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2003 News Releases
Mayor tables “public safety” budget

WINNIPEG - JANUARY 21, 2003 - The City will put 21 more police officers and eight more firefighters on Winnipeg streets, under the budget presented today by Mayor Glen Murray.

“In the 2002 election, the voters called for more police, fire and paramedic services. We have responded with a budget that makes public safety our No. 1 priority,” Murray said.

The $21 million in increased spending on departmental services fulfills Council’s commitment to safety and improved city planning. More than $20 million will go to the Winnipeg Police Service and the Fire Paramedic Service. 

Public safety initiatives include:
  • 21 new police officers – 18 for downtown and three in schools
  • Eight new firefighters
  • Two new ambulances
  • Photo Safety Technology
  • Enhancements to the 911 communications centre, including seven new positions
  • Building Safer Communities program – increased recreational opportunities for youth

Councillor Bill Clement, Chair of the Fiscal Issues Committee, tabled the budget at Executive Policy Committee after it was presented to an informal session of City Council.

The tax-supported budget is balanced, with projected spending of more than $677 million. The $15 million overall increase in spending is covered by increases in revenue, including a net $8 million anticipated revenue from the Photo Safety Technology Program and revenues from the sale of Winnipeg Hydro.

Winnipeggers will be invited to participate in the budget process by making presentations to Council’s committees.

The budget documents are available at:

Other highlights of the budget include:

  • Property tax freeze after three years of reductions
    • 86 per cent of homeowners have seen their municipal taxes decrease since 1999.
    • The overall average decrease for these homeowners is just over 8 per cent.
  • New funding for integrated planning, which will create a “one-stop shop” for builders and developers, especially downtown.
  • Protection of front-line city services, with no reductions in service for transit, libraries, recreation programming or pools.
  • Debt and finance charges decrease by $8 million over last year’s budget, because of Council’s policy of no new borrowing for tax-supported capital programs. 
    • Spending on arts and culture increases by $800,000 to more than $3 million. 
    • $500,000 increase for the Winnipeg Arts Advisory Council, the first of four investments in keeping with the Mayor’s election commitment to double the City’s arts funding.
    • $100,000 for a new initiative in children’s art and culture through a sustaining grant to Art City.
    • $200,000 for innovative festival programming that was a pilot last year and has now been added to the Winnipeg Arts Advisory Council’s funding.

The city has also contributed $200,000 to the Arts Stabilization Fund as part of a $500,000 grant over five years.


Mayor tables “public safety” budget (printer friendly) (pdf, 8kb)


2003 Preliminary Operating Budget (pdf, 535kb)


January 21, 2003 Press Conference Video (MPEG 14.67 mb) Warning: long download time. Recommended for high speed Internet users only.

Last update: 10.01.2005

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