This year's first quarter numbers for the M.S.T.W. Planning District came in very similar to those from the same period one year ago.
MSTW General Manager, Glen Wieler says the number of permits taken out are very similar in comparison, while the overall value of work is down a touch, with one exception. In the City of Morden the permit was pulled for the new school, and Wieler says the value of work for that one project alone is $44-million.

"It's good to see a big project earlier in the year, and we're excited about what's coming up," said Wieler.

There's also notable activity happening in the R.M. of Stanley corridor. Ground work activity is well underway on the first phase of the expansion to the Boundary Trails Health Centre, and Wieler says it won't be long before work on the foundation there gets started.

Wieler says they're seeing good activity happening in the commercial sector as well. "Shops are expanding, new shops (are) getting built, and if you drive by the industrial park in Winkler, you'd be amazed if you haven't been there in a couple of years. You'd be amazed at all the activity that's happened and is happening as we speak." 

In both Winkler and Morden, Wieler says there has been a lot discussion and questions asked about multi-family units, an area that's in high demand. He says they anticipate more of that kind of construction in the months ahead, however, he suspects people may be holding out to see what interest rates will do.

The higher interest rates are impacting the various building sectors in the MSTW Planning district differently, noted Wieler. And, despite the higher interest rated, he says isn't surprised by the, overall, steady level of activity across the region. He says the bigger projects like the new school in Morden and hospital expansion aren't affected by interest fluctuations, because they are multi-year projects, "projects years in the making."

Wieler says a lot of the big industrial companies also have multi-year growth plans. He says part of that is building expansions. "So those projects tend to happen."