Industries and resources in Manitoba

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Manitoba has been an agricultural province since its earliest days of settlement. Farming has attracted many settlers to its vast farmlands. Today, Manitoba has many other thriving industries aside from agriculture. Advanced manufacturing, aerospace, IT and digital media are also some of the key industries that are thriving in the province.

Agriculture and agribusiness

  1. Manitoba’s main crops are:
    • wheat
    • canola
    • flaxseed
    • barley
    • oats
    • rye
  2. The province leads in the production of:
    • sunflower seeds
    • buckwheat
    • field peas
  3. Agriculture supplied 62,000 jobs to Manitoba’s economy and employed 30,000 workers in 2011.
  4. The agriculture and food processing sector provided 23,600 jobs (Manitoba Agriculture Statistics Index).
  5. Agriculture production earned $6.5 billion in 2017 .
  6. Food processing is Manitoba’s largest manufacturing sector.
    • It is composed of over 250 companies, earning $4.7 billion in 2017.
    • Manitoba is known worldwide for the quality of its pork.
    • Canadian Inovatech Inc., the largest egg processing plant in Canada, is in Manitoba.
    • Burnbrae Farms, Ltd., and Maple Leaf Foods are also in the province.


  1. There are many goods manufactured in Manitoba.
  2. Manitoba fulfills demand from all over Western Canada for:
    • food
    • clothing
    • machinery
    • transportation equipment
    • primary metal
    • metal fabricating operations
  3. The food processing industry is its largest manufacturing sector.
  4. The second largest is heavy vehicle manufacturing. It is a $1.9 billion industry.
  5. Manitoba has more than 1500 manufacturing companies. It provides more than 60,000 jobs.
  6. Winnipeg is North America’s largest centre for bus manufacturing.
  7. Manufacturers build:
    • motor homes
    • fire engines
    • semi-trailers
    • storage tanks for agriculture, and oil and gas
  8. The biggest companies in the industry are:
    • Motor Coach Industries
    • New Flyer Industries
    • Fort Garry Fire Trucks
    • Buhler Industries

Transportation and logistics

  1. Manitoba is a centre for transportation and logistics.
  2. Winnipeg is in the center of global transportation routes.
  3. It is the home of CentrePort Canada.
    • It is a 20,000 acre port that offers Free Trade Zone advantages.
    • It makes the transfer of goods faster around the world.
    • It is next to the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.
  4. There are more than 1,000 for-hire trucking companies Manitoba.
  5. There are 5,800 businesses involved in:
    • warehousing and distribution
    • logistics
    • air, road and rail transportation
    • local transit distribution
  6. This sector employs over 40,000 workers.


  1. Manitoba has an advanced aerospace industry. It is the largest in Western Canada.
  2. The province is home to three world-class firms:
    • Boeing Technology Canada
    • StandardAero
    • Magellan Aerospace Limited
    • and 57 other business establishments
  3. The industry earned $1.5 billion in GDP in 2017.
  4. It is export oriented. Winnipeg aerospace companies have shipped over $5 billion in product exports over the last 10 years.Manitoba’s domestic aerospace product and parts manufacturing exports amounted to $627 million in 2017.
  5. It has a labour force of 4,400 highly skilled workers.
  6. The outlook for this industry is excellent.

Electricity and environmental industries

  1. Manitoba Hydro is the province’s only provider of electricity. Its head office is in downtown Winnipeg.
  2. Manitoba Hydro makes electricity through water power.
  3. It has 15 stations on the Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Burntwood and Nelson rivers.
  4. It is one of the lowest cost providers of electricity in Canada.
  5. It is the country’s leader in renewable energy production.
  6. Winnipeg is also home to the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and digital media

  1. Manitoba has over 1500 ICT companies. Over 80 per cent are in Winnipeg.
  2. This sector is composed of:
    • telecommunications firms
    • film and animation studios
    • computer system designers
    • electronic component manufacturers
    • computer equipment providers
    • wire and cable suppliers
  3. Major ICT firms in Winnipeg are:
    • IBM
    • HP Enterprise
    • Bell MTS. It is one of Canada’s largest telecommunications network providers.
  4. Manitoba has about 125 digital media and gaming companies.
  5. ICT sector in Winnipeg employs more than 13,800 people.
  6. Learn more about the ICT industry from Economic Development Winnipeg.

Other industries

Financial services – Manitoba’s bustling financial services sector is composed of banking, insurance, leasing, securities, mutual funds and venture financing.

  • It has more than 20,000 workers contributing more than $2.9 billion annually to the GDP.
  • Big companies located in Winnipeg include Investors Group, Great West Life, and the “big six” Canadian banks (RBC, CIBC, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, BMO Bank of Montreal, and the National Bank of Canada).
  • More than 4,100 financial services establishments are active in the province.

Mining, minerals and petroleum – Manitoba has nickel, copper, gold, zinc, and silver. It also has industrial minerals such as cesium, limestone, dolomite, gypsum, sodium chlorate, dimension stone, sand and gravel aggregate that are used as raw materials for the construction industry. Manitoba’s mining and petroleum industries employed about 6,000 workers in 2014.

Building products – Large manufacturers are in Manitoba:

  • Kitchen Craft Cabinetry, the largest Canadian kitchen cabinet manufacturer.
  • Loewen Windows and Willmar Windows, two largest Canadian window and door manufacturers.
  • Palliser Furniture, Canada’s largest furniture manufacturer.

Creative industries – Winnipeg is known as the “Cultural cradle of Canada” and has a thriving creative industries sector.

  • It has more than 4,600 groups and businesses involved in music, performing and visual arts, and more than 400 in film and video production.
  • Over 900 architectural, engineering specialized design firms, more than 300 advertising and marketing businesses, and 100 are engaged in writing and published works. (Economic Development Winnipeg).

Sources: Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade, Manitoba Business Facts, Manitoba Trade and Investment, Economic Development Winnipeg, and Travel Manitoba.

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