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November 26, 2021

Winnipeg’s Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update Tabled

Released: 2:00 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Today, at a special meeting of Executive Policy Committee (EPC), the City of Winnipeg’s Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update was tabled. This year’s update will balance the remaining two years of the multi-year balanced budget.

“After 20 months, the global pandemic is still impacting the lives and finances of residents, businesses, and governments alike,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update focuses on the ongoing fiscal challenges being experienced by residents, businesses, and the City of Winnipeg while positioning the City for a multi-year economic recovery. This year’s Balanced Budget Update represents a prudent and disciplined financial blueprint that protects vital services, invests in key infrastructure priorities, and supports the City’s COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan.”

“The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update is balanced, addresses the financial impacts of COVID-19, invests in key infrastructure and keeps City services affordable for Winnipeggers,” said Scott Gillingham, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance. “The COVID-19 Crisis Cash Flow Management Plan has played a vital role in the multi-year balanced budgets and has enabled the City to address the ongoing financial impacts of the pandemic on the City and our residents.”

The total tax-supported budget shortfall to be addressed in the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update is $43.5 million over the next two years:

Non-COVID-19 shortfall $13.3 million
Net shortfall due to COVID-19 $30.2 million
$43.5 million

The $13.3 million non-COVID-19 shortfall is a result of two items and are partially offset by projected savings in other areas of the operating budget:

  1. $12.5 million over the next two years as a result of the most recent Winnipeg Police Service Pension Plan valuation and contribution requirement unrelated to a previous arbitrator’s decision on police pension reform.

  2. $3.4 million for the new federal holiday, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The total COVID-19 related shortfall is approximately $36.1 million, and it includes:

Winnipeg Transit - Primarily due to projected ridership in
2022 being 60-75 percent of 2019 pre-pandemic levels
$26.4 million
Lower parking revenue in 2022 due to less traffic and
free parking
$5.4 million
Lower anticipated fee revenues at pools and recreation
centres, together with additional costs for cleaning
these facilities
$2.7 million
Reduced entertainment tax revenue and other
COVID-19 related costs
$1.6 million
$36.1 million

The $26.4 million shortfall within Winnipeg Transit is proposed to be reduced using the same six percent reduction in transit service as was adopted by Council in 2021. It is also proposed that a one-time drawdown on Winnipeg Transit’s retained earnings be utilized. Combined, these measures would reduce the Winnipeg Transit shortfall by approximately $5.9 million to $20.5 million in 2022.

A detailed accounting of all the measures proposed to balance the operating budget can be found in Volume 2 of The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update, some of the most significant measures proposed to balance include:

Allocating the two percent property tax increase to the operating
budget in 2022
$12.6 million
A one-time draw from the Financial Stabilization Reserve in 2022 $10 million
Additional expenditure management savings within the Winnipeg
Police Service operating budget over the next two years (equal to
approximately 50 percent of the cost of the additional police
pension expenditure)
$6.1 million
Savings to be achieved by replacing cash to capital with internal
debt financing
$5.4 million

Public engagement in advance of the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update indicated that Winnipeggers’ priorities were community safety, community services, roads, driving efficiencies, and public transit.

Overall, the tax supported operating budget will continue to increase annually by an average of 1.3 percent from 2020 to 2023 which is in line with the multi-year balanced budget. This increase is among the lowest annual increases in tax-supported expenditures in the last decade.

There is a particular focus along with significant investments included that support the City’s COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan. Providing certainty to residents and businesses on property and business tax levels is one of the ways the City can support economic recovery.

The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update continues to cap property tax increases at 2.33 percent per year for the next two years. This means the average homeowner will pay an additional $43 on their property taxes in 2022.

The Small Business Tax Credit threshold has increased to $44,220, which means 6,700 businesses will not pay the Business Tax in 2022. Approximately 55 percent of all Winnipeg businesses will receive a full credit of their business taxes in 2022. The business tax rate will also remain frozen at 4.84 percent for 2022.

