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Until Election Day
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News Releases

November 3, 2017

City Hall Christmas tree donated in honour of late Charleswood resident

42-foot blue Colorado spruce set to light up City Hall

Released: 10:00 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – A 42-foot blue Colorado spruce donated by Charleswood resident Antony van Ginkel in honour of his late wife has been selected as City Hall’s 2017 Christmas tree. The tree will arrive at City Hall on Sunday, November 5.

“It was my late wife Rosemary’s wish to see our spruce tree decorated with lights at City Hall,” said homeowner Antony van Ginkel. “I’m happy to donate this tree in her honour and know she will be looking down and see it lit from above.”

Once in place, a crew from the City’s Urban Forestry Branch will spend several days decorating the tree with over 9,000 multi-coloured LED lights. The ceremonial lighting of the tree will take place at an open event later this November.

“We’re grateful to Mr. van Ginkel for contributing this tree for our holiday display at City Hall,” said Martha Barwinsky, city forester. “Its frosty blue colour and full crown right to the ground are sure to make it a showstopper.”

City Hall Christmas tree installation schedule of events:
On Sunday, November 5 between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., the tree will be cut and lifted by crane from 509 Elmhurst Road. The tree will then be transported on a flatbed to City Hall (510 Main Street) and positioned by crane.

The tree is estimated to arrive at City Hall on Sunday, November 5 between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

For more information on the City’s annual Christmas tree, please visit City of Winnipeg - City Hall Christmas Tree Donation.

Free Infill Housing Panel Discussion session offered November 18, 2017

Released: 11:00 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg is offering a free, interactive panel discussion about infill housing as part of the City of Winnipeg Housing Speaker Series.

“The City is pleased to bring together a panel of experts to share information about infill housing in Winnipeg,” said City of Winnipeg Chief Planner, Braden Smith. “This approach to development maximizes use of existing infrastructure, while increasing density and housing variety to support local services and businesses.”

The panel discussion will explore the benefits and challenges of infill development, as well as experiences of those who have engaged in the process. It will be of interest to individuals and builders considering infill development, housing advocates, and the general public.

Panelist presentations will be followed by a question and answer period.

Panelists and topics will include:

Kurtis Kowalke, Senior Planner, City of Winnipeg, Planning, Property and Development Department: infill development from a planning perspective and how it can benefit the city

Elise Finnigan, Planner, City of Winnipeg, Planning, Property and Development Department: processes to follow for gaining approvals from the City for an infill development

Carla Richmond, Osborne Village resident and President, River Osborne Community Centre: infill development from a neighbourhood and community perspective

Robert Mensies, Infill Homeowner: infill development from a homeowner perspective

Carla Devlin, Property Developer, Carrington Property Development: infill development from a developer’s perspective.

Registration Information for the Infill Housing Panel Discussion:
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2017
Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Millennium Library (251 Donald Street), 2nd Floor – Carol Shields Auditorium
Cost: Free
Registration: Interested participants are invited to register by email at or by phone at 204-986-2636 no later than November 15, 2017.

Refreshments will be provided and seating is limited.

Registrants who require a sign language interpreter to participate are asked to please advise by emailing or phoning 204-986-2636 by Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

For more information on the Infill Housing Panel Discussion, please visit City of Winnipeg – Housing Speaker Series.

Winnipeggers asked to help shape master plan for off-leash dog areas

Released: 1:10 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg is seeking feedback on an Off-Leash Dog Areas Master Plan to address and respond to growing interest and demand for off-leash dog areas in Winnipeg.

In recent years, use of off-leash dog areas has significantly increased, and as a result, many of the City’s off-leash facilities experience overuse. This plan will address the needs of all park users and will develop a vision and implementation strategy for off-leash dog areas throughout Winnipeg.

The Off-Leash Dog Areas Master Plan will build on the City’s previously prepared Guidelines report, and incorporate additional research and recommendations informed by a comprehensive public engagement process.

Starting today, Winnipeggers are encouraged to go online and fill out both a survey and online mapping tool at Opportunities to engage in-person will be announced in the coming weeks.

A draft of the plan will be shared in early fall with the final plan submitted in April 2018.

More information
For more information, to fill out the mapping tool and survey, or to view the presentation boards online, please visit

Mayor Bowman to Emphasize Importance of Free Trade

Released: 1:10 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Emphasizing the importance open and free trade has to the economies of cities and nations will be a key message Mayor Brian Bowman will take to meetings with government and industry stakeholders during a trip to Minneapolis and St. Paul next week.

“Winnipeg has always been a trading city, and open and free trade is critically important for Winnipeg and Manitoba,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Cities and businesses on both sides of the border are keenly interested in maintaining strong trade relationships that have emerged since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect in 1994. And as NAFTA talks heat up, it is more important than ever to be advocating against protectionist policies.”

The Mayor noted Canada and the United States represent one of the closest trading relationships between two nations in the world, and have worked together as friends, allies and partners on many different levels.

“No two nations depend more on each other for their mutual prosperity and security,” said Mayor Bowman.

In 2016, Canada-U.S bilateral trade exceeded $635 billion, representing over $1.7 billion worth of goods and services crossing the border every day. Canada is the largest single export market for the U.S and vice versa. Nearly nine million American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada, and 1.9 million Canadian jobs are related to Canadian exports to the U.S.

