The Manitoba Progressive Conservatives took their message of economic growth and fiscal responsibility north on the campaign trail today.

The PCs announced their "Yes! North" initiative Saturday. Party Leader Brian Pallister says if elected, his party will work to expand businesses and add jobs to communities in northern Manitoba.

"We've listened and heard the significant challenges we face in the north," Pallister said in a statement. "If you care, you care about results. I want a better life for all Manitobans. Working together as partners we can achieve that."

The initiative will bring a renewed focus to sustainable natural resource development and the northern tourism industry, the PCs said.

Pallister also said he promises to establish a framework for respectful and productive consultations with indigenous communities.

The PCs claim northern Manitobans are dealing with a 35 per cent unemployment rate because Greg Selinger and the NDP haven't devoted adequate resources to the problem.

But the NDP shot back Saturday, denouncing the PCs claim that they have been working to strengthen bonds between investors, entrepreneurs and companies based in the north.

"Pallister and his Conservatives have no real plan for the north. They're focusing on tourism because they are just visiting," the NDP said in a statement. "The Conservatives have spent years saying 'No' to northern development and key job creators like Manitoba Hydro."

The NDP touted its investments in the University College of the North while also claiming northern families can count on cuts to education, health and police services if Pallister is elected April 19.