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Media Releases

March 12, 2014

City of Winnipeg launches official Election website

Released: 2:21 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - The 2014 General Civic Election for the City of Winnipeg will be held on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Eligible voters have the opportunity to cast ballots for Mayor, Councillors and School Trustees.

The City of Winnipeg Election website has been launched, much earlier than in previous elections, and can be found at winnipeg.ca/2014Election

The website contains everything voters and candidates will need to know about the 2014 municipal election.

Information on who is eligible to vote, where and how you can vote, advance voting opportunities, and all legislation pertaining to the upcoming election can be found on the website. The website will be updated continuously as more information becomes available.

The Election website will also be useful for individuals seeking to run in the general civic election. Information on the registration and nomination processes, legislation on campaign expenses and campaign signage can all be found on the easy to use website.

“We thought it was important to provide as much information, as early as possible, so that potential candidates understand the process and all legislation related to running for civic office”, said Marc Lemoine, Senior Election Official.

Information regarding the website, and other election information, is available by contacting the City of Winnipeg Contact Centre at 311 or by visiting the City of Winnipeg’s web page City of Winnipeg - 2014 Election

Frozen Pipes Bulletin #9: Update on City services and support for citizens and businesses with frozen water pipes

Released: 5:18 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Yesterday afternoon, City officials advised that, to prevent an interruption of service before it happens, an additional 482 properties were identified as being at an increased risk of the City's portion of the water pipe freezing (from the water main to the shut-off valve, usually at the property line).

The City's focus has been on direct communication with those property owners. Telephone calls to these 482 properties have been completed. Notices were being delivered this afternoon through the coordinated efforts of City departments and agencies, such as the Winnipeg Parking Authority and Community Services (Community By-law Enforcement Services).

To prevent the water pipe from freezing and interrupting water service, citizens who received a call last night and a notice today are being asked to start leaving one cold water tap running at a trickle (about the amount of a drinking straw) all the time. Those water pipes at risk of freezing will remain vulnerable over the next few months, as it will be at least May or June before the frost is out of the ground.

If property owners do not receive a notice from the City of Winnipeg, it is important that they do not leave their water running due to operational risks that such an action could have on our water and sewer systems (e.g., sewer backup, basement flooding, sewage treatment plant upset).

The City is discouraging property owners with a frozen water service from installing their own temporary hose lines with their neighbour. This is to ensure that the required public health and safety measures are taken, such as:

  • using a hose approved for drinking water, and
  • flushing the hose to sanitize before installing.

In addition, it enables the City to take a water meter reading so that we can credit the neighbour's bill once the water pipe is thawed and the temporary hose line is removed.

To date:

Number of properties identified as being at an increased risk of the possibility of
frozen pipes
5,447
Number of frozen water pipe reports this winter (since November 2013) 1,716
Number of properties where water has been restored (e.g., thawing) 671
Number of properties on the list for City thawing service 1,045
Number of City-installed temporary hose lines 249
Number of properties without a water supply to their taps due to frozen pipes 796

City crews are working to thaw frozen water pipes as quickly as possible. Crews are working day and night, seven days a week.  Today, we are currently thawing properties that reported “no water” to 311 on February 21, 2014.  There are some exceptions to this, as listed on Winnipeg.ca/frozenpipes.  The average wait time for properties that reported an interruption in water service on February 21 was approximately 20 days.  However, given the number of reported cases between February 21 and today, we expect that wait time to increase accordingly each day.  All available staff and equipment have been assigned to this effort.

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service has completed all requests for deliveries of water, and has had only 16 repeat visits today to deliver water to vulnerable persons.  Citizens without water service who are able to attend to a Fire Paramedic station are encouraged to do so to re-fill water jugs.  For information on frozen water pipes and select stations to attend for re-fills, please go to Winnipeg.ca/frozenpipes.

To better accommodate new cases of frozen water pipes during the coming weeks, the City has implemented a streamlined process for assisting property owners. When citizens with frozen water pipes call 311, Customer Service Representatives will ask callers about their potable water needs, provide locations of complimentary showers, and advise citizens regarding how to book an appointment for the City to install a temporary hose from an adjacent property.

The City is also offering free access to shower facilities at all 12 indoor pool locations as well as Fort Rouge Leisure Centre (625 Osborne Street) for those residents without water due to frozen water pipes. A list of locations and operating hours are posted on Winnipeg.ca/frozenpipes.  Citizens dealing with frozen pipes should simply identify themselves as such to pool staff at the front counter.  Yesterday, 50 citizens utilized these shower facilities.

This winter there has been a sudden and dramatic increase in frozen water pipes due to prolonged periods of frigid temperatures and deeper-than-usual frost penetration into the ground. This is the second coldest winter in 75 years and frost has reached a depth of an average of approximately seven feet.

Related links:

Winnipeg in Top Five Best Places to Live in Canada

Released: 5:28 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Canadian financial magazine MoneySense has released its annual Best Places to Live ranking and Winnipeg ranks fifth in the "Top 10 Largest Cities" category.

“City Council has done its best to deliver budgets that strike a prudent and responsible balance, and Winnipeg still has amongst the lowest property taxes of major Canadian cities,” said Mayor Sam Katz. “Our growing population, reasonably priced homes and diversified economy, which continues to create new jobs, make Winnipeg an attractive place to do business and raise a family.”

The magazine uses extensive criteria to determine the ranking and takes into account everything from unemployment rates to climate. Real estate prices, property taxes, commute times and proximity to a major airport are also considered.

MoneySense used 34 factors to determine the ranking of the Canadian cities, which were divided into small, medium, and large categories. Overall, Winnipeg placed 19th out of the 201 cities included in the list, a slight drop from last year’s ranking due to rapid growth seen in other communities.

An interesting trend noted in the magazine is the high ranking of cities in Western Canada. Nearly half of the top 20 cities in the overall list are west of Winnipeg. According to a magazine spokesperson, Winnipeg’s consistently high ranking can be credited to its slow, steady growth and affordable cost of living. Last year, Winnipeg was also ranked fifth amongst large cities.

The full report can be found on the MoneySense website at: http://www.moneysense.ca/canadas-best-places-to-live-2014-full-ranking

Related links:

Last update: 13.03.2014

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