“With the consumer price index rising to 4.5 percent, Winnipeg residents are paying more for groceries and gasoline,” said Gillingham. “By contrast, the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update limits the City’s budget increase to 1.3 percent.”

In response to the impact that the global pandemic has had on our city’s most vulnerable residents, the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update includes over $2 million in new investments. This new funding will support mobile outreach services, the operation of public washrooms in the Downtown area, staffing for the Rapid Housing Initiative funds the City received from the federal government, and connect those experiencing homelessness with the services they need.

The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update proposes a six-year $2.9 billion capital investment plan to help support growth while also supporting the City of Winnipeg’s multi-year recovery from the global pandemic. This investment in capital infrastructure will support population and economic growth, as well as jobs during a period of fiscal uncertainty. Investments in capital infrastructure remain as one of the most important tools available to government during times of uncertainty. This capital plan proposes investments including road renewals, the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan, the Combined Sewer Overflow Mitigation Program, the Southwest Sewer Interceptor, a new mobile modular Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service station, investments in the protection and enhancement of our tree canopy, and a full one-third cost share to provide water and sewer services for Phase 1 A of the Airport Area West Lands located within CentrePort, contingent on provincial and federal support.

It is estimated that the proposed six-year $2.9 billion capital investment plan will boost GDP by over $1.3 billion in Manitoba and $375 million across Canada, create over 10,800-person years of employment in Manitoba, while generating incremental tax revenue to the provincial government of $147.5 million and $194.2 million to the federal government.

Specific budget investments in the operating and capital budgets that align to budget engagement results include:

  • Community Services - The capital investment plan also includes a specific focus on outdoor recreation and open spaces with $23.8 million of investments going toward active transportation, spray pad amenities, parks, and open spaces.
  • Community Safety - The Winnipeg Police operating budget is increasing by an average of 2.2 percent from 2020 to 2023, exceeding the two percent annual target which is directly a result of the police pension valuation adjustment requiring $6.0 million over 2022 and 2023, and an investment in personal protective equipment of $400,000 in 2022.
  • Roads - The six-year capital investment plan proposes an investment of $872.9 million into regional and local road renewals. This level of investment would result in approximately 1,035 lane kms of road reconstruction or renewals, which is slightly more than the distance from Winnipeg to Churchill.

“While the global pandemic continues to have an impact that needs to be mitigated, it's imperative that we focus on the future,” said Bowman. “The investments into services and infrastructure made by the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update will provide a foundation for a multi-year recovery and grow Winnipeg for the future.”

The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Operating and Capital Budget Updates will be discussed at Standing Policy Committee meetings over the next two weeks, with Council voting on the Preliminary 2022 Operating and Capital Budget Updates at a special meeting of Council on December 15, 2021.

Investments in trees continue to be emphasized in Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update

Released: 2:00 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update continues to emphasize investments into the protection, enhancement, preservation, and maintenance of Winnipeg’s incredible tree canopy.

“Winnipeggers care about the preservation of our tree canopy and that’s why the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update reflects that,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.

This year’s Balanced Budget Update proposes an increase of over $4 million of operating funding toward the preservation and maintenance of our tree canopy, bringing the total investment within the operating budget to $31 million over the next two years.

The six-year Capital Investment Plan also proposes $28.6 million investment in the protection and enhancement of the city’s tree canopy.

With threats like Dutch Elm Disease and the Emerald Ash Borer, and especially after the unprecedented weather event in 2019, the City has taken a stronger, more proactive approach on urban forestry management.

The City is also working toward the One Million Tree Challenge, which is targeting one million trees planted on public and private property before Winnipeg reaches one million residents. To this end, the City appreciates the efforts of Tree Canada and Trees Winnipeg in partnering with the City on this ambitious initiative.

