Year End 2023

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Year End 2023

December 18, 2023

A Message from the Executive Director:

I would like to take a moment to reflect on what an incredible year it has been for workers. We have made some major gains for the workforce that builds Manitoba, and laid the groundwork for a productive new year.  

For the first time in seven years, Manitoba has a labour friendly government. Not only do workers have a seat at the table, but the new government is also relying on the expertise of the Manitoba Building Trades (MBT) to provide insight and advice on the best way to build our province. It was an honour  to be named to the new government’s transition team. Having a seat at this table ensures MBT’s interests are reflected as the government invests in infrastructure to drive progress.  

In the same spirit, it is a privilege to have been named to the Premier’s Business and Jobs Council. As we saw under previous governments, when workers are not at the table, they are on the menu. Having MBT represented at this table is a strong signal that the relationship with workers will be more positive under this government. I will continue to take every opportunity to advocate for our affiliates and ensure our principles of training and apprenticeship, fair compensation, and worker safety remain top of mind.  

The new government recently signalled its intent to repeal the ban on Project Labour Agreements. The necessary legislation is expected to come forward in the spring. Removing this ban is a fantastic first step to positively change the way Manitoba builds critical infrastructure with maximum benefit for local workers. I look forward to helping the government realize the benefits PLAs can bring to our province once the change has gone through. 

Canada’s Building Trades Unions have been hard at work, pushing Ottawa to include strong language for workers around the Investment Tax Credits. Their advocacy will keep infrastructure projects in Canada competitive as we contend with Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. CBTU’s hard work came to fruition with the Fall Economic Statement and the naming of the Canada’s Building Trades Unions in their definition for eligible collective agreements when determining a project’s prevailing wage requirement.  

Future green investment in our province will adhere to Manitoba Building Trades definition of wages and benefits for workers and will have minimum thresholds for apprenticeship requirements. This is a big win for workers, protecting good jobs and ensuring a just transition to climate friendly economy.    

Finally, in the spirit of the season, I want to thank all of our 13 affiliated unions for their charitable contributions, as earlier this month MBT was proud to continue the tradition of supporting the Christmas Cheer Board. Giving back to the community in times of need directly aligns with MBT’s core values and I was so pleased to give our largest contribution to date, especially when times have been so tough for many of our friends and neighbours.  

I am so proud of what we have accomplished for workers this year and am ready to continue to push for progress in the new year to build a brighter Manitoba. 

Warm regards,


Tanya Palson 
Executive Director
Manitoba Building Trades


Manitoba Building Trades is located on the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. We respect the treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge our participation in an industry that has excluded Indigenous communities from economic prosperity, and we dedicate ourselves to creating shared prosperity in a spirit of reconciliation, collaboration, and partnership.