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Media Releases

September 30, 2016


Mayor and Finance Chair to meet with Bond Rating Agencies

Fiscal Prudence and Growth to be Emphasized: Bowman

Released: 7:43 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Mayor Brian Bowman and Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance, Councillor Marty Morantz, are scheduled to meet with international bond rating agencies Standard and Poor's and Moody's next week in New York to discuss the City of Winnipeg's finances and the City's projections for growth.

Mayor Bowman and Councillor Morantz will be in New York from October 3-5. Joining them on the trip will be Doug McNeil, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Mike Ruta, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the City of Winnipeg. While in New York, they will also be meeting with Phyllis Yaffe, the Consul General of Canada, Tim Tompkins from Time Square Alliance, and officials from the Traffic Management Centre at New York’s Department of Transportation.

“These discussions with international bond rating agencies are important and occur annually with the City of Winnipeg,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “It is a key opportunity for us to underscore our commitment for fiscal prudence and balance, as well as reinforce that Winnipeg’s economy and population are both projected to grow steadily over the next twenty-five years.”

“Winnipeg is growing, and we need to be building and managing our assets today in a way that builds Winnipeg for the future,” said Mayor Bowman.

The City of Winnipeg released this summer its 2016 City of Winnipeg Population, Housing, and Economic Forecast. It relies on data from Statistics Canada, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and The Conference Board of Canada, which is widely considered the foremost independent, evidence-based applied research organization in the country.

The Forecast indicates that Winnipeg’s average annual population growth over the next 25 years is estimated to increase by 8,200 people per year. It also indicates that the City of Winnipeg’s Census Metropolitan Area population will exceed 1 million people by 2034/35 and is projected to surpass 1,055,000 by 2040.

The City of Winnipeg population is expected to grow from a population of approximately 718,400 to 922,600 by 2040, an increase of over 200,000 people, representing a 28 per cent increase.

In addition to containing population and housing data, the Forecast also indicates that the annual growth in Winnipeg’s real Gross Domestic Product will be maintained at about 2.1 per cent per year, and that employment and disposable income are both projected to remain steady and strong.

“The diversity of Winnipeg’s economy remains a key strength and helps drive growth across our city,” said Councillor Marty Morantz. “In our meetings, we will be emphasizing how we are supporting growth in our city by better managing our debt, and focusing our borrowing on key intergenerational projects. At the same time, it will be important to emphasize that Winnipeg remains well below key debt limit thresholds,” said Morantz.

Mayor Bowman emphasized the critical importance immigration plays in growing Winnipeg’s population, and that Winnipeg’s diversity is both an economic and social strength.

“Immigration will continue to be the largest single contributor to population growth in Winnipeg and Manitoba,” said Mayor Bowman. “Winnipeg’s diversity will continue to grow, and it is essential that as a community we welcome new people to our city, and recognize the strength they provide.”

Statistics Canada recently announced that in the 12 months ending June 30, 2016, Manitoba’s population increased by 22,147 people or about 1.7 percent representing the largest annual growth in the province’s history. This increase was largely driven by immigration, and the continued success of the Provincial Nominee Program. The majority of those coming to Manitoba choose to reside in Winnipeg.

Existing credit ratings for the City of Winnipeg from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s are AA and Aa2 respectively.

 

Pan Am Pool to reopen tomorrow following facility upgrades in preparation for the 2017 Canada Summer Games

Released: 8:30 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Mayor Brian Bowman and Co-Chair of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society Hubert Mesman together with City of Winnipeg staff were on-hand this morning to officially announce the reopening of the Pan Am Pool and showcase recent upgrades completed at the facility.

“It’s exciting to see these pool upgrades taking shape in preparation for the Canada Summer Games next summer,” said Mayor Bowman. “As a former competitive swimmer, it’s especially gratifying to see the improvements made at a world-class facility like Pan Am. I look forward to seeing it on full display in 2017.”

“Pan Am Pool is the known competitive pool for aquatic sports in Manitoba and these upgrades will help us deliver on our promise of an exceptional athlete experience for our swimmers and divers at Games time," said Jeff Hnatiuk, President and CEO, 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society. "We are very proud of the progress and the lasting sport legacy we've created within this facility.”

The City of Winnipeg has undertaken a number of upgrades at the Pan Am Pool in the past few years in anticipation of the upcoming 2017 Canada Summer Games, for an investment of almost $9 million. These upgrades include:

  • A new dual bulkhead system (funded jointly by the City of Winnipeg and the Canada Summer Games),
  • Renovations to the dive tower,
  • Replacement of the original boiler system and electrical upgrades,
  • Front reception area, locker and shower improvements,
  • Fresh paint within the main pool area, and
  • Parking lot improvements.

In addition to the $550,000 contributed towards the bulkhead, the Canada Summer Games will also be supplying four new diving boards, 50-metre lane ropes, a timing system, and equipment for the diving dryland room, a contribution of approximately $170,000.

