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News Releases

January 15, 2016

Province and City upgrade St. Vital Library

Released: 10:32 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - The Manitoba government and the City of Winnipeg are providing funds toward an $850,000 upgrade to the St. Vital Library, Municipal Government Minister Drew Caldwell and Brian Mayes, City Councillor for St. Vital announced today.

“Libraries play an important role in communities, providing a familiar place to read and conduct research, excellent educational programming, access to technology and other valuable services,” said Minister Caldwell. “These critical upgrades will make sure the St. Vital Library can be enjoyed for many years to come.”

The province and the city will each provide $425,000 toward the overall cost of renovations to the library, which is more than 50 years old. Upgrades to the building’s fire and emergency systems, heating and cooling ventilation, and exterior improvements are all included in this major project.

An elevator was also recently installed in the library to improve accessibility to all three floors. Funding for this renovation was provided by the City of Winnipeg through capital budgets as part of the city’s library redevelopment strategy.

"I have been coming to this library for 45 years and I am genuinely moved to say that for the first time, all of the children's collection is going to be accessible to all children," said Brian Mayes, City Councillor for St. Vital.

Funding for this project comes from the Building Manitoba Fund, which uses a portion of tax revenues to upgrade important community infrastructure. The St Vital Library is one of several libraries accepted for upgrades under the program, including Cornish Library, St. Johns Library, and the Millennium Library.

These upgrades are part of the Manitoba/Winnipeg Infrastructure Agreement, a six-year program investing $220 million in long-term projects within the city.

For more information on Winnipeg Public Library, including hours, locations, and online services, please visit

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Winnipeg Transit launches Transit Code of Conduct public education campaign

New initiative aimed at improving the safety and security of transit employees and customers

Released: 10:43 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - On Monday, January 18, Transit customers will start noticing a new decal and sign on Transit buses, at Transit stations and at service centres as Winnipeg Transit begins the rollout of a new safety initiative. The signs will outline the Transit Code of Conduct and the decals will remind passengers of the consequences of threatening or assaulting Transit operators.

“The goal of this public education campaign is to improve the safety and security of Transit employees and customers,” said Dave Wardrop, Director, Winnipeg Transit. “We are pleased to work with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505 in the development of this initiative. Together we are committed to the delivery of affordable, reliable, and safe Transit service for Winnipeggers and visitors to our city.”

The Transit Code of Conduct, finalized in December 2015 and based on Transit By-Law No. 89/2014, was created to encourage appropriate behaviour and conduct while using Transit services.

Transit By-Law No. 89/2014 was created in 2014 and its intent is to regulate the conduct and activities of Transit users in order to promote the safety and well-being of employees and passengers on the Transit system.

The complete Code of Conduct, Transit By-Law, and images of the decal and Code of Conduct signage are available at

311 continues to find innovative ways to improve service for citizens

Released: 2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - The City of Winnipeg's 311 contact centre is continuing to improve service for citizens through a number of innovative initiatives. Using analysis of the more than 1,654,520 citizen interactions that 311 received in 2014, the public service has developed a series of improvements that will increase the quality and efficiency of the service for citizens. These improvements include:

  • Using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology to route citizens’ calls for single- trip Transit schedules to TeleBUS, a self-service phone option for Transit schedules.
  • Routing all Assessment and Taxation-related calls to a subject matter expert within the 311 contact centre using IVR technology.
  • Routing Animal Services Agency-related calls to a subject matter expert within the 311 contact centre using IVR technology.

A public education campaign will happen prior to the launch of the enhancements which are scheduled to occur in early February.

One new 311 service enhancement is already being used by citizens.  A refreshed and improved 311 Self Service website was launched on December 22, 2015 and feedback has been positive. The site was enhanced with new content and includes more self-service search options that provide alternatives to calling 311.

In February 2015, City Council approved the City Auditor’s report on the 311 contact centre. The Audit made a number of positive observations about the 311 contact centre, specifically that “the 311 contact centre has expanded access channels to contact the City…and is delivering service to citizens in a more transparent and accountable manner.” The Audit also spoke to the cost-effectiveness of the centre. Nine of 13 recommendations made by the report have since been implemented and 311 is continuing work to implement the remaining recommendations.

Since its inception in 2009, the 311 contact centre has continued to evolve as an easy-to-use “single window” with an easy-to-remember number through which Winnipeggers can obtain information and make requests for service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 311 is available by phone at 311, by email at , via Facebook or Twitter (@cityofwinnipeg), through the 311 app, and via the 311 website.

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Province, City support Safe Space for West End youth

Funding allows Spence Neighbourhood Association to open a 24-hour safe space

Released: 4:26 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Funding from the Manitoba government and a donation in-kind from the City of Winnipeg will help allow the Spence Neighbourhood Association to open a 24-hour safe space, giving at-risk youth in Winnipeg's West End neighbourhood a safe space to go to no matter what time of the day they need it, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Melanie Wight and Cindy Gilroy, City Councillor, Daniel MacIntyre, announced today.

“Having a safe space open overnight means youth in the West End neighbourhood will always have somewhere to go, whether they need protection, someone to talk to or just a safe place to hang out with friends,” said Minister Wight. “This is something the entire community has rallied around and our government is proud to make sure such an important program gets rolling as soon as possible.”

The Spence Neighbourhood Association (SNA), in partnership with the City of Winnipeg, currently runs a drop-in program for youth, Monday to Friday, from 3:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. out of the City of Winnipeg-owned and operated Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre (MERC) on Langside Street. Seeing the need for a safe place for its users to have access to outside of those hours, SNA and volunteers with the community-based West End 24/7 Safe Space group have been working to raise the money needed to keep the program running from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. on weekends and school holidays.

The group has been able to raise $35,000 from the community and today the province committed another $380,000 for the project over the next three years. The City of Winnipeg has also committed to provide in-kind contributions to allow the MERC building to remain open during the hours required for the operation of the 24-hour safe space.

“I am so proud of all those who worked tirelessly going door to door collecting signatures and talking about the need for a 24/7 safe space for youth. I am fully behind this project and am thrilled that I can advocate for it at City Hall,” said Councillor Gilroy. “This is a great step to providing a safe space for youth in our community and I'm so pleased and honored to be part of this announcement today.”

“We have been working for over a year with the community and youth who are out on the streets and need a safe space. Our youth are most vulnerable overnight, so a 24-hour safe space in the West End neighbourhood will mean they have safety, love and supports when they need it most,” said Jamil Mahmood, executive director, SNA. “This funding for a 24-hour safe space will save lives of youth in the community and provide love and support youth need 24 hours a day.”

The program targets youth between the ages of 15 and 26 and the SNA currently sees an average of 80 to 100 youth taking part every day. It expects as many as 30 participants will use the space overnight once the extended hours start this spring.

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January 15, 2016 28, 2015