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City of Winnipeg approves multi-year budget for 2024-2027

The City of Winnipeg has now approved its 2024-2027 multi-year budget.

Wednesday afternoon, votes were cast on the city’s operating and capital budgets. The results were nearly unanimous, with 13 to two councillors in favour of the capital budget, and 14 to one for the operating budget.

Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt was the only to vote against both, with Coun. Jason Schreyer also voting “nay” on the capital budget front.

Coun. John Orlikow was absent.

With contention over some issues like pool closures, property tax increases sticking to 3.5 per cent, and some items — like the Arlington bridge — bring kept out of the budget, Mayor Scott Gillingham said there is never a truly happy ending when it comes to creating budgets.

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“By the time we get to it, and by the time we get to a vote, every councillor is compromised. There is not one of us, myself included, that is thrilled with 100 per cent of this budget,” he said.

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Even so, the votes speak for themselves, he said.

“Coun. (Jeff) Browaty has worked very hard as the chair of finance overseeing the budget to try to hear from, work with every councillor.”

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Browaty said the votes in favour of the budget were as high as they were this year because “we found out what unifies us.”

“I think that everybody can look at the budget and say, ‘Hey, you know, this is something I feel is really important to the residents that I represent, (and) I think it’s important to the city of Winnipeg.’ So, I mean, I think the budget really represents all members of council and hopefully all Winnipeggers,” he said.

Delgates from Happyland Pool in St. Boniface appeared at the meeting to make a down-to-the-line request that the pool stay open.

“Please consider keeping Happyland Pool open for one more season,” said Sandra Dupuis, a St. Boniface resident. “Give us a chance to raise money… we’re willing to do it if that’s what it takes.”

But Gillingham said the city has to look at aging infrastructure and determine “whether the best investment is to decommission and do something new, rather than put Band-Aids on infrastructure to keep it open for a year or two.”

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City of Winnipeg budget update

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