Yesterday, Travel Manitoba announced it was laying off staff due to what was called a budget shortfall caused by a reduction in federal funding.

Earlier this year, two staff took a voluntary discontinuance package and yesterday three more members were informed they were being laid off: something which doesn’t sit well with MGEU President Lois Wales.

“The Corporation has known that federal funding for these programs would end in 2012, yet they did nothing to prepare for this. And now good hard-working people are losing their jobs. It’s maddening,” said Wales.

In addition to the staffing cuts, Travel Manitoba has also said it would make up for the budget shortfall by cutting some programming. Of note, the Crown Corporation will significantly reduce its international promotional efforts.

“That’s crazy!” said Wales. “Their mandate is to market Manitoba as a desirable tourism destination. How can you do that without attracting international tourists?”

The staff laid off today will be provided four weeks’ pay, in lieu of notice, as well as severance pay as per the collective agreement.

The MGEU wants to know how the Crown Corporation will continue to operate under its current mandate without some kind of additional government funding and will be raising the issue at the next joint council meeting with the Province in July.

Travel Manitoba was created as a Crown Corporation just over seven years ago. As of yesterday’s layoffs, the MGEU now represents 27 members at the Crown Corporation.