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News Releases

December 7, 2017


2017 Winnipeg Wards Boundaries Commission releases final report

Released: 9:26 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Today, the 2017 Winnipeg Wards Boundaries Commission (the Commission) released its final report establishing the boundaries and names of the 15 City of Winnipeg Council wards. The changes take into account future growth, while addressing current, significant population imbalances between wards.

On February 24, 2016, Council directed the Public Service to establish the Commission in 2017 to review the boundaries and names of the 15 Council Wards in the City of Winnipeg. The City of Winnipeg Charter requires that the Commission sit at minimum once every 10 years to establish ward boundaries based on the city’s population, as determined by the latest Census, and other criteria set out in the legislation. The last Wards Boundaries Commission was convened in 2009.

Members of the 2017 Commission are the Honourable Mr. Justice Kenneth R. Hanssen, Judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba, Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg, and Mr. Marc Lemoine, Deputy City Clerk and Senior Election Official for the City of Winnipeg.

Using the 2016 Census data, reasonable growth estimates in specific neighbourhoods and input received from delegations, the Commission has addressed current imbalances through the creation of a new ward, Waverley West, and the reassignment of existing St. Charles Ward neighbourhoods into neighbouring wards. The Commission has also realigned several other ward boundaries and established the names of all wards. The overall number of wards has not changed, and remains at 15.

All 15 wards will now be within eight per cent of the average ward size, and will be able to absorb projected growth over the next five to 10 years.

Under the new ward boundaries, the difference between the largest and the smallest wards drops dramatically, from a current gap of almost 36,000 residents (between the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert and St. Charles wards), to a difference of approximately 6,500 residents (between the new River Heights – Fort Garry and Waverley West Wards).

The changes to the ward boundaries come into effect in September 2018, at the close of the nomination period for the 2018 Civic Election, and apply to all candidates.

The final report will be presented as information to Council at its meeting on December 13, 2017.

To view the final report, see City of Winnipeg - 2017 Winnipeg Wards Boundaries Commission.

City maintains AA (Stable) credit rating

Released: 9:53 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Standard and Poor's has recently affirmed Winnipeg's AA (Stable) credit rating based on a very strong and diversified economy, stable budgetary performance, strong financial management, and robust liquidity.

“Standard and Poor’s confirmation of our AA credit rating is an encouraging sign amidst a very challenging budget environment,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “The AA rating is evidence of the City of Winnipeg’s strong and responsible approach toward managing the City’s finances.”

“In a year when we’ve faced and addressed so many funding challenges, it is rewarding to receive Standard and Poor’s affirmation,” said Councillor Scott Gillingham, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance. “The credit rating is reflective of the strong work the City’s management team does, and our commitment to fiscal prudence.”

In its research update, Standard and Poor’s noted that “Winnipeg exhibits strong financial management, which has a positive impact on the ratings. The management team is what we consider experienced and qualified to effectively enact fiscal policies, as well as effectively respond to external risks.”

Among other practices that positively reflect on the City’s credit rating process are the development and adherence to long-term financial and capital improvement plans, and the maintenance of an adequate level of operating reserves.

For more information, please see Standard and Poor’s research update pertaining to the credit opinion for the City of Winnipeg.

City awards renovation grants to eight community centres

Released: 10:20 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Mayor Brian Bowman announced today that eight City-owned community centres will receive funding for renovations.

The Community Centre Renovation Grant (CCRG) Program received and approved eight applications from the Fall 2017 intake period for a combined total of $296,191 in grant funding. Since the program’s inception, the City has invested $5,172,566 into 129 different community centre applications for renovations across the city.

“Community centres are important meeting places for sports and events in our community,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “I’m pleased to see continued support of our community centres through the City of Winnipeg’s Community Centre Renovation Grant. This grant will assist in making important improvements and upgrades so community centres across Winnipeg can continue to be key gathering places now and into the future.”

The Community Centres receiving grants are:

Archwood Maples Red River
Riverview South Transcona St. Norbert
Westdale Winakwa  

The CCRG Program was adopted by Council in 2012. The program ensures that City-owned, board-run community centres can access the much-needed assistance required to complete facility repairs and allow them the ability to set programming priorities.

The program provides up to $965,000 in total annual funding for community centres to access in support of repairs, upgrades, retrofits, safety improvements and renovation projects. Each community centre applicant is eligible for 100 per cent support of project costs to a maximum of $50,000 per project per calendar year.

The program has two intake periods each year: spring intake in March and fall intake in October. Fall 2017 is the twelfth application period for the program.

Information regarding the CCRG Program, including how community centres can apply, can be found at City of Winnipeg – Community Centres.

Reminder - Leisure Guide registration for Winter activities starts December 12 and 13

Released: 12:00 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Citizens are reminded that the registration process for Winter 2018 activities will have staggered start dates as follows:

Tuesday, December 12 at 8:00 a.m. – Registration begins for swimming lessons only.

