Manitoba

Brian Bowman floats growth fees in State of the City address

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says Winnipeg is poised for unprecedented redevelopment and growth but revenue streams must change to keep pace.

Development charges would raise the price of new properties, says Winnipeg mayor

In his State of the City address, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said he wants to introduce growth fees in Winnipeg to cover infrastructure costs associated with new development. (CBC)

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says Winnipeg is poised for unprecedented redevelopment and growth but revenue streams must change to keep pace.

During his State of the City address on Thursday to the Chamber of Commerce, Bowman said Winnipeg is in consultation with industry representatives to institute a growth fee to pay for infrastructure costs associated with new developments.

The mayor highlighted a number of multi-million developments underway in the city in his speech, including: True North Square, the BroadGrain Commodities terminal at CentrePort, renewal in the Exchange District, and redeveloping the Public Safety Building on Princess Street. The crumbling police headquarters is "beyond repair" Bowman said.

Winnipeggers face a choice, he said, either everyone pays higher property tax to pay for infrastructure or a few pay higher home prices.

"Growth fees are one way to ensure growth pays for growth," said Bowman in his speech.

RAW: Brian Bowman talks to reporters after State of the City address

7 years ago
Duration 1:11
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says Winnipeg is poised for unprecedented redevelopment and growth but revenue streams must change to keep pace.

Most Canadian cities have some form of growth fee or development charge to pay for sewers, sidewalks, libraries and other city services new communities require.

"We simply cannot expect property taxes alone to address the costs of both maintaining existing infrastructure as well as covering infrastructure costs associated with new growth," said Bowman.

Winnipeg's revenue sources are "limited and antiquated," said Bowman and are not high enough to cover an infrastructure deficit in the city totaling more than $7 billion.

Winnipeg's budget will be tabled next week, the mayor said.

Bowman creates climate change group

Bowman also announced Thursday the creation of a climate change working group to be chaired by Coun. Jenny Gerbasi.

Winnipeg needs to reduce its carbon footprint and address climate change, said Bowman. The plan to begin collection of organic waste does not go far enough, he added.

"Our environment continues to be the very foundation for our economic and our social health," Bowman said.

The new climate change working group will guide the city in terms of how Winnipeg can be a better environmental steward, he said.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now