By Mayor Brian Bowman
WINNIPEG - Earlier this spring, I delivered my fourth State of the City Address.
Hosted by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, it’s a great chance to discuss the many different challenges and opportunities facing Winnipeg.
Winnipeg is a city that’s growing. Our population is projected to grow steadily and strongly well into the future. We are currently a city of 750,000 strong, and are on the path to reach one million people over the next 25 years or so.
With the level of growth currently projected for Winnipeg, we need to remain focused on planning for this future growth, building strong government, protecting Winnipeg’s competitiveness, and ensuring Winnipeg continues to be an inclusive, safe city for all families.
In my State of the City Address, I outlined how strong and steady population growth poses both challenges and opportunities for our city.
A growing population puts increased pressure on existing city infrastructure, and also creates demand for new infrastructure. We need to be smart about how we plan for this growth and address these demands. This means making infrastructure investment decisions based on value for money and a business case rather than partisan politics.
The City of Winnipeg recently compiled an update on the state of its infrastructure and for the first time ever has prepared an asset management plan that applies a consistent approach to how data is collected and analyzed across the entire portfolio of city-owned assets.
Smart decision making starts with strong, accurate information. The City of Winnipeg’s updated asset management plan and infrastructure reports will help depoliticize decision making at City Hall and lead to smarter investment choices.
We also need to continue building strong government, strengthening accountability and improving the quality of city services. I was pleased in my State of the City Address to commit to the introduction of electronic tracking of how each elected member of Council votes at community committees, standing policy committees, and Council meetings, and a complete overhaul of 311’s existing online service to improve the quality of information available to residents.
As Winnipeg’s population grows, it is important that the city maintains its competitiveness by supporting local businesses.
Winnipeg’s business tax has been reduced every single year over the last four years.