MHCA acknowledges it is located on Treaty One land and the homeland of the Metis Nation

MHCA engages with City Council on 2021 streets budget

The MHCA has sent to the Winnipeg City Council its recommendations for the 2021 Local and Regional Street Renewal program, reminding councillors of the deal made with Winnipeggers in 2013/14 when a dedicated tax to fix our roads was implemented.

That deal saw Winnipeggers accept in 2013 a 1% tax to generate revenues specifically for the local street repair budget; the deal was repeated in 2014 for regional roads. Each year since, taxpayers have seen property bills rise by 2% and the revenues generated are supposed to go directly to street repair budgets.

The MHCA letter reminds council that in 2019, it decided to allow bridge repairs to be funded from the street renewal levy’s revenues – without any kind of assessment as to how that would impact the goal toward solving the infrastructure investment deficit of some $7 billion, about half of which is due to core infrastructure condition.

“We understand the predicament that Winnipeg is in, with the pandemic economic shutdown affecting the books and because of a long-standing disconnect between the burden of services and the ability to raise revenues,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said.

“We reminded Council, however, that maintaining sufficient investment in roads not only puts people to work immediately – to the benefit of the local businesses – but infrastructure investment holds amongst the highest returns to an economy’s GDP because of the immediate and long-term generation of revenues.”

2020’s budget indicated the local and regional street renewal program will see cuts, against projections published in 2019, in each of the next four years, totalling $31.241 million. The larger cuts are to take place in 2023 and 2024.

MHCA is asking members to engage in the budget discussion, and to contact their councillors to remind them to #FixOurRoads.

You can read the MHCA letter here.

MHCA will provide further detail on the 2021 Preliminary Operating and Capital Budget when it is released November 27. The association plans to appear at a series of council committee meetings where the various core infrastructure programs budget will be discussed, including the Public Works and Infrastructure Renewal, and the Water and Waste committees.