Mayor Bowman applauds province's throne speech despite no promise of infrastructure dollars
Cheryl Holmes, CTV Winnipeg
Published Thursday, November 20, 2014 5:49PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, November 20, 2014 7:33PM CST
Despite no promise of infrastructure dollars for the city, Winnipeg's new mayor applauded Thursday’s throne speech.
Brian Bowman says change is in the air.
But he may be one of the few who believes that as the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and small businesses responded critically.
Just two weeks in to the job, new Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman is optimistic about the future.
"This was a very positive signal for Winnipeg that the relationship is changing its evolved and we've definitely hit the ground running,” said Bowman.
Bowman pledged to pry more PST money from the provincial government but that money was absent in the speech from the throne.
But the Greg Selinger government did agree to participate in the new Build Winnipeg Partnership which includes support for better streets, rapid transit, and an even more vibrant downtown.
"Infrastructure is a really big priority for Winnipeggers. We heard that loud and clear during the election and on election day,” said Bowman, who says he’s happy to see items directly related to the city in the speech.
However, there was no dollar amount announced to address infrastructure needs around the province.
Right now eight cents from every PST dollar goes to Manitoba municipalities.
Chris Goertzen from the Association of Manitoba Municipalities says that's not enough. "Municipalities need help, we have a huge multi-billion-dollar infrastructure deficit and these are drops in the budget, we're happy to see an increase but we want to see more,” said Goertzen.
Entrepreneurs hoped to see the government take a stronger stance on a new tax system for Manitoba.
"That would lower personal income taxes, lower the PST back to seven per cent and simply make it easier for businesses that are competing with other provinces,” said Elliot Sims from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.