“While the City of Winnipeg continues to prioritize investments into the preservation, maintenance, protection, and enhancement of our tree canopy, Winnipeggers can get involved by joining the One Million Tree Challenge,” said Bowman. “I hope as many Winnipeggers as possible will join us as we work together to plant a million new trees before our population reaches a million people.”

For more information on the One Million Tree Challenge, please visit: winnipeg.ca/milliontrees.

Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update includes $20 million of investments to help Winnipeg begin a multi-year recovery

Released: 2:00 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – A proposed $20 million of investments are included in the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update as part of the COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan. This new funding would help Winnipeg begin a multi-year recovery from the global pandemic.

“After 20 months, the global pandemic has had an immeasurable impact on the lives and finances of residents, businesses, and governments,” said Deputy Mayor John Orlikow. “It has been an uncertain, challenging time; but for the most part, Winnipeg has weathered the storm. Building on previous efforts by the City, the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update includes important measures that will help Winnipeg emerge from the storm and begin a multi-year recovery.”

The economic recovery from the global pandemic will require efforts from municipal, provincial, and federal governments. While provincial and federal governments have the most resources to power an economic recovery, the City of Winnipeg has a role to play. The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update includes specific measures to help our city to begin the process of recovering from the global pandemic.

As part of the two-year COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan, there is a two-pronged approach that will focus on supporting the physical and mental health of Winnipeggers across the city and a specific strategy for helping the Downtown area recover.

The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update proposes a $10 million fund to support economic recovery and underserved areas in the city. The focus areas of the fund include:

  1. Improving regional parks infrastructure to accommodate social distancing measures
  2. Adding splash pads while either decommissioning or converting wading pools into accessible playgrounds to promote safe outdoor recreation in underserved areas of Winnipeg
  3. Enhancing active transportation infrastructure

An additional $10 million fund is proposed for projects that support economic development in the City and are focused on Downtown revitalization.

Both funds would be activated in 2022, with projects chosen by Council.

“In addition to the Economic Response and Recovery Plan, one of the most important ways the City can play a role in recovery is through a robust capital investment plan,” said Orlikow.

The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update proposes a six-year $2.9 billion capital investment plan that will have a significant impact on supporting growth in jobs, our population, and the economy. It is estimated that the proposed six-year $2.9 billion capital investment plan will boost GDP by $1.3 billion in Manitoba and $375 million across Canada, creating 10,800 person-years of employment in Manitoba while generating $341.7 million of tax revenue to provincial and federal governments.

Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update puts focus on capital investments needed for a growing City

Released: 2:00 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – As the City of Winnipeg begins a slow and cautious multi-year recovery from the global pandemic, the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update puts a focus on the types of capital investments that will support growth. The proposed six-year $2.9 billion capital investment plan will help support population growth, economic growth, and jobs in times of fiscal uncertainty. This investment represents a critical piece of the multi-year Economic Response and Recovery Plan.

“As the world emerges from the global pandemic, it is vital for Winnipeg to invest in infrastructure that will grow our city for the future,” said Scott Gillingham, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance. “Our multi-billion-dollar capital investment plan will help create jobs and growth while bolstering our economy during an uncertain time.”

It is estimated that the proposed six-year $2.9 billion capital investment plan will boost GDP by $1.3 billion in Manitoba and $375 million across Canada, creating over 13,400 person-years of employment in Manitoba and Canada, while generating $341.7 million in tax revenue to provincial and federal governments.

The capital investment plan includes:

  • $95.4 million for the Southwest sewer interceptor, an increase of $35.4 million from the six-year forecast last year. This project is directly needed to support growth in the southwest area of the city.
  • A full one-third cost share of approximately $20 million towards the estimated total cost of approximately $60 million to provide water and sewer services for Phase 1 A of the Airport Area West Lands located within CentrePort. This would enable CentrePort to expand to more businesses and support the growth of Winnipeg’s robust transportation sector. It also addresses a key recommendation of the City’s COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan.

