STATEMENT FROM MAYOR BRIAN BOWMAN IN RESPONSE TO THE RELEASE OF THE 2019 FEDERAL BUDGET
Winnipeg - Today, Mayor Brian Bowman released the following statement regarding the 2019 Federal Budget:
“In anticipation of the 2019 federal budget, I was watching to see if the federal government would:
- maintain existing funding commitments for existing capital commitments;
- administer the municipal share of federal excise tax on cannabis directly to municipalities;
- cash flow public transit capital support directly to municipalities;
- provide direct funding to front-line agencies in municipalities for mental health and addictions services; and
- explicitly name all municipalities as recipients for the fuel charge revenues as rebates from the federal carbon tax.
I am encouraged that existing capital commitments appear to remain consistent with previous commitments. The overall ask of the federal government in recent months has been to modernize the relationship with municipalities like Winnipeg by providing direct funding to support local priorities. I have made this request directly to Minister Carr and the Prime Minister and they have responded in a positive way.
I am particularly encouraged by the commitment to double the level of funding available to municipalities in 2019 through the Federal Gas Tax. With this commitment, the federal government is demonstrating a willingness to administer funding directly to municipalities allowing us the flexibility and freedom on how to invest it.
While officials will need time to review the budget details, doubling the level of Federal Gas Tax funding to Winnipeg could mean more than $40 million in additional capital funding this year. This funding, even on a one-time basis, would help Winnipeg address any number of its capital needs. Subject to the budget being passed by the federal government, I will work diligently with Councilors and the public service to administer these funds as quickly as possible.
I look forward to reviewing the federal budget in more detail over the coming weeks.”