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Manitoba government adds more money to job program after facing criticism

The Manitoba Legislature is seen on Sept. 26, 2023. (Image source: Devon McKendrick/CTV News Winnipeg) The Manitoba Legislature is seen on Sept. 26, 2023. (Image source: Devon McKendrick/CTV News Winnipeg)
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WINNIPEG -

The Manitoba government has partially walked back a funding cut to a provincial summer jobs program after an outcry from community groups.

Municipal Relations Minister Ian Bushie said Wednesday he is adding $300,000 to the Green Team program, which helps non-profit groups and municipalities hire young people in the summer.

The move came weeks after the government cut the program's funding to $5.6 million from last year's $9.6 million, and after Bushie met with a camping association and other groups in recent days.

"Just hearing their concerns and hearing what the real world impacts are, we're looking to support (them) as best we can," Bushie said.

Bushie did not rule out more funding adjustments.

"We're going to continue to have the discussions. And I think there are a lot of folks out there that want to be able to have the chance to share their stories and share their challenges, and we're willing to have those discussions every day."

The $4-million budget cut upset some sports groups, museums, non-profit camps and other groups, who said they were surprised when, after years of getting funding, they were either rejected or given less money this spring.

Baseball Manitoba has said some of the local associations it represents were left without money to fill summer jobs to maintain parks and diamonds.

The Opposition Progressive Conservatives said the extra $300,000 from the NDP government won't go very far and many groups will still be left out.

"A number of my municipalities have reached out to me. Some of them did receive some funding. It was cut in half. Some were cut to actually a third," Trevor King, the Tory municipal relations critic who represents the Lakeside constituency west of Winnipeg, said Wednesday.

King said the Tories will continue to push for the funding to be fully restored to last year's level.

   This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2024

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