Other significant investments include:

  • $510.2 million of tri-level government investments that support the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan which is proposed to be funded under the ICIP program;
  • $240 million to accelerate the City’s investment in Combined Sewer Overflows, a $60 million increase from the six-year forecast last year;
  • $27.3 million investments in fire stations in St. Boniface, Windsor Park, Waverley West, Silver heights, and a mobile modular station;
  • $28.6 million investment in the protection and enhancement of our tree canopy; and,
  • $24.3 for active transportation projects across Winnipeg.

The six-year capital investment program will be primarily financed through federal grants of $569.9 million including the additional top-up of the Canada Community-Building Fund of $43.9 million, provincial capital grants of $251.6 million, cash to capital of $86.5 million, revenue from frontage levies of $60 million, and external debt of approximately $291.4 million. The external debt of approximately $291.4 million for the new capital investment over the next six years is an increase of $74.2 million from the six-year forecast last year of $217.2 million last year; but still within the City’s self-imposed debt limits.

"Winnipeggers are paying more for groceries and gasoline with inflation rising to 4.5 percent,” said Gillingham. “In contrast, the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update limits the City’s total budget increase to 1.3 percent, keeping City services affordable and providing the City with a solid foundation to build from for years to come."

Investments into roads continue to reach historic levels in 2022 and over the next six years

Released: 2:00 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update continues to prioritize record funding into road renewal in Winnipeg.

“Fixing our roads continues to be a top priority of Winnipeggers,” said Councillor Jeff Browaty, North Kildonan. “Thanks to continued, sustained investments we are finally starting to make progress towards tackling our infrastructure deficit and the Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update proposes to continue those investments.”

The Preliminary 2022 Balanced Budget Update proposes an investment of $164.7 million into local and regional road renewal, which includes an additional $2.2 million contribution over the forecasted plan for our regional roads program dedicated entirely to active transportation projects that are funded from existing service sharing agreements with neighbouring municipalities.

Financing for the roads investment will temporarily change from previous years. In 2022, $12.6 million of the proposed two percent property tax increase will be used to protect front line services rather than financing regional and local road renewals. The $12.6 million for regional and local road renewals will be funded through the City’s share of the additional Canada Community - Building Fund (formerly called the Federal Gas Tax fund) which can only be used for capital investments. This will allow the City to maintain a record, $164.7 million investment in road renewals in 2022 while also protecting vital services during the pandemic.

This level of projected investment would result in the renewal of approximately 143 lane kilometers, which is slightly greater than the distance from Portage & Main to Austin, Manitoba.

This investment will support important projects across all areas of Winnipeg, including:

  • Zoo Crescent and Conservatory Drive
  • Wall Street from St. Matthews Avenue to Notre Dame Avenue
  • Munroe Avenue from Raleigh Street to Henderson Highway
  • Jubilee Avenue from Osborne Street to Pembina Highway
  • Mountain Avenue from Arlington Street to McPhillips Street
  • Mattinee Bay
  • Leila Avenue from McPhillips Street to McGregor Street
  • William Avenue from Arlington Street to McPhillips Street
  • Stafford Street from Corydon Avenue to Pembina Highway
  • Archibald Street from Plinguet Avenue to Doucet Street
  • Sturgeon Road from Ness Avenue to Hallonquist Drive
  • Briar Cliff Bay
  • Moore Avenue from River Road to St. Mary’s Road
  • Winona Street from Kildare Avenue West to Regent Avenue West
  • Chancellor Drive from Augusta Drive to Quincy Bay

The six-year capital investment plan proposes an investment of $872.9 million into regional and local road renewals. This level of investment would result in approximately 1,035 lane kms of road reconstruction or renewals, slightly more than the distance from Winnipeg to Churchill.

“Ensuring we have a safe, efficient road network will continue to be a key asset in the growth and prosperity of our city. Whether it’s for the transportation of goods, people in private vehicles, or residents riding Winnipeg Transit, everyone has an interest in the quality of our roads,” concluded Browaty.

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