February 24, 2017
Released: 9:35 a.m.
Winnipeg, MB. - Investing in modern, safe and efficient roadways is critical to connecting communities, helping businesses efficiently move their goods, and building a strong economic future for all Canadians.
Today, the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg announced details regarding the $105 million investment in over 150 roadway construction projects that will get underway in Winnipeg this year. The proposed list includes specific local roads, back lanes and sidewalks projects that are being considered for renewal in 2017, in addition to the regional street work already slated for this year.
Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists can look forward to a smoother ride in residential neighbourhoods with a total of $60.3 million dedicated to local street and back lane renewals, thin bituminous overlays, granular roadway improvements and local sidewalk, walkway and bike path renewal in 2017. These local construction projects are in addition to $44.8 million of major street and sidewalk work scheduled for this year, including several stretches of Pembina Highway, the major rehabilitation of Ellice Avenue from Erin Street to Arlington Street and the rehabilitation of eastbound Provencher Boulevard from Des Meurons Street to Archibald Street.
With such a significant investment in the City’s infrastructure, Winnipeggers can expect a busy and productive construction season to begin as soon as possible this spring.
"Investing in infrastructure is vital to strengthening the middle class, creating jobs and growing the economy. Modern and efficient community infrastructure like local and regional roads and bridges contributes to a high quality of life by helping to connect people, supporting local businesses, and ensuring Canadians can spend less time on the road and more time with their families."
The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Manitoba is pleased to partner with the city and the federal government to improve Winnipeg’s roads, back lanes and sidewalks. These types of investments in transportation infrastructure help to ensure the efficient flow of both goods and services, while making our roads safer and our neighbourhoods better places to live, work and raise a family.”
Honourable Scott Fielding, Minister of Families, on behalf of Honourable Eileen Clarke, Minister of Indigenous and Municipal Relations
“Winnipeggers have said time and time again that fixing the roads is their number one priority and I’m thrilled we are able to continue our historic investment of $105 million to make that happen. It’s taken us just three years to exceed the amount of investment committed to road renewal that councils invested in the previous six years. Our record is clear and fixing the roads will continue to be our number one priority.”
Mayor of the City of Winnipeg
- Of the $105 million dedicated to Winnipeg’s local and regional street renewal programs in 2017, more than $12.2 million is expected to come from the federal Gas Tax Fund. The balance is budgeted to be funded by the Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg. Note the funding levels are yet to be finalized pending the approval of the 2017 provincial budget.
- The Government of Canada is providing over $68 million annually in funding for municipal infrastructure in Manitoba through the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF).
- The federal GTF provides Canadian municipalities with a permanent, predictable and indexed source of long-term funding. It offers local communities the flexibility to make strategic investments across 18 different project categories, including roads and bridges, public transit, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and recreational facilities.
- The 2017 Capital Local Street Renewals, Alley Renewals, Thin Bituminous Overlay, and Granular Roadway Improvements Report will be considered by the City’s Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works on February 28, 2017.
Government of Canada’s $180-billion+ infrastructure plan: http://www.budget.gc.ca/fes-eea/2016/docs/themes/infrastructure-en.html
Federal infrastructure investments in Manitoba: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map-carte/mb-eng.html
The federal Gas Tax Fund: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/gtf-fte-eng.html
New Initiatives to Reduce Red Tape & Improve City Permitting Process Introduced
Released: 12:56 p.m.
Winnipeg, MB. - In his third State of the City address, Mayor Brian Bowman emphasized the importance of building Winnipeg for the future, preparing the City for strong population and economic growth, and announced new steps to reduce red tape including a new partnership with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce to help streamline and improve the City’s permitting process.
“Over the next twenty-five years, Winnipeg’s population is expected to chart strong and steady increases and we are on track to being a city of one million people strong,” said Mayor Bowman. “As a City, we need to be thinking about and planning today for a future we know is going to create increased demand not only on our existing city infrastructure and services, but also demand for new infrastructure and expanded services.”
“Planning for growth means figuring out how to pay the cost of growth that is fair and equitable to current taxpayers while also supporting our businesses, growing the economy, and working in partnership with other levels of government,” said Mayor Bowman.
The Mayor stressed the need for strong partnerships with other levels of government, and that no city in Canada can successfully build for the future without strong provincial and federal partners.
“I will not stand silent while other budgets are balanced on the backs of Winnipeg residents, and at the expense of Winnipeg infrastructure,” said Mayor Bowman. “We need to keep building, and we need to continue with important infrastructure investments we know we need to support a growing city.”
The Mayor emphasized the need to improve the City’s permitting process for local businesses, and announced the creation of a Permit Logistics Desk, a joint initiative between the City and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
“Delays in the permitting process impose costs to entrepreneurs and have an impact on all stakeholders, from the investor, the business, the architect, the engineer, and so on,” said Mayor Bowman. “This pilot project is intended to help reduce or eliminate delays in the permitting process, delays that can cost many businesses time and money,” Mayor Bowman explained.
Chamber staff working at the Logistics Desk will have complete access to all City permit services so that they can work with businesses as well as City staff to quickly identify issues and ultimately streamline the permit process.
To find ways to further reduce red tape, Mayor Bowman invited all businesses to identify through the Winnipeg Chamber any outdated and unnecessary City of Winnipeg bylaws that are creating obstacles to their success and that of the City’s, and committed to work with Council to remove them.
The Mayor outlined the need to bring Winnipeg’s economic development efforts more in line with that of the province, and recognized Economic Development Winnipeg’s efforts to more closely align their work with the Premier’s Enterprise Team.
“This alignment is critical,” said Mayor Bowman. “Winnipeg and its surrounding municipalities are home to two thirds of Manitoba’s population and Winnipeg has always been, and continues to be, the major economic engine of this province.”
“In the coming years, Winnipeg is increasingly going to be home to both more jobs and more people, we need to be ready for this, and we need to be working in lock-step with the province,” said Mayor Bowman.
In the State of the City, Mayor Bowman also:
- Supported the introduction of ride-sharing services like Uber, and committed to working with the province and the provincial Taxicab Board to move it forward;
- Welcomed Mr. Michael Legary who is joining the City of Winnipeg as its first Chief Innovation Officer;
- Announced letters of support from key Portage and Main property owners including Artis REIT, Harvard Developments, Scotia Bank, and Richardsons to work together to plan the opening of Portage and Main as one component of a larger vision to reconnect all four quadrants of Downtown;
- Announced that public and community engagement on the 2018 budget will begin this spring;
- Established a process with Economic Development Winnipeg to quickly assemble community experts to seek their input and advice in real time on emerging issues; and
- Committed to further business tax reductions.
In keeping with the tradition of the Mayor’s Charity of Choice, partial proceeds from State of the City ticket sales go to support a charity of the Mayor’s choice. Mayor Bowman announced that this year’s charity is the Bear Clan Patrol, an inclusive movement dedicated to changing our community for the better.