A spokesman with BMO feels, in terms of economy, the future looks good for Manitobans when it comes to the availability of more business services like grocery, banking and retail.  Mark Shoniker says the economy is getting better and the nature of the choice actually depends based on province.    

"Much of what we see here tends to follow almost what you would expect from provincial economic activity.  Manitoba leads the way nationally in sentiment as far as the expanion of business services.  In Manitoba, for example, they have the highest level of the population that expect the plethora of services available to actually expand in the coming years."

BMO has compiled its findings of a recent survey regarding accessibility to common business services for Canadians.  Shoniker says overall the results were positive.  He says they're finding none of the areas are particularly challenged, noting there's pretty good access throughout the country.  However, it does vary depending on the type of business service, and from province to province.

"The positive side of it are some of those things that we would consider to be key services.  Specifically, things like food, grocery, banking and financial services.  Those actually have the highest levels of penetration right across Canada virtually in all the provinces.  I think that's a very good thing because if you think of services that would fall into that essential side of the spectrum, those would be at the top of the list."

Meanwhile, Shoniker says the survey shows there is some disparity between larger urban centres in comparison to smaller centres when it comes  business services available for Canadians.  He explains further:

"It was difficult to tell because we didn't break down the survey to that level, but in the survey a number of things came out in the commentary and some of the comments.  Anecdotally, and I don't think it'll be a surprise to anyone, smaller centres are a little more challenged than more urban centres.  Suprisingly though, not that much in what we would consider to be those key service categories."