October 2, 2017
Released: 8:14 a.m.
Winnipeg, MB – Meetings with international bond rating agencies Standard and Poor's and Moody's this week in New York will provide the City of Winnipeg with an opportunity to underscore an ongoing commitment to fiscal prudence and highlight steady population and economic growth projections for the City of Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and Councillor Scott Gillingham, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance, announced today.
Mayor Bowman and Councillor Gillingham will be in New York from October 2-4. 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.
“Meeting directly with international bond rating agencies is very important,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “These meetings are key opportunities for us to underscore our ongoing commitment to fiscal prudence and balance, as well as reinforce how Winnipeg’s diversified economy and population are both projected to grow steadily into the future.”
“Our city’s economic diversity remains a key strength and helps support growth across our city,” said Councillor Scott Gillingham. “I look forward to emphasizing our ongoing commitment to balance our city’s budget, and our commitment to managing our city’s debt levels in a way that keeps our city’s debt burden below key debt limit thresholds.”
Mayor Bowman and Councillor Gillingham stressed how, for the first time in many years, Council has successfully negotiated and approved several multi-year wage settlements with three of its largest unions that will help the City of Winnipeg contain its future salary and benefit costs. Salaries and benefits represent approximately 56 percent of the City of Winnipeg’s operating costs, and recent contract negotiations have been focused on finding ways to contain these costs.
“It will also be important to emphasize our ongoing commitment to prudent and responsible budgeting,” said Councillor Gillingham. “This year’s Council approved budget limited tax-supported expenditure growth to 2.3%, the lowest budgeted increase in over ten years, and it relied on no new fees or charges as revenue sources.”
Last year, the City of Winnipeg released its Population, Housing, and Economic Forecast. The Forecast 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.
It 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 in 2015 to 922,600 by 2040, an increase of over 200,000 people, representing a 28 per cent increase.
From 2012 to 2016, Winnipeg’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown by an average of 2.4 percent. Winnipeg’s GDP is projected to maintain 2.2 percent growth over the next few years. Compared to the rest of Canada, Winnipeg has one of the fastest growth rates and it is expected to remain above the national average.
Mayor Bowman said he will continue to emphasize 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.”
Existing credit ratings for the City of Winnipeg from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s are AA and Aa2 respectively.
Released: 10:20 a.m.
Winnipeg, MB – Today, Public Sector Digest (PSD) in partnership with Canada's Open Data Exchange (ODX) announced that the City of Winnipeg has climbed to 3rd spot in the listing of Canada's Most Open Cities for 2017. Winnipeg was ranked 10th in 2016.
“We have been working diligently with all City departments to increase the number of datasets that are publicly available through our Open Data Portal,” said Michael Legary, Chief Innovation Officer. “We are proud to see our increased efforts have been recognized, and will continue to see what data we can make publicly available to increase the openness and transparency of municipal government.”
Open Data is information that is widely available, in a format that can be read by a computer, and is made available for anyone to use, transform or republish without restriction – it normally only requires that the data source be cited. The practice of providing Open Data must respect all legislation and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) regulations.
Over the last year (September 2016 – September 2017), the City proactively shared 18 datasets to the Open Data Portal, including:
- Assessment Parcels – a list of all assessment parcels in the city
- Aggregate Building Permit Data – aggregate construction values for building permits, divided by year, neighbourhood, and permit type
- Voluntary Lobbyist Registry – a list of registrants
- Human Resources Report – dataset representing information on former and current employee complement
- Tree Inventory – detailed list and map of all public trees located in the city, including botanical name, common name, and precise location
For more information on Public Sector Digest and Canada’s Open Cities Index, please see: https://publicsectordigest.com/open-cities-index-results-2017
To access the City’s publicly available datasets, please see the Open Data Portal.
Second initial public hearing to be held to gather feedback on required changes
Released: 1:50 p.m.
Winnipeg, MB – The 2017 Winnipeg Wards Boundaries Commission (WBC) has been established to review the boundaries and names of the 15 Council Wards in the City of Winnipeg, and will hold its second public hearing to allow residents and organizations to make submissions and comments on required changes to the current ward boundaries.
On February 24, 2016, Council directed the Public Service to establish the WBC in 2017. Members of the 2017 WBC are the Honourable Justice Mr. Ken Hanssen, Judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba, Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg, and Marc Lemoine, Senior Election Official for the City of Winnipeg.
The City of Winnipeg Charter requires that the WBC occur at minimum once every 10 years to establish ward boundaries for each ward based on the City’s population, as determined by the latest Census, and other criteria set out in the legislation. According to 2016 Census data, South Winnipeg – St. Norbert Ward, St. Boniface Ward, and St. Charles Ward fall outside the acceptable population ranges for wards.
Changes to the ward boundaries will become effective at the close of the nomination period for the 2018 Civic Election, and would apply to all elected officials. The number of wards will not change as result of this review.
As part of the review, WBC is encouraging the public to provide feedback on any boundary or name changes. Feedback will be helpful to the WBC in formulating its recommendations.
The WBC will undertake two initial public hearings to gather input on ward boundaries. A draft report will then be issued. A final public hearing will then take place to allow input on the draft report.
Public hearings details:
Date: October 5, 2017
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Jonathan Toews Community Centre, 1188 Dakota Street
Second initial public hearing to gather input on ward boundaries
Date: November 1, 2017
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: City Hall, Council Chamber, 510 Main Street
Final public hearing to review the draft report
All persons are welcome to attend these public hearings, whether to make an in-person presentation to the commission, or simply to view the proceedings. Written submissions to the commission for those unable to attend the initial public hearings will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on October 5, 2017.
The public hearings will be live-streamed and accessible on the City’s website.