This policy brief highlights what the 2023 budget means for Manitoba’s digital economy. The province’s annual budget is published in the spring of each year and outlines the government’s main spending priorities.

Economic Update

The Manitoba government tabled it’s 2023 Budget on March 7th, highlighting new investment in five priority areas: affordability, public safety, healthcare, municipal and community services, and future opportunities for economic growth. While the government expects tax revenues to grow in 2023, yielding an additional $574 million over 2022, the province also identifies a number of potential threats to Manitoba’s finances in the upcoming year. These include the increased likelihood of an economic slowdown, a potential increase in severe weather events disrupting crop production, macroeconomic conditions, such as increasing interest rates, which will make it more expensive to service debt, and increased demand for Manitoba’s crops and resources, which in conjunction with tight labour market conditions could create inflationary pressures.

Policy and Programs to Support Manitoba’s Digital Economy

Budget 2023 signals the Government of Manitoba’s intention to improve the province’s economic competitiveness and enable a sustainable, innovative, and growing economy. Manitoba is set to release an Opportunities for Growth Action Plan in 2023, detailing how it plans to capitalize on emerging economic opportunities and address labour shortages. Several initiatives tied to the upcoming Action Plan will help grow Manitoba’s innovation economy: the government plans to launch Manitoba’s first Life Sciences Strategy, create a new virtual production training studio, expand the Invest Manitoba brand, and grow the province’s green energy industries. In addition to the Action Plan, the government plans to allocate $2.5 million to support Manitoba’s Protein Advantage Strategy, including plant innovation and product commercialization.

Budget 2023 also proposes to expand a number of existing programs. The Venture Capital Fund, which was first launched in 2022, is earmarked to receive an additional $50 million, doubling the government’s total contribution to the fund. The government also plans to enhance its Digital Media Tax Credit in 2023 by expanding the list of eligible expenditures and allowing for more flexible forms of employee compensation. Finally, the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is set to receive an additional $54 million to fund a variety of technology-enabled projects, such as smart public transit, renewable and clean energy adoption, energy efficient buildings, and rural and Northern broadband connectivity.

Like many Canadian provinces, Manitoba has significant potential as a supplier of critical minerals such as a lithium to the global innovation economy. To support Manitoba’s mining and minerals processing industries, Budget 2023 proposes to expand the provincial government’s mining department, and provide $10 million over the next three years to leverage private sector investment in the mineral sector. Increasingly, this sector uses modern technologies, such as interactive digital media, artificial intelligence, and internet of things technologies, to maximize efficiencies.

Supporting EDI and Workforce Development

Helping newcomers join Manitoba’s workforce is a large focus of the province’s 2023 budget. The provincial government is allocating $3.6 million to improve credential recognition and reduce employment barriers for internationally-educated professionals, while providing $2 million to expand the Newcomer Community Integration Support Program. Post-secondary insitutes are also set to receive $92.5 million to support post-secondary education, including $10 million to directly support the creation and expansion of programs for in-demand roles and skills. Finally, Budget 2023 renews and expands the provinces funding agreement with Futurpreneur, which provides financing and mentorship opportunities to future entrepreneurs, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour.

Protecting the Environment

Manitoba’s Climate and Green Action Plan will continue to guide priorities and investments to help accelerate sustainable development, enhance environmental protection, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Manitoba government is also proposing a regulatory framework for carbon, capture, underground storage, and utilization, which in addition to invements in green energy production and adoption, will help make Manitoba’s energy sector more sustainable. In terms of new funding, Budget 2023 proposes to provide $8.7 million to enhance Manitoba’s circular economy via recycling, composing, and waste diversion programs, and $50.7 million over five years for aquatic and terrestrial remediation of sites contaminated by mining activities.


Under its “major capital projects” investment schedule, the Manitoba government has earmarked funding for cyber security improvements for Manitoba Health, and for a cyber security risk reduction program for Manitoba Consumer Protection and Government Services. As part of the province’s ongoing Digital Government initiative, there will also be resources allocated to add capacity to cybersecurity services as access to more government services moves online. The initiatives demonstrate an effort by the Manitoba government to harden its critical information technology systems against cybersecurity threats, which Canada’s national security agencies have recently warned are a growing risk.

This brief is part of ICTC’s policy updates series. ICTC provides timely updates on policy and political developments in Canada, including federal, provincial, and territorial elections campaigns, fall economic updates, annual budgets, and other major updates to policy and programs. Written by Allison Clark, Erik Henningsmoen, Mairead Matthews, Mansharn Toor, Justin Ratcliffe, and Todd Legere, with generous support from the ICTC Research and Policy Team