Province accelerates payment of $90M in operating support to City of Winnipeg amid pandemic
WINNIPEG -- The City of Winnipeg announced on Wednesday that the Manitoba government said it will maintain existing capital and operating support for the city in 2020 and for the rest of the term of the province’s mandate.
“This level of certainty is always welcome but even more so with the numerous financial challenges that we know the province is facing,” said Mayor Brian Bowman at a news conference on Wednesday.
Bowman said they are still in dialogue about capital, but that the Manitoba government has agreed to accelerate payment of provincial operating support to Winnipeg in 2020 and give the city full discretion over how to invest these funds in respect to council approved priorities.
“Operating funding has always been unconditional and I’m pleased to report the province has advanced 75 per cent of this funding, representing approximately $90 million,” the mayor said, noting this comes much earlier in the year than the city would normally see the funding.
The mayor noted that in terms of infrastructure funding said the city has seen some progress.
“I believe the dialogue we’ve had over the last week has moved us much closer to the full support we’re looking for from the province as they consider forwarding council’s project priorities for federal support,” Bowman said.
The mayor noted the province also committed to working with the city to make the most of available federal transit funding, which they agreed would include discussions informed by the ongoing work of the Transit Master Plan.
According to Bowman, the province also said it’s open to discussing a modern, growth-oriented funding framework for Winnipeg.
“In my opinion the openness to discuss a new funding framework represents the furthest step we’ve seen this government take on this matter,” he said.