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Media Releases

November 5, 2019


Proposed changes to Winnipeg Police Pension Plan to save taxpayers millions annually

Proposed changes will allow it to continue to provide stable source of retirement income for Winnipeg Police Service members

Released: 9:19 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg is proposing amendments to the bylaw governing the Winnipeg Police Pension Plan for Council’s consideration which could save the City and taxpayers approximately $12 million annually. The proposed amendments would bring the police’s defined benefit plan more in line with other major Canadian police force pension plans and allow it to continue to provide a stable source of retirement income to the valued members of the Winnipeg Police Service.

The Winnipeg Police Pension Plan is one of the most expensive police pension plans in Canada, requiring significant financial support from the City. The City is currently paying approximately 2.3 times more into the pension plan than employees.

The following amendments to the plan are being proposed for Council’s consideration:

  • Removing overtime from pensionable earnings effective January 1, 2020 resulting in savings of about $1.5 million annually. This in turn will be contributed back to the Police budget to assist with operations.
  • Increasing employee contributions to the Plan from 8% to 11.5% of salary over a five-year time frame commencing January 1, 2020, with reductions in City contributions from 18.48% to 11.5% of salaries over the same five-year period.
  • Changing the early retirement provisions effective January 1, 2020 to include a reduction in pension if retirement occurs before age 55, or age 60 if service with the City is less than 20 years, and eliminating the bridge benefit (increased pension payable between retirement and age 65) for service after January 1, 2020.

On December 14, 2011, Council approved an administrative report recommending that, in the event solvency exemption is not achieved for the Plan, that the City explore all options to reduce the significant financial impact related to the solvency deficiency rules and recommend a course of action for Council approval.

In consideration of Council’s instructions in 2011, the City undertook a review of the Winnipeg Police Pension Plan to determine what changes could be made.

The proposed amendments to the Winnipeg Police Pension Plan require Council approval, in adherence with the governing bylaw. The administrative report is publicly available through the Decision Making Information System (DMIS).

Fiscal restraint continues to be a top priority for Executive Policy Committee

Released: 9:27 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Today, Mayor Brian Bowman announced continuity for the existing Executive Policy Committee (EPC) membership, as fiscal restraint continues to be a top priority.

“The current EPC membership has worked hard to keep fiscal restraint as a top priority over the last year as we continue to grapple with new fiscal realities,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “With the multi-year balanced budget process commencing, fiscal discipline and restraint will continue to determine how our growing city can move forward with the priorities expected by Winnipeggers.”

“I want to thank the members of EPC for their efforts over the last year as they’ve continued to show strong leadership in their portfolios,” said Mayor Bowman. “Serving on EPC is about leading, collaborating with Council colleagues and being able to see the needs of our growing city, not just the needs of a particular ward. The current membership has done a good job of balancing ward and city priorities and I will look for continued leadership in that respect.”

The policy structure of EPC will remain the same, as will the committee chairs of each standing policy committee which include the following six members:

  • Councillor Matt Allard (St. Boniface): Chair of the Standing Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works
  • Councillor Scott Gillingham (St. James): Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance
  • Councillor Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre): Chair of the Standing Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment
  • Councillor Brian Mayes (St. Vital): Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage and Downtown Development
  • Councillor John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry): Chair of the Standing Committee on Innovation and Economic Development
  • Councillor Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry): Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks

Continuing in the role as Deputy Mayor is Councillor Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River) and Councillor Vivian Santos (Point Douglas) will continue as Acting Deputy Mayor.

“Over the course of the last year, both Councillor Chambers and Councillor Santos have attended numerous events to help promote and represent our City,” said Mayor Bowman. “Their continued leadership in these roles is appreciated and I am grateful for their efforts.” 

Remaining as Chair of the Winnipeg Police Board is Councillor Kevin Klein.

“I’m pleased to reappoint Councillor Kevin Klein as Chair of the Winnipeg Police Board as the Board continues to develop the Strategic Plan,” said Mayor Bowman. “At a time where public safety is at the forefront of citizen priorities, the governance and oversight role of the Winnipeg Police Board will be even more important as the Board and police service work to implement the largest increase included in the recommended targets for the multi-year balanced budget process.”