The Pan Am Pool has been closed since July 25, 2016 to facilitate the upgrades. All upgrades were completed on budget, and the pool opened according to schedule.

For more information on the Pan Am Pool, please visit City of Winnipeg - Pan Am Pool. For more information on the 2017 Canada Summer Games, please see canadagames.ca/2017.

 

Two upcoming road closures on Ferry Road for motorists to be aware of from October 2-12

Released: 10:30 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - The following two temporary lane closures will be in place on Ferry Road from October 2 until October 12:

Starting at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 2, Ferry Road between Ness Avenue and Silver Avenue will be temporarily closed to all vehicular traffic for roadway maintenance. While repairs are underway both the northbound and southbound lanes will be closed, and pedestrian access will be maintained. It is anticipated that this section of Ferry Road will be reopened by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 2.

Starting at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 2, Ferry Road between Bruce Avenue and Ness Avenue will be temporarily closed to all vehicular traffic for concrete repairs and asphalt resurfacing. While repairs are underway both the northbound and southbound lanes will be closed, and pedestrian access will be maintained. It is anticipated that this section of Ferry Road will be reopened by 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 12.

Motorists should allow additional time to get to their destinations, and use alternate routes when traveling in this vicinity.

For Transit re-route and schedule information, visit winnipegtransit.com or contact 311, available 24 hours every day by phone at 311 or by email at .

For regular updates on City of Winnipeg lane closures and to view lane closures on an interactive map, please visit City of Winnipeg - Regional Lane Closures.

 

Province, City announce new initiatives to support safer public spaces for women and girls

Released: 12:01 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - A Manitoba government and City of Winnipeg partnership is launching a number of new initiatives to support safer public spaces for women, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women, and Cindy Gilroy, city councillor for Daniel McIntyre, announced today.

“Every woman has the right to enjoy public spaces without fear of being sexually harassed or assaulted,” said Squires. “Manitoba’s new government is proud to partner with the City of Winnipeg and our community stakeholders as part of UN Women’s Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces initiative to make Winnipeg’s neighbourhoods safer for all women and girls.”

Winnipeg Safe City is led jointly by Manitoba Status of Women and the City of Winnipeg. Other partners include UN Women, Winnipeg Police Service, University of Winnipeg, Southern Chiefs Organization and other community organizations.

Winnipeg Safe City works with local levels of government, communities and the police to generate innovative approaches to preventing and reducing harassment and sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces, so they can move more safely and exercise their right to enjoy their cities.

Winnipeg Safe City members met today to announce the launch of the Winnipeg Safe City Scoping Study, a comprehensive report that uses national and local data and the voices of local women to describe the experiences and realities of women in Winnipeg. The report will be used to guide the work of the committee going forward, and be a resource to help community agencies and government organizations understand the issue.

“This study is a critical step forward in identifying, researching, and eliminating sexual violence in our city,” said Gilroy. “We look forward to working together with our partners to implement the recommendations of this study and to do everything we can to support safer public spaces.”

Other new initiatives that were announced include:

  • the Winnipeg Safe City website, winnipeg.ca/UNWpgSafeCity, which will feature program information, reports and resources for the community;
  • the Winnipeg Transit Request Stop Program, which allows passengers to request a stop between designated bus stops after 7 p.m. and get off the bus closer to their home or desired location; and
  • the Taxicab Passenger Safety for Women brochure, created in partnership with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, which will be available in six languages (Arabic, Cree, English, French, Ojibway, Tagalog).

The Manitoba government also supports Ka Ni Kanichihk, a member of the Winnipeg Safe City committee, to provide the first Indigenous-led program in Manitoba for Indigenous women and those who identify as women who have experienced sexual assault and sexual violence. The Heart Medicine Lodge program provides culturally based support and advocacy, and services include a 12-week group healing program, support with medical and legal issues related to sexual violence, sharing circles, traditional ceremonies, elder support and links to other community resources.

“Indigenous women and girls are vastly over-represented as victims in their experiences of sexual violence and sexual assault, which significantly impacts our community,” said Rachel Bach, program co-ordinator, Heart Medicine Lodge, Ka Ni Kanichihk. “That’s why we’re so pleased to be a partner in Winnipeg Safe City to offer this culturally based and Indigenous-led program. Together, we can create safer public spaces for all women and girls.”

“Winnipeg’s initiative is admirable, based on hard facts gathered through the scoping study, and a realistic profile of the experience of women and girls in public spaces and public transport,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women. “I commend your first set of agreed measures to work with transport authorities, civil society, Indigenous-led organizations and newcomer communities to ensure safe journeys and safe lives. These measures, and the way in which you have worked collaboratively to find the right solutions, are important lessons for other cities across the world who are working to end sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women.”

Winnipeg was selected as the first city in Canada to join Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces in 2013.

October 11, 2016