A tribute to Canadian icon Terry Fox is one of several promises Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger has made in his fifth state of the province address today.

Selinger told a crowd of about 1,000 people at a business luncheon Thursday that his government will spend $110 million on improvements to sections of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Winnipeg to the Ontario border.

"I've noticed over the years that it's patchy, so now we want to bring it up to a good overall standard," he told reporters.

"It's a four-lane highway all the way to Falcon Lake. We want to be able to maintain that and make sure that it's stronger and in better shape every step of the way."

The stretch of the highway will be renamed the Terry Fox Memorial Highway to honour Fox, who embarked on a historic cross-Canada run in 1980 for cancer research.

The work to be done on the Trans-Canada, also known as Highway 1, will include improvements to intersections at Highway 206 and Highway 207 at Deacon's Corner.

Sections of the highway will be paved, bridges will be rehabilitated at Birch River and Hamilton Creek, and a new bridge will be built at Fish Creek.

Selinger said the government is also planning improvements to the Trans-Canada west of Winnipeg so the province can raise the speed limit from 100 km/h to 110. Details of that work will be released in the new year.

PST 'heartburn'

In his address, Selinger acknowledged the "heartburn" public backlash to his government's "very difficult decision" to raise the provincial sales tax from seven to eight per cent in July.

Selinger renewed promises that the revenue being generated from the PST increase will go to infrastructure, including highways and bridges, flood protection measures and municipal roads and water systems.

During his address, Selinger also said the province is working on finding new homes for members of the Lake St. Martin First Nation who have been living temporarily in hotel rooms since their community was flooded in the spring of 2011.

The province has identified new land and has an agreement in principle with the federal government that could be finalized soon, he said.

Selinger told the audience that now is the time not to be so humble and instead show off what the province has to offer.

On Wednesday, he declared 2014 as the Year of Music in recognition of Manitoba hosting the Junos and two other national music award ceremonies in the coming year.

On Thursday, Travel Manitoba unveiled its new tourism slogan for the province, "Manitoba: Canada's Heart Beats."

With files from The Canadian Press