Winnipeg should spend federal gas tax money on local roads

The City of Winnipeg tabled its budget for 2019 on Friday, March 1st. Some of the highlights include a regular tax rise, but a decrease in roads spending by $29.6 million to $86.4 million.

Despite hints of a massive property tax increase, Mayor Brian Bowman said it wasn’t fair for city taxpayers to shoulder an $85 million funding shortfall, which he put squarely in the pockets of the province.

The city said the province left a $40 million gap in funding by failing to fulfill the fifth year of its $250 million, five-year roads funding agreement in 2018.

After federal trade minister Jim Carr confirmed Winnipeg will see at least $40 million from this year’s gas tax allocation, Mayor Brian Bowman said he hopes to see that money spent on local roads.

Bowman and the Province of Manitoba have been in a public spat over roads funding this budget year, with the province all but freezing funding for infrastructure and insisting past money be allocated to certain projects.

Bowman said the increase in gas tax money – $20 million more than expected – will help cover most of that shortfall if council chooses to do so.

Most of the city`s road construction projects are finished on time, as it was planned at the beginning of 2018. Let’s be patient and hope road construction workers will finish all the projects soon and that will make our city a better place to drive and live in.

For a complete list of projects roads involved in reconstruction, please visit the link: https://winnipeg.ca/publicworks/construction/roadway/map.asp.

City authorities recognize and understand the importance of constant transport infrastructure growth and modernization to be able to satisfy the needs of Winnipeg citizens and a workforce visiting our city every day. Mayor Brian Bowman says the city transport system needs a major overhaul.

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