August 23, 2019

Winnipeg
14° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Province 'pretty clear' with city on funding: Tory minister

In his speech to the business audience, Fielding reviewed the highlights of his budget and participated in a question-and-answer session with Manitoba Chambers of Commerce president Chuck Davidson. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)</p></p>

In his speech to the business audience, Fielding reviewed the highlights of his budget and participated in a question-and-answer session with Manitoba Chambers of Commerce president Chuck Davidson. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

RESPONDING to concerns raised by Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, the Manitoba finance minister said Friday the government’s new infrastructure funding commitment to the city is “solid.”

Scott Fielding said the Pallister government has made it clear in writing to the mayor it is increasing municipal infrastructure funding.

In his budget Thursday, Fielding announced capital grants to the city for infrastructure would rise to “up to” $113.1 million in 2019-20 from $83.6 million in the current fiscal year.

Bowman’s responded that the province appeared to be setting a ceiling on funding, rather than a floor.

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

RESPONDING to concerns raised by Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, the Manitoba finance minister said Friday the government’s new infrastructure funding commitment to the city is "solid."

Scott Fielding said the Pallister government has made it clear in writing to the mayor it is increasing municipal infrastructure funding.

In his budget Thursday, Fielding announced capital grants to the city for infrastructure would rise to "up to" $113.1 million in 2019-20 from $83.6 million in the current fiscal year.

Bowman’s responded that the province appeared to be setting a ceiling on funding, rather than a floor.

Interviewed after a breakfast speech to the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce Friday, Fielding said the province has been "pretty clear" to the city on what the municipality will receive.

"Our investments are solid," he said, adding the province would be willing to make letters it sent to the City of Winnipeg on the issue public.

A government spokesman later said Manitoba would release the correspondence if it received permission from the mayor.

The spokesman also clarified the $113.1 million in capital grants is dependent on the city remitting proper receipts. The money has been earmarked for such projects as the Waverley Street rail underpass, rapid transit development, and the accelerated regional roads program.

In his speech to the business audience, Fielding reviewed the highlights of his budget, including a percentage point cut to the provincial sales tax, and participated in a question-and-answer session with Manitoba Chambers of Commerce president Chuck Davidson.

Davidson brought up the Pallister government’s sometimes prickly relationship with both the city and the federal government.

"You guys and (Manitoba federal cabinet minister) Jim Carr don’t have a great relationship," he remarked to Fielding, sparking some chuckles from the crowd.

"You guys and Brian Bowman don’t have a great relationship either," he noted, in asking what the province would do to repair those relationships.

Fielding said there are areas in which the province works very well with Ottawa, citing health care and housing as examples. Carr has complained the province has been slow to take advantage of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding in a variety of areas.

Fielding said the dispute with the mayor over capital funding has been "unfortunate," but the city knew well in advance what it was receiving in 2019.

"It’s kind of like looking under the Christmas tree the day before Christmas and somehow acting surprised on (Christmas Day)," he remarked.

Davidson asked Fielding about the timing of the PST cut, suggesting the province, instead, could have balanced its books, given the size of federal transfers. According to polling done by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, 70 per cent of its members are in favour of a PST cut, but more than half (52 per cent) said it would not affect their capital investments or hiring.

Fielding said the reason the government cut the tax was it didn’t think it should have been raised six years ago by the NDP in the first place.

"Most importantly, we think that taxpayers deserve a break," he said.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature Reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 8:18 AM CST: Final

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us