During the trip, the Mayor will meet with a number of local businesses and organizations to strengthen intercity relationships between Winnipeg and U.S cities, as well as build relationships between the two countries. Meetings will include:

  • Cargill – with headquarters in Winnipeg and Minneapolis, Cargill is an industry leader in providing food, agriculture and industrial products and services to the world.
  • New Flyer – with headquarters in Winnipeg and having U.S manufacturing operations in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Alabama, New Flyer is a leading manufacturer of transit buses and motor coaches in North America.
  • Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce – with its two affiliates, the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce and Northeast Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, it serves 1,400 businesses in the 11-county metro area.
  • Minnesota Chamber of Commerce – the state's largest business organization, representing more than 2,300 businesses of all types and sizes across Minnesota.
  • League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) – a roundtable on trade and economic development with nine Mayors from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. LMC is a membership organization serving more than 800 member cities dedicated to promoting excellence in local government.

In addition to next week’s meetings, the City of Winnipeg, represented by Councillor Russ Wyatt, recently participated in the North American Strategy for Competitiveness’ (NASCO) annual tri-national conference in Monterrey, Mexico. NASCO is a grassroots, continental organization focused on the competitiveness of the North American supply chain, workforce, and energy independence.

The Mayor said as a grassroots organization, NASCO underscores the importance work at the local level can have on increasing competitiveness and opening up trade opportunities, and welcomed Councillor Wyatt’s recent reappointment as Council’s representative to NASCO.

“We have seen over the last year that Mayors and local officials can have an important role to play in advocating for free trade,” said Mayor Bowman. “The recent Bombardier-Boeing dispute underscored how local governments can play an important role in national issues. I look forward over the next few days to building and strengthening partnerships between businesses and government stakeholders in Winnipeg and Canada’s largest trading partner.”

Mayor Bowman has been committed to promoting Winnipeg nationally and internationally as a good place to live, work, invest, and do business. Since elected, the Mayor has promoted Winnipeg to cities including Montreal, Toronto, Atlanta, and New York.

The Mayor will be in Minneapolis and St. Paul from November 5-7.

Change your clock, change your smoke alarm batteries

Released: 1:45 p.m.

On Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 2:00 a.m., the clocks will "fall back" one hour marking the end of daylight savings time. The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is encouraging residents  to take a moment to replace the batteries and test their smoke alarms when adjusting their clocks for this weekend's time change.

According to recent statistics, people are four times more likely to die in a fire if their smoke alarms aren’t working.

Everyone notices when a clock stops ticking, but when a smoke alarm is not functioning it’s not as obvious. The battery could be dead or missing. The only way to ensure it’s working is to test it.

As you adjust your clocks this Sunday, think about fire safety. When getting a chair or stepladder to change yours, or a loved one’s clock, take an extra moment to put fresh batteries in your smoke alarm and test it by pushing the test button - it could save your life. (Smoke alarms powered by 10-year lithium ion batteries only require testing.)

Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the home by following these simple steps:

  • A working smoke alarm will buy you valuable time. Get out, and stay out, go to your meeting place and call 911.
  • Make sure you have one smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside of all sleeping areas. Don’t forget to place a smoke alarm in the basement.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. The date of manufacture is written on the back.
  • Disposable batteries should be replaced twice per year when the time changes.
  • You should test your smoke alarm monthly.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire and practice your escape plan

For more information on smoke alarms and fire prevention, visit City of Winnipeg – Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

City releases September 2017 financial update

City forecasts $0.4 million year-end surplus

Released: 2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg’s latest Financial Status Report cites a year-end projected surplus in the tax-supported operating budget (General Revenue Fund) of $0.4 million as at September 30, 2017. Based on the projected surplus, no additional transfer from the Financial Stabilization Reserve Fund is anticipated at this time.

To address a shortfall in the tax-supported operating budget, a cost mitigation strategy was proposed and implemented that includes a hiring freeze, restrictions on discretionary departmental spending including the use of external consultants and conference related travel, as well as limiting other discretionary spending. These cost mitigation measures are projected to total $9.5 million in 2017.

In June 2017, a new collective agreement approved by Council with the Winnipeg Police Association, contributed nearly $4 million in savings from the Winnipeg Police Service budget in 2017, but these savings are reduced to $2.1 million, in part due to lower provincial funding for the cadet program and police helicopter.

In September 2017, Council approved Winnipeg Transit’s requested over-expenditure of $10.7 million along with the approval of additional deficit elimination measures to help fund its deficit over and above those identified as part of the City’s cost mitigation strategy. That included approximately $6.1 million in changes to capital project budgets and a $1 million draw from retained earnings. Including the previously identified cost mitigation measures and slight improvements to Winnipeg Transit’s most recent financial projection, the anticipated additional contribution from the tax-supported operating budget has been reduced to $1.2 million.

“The latest financial forecast demonstrates that we must continue to keep a tight control on expenses through to the end of the year,” said Councillor Scott Gillingham, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance. “Departments must continue to control their expenses as changes in provincial funding or significant snow events could still impact our year-end results."

The Public Service will continue to closely monitor its expenses over the remainder of the year. The City’s financial update publicly available through the Decision Making Information System (DMIS).

November 3, 2017