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Cuts to funding shock museums

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Winnipeg museums are decrying the city's plan to cut their funding.

Winnipeg's $920 million operating budget includes a 10 per cent cut to local museums. This morning, Children's Museum Executive Director Diane Doth told council's protection and community services she was surprised by a city decision to cut their capital and operating funding by $21,000. Doth said she initially thought the cut was a mistake, as the city will see increased revenue this year from a property tax hike.

Last week, the city unveiled its 2013 capital and operating budgets, which include a 3.87 per cent property tax increase.

"I couldn't believe it. I honestly thought it was not real," Doth said.

Doth has asked the committee to reinstate the funding.

City of Winnipeg Museum Board chair William Dowie said the arbitrary cuts to museums will have a "huge impact" and could result in loss of services to the public, including reduced operating hours and staff.

"It's a very small amount for the city but it's a large effect," he said.

Earlier this morning, Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge) expressed concern the city plans to cut funding to museums, non-profits, and community groups - including the poverty reduction strategy - and at the same time, increase councillors' discretionary ward budget by $40,000.

 

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