Statement from Mayor Brian Bowman on today’s federal budget

WINNIPEG – Statement from Mayor Brian Bowman on today’s federal budget:

“First, I was happy to see a strong commitment made by the federal government toward a range of housing investments including affordable housing. Like many Canadian cities, Winnipeg is in need of more affordable housing and I hope this funding will build on the progress we’ve been making. Seeing a continuation of the Rapid Housing Initiative, and additional funding for Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy to eliminate chronic homelessness by 2030, were both welcomed as these efforts align well with those already underway in Winnipeg.

As Mayor of a Canadian city that is prioritizing efforts to combat racism, I am encouraged to see funding for a new federal Anti-Racism Strategy and National Action Plan on Combating Hate. Greater leadership at the national level is welcome and needed during this time in our nation’s history. I look forward to seeing more details.

I was hoping to see a permanent doubling of the Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly Gas Tax). Funding through the CCBF provides municipalities with the flexibility to administer it across a wide range of project categories and a permanent doubling would have been a strong way to help municipalities now and into the future. While not in this federal budget, I continue to advocate for this kind of direct municipal support.

I note that there is no new support for public transit announced. Nonetheless, I’m hoping to see provincial and federal support on public transit operating funding. The recent funding announced by the federal government, which requires provincial support, is an avenue the City of Winnipeg will be pursuing once available. I’m hoping to see provincial and federal governments unite in their support of the largest ongoing loss the City has suffered as a result of the global pandemic. I’m also hopeful to see approval of the City of Winnipeg’s entire Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program request, which will deliver on significant steps to transform the city’s transit system.

Lastly, with approximately a hundred thousand Winnipeggers who have a family origin of Ukraine, we’ve been shaken to our core by the ongoing invasion and the toll it has taken on the Ukrainian people. I am, therefore, pleased to see the federal government bolster support of Ukraine."