August 31, 2015


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Museum officials decry city's 10 per cent funding cut

WINNIPEG museums are decrying the city's plan to cut their funding by 10 per cent.

Last week, city politicians tabled the city's $920-million operating budget, the plan that outlines how much Winnipeg will spend on everything from police to insect control in 2013. The budget included a 3.87 per cent property-tax hike and a plan to find $13.6 million in savings by delaying filling vacant positions and reducing grants to non-profit groups by $358,000.

WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Diane Doth of the Manitoba Children's Museum told a council committee she didn't expect cuts because of the property-tax hike.

WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Diane Doth of the Manitoba Children's Museum told a council committee she didn't expect cuts because of the property-tax hike.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES
Kids enjoy the Manitoba Children's Museum. It is facing a $21,000 funding cut.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Kids enjoy the Manitoba Children's Museum. It is facing a $21,000 funding cut.

Those non-profit groups include museums, which will all see their funding reduced by 10 per cent. The St. Boniface Museum will see its annual city funding drop from $450,000 to $400,000, the Transcona Museum will receive $139,500 instead of $155,000 and the Western Canada Aviation Museum will see its funding decline from $55,000 to $49,500.

On Monday, Manitoba Children's Museum executive director Diane Doth told council's protection and community services she was surprised by the city's 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 the property-tax hike.

She asked the city to reinstate the funding, and said the museum may not be able to continue some programs for inner-city youth and schools without it.

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

City of Winnipeg Museums Board chairman William Dowie said the arbitrary cuts to museums will have a "huge impact" and could result in the 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.

Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie introduced a motion for the city to spend slightly more than $123,000 to restore museum funding to 2012 levels, saying Winnipeg could take the money from the proposed hike to councillors' discretionary ward budgets. The idea failed to pass a vote by council's protection and community services committee.

Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge) has 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 budgets by $40,000.

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 15, 2013 B1

History

Updated on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 11:09 AM CST: corrects incorrect word

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