Wednesday, December 13 at 8:00 a.m. – Registration for all other activities begins and swimming lesson registration continues.

Tuesday, December 19 at 8:00 a.m. – Registration begins for all activities for non-residents. For more information, please visit City of Winnipeg - Recreation Registration Non-Resident.

Registration for all activities will be ongoing after these start dates. For your convenience, the City offers a number of ways to register:

leisureonline

Visit winnipeg.ca/leisureonline.

If you are planning to register for Winter 2018 Leisure Guide activities using leisureonline, please ensure that you are able to successfully log in to your online account BEFORE registration starts. If you are having difficulty accessing your account, please call 311.

For more information on accessing or creating your account, please visit City of Winnipeg – Registration Tips.

Call 311

24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In-Person Registration Locations for December 12 and 13 Only

The following Registration Centres will operate on December 12 and December 13 only:

In-person registration on December 12 and December 13 will also be accepted at the following locations (check in-person registration times at the facility of your choice by calling 311 or visiting winnipeg.ca):

Queue numbers at all in-person registration locations will be handed out starting at 7:00 a.m. on December 12 and December 13.

Please note that on December 12 and December 13 only, in-person registration will not be processed at the following locations:

  • Bonivital Pool
  • Kinsmen Sherbrook
  • Main Floor, 395 Main Street
  • Margaret Grant Pool
  • St. James Civic Centre

Ongoing In-Person Registrations after December 13

Visit winnipeg.ca or call 311 for in-person registration locations and times.

Emerald ash borer found in Winnipeg

City ready to respond to invasive, wood-boring beetle that attacks and kills ash trees

Released: 2:02 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found in Winnipeg. Introduced into North America from China, EAB is an invasive, wood-boring beetle that attacks and kills all species of ash trees.

“While emerald ash borer will have a significant impact on our urban tree canopy, the City has been preparing for its arrival for over a decade,” said city forester Martha Barwinsky. “We are ready to respond.”

In the new year, a report outlining a recommended EAB management approach and associated costs will be coming forward for City Council’s consideration. One option that will be considered is injecting a percentage of eligible ash trees on public properties with a botanical pesticide to preserve them as long as possible. The remaining trees on public properties would be removed as they die and possibly replaced over time.

“We are working closely with our partners and will be finalizing our EAB management plans soon,” said Barwinsky. “The goal is to spread out the mortality of ash trees to allow more proactive management of tree removals and replacements, and to preserve our healthy ash trees for as long as possible.”

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates EAB in Canada. The City is partnering with the CFIA and the Province of Manitoba on next steps. CFIA notified the City of Winnipeg of a confirmed find of an emerald ash borer larvae on November 30. The City has been working with CFIA and the province to develop appropriate survey and surveillance measures which will help determine when the pest may have arrived in Winnipeg and the extent of the spread of EAB within the city. Surveillance work will begin within the next month in the St. Boniface area where the infected tree was discovered. Should crews need to enter private property, homeowners will be provided with written notice. All staff will be carrying official City, provincial or federal identification cards.

“EAB beetles are generally dormant over the winter, so the next few months are the ideal time for us to conduct our surveying work and make preparations,” added Barwinsky. “We still want to remind citizens not to move firewood which is good advice no matter the time of year. Buy it locally and leave it where you bought it.”

Citizens are encouraged to help prevent the spread of EAB:

  • Don’t move firewood, 
  • Burn firewood where you buy it,
  • Plant a variety of tree species to increase diversity,
  • Learn how to identify an ash tree, and
  • Learn how to identify the signs and symptoms of EAB.

More information is available at winnipeg.ca/emeraldashborer.

Background

EAB is an invasive pest introduced into North America from China. It feeds on and kills ash trees whether they are healthy or stressed. It is the larval stage of the beetle that kills the tree. The larvae feed on the tissue underneath the bark. The larval feeding girdles the tree, cutting off the flow of nutrients and water causing the tree to die. Once detected, it cannot be eradicated. The metallic green beetle is currently in northwestern and southwestern Ontario, southern Quebec, and in 29 states in the United States, including Minnesota and is now in Winnipeg.

Over a 10-year period, the City is at risk of losing 30% of boulevard and park trees valued at approximately $437 million. Many ash trees on private property are also at risk of becoming infected over the next decade.

The City’s Urban Forestry Branch has been preparing for EAB for over a decade by:

  • creating a public tree inventory and private ash tree inventory,
  • initiating discussion within industry including working with the nursery industry to increase the diversity of nursery stock,
  • educating and training staff and industry,
  • monitoring for EAB in partnership with Trees Winnipeg and CFIA using green sticky prism traps,
  • establishing diversity guidelines for the City’s reforestation program and new developments,
  • partnering with the Province of Manitoba and CFIA to develop a Manitoba EAB Preparedness Plan, and
  • removing ash species from its reforestation program.
December 7, 2017