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Media Releases

May 1, 2015

City takes first step in long-term commitment to support and encourage walking and cycling in Winnipeg

Pedestrian Cycling Strategies to serve as roadmap to make walking and cycling safer, more convenient, accessible, and attractive to citizens

Released: 9:27 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - The City is taking a first step in a long-term commitment to support and encourage walking and cycling in Winnipeg. The public service is seeking Council approval for the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies, a policy document which will serve as a roadmap for civic investments into infrastructure and active transportation support programs in order to make walking and cycling safer, more convenient, accessible, and attractive to citizens.

Encouraging walking and cycling creates countless community benefits. Providing greater access and options for walking and cycling will lead to improved health, increased personal mobility, more liveable and socially active communities, and reduced impacts on the environment and our climate.

“This project aims to improve the quality of life for all Winnipeggers,” said Kevin Nixon, Active Transportation Coordinator. “The City needs a roadmap to prioritize active transportation infrastructure, programs, and policy to support a growing and dynamic City. It is evident that providing safe, convenient, accessible and well maintained pedestrian and cycling infrastructure is important to most Winnipeggers.”

A key component in the development of the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies planning has been public engagement. The City heard directly from thousands of Winnipeggers throughout the process through online and telephone surveys, public open houses, stakeholder meetings and a workshop, and through the project website. This feedback was instrumental in developing the recommendations and plans in the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies.

Included in this plan are a series of short, medium and long-term strategies which focus on:

  • Improving connectivity, including expanding the bicycle network, expanding and enhancing the sidewalk network, and addressing barriers to connectivity.
  • Improving convenience to using active transportation by providing bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities and increasing and improving multi-modal connections.
  • Improving safety and accessibility by providing accessible infrastructure, including improving pedestrian and cycling crossings, developing safe routes to school, and providing well-lit, visible facilities for pedestrians and cyclists to use.
  • Improving maintenance for the bicycle and sidewalk networks.
  • Improving vibrancy of our public spaces by enhancing streetscapes, land development and site design.
  • Increasing awareness by offering enhanced way-finding, signage and trip planning and improving education and awareness on the benefits of active transportation.

The full cost to implement the strategies is estimated to be approximately $330 million over the next 20 years. However, consideration will be given to these strategies in the yearly budgeting process and the use of funds for specific projects and programs will be approved by Council on a yearly basis through the Pedestrian and Cycling Action Plan. These strategies will also be implemented in existing road renewal programs, development projects and major capital projects.

The Strategies will be a living document and will require continuous monitoring of the implementation actions and continued collaboration with stakeholders.

A report outlining the strategies will be first considered by the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works on May 5.

Related links:

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service reminds citizens that open fires are prohibited during extreme winds

Released: 11:21 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Due to the possibility of high winds for the Winnipeg area this weekend, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service reminds all citizens that any open burning or open fires are prohibited.

It is important to note that open air fires must not be set when the wind exceeds 25 kilometres per hours (15 miles per hour). For more information on open air burning regulations, please see the Neighbourhood Liveability By-law - Part 6.

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service would also like to remind citizens that during extreme wind conditions, damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage. Citizens are also urged to adjust their driving to the extreme wind conditions.

For updates on the possibility of high winds, please visit Environment Canada - Alerts for City of Winnipeg. For more information on fire burning, please visit City of Winnipeg - Fire Burning.

External Comprehensive Assessment of City of Winnipeg's Water System as it Relates to Recent Boil Water Advisories Report submitted to the Office of Drinking Water

Winnipeg's water safe; report concludes positive samples were most likely related to either sampling or analytical processes

Released: 2:31 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Late yesterday afternoon, the City of Winnipeg submitted an external report to the Office of Drinking Water, the regulator of drinking water in Manitoba, for the Province’s review of the findings and recommendations from the comprehensive, external assessment of the City of Winnipeg’s water system.

“The water was, and is, safe to drink,” said Geoffrey Patton, Acting Director of Water and Waste. “The independent assessment provides compelling evidence there was no contamination in Winnipeg’s water distribution system during the event that occurred in January 2015.”

The external Comprehensive Assessment of the City of Winnipeg’s Water System as it Relates to Recent Boil Water Advisories report concludes, “It appears most likely that the source of the positive samples originated in either a sample collection or laboratory contamination event.”

The assessment also notes that there was no connection between historical discoloured water events and historical bacteriological samples.

The report contains several recommendations outlining improvements that can be made to reduce the likelihood of positive samples in the future.  Many of these have been implemented or are underway, such as improvements to the City’s sampling procedures. 

What Happened
On January 27, 2015, the provincial Medical Officer of Health issued a precautionary boil water advisory for Winnipeg’s water system. This was done after water samples, taken regularly to monitor our water’s safety, tested positive for presence of bacteria.

The City took immediate action to alert residents and businesses via mainstream media, social media (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube video messages posted by Mayor Brian Bowman), 311, and business account contact information.

At the same time, the City had already begun retesting water samples from locations that had positive results and surrounding locations. Results of these retests, received on January 28, showed the water was safe.

After a second set of retests was ordered and again confirmed the City’s water was safe, the precautionary boil water advisory was lifted by the provincial Medical Officer of Health on January 29.

On February 3, 2015, the Manitoba Office of Drinking Water issued an order to the City to carry out an investigation of the water system, to be completed in accordance with US EPA’s Revised Total Coliform Rule Assessments and Corrective Actions Guidance Manual.

The City retained an external consultant to undertake the investigation and to prepare a comprehensive, third-party report, which would also include two independent assessments initiated by the City that were specific to sampling and analysis procedures. This external report, the Comprehensive Assessment of the City of Winnipeg’s Water System as it Relates to Recent Boil Water Advisories report, was completed yesterday, April 30, 2015, and forwarded to the provincial Office of Drinking Water.

More Information
Today, to inform citizens and members of City Council, the Public Service also published an administrative report that includes the executive summary section of the Comprehensive Assessment of City’s Water System as it Relates to Recent Boil Water Advisories report submitted to the Province on April 30.  The administrative report can be found on the agenda for the May 5, 2015 meeting of the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works.

Upon completion of the provincial regulatory review process, it is the intent of the City of Winnipeg to ensure openness and transparency by releasing the external Comprehensive Assessment of the City of Winnipeg’s Water System as it Relates to Recent Boil Water Advisories report, making its findings available to the public.

For more information on the external assessment of the City’s drinking water system, please visit City of Winnipeg - BWA Assessment.


WOW Hospitality Concepts Inc. being considered as new tenant for Esplanade Riel

"Mon Ami Louis" concept deemed most advantageous for the City

Released: 2:31 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - The Public Service is recommending approval of a five-year lease agreement with WOW Hospitality Concepts Inc. that would see a seasonal, full service restaurant/café operate in the currently vacant Plaza space on the Esplanade Riel in St. Boniface.

Mon Ami Louis would be open for brunch, lunch and dinner service during the summer months (May 1 to September 30). It would then operate as an event centre for the remainder of the year.

Eight proposals were received in response to an Expression of Interest (EOI) issued February 28, 2015. The submission by Wow Hospitality Concepts Inc. was considered the most advantageous for the City.

If approved, the proponent would invest $100,000 in tenant improvements, with an opening date targeted for mid-July of this year.

The report will be considered by the Standing Policy Committee for Downtown Development, Heritage & Riverbank Management on Thursday, May 7, 2015.

Last update: May 1, 2015