Small business owners rank Premier Selinger last in Canada

Manitoba business owners are the least confident in Canada in their premier and provincial government.
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger doesn't have a lot of fans among small business owners, according to a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. ((CBC))

Manitoba business owners are the least confident in Canada in their premier and provincial government. 

A survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) found just eight per cent of small business owners in Manitoba believe the NDP government will create a friendly business climate. That number is tied for last with Quebec.

Just as bad, only three per cent of respondents said Selinger understands the realities of running a small business — tied for last place with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. 

And only 24 per cent of Manitoba small businesses would recommend others start a business in the province.

In stark contrast, Saskatchewan received the top marks among the provinces with 72 per cent of respondents expressing confidence in their government’s vision.

The poll surveyed 7,100 businesses across the country in August 2013. The results are considered accurate within plus or minus 1.2 per cent 19 times out of 20.

“Each and every premier in Canada has stood at a podium and spoken about the importance of entrepreneurship, but Manitoba’s entrepreneurs are not seeing that talk turned into action,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s executive vice-president.

“The Manitoba government must start taking real action to get its fiscal house in order, reform the tax system and limit red tape growth if they want to improve the small business climate and their reputation with entrepreneurs.”

The CFIB said its report identified "systemic concern" among Manitoba small business owners over the government direction on taxation, public finance, labour shortages, and consultation on regulatory changes.

In almost every case, Manitoba had the worst ranking among the provinces.

"That is quite worrying. We didn't ask directly the question, 'Are you thinking of leaving the province?' But when you're dead last … it does suggest that that's a very likely possibility," Jones said in an interview with CBC News.

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