Thompson, Manitoba has evolved as a diverse urban centre that functions as a regional service hub for Northern Manitoba. However, economic volatility, coupled with the November 2010 announcement that Vale will transition its operations in the coming years, have underlined the need for the City and regional partners to take action. The Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group (TEDWG) was formed to spearhead this effort.
Launched in May 2011, the TEDWG model uses action-focused engagement and is grounded in consensus-based decision-making. Members represent 10 stakeholder groups including: the City of Thompson, Vale, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC), Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), Northern Association of Community Councils (NACC), Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN), Thompson Unlimited (TU), the Thompson Chamber of Commerce, and the Province of Manitoba. In recognition of Thompson and the region’s evolving economic and demographic status, the TEDWG has undertaken a comprehensive set of plans that, together, form the Thompson Economic Diversification Plan. The Plan better defines Thompson’s area of influence within the region and the relationship of regional Aboriginal communities to Thompson; identifies a long-term growth management strategy; and updates the City’s governance framework. The Plan includes two streams: A Regulatory Framework (Regional Infrastructure Plan; District Development Plan; Zoning-By-Law; Asset Management Framework); and a series of Action Plans that provide strategic direction in supporting areas such as Restorative Justice, Housing, Education and Training, Economic Development, and Local and Regional Identity.