The Thompson Economic Diversification Group (TEDWG)
The Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group (TEDWG) process and outcomes highlight that economic diversification and development, along with community planning, particularly in Canada’s northern urban centres, must be inclusive of a broad range of local and regional stakeholders as proponents of structural change.
The population of Canada’s northern regions is growing, spurred on by the growth of regional Aboriginal communities. The shifting demography of the Thompson Region in Northern Manitoba is consolidating the role of the City of Thompson as a regional hub, providing a range of economic opportunities to regional residents. Promoting economic diversification and development in a rapidly changing demographic landscape requires local and regional stakeholders to set clear, collective priorities and form trusting, mutually-beneficial partnerships. The TEDWG process emphasized the importance of local and regional involvement in designing stakeholder engagement activities, ensuring that the input provided was meaningful and effective and accountability for implementation was shared.
The direct and indirect outcomes of the TEDWG process – including immediate implementation of priority projects – reflect the power of partnerships and common purposes between municipal governments, Aboriginal peoples, local business organizations, and the resource sector. The profound participation and practical plans achieved by the TEDWG process are direct responses to the challenges of Canada’s northern urban centres and opportunities for sustainable economic growth.
TEDWG members represent 10 stakeholder groups including:
- City of Thompson
- Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO)
- Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC)
- Northern Association of Community Councils (NACC)
- Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF)
- Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN)
- Thompson Chamber of Commerce
- Thompson Unlimited (TU)
- Province of Manitoba
The City of Thompson chaired the TEDWG and Vale funded the process, providing significant financial resources for community engagement and technical planning. rePlan (and sister firms planningAlliance and regionalArchitects) led the consulting team comprising Nichols Applied Management, Associated Engineering and On Three Communication Design.
In recognition of the breadth of the Thompson Region’s economic opportunities, 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 series of Action Plans that provide strategic direction in supporting areas such as Housing and Education and Training and a Regulatory Framework.