Ex-Hudbay head honcho named to provincial economic task force

The Manitoba government has created a committee to help restart the province’s economy after COVID-19 passes - and Flin Flonner Tom Goodman is on it.

The former Hudbay senior vice-president and chief operating officer is the only northern-based member of the Premier’s Economic Opportunities Advisory Board, an 18-person board tasked with bringing Manitoba’s economy back to pre-pandemic pace.

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Goodman, who now lives in Denare Beach, worked with Hudbay and its predecessor Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting (HBM&S) for 34 years, retiring in 2012. Goodman was also at one point the chair of University College of the North.

According to a provincial government news release, the group will be mandated with advising the government on “ways to harness private-sector capital and investment to recover and create jobs and economic growth across the province” over the next 18 months.

“The plan includes identifying opportunities to transform government policies, programs, regulations, and services to support a fast recovery and renewed economic growth, and a further alignment of post-secondary programs and courses with the province’s labour market needs and priorities,” reads the release.

The committee consists of business magnates and community figures, mostly from Winnipeg - Richardson International president and CEO Curt Vossen will chair the committee, while prominent people from Red River Collegiate, Bison Transport, RBC, Westman Communications, Canad Inns and other companies will sit on the board.

Goodman is one of only two members of the board from outside the Winnipeg area and the only northern resident part of the group.

The formation of the committee has not come without controversy. In a Twitter posting following the announcements, CUPE Manitoba called the new committee a “privatization board” and implied it would be behind further cuts to Manitoba government programs and Crown corporations.

“There you have it - Primier [sic] announces privatization board that will dabble in public policy, programs and post-secondary education.” said a tweet from the union

The statement came after the provincial government announced plans to cut public sector employment, slash funding to universities and lay off as many as 700 Manitoba Hydro workers in separate COVID-19-related measures.

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