COVID-19 greatly affected the global travel industry. The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) 0% interest deferred payment loan we received through PrairiesCan, in addition to other supports, made it possible for our travel company to keep our team together, communicating with guests, and planning and replanning our recovery. As a result, when it was safe for foreign travellers to return to Canada and to Churchill, we were prepared to host them.”
– John Gunter, President & CEO, Frontiers North Adventures

Quick facts

  • In Budget 2021, the government of Canada provided funding for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to transition into two new Regional Development Agencies – Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) – serving the Prairies, and Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) – serving British Columbia.

  • In August 2021, the Government of Canada officially launched Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and announced plans to open seven new service locations across the Prairies:  Lethbridge, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie in Alberta; Regina and Prince Albert in Saskatchewan; and Brandon and Thompson in Manitoba. 

  • These seven new service locations are in addition to PrairiesCan headquarters in Edmonton, and existing offices in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Ottawa, and including the expansion of our Calgary satellite office. These new offices will significantly extend our reach to better service our clients.

  • This enhanced place-based approach addresses the specific circumstances and needs of these communities and their surrounding regions, and includes a range of local organisations from different sectors as active participants in economic development.

  • The Thompson service location is at 15 Moak Crescent. This office space is shared with Communities Economic Development Fund, which champions of the Look North Initiative, that aims to support northerners in growing the economy of northern Manitoba. The Brandon service location will be officially unveiled at a later date.

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Kyle Allen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Tammy Abel
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Prairies Economic Development Canada

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