Committee Membership and Council Liaison responsibilities will be composed of the following:

  • Councillor Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River)
    • Deputy Mayor
  • Councillor Vivian Santos (Point Douglas)
    • Acting Deputy Mayor
    • Chairperson for Mayor's Advisory Committee on Heritage, Culture & Arts
    • Council Liaison for School Board and Youth Opportunities
  • Councillor Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre)
    • Chairperson, Winnipeg Housing Steering Committee
    • UN Women Safe Cities Global Initiative Steering Committee
  • Councillor John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry)
    • Winnipeg Housing Steering Committee
    • Council Representative for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region (formerly the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region)
    • Member of the Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle
  • Councillor Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry)
    • Winnipeg Housing Steering Committee
    • Member of the Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle
    • Secretary of the End Homelessness Strategies
  • Councillor Scott Gillingham (St. James)
    • Council Representative for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region
    • North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO)
  • Councillor Matt Allard (St. Boniface)
    • Council Liaison - Francophone and Francophile Cities Network
    • Council Liaison for Labour Relations
  • Councillor Shawn Nason (Transcona)
    • Council Liaison - Veteran and Military Affairs

The following appointments are subject to Council approval:

  • Councillor Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood)
    • Chairperson for the Winnipeg Police Board
    • Assiniboine Park Conservancy
  • Councillor Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River)
    • Member of the Winnipeg Police Board
  • Councillor Brian Mayes (St. Vital)
    • Chair of the Winnipeg Food Council
    • Assiniboine Park Conservancy
  • Councillor Jason Shreyer (Elmwood - East Kildonan)
    • Winnipeg Food Council

Mayor Bowman will continue to chair the Human Rights Committee of Council which is also subject to Council approval.

A full list of appointments will be made public as part of the Organizational Meeting of Council on Wednesday November 6, 2019.
"After Winnipeggers gave me a stronger mandate in the 2018 election, I continue to feel honoured to be the Mayor of our growing city,” said Mayor Bowman. “Along with members of EPC and my Council colleagues, exercising fiscal restraint will remain at the forefront of my efforts as we continue moving our city forward.”

First responders urge caution due to thin ice conditions on waterways

Crews perform water rescue today to save dog

Released: 3:00 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – With temperatures dropping, residents are advised that thin ice conditions are present on Winnipeg waterways, including drainage ditches, culverts, streams, creeks, retention ponds, and rivers.

Parents and teachers are urged to speak to children and students about the dangers of waterways. As well, dog owners should keep their dogs on leash around the ice in order to prevent them from chasing geese onto the ice. The ice surfaces are thin and fragile, and falling into ice-cold water can be deadly.

“No one should risk being on the ice at this time of the year,” said Assistant Chief Mark Reshaur, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS). “The ice thickness is unpredictable on all waterways and ponds so we encourage all residents to steer clear of these surfaces, as well as the banks surrounding them.”

“Falling through thin ice is preventable and frequently ends with tragic consequences,” said Stephane Boulet, Patrol Sergeant, Winnipeg Police Service (WPS). “The WPS considers all frozen bodies of water within the city of Winnipeg to be unsafe for recreational use with the exception of areas that are monitored in accordance with the City’s Frozen Waterways By-Law.”

The public is also reminded that while the WPS River Patrol Unit places “Danger - Thin Ice” signage at specific locations including outfalls, retention ponds and other potentially dangerous areas - ALL ice should be considered unsafe even if warning signage is not present.

This morning at 7:22 a.m., the WFPS received reports of a dog which had fallen through the ice on a pond in the Kilcona Off-Leash Dog Park. Upon arrival on scene, water rescue crews located the dog, approximately 18 metres from shore.

An inflatable water rescue boat was launched, with crews breaking through the ice to reach the dog. Once crews reached it, they were able to pull the dog into the boat and reunite her with her owner on shore. Despite being in the water for approximately 20 minutes, the dog appeared in good health.

On average, the WFPS responds to 200 water and ice safety calls each year.

November 5, 2019