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Multi-year budget 2020 – 2023

Schedule of meetings

Multi-Year Budget Preliminary Budget

Provide feedback on the preliminary budget

If you would like to provide feedback on the preliminary budget in-person, register to appear as a delegation at the appropriate committee.

If you would like to make a written feedback submission for the public record, please submit a copy to City Clerk’s.

Appear as a delegation or provide feedback

The preliminary 2020-2023 multi-year balanced Operating and Capital budgets for the City of Winnipeg will be tabled at a special meeting of Executive Policy Committee on Friday March 6, 2020 – 1 p.m.

After the tabling of the budgets on March 6, 2020, the schedule of public meetings to hear delegations and consider the preliminary 2020-2023 Operating and Capital budgets include:

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.
Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage, and Downtown Development (Special Meeting)

Thursday, March 12, 2020 – 1:30 p.m.
Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works (Special Meeting)

Friday, March 13, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.
Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks (Special Meeting)

Friday, March 13, 2020 – 1 p.m.
Winnipeg Police Board (Special Meeting)

Monday, March 16, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.
Standing Policy Committee on Innovation and Economic Development (Special Meeting)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.
Standing Policy Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment (Special Meeting)

Thursday, March 19, 2020 – 9 a.m.
Executive Policy Committee to hear public delegations on budgets (Special Meeting)

Friday, March 20, 2020 – 9 a.m.
Executive Policy Committee to table final recommendations (Special Meeting)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.
Council to consider budget (Special Meeting)

Thursday, March 26, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.
Regularly scheduled monthly Council meeting

Budget information

Fall 2019 Multi-Year Budget recommendations

Historical context on the City’s current structural deficit

This fiscal and economic research is intended to support the public service and Council in the preparation of the City of Winnipeg’s first multiyear budget. It provides a historical overview of fiscal and economic trends affecting today’s financial reality of the City of Winnipeg. It is important to examine fiscal policies and tools used in the past because it can help contextualized and inform how to adjust them according to today’s economic reality.

This research should be read in the context of other key City of Winnipeg documents including OurWinnipeg, the State of the Infrastructure Report, the City Asset Management Plan, the Community Trends and Performance Report, as well as the City of Winnipeg Economic, Housing, and Population forecast report.

The City of Winnipeg’s current tax supported operating budget has a structural deficit.

The 2019 adopted budget forecasts a $105 million deficit in 2020, growing to $132 million in 2021. This structural deficit is expected to grow beyond the next two years because projected tax supported operating expenditures continue to grow at approximately twice the rate of projected revenue.

The structural deficit in the City’s tax supported operating budget is not a recent occurrence.

It has developed over a twenty year period.

The decade following 1990 was a challenging one for Winnipeg. Many of the existing fiscal policies in place today for the City of Winnipeg are a reflection of past challenges. Throughout the 1990s, Winnipeg faced significant challenges that included:

  • Population decline;
  • Historical flooding in 1997;
  • Loss of a major sports franchise in 1996;
  • Among the highest municipal property taxes in Canada;
  • Low revenue growth;
  • High debt servicing; and,
  • High dependence on property taxes.

In response to these challenges, the City of Winnipeg utilized various fiscal tools to address these and other challenges, and to manage and limit the population and economic decline being experienced at the time. Among the measures undertaken included:

  • Property tax reductions and then freezes;
  • Restricted capital investment;
  • Expenditure reductions;
  • Reduced City’s staffing levels;
  • Reduced debt; and,
  • Increased withdraws from reserve accounts.

Beginning in 2010, the challenges faced by the City of Winnipeg began to change.

While the decade prior the City faced challenges of population decline, the years following 2010 were marked by a significantly different challenge: the challenge of growth.

Since 2010, the City of Winnipeg has experienced:

  • The fastest population growth since the 1950s;
  • Record economic growth, like in 2018 when Winnipeg recorded the second highest real GDP growth out of all major Canadian cities.
  • The lowest property taxes of any major Canadian city;
  • Low reliance on property tax as a revenue source; and
  • Low debt payments.

During the decade of significant population growth since 2010, complemented by a strong economy, many of the fiscal tools implemented in response to population decline in the 1990s, remained in place.

This has contributed significantly to the City of Winnipeg’s structural deficit. It has contributed to an imbalance between revenues, expenditures, and the cost generated by a growing city.

This fiscal and economic research outlines the historical context in which many of today’s fiscal policies find their origins, and underscores the importance of reviewing such policies to ensure the City of Winnipeg continues on a trajectory of growth while increasing its desirability as a destination for prospective residents and businesses.

Multi-year Budget Context

Last update: February 20, 2020