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Media Releases

December 5, 2018

Motion Recommends Full Cost Recovery of Emergency Medical Service Delivery in Winnipeg

Released: 8:52 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – A motion to be tabled at this morning's Executive Policy Committee will direct the Public Service to seek full cost recovery from Shared Health Services as part of negotiating a new service delivery contract for emergency medical services in Winnipeg, Mayor Brian Bowman announced today.

“Health services are a provincial government responsibility and this includes emergency medical services,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Delivering a provincial service should not come at the expense of Winnipeg property taxpayers. It’s important that as a contractor delivering these services on the province’s behalf that it be done so at a level that is cost neutral to the City of Winnipeg.”

The province of Manitoba, through Shared Health Services, is responsible for providing health services to the residents of Winnipeg. This includes emergency medical services, inter-facility medical transportation, and community paramedicine services.

The City of Winnipeg has been delivering emergency medical, inter-facility transport, and community paramedicine services on behalf of the province of Manitoba as a service delivery provider under contract with Shared Health.

This contract formally expired March 31, 2016, but was extended until April 2017 under joint agreement by both parties. Despite efforts to negotiate and formalize a new agreement, a new agreement has not been reached.

In November 2017, in the absence of a new agreement and without a further extension of the existing agreement, Shared Health Services unilaterally froze service payments to the City of Winnipeg at 2016 levels for 2017 and 2018, but expected that service levels not be decreased. This created an immediate funding shortfall for the City of Winnipeg which the City of Winnipeg and Shared Health Services have subsequently worked together to eliminate.

“We are certainly willing to deliver whatever level of emergency medical service the province deems necessary in Winnipeg,” said Mayor Bowman. “But, subsidizing the cost of delivering a provincial health service through property taxes poses too significant of a threat to prosperity for Winnipeg residents who are already facing increases in automobile insurance rates as well as multiple increases in electricity rates.”

“Moving forward, and as part of any new service delivery contract, we need to confirm the City of Winnipeg’s contractor relationship with Shared Health Services, and clearly establish what level of emergency medical service the province of Manitoba feels is required in Winnipeg and what they’re willing to pay for that level of service,” said Mayor Bowman.

Motion to Recommend that Council Freeze Transit Fares for 2019

Released: 8:54 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – A motion to be considered at this morning's Executive Policy Committee will recommend that Council freeze 2019 transit fares at 2018 levels Mayor Brian Bowman announced today.

Under the Fees and Charges By-law, Council has authorized the Chief Financial Officer to increase annually any fee imposed by the City of Winnipeg by an amount equal to or less than the rate of inflation unless a Council resolution specifically states otherwise.

Pursuant to the authority granted under this bylaw, Winnipeg Transit fares have customarily increased by at least 5 cents effective January 1 of each calendar year to cover inflationary cost increases incurred by Winnipeg Transit.

The motion will recommend that Council direct the Chief Financial Officer to freeze Winnipeg Transit fares at 2018 levels starting January 1, 2019 for a period of one calendar year, and that this freeze in fares be included as part of the 2019 budget process.

“Council made the very difficult decision last year to raise transit fares to help cover a projected revenue shortfall in transit, a department that is now projecting a year end surplus in the millions and that’s in the midst of conducting a comprehensive operational review,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “For transit riders, even an inflationary adjustment in this context is incomprehensible and equally unnecessary.”

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Update: Waverley Street Fire

Released: 9:00 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – At 1:18 a.m. on December 5, 2018, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) crews responded to reports of fire in a two and half-storey single family residence in the 200 block of Waverley Street. Upon arrival, crews launched an offensive attack to fight the fire and at 2:52 a.m. it was declared extinguished. The house suffered extensive water damage on the main floor and smoke damage throughout.

Occupants of the home had self-evacuated prior to the arrival of WFPS crews. A family dog was rescued and brought to safety by crews. One individual was assessed and treated on scene for smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation and no damage estimates are available at this time.

Cross-Canada touring exhibit pîkiskwe-speak comes to Millennium Library

Released: 12:15 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The cross-Canada touring art and film installation pîkiskwe-speak: An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation comes to the City of Winnipeg's Millennium Library starting Thursday, December 6, 2018.

Hosted by Winnipeg Public library, this collaborative arts project features the dramatic mixed-media triptych Lost My Talk, artwork by Alberta-based Indigenous artist Lana Whiskeyjack, and the award-winning documentary film Lana Gets Her Talk by Beth Wishart MacKenzie.

The art and film explore the intergenerational wounding of Canada’s Residential School system and the power of art and Indigenous pathways to heal the wounding. The artists engage communities in conversations of reconciliation through art - conversations aimed at writing a new chapter, painting a new vision, and creating a new protocol for Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations in Canada.

Artists Lana Whiskeyjack and Beth Wishart MacKenzie open pîkiskwe-speak with a special screening of Lana Gets Her Talk and a community conversation in reconciliation facilitated by Elders Barb and Clarence Nepinak.

Opening event details:
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Millennium Library, Carol Shields Auditorium, 251 Donald St.
6:30 p.m.: Reception with artists & art exhibit
7 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.: Film screening & community conversation in reconciliation

The opening event and the exhibit are free to attend, and all are welcome.

The art and film installation will continue in Millennium Library’s Blankstein Gallery and adjacent Indigenous resources area Wii ghoss through to January 13, 2019.

Learn more about Residential Schools at: Winnipeg Public Library – Residential Schools

For more information about the tour, see:

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service update: Edmonton Street Fire

Released: 10:12 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – At 8:07 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) crews responded to an alarm at a 12-storey apartment building in the 400 block of Edmonton Street. Upon arrival, crews found a working fire. A second alarm was called, increasing the number of apparatus and WFPS crew members on the scene, due to the potential for high life hazards when dealing with an occupied apartment block.

The fire, which was contained to one suite, was declared extinguished at 8:53 p.m. however extensive smoke impacted several floors of the building. Occupants of the impacted areas were evacuated from their suites and sheltered in place in the building’s common areas.

No injuries were reported. The majority of building residents will be able to return to their homes later tonight once ventilation of the building is completed and air quality is verified.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and no damage estimates are available at this time.

December 6, 2018