Preliminary 2020-23 Multi-Year Balanced Budgets Ensures Civic Facilities Remain Open

Released: March 6, 2020 at 1:50 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The preliminary 2020-2023 multi-year balanced budgets protect vital community services while making expenditure reductions necessary to achieve balance.

“I am happy to confirm that the preliminary multi-year balanced budgets do not propose closing any city facilities that are currently open,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “The multi-year budget process was certainly more challenging due to a more open process that resulted in recommendations that included the closure of pools, libraries, arenas, and other civic facilities.”

The preliminary multi-year balanced budgets reflect approximately $4.7 million of the operating expenditure reductions in Community Services that were proposed by the Public Service.

“I appreciate the feedback we received from the community on civic facilities,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “That dialogue helped shape the multi-year balanced budgets into how they are presented for Council’s consideration today.”

While civic facilities that are currently open will remain open, adjustments are needed to account for the $4.7 million in expenditure reductions. Currently, 14 of 20 City of Winnipeg libraries are not open on Sundays and the remaining six libraries would be brought into line with this standard. Additionally, libraries will not be open past 8 p.m. The budgets also include a proposal to reduce Leisure Guide programming by 50% starting in January 2021. In order to achieve this reduction, a review of all Leisure Guide programming would occur in 2020 with a view to retaining programming in high needs areas with a focus on children and youth.

Overall, the preliminary 2020-2023 multi-year balanced budgets increase the Community Services operating budget by an average of 1.3% annually for the next four years from $105.1 million in 2019 (net of capital expenditures) to $110.9 million in 2023, which exceeds the target of 0.5% approved by Executive Policy Committee.

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