Fix Our Roads!

MHCA President Lorenc speaks to City Hall’s executive policy committee March 13 on the budget

MHCA President Lorenc speaks to City Hall’s executive policy committee March 13 on the budget

NO residential street work this year? How did that happen

Winnipeg City Council’s 2019 proposed budget would eliminate all significant repair work on residential streets – 53 projects cancelled this construction season.
How has this happened?

December, 2017      Winnipeg City Council approves a 2018 capital budget that invests $116 million in local and residential streets. At the same time, that budget plan is shared with the province. The plan includes provincial dollars for Winnipeg roads, under a five-year funding agreement. Through the following months, the city seeks payment from the provincial roads agreement.

January, 2019          City of Winnipeg receives official letter from Broadway, indicating the provincial government does not agree it still owes $40 million, under a provincial roads funding agreement.

March 1, 2019         Mayor Brian Bowman and Finance Committee Chair Scott Gillingham table the 2019 preliminary budget. That budget shows the city will spread the $40 million shortfall from the 2018 roads program evenly over 2019 and 2020. In addition, the province has not renewed the roads agreement, a five-year deal that would have seen another $28 million invested on residential streets in 2019, alone.

March 7, 2019         Councillors learn all 53 residential street projects planned for 2019 and 11 lanes have been canceled. Some repaving will be done, but no significant repairs to residential streets.

The MHCA to Winnipeg

It is irresponsible for City Council to eliminate residential street work this year, effectively putting Winnipeggers in the middle of a political funding dispute. Winnipeggers pay their taxes – 2% dedicated tax is levied each year, 1% for local streets and 1% for regional streets to fix their crumbling streets. Every budget has elasticity and contingency; find the funds to #FixOurRoads. Rally Winnipeggers to pressure Broadway to live up to the roads funding deal.

The MHCA to Manitoba

Make good on your commitments. Make Winnipeg whole for the $40 million owed.
Further, fulfill your obligation and renew the five-year roads funding agreement. The city cannot alone raise the revenues needed to maintain roads — the foundation of our trade-dependent economy. Municipalities do not have the financial resources or capacity to shoulder the burden of public infrastructure on their own. Municipalities collect just 8 cents of every tax dollar.  

Make infrastructure a priority

Since 2016, the provincial government has reduced investment in core infrastructure by $421 million, in budget cuts for highways, municipal roads and bridges and land drainage.

You can’t cut your way to prosperity
– MHCA President Chris Lorenc

Winnipeg eliminates residential street work in funding spat with province

MHCA to City Council: find a better Plan ‘B’

MHCA President Chris Lorenc told City Council’s executive policy committee this week Winnipeg cannot simply eliminate all residential street work for 2019, in response to the provincial government’s shortchanging the city on the cost-shared roads agreement last year. [keep reading]

No residential street work for Winnipeg in 2019? How is that possible?

MHCA pushes back on provincial short-changing, City of Winnipeg budget cuts

The MHCA has called upon Mayor Brian Bowman and City Council to restore planned investment in the local street renewal program for 2019, and future years, despite the provincial government’s reneging on funding commitments. That provincial decision shortchanged the city by $40 million in the 2018 local and regional street renewal budget, and would pull as much as $174 million from the city’s planning for street repairs, from 2019-2024. [keep reading]

Manitoba Budget 2019
Highways budget

Province reneging on funding deal with city, imperils industry and city streets

The provincial budget released March 7 gives no indication that Pallister government is renewing a five-year roads agreement that has formed a big share of base funding in the City of Winnipeg’s local and regional streets renewal budgets. The lack of commitment means the City effectively loses $145 million in forecasted investment for the program 2019-2024. [keep reading]

Province owes city explanation for $40M road-repair funding pothole: Bowman

For a synopsis of the funding dispute that’s left Winnipeg with a $40-million hole in its streets budget, read this in the Winnipeg Free Press [keep reading]

For better and worse, Pallister delivered his PST cut

He did it. And now nobody can say he didn’t or couldn’t, and he certainly won’t give a whit about those who insisted for the past couple of years that he shouldn’t. [keep reading]

Meanwhile, in Ontario and Saskatchewan, provincial governments have announced their economic plans ride on significant investments in infrastructure:

“When we invest in smart infrastructure, we create jobs and grow the economy, shaping the future for hard-working families in Ontario. Our province is open for business and open for jobs.”  
[keep reading]

“Our government is creating safer, and more fluid travel for people who travel on Saskatchewan’s highway network. This work will help local businesses compete, promote a higher quality of life for residents and support the long term economic prosperity of this province.”  [keep reading]

And from our stakeholder partner associations, more concern about the city’s cuts to residential street works this year and the Winnipeg-Manitoba dispute. [keep reading]

Fix Our Roads!

The Winnipeg council candidates ranked funding core infrastructure and cutting the investment deficit as high priorities. Read more about the civic candidate questionnaire.

MHCA’s FixOurRoads gives the goods on ‘promises made/promises broken’ record of the provincial government on highways/infrastructure investment, since 2016.

Transportation Infrastructure Reports:

Read about the vital link between efficient, connected trade transportation infrastructure and economic health.