Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives May 6 2015, Page 12

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - May 6, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE B1 CROSSTOWN CIVIC CREDIT UNION www. crosstowncivic. mb. ca * Rates subject to change without notice. Call for details. MORTGAGES AS LOW AS 2.35 % OAC cr os st ow Rat MO O S S RACE DAYS IN MAY POST TIME 7 PM Except 1: 30 on 10 th & 18 th 204- 885- 3330 RACING & VLTs ASDowns. com Book a race night buffet! What worksfor works for you? MOTHER’S DAY SUNDAY 1: 30 PM Exciting racing plus Family Fun & 1 40 VLTs 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 SUN MON TUES WED THUR FRI SAT They’re off! City inventor’s latest toy / B5 CITY & BUSINESS CITY EDITOR: SHANE MINKIN 204- 697- 7292 I CITY. DESK@ FREEPRESS. MB. CA I WINNIPEGFREEPRESS. COM WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 2015 B 1 G LEN Murray couldn’t do it. Sam Katz couldn’t do it. Now, Brian Bowman wants to be the mayor who convinces Broadway and Ottawa to cut Winnipeg a better financial deal. When the Selinger government unveiled Manitoba’s spending plans for 2015, Winnipeg’s rookie mayor struck a good balance between offering praise and unleashing criticism. More revenue overall is nice, said Bowman, lauding the province’s decision to fork over $ 323 million to Winnipeg this year, up $ 9 million from $ 314 million in 2014. Specifically, the mayor seemed happy $ 5 million of that increase will wind up in an infrastructure kitty known as the Build Winnipeg Partnership, a pot of cash he promised to create during his run for mayor. Of course, the province could have given Winnipeg more infrastructure money and simply called it something other than Build Winnipeg cash. But the mayor saw no need to bash the province for going along with his plan. Bowman was a lot less happy about the absence — for the nine billionth budget in a row — of any City of Winnipeg access to so- called growth revenue, a euphemism for a dedicated chunk of the PST or some other form of broad- based taxation. For decades, Canadian cities have complained, justifiably, that they can’t afford to build new roads, bridges, water mains and sewers — let alone fix the ones they have — under a funding model in which property taxes serve as the main source of municipal revenue. Unlike American cities, which enjoy broader taxation powers as well as direct federal funding, Canadian cities have a limited set of revenue streams. This is old news to anyone who follows municipal politics. Former mayor Murray tried to lobby the Doer government to change Winnipeg’s funding model, trying and failing to arrange a so- called new deal for cities. Murray’s successor, Katz, picked up the ball and essentially made the same plea, minus the “ new deal” terminology. Gary Doer and his successor, Greg Selinger, wouldn’t play along. That led Katz to point out Winnipeg makes up most of Manitoba’s population and city voters must be heard. The 2011 provincial election, Katz vowed, would serve as an opportunity to press the issue. Unfortunately for Katz, the Selinger government increased its seat count in that contest and Winnipeg still didn’t get access to growth revenue. Now, Winnipeg’s new mayor has stepped up to the plate with a promise he’ll hit a growth- revenue home run, where Katz and Murray barely got off a few fly balls. “ The model is broken. It is fundamentally broken in terms of how we fund our cities and how Winnipeg is funded,” Bowman declared last week, pleading to change the model through discussions with Broadway and Ottawa over the coming year. The 2016 provincial election, Bowman said, is an opportunity to cut a new deal on municipal growth revenue. Canadian cities are arguing for the same with Ottawa in advance of the 2015 federal election. At the risk of sounding cynical, it’s almost as if Winnipeg’s new mayor didn’t pay attention to what his predecessors attempted. Perhaps Bowman believes he’ll have more success as part of the League of Extraordinary Western Mayors, that ballyhooed group of progressive municipal leaders that includes Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi, Edmonton’s Don Iveson, Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson and, I think, Iron Man. It would be helpful if Bowman would be specific about what a new funding model would look like. Would it be a municipal income tax? A straight chunk of the PST? A tax on excessive Americano consumption or neck tattoos? The mayor isn’t saying. “ That’s going to be a discussion that we’re be going to be having over the coming months and year,” the mayor said. “ There is no silver bullet.” Maybe Bowman doesn’t know what a new funding model for cities would look like. Perhaps he does, but doesn’t want to float any ideas because they might annoy his federal and provincial colleagues. Perhaps Bowman doesn’t want to recreate the Glen Murray mistake of getting out in front of residents who weren’t ready for a debate about taxes. Whatever the case, the municipal election campaign is over. It’s time to hear plausible, concrete ideas from our new mayor, rather than more talk about the talks he’s going to have with other levels of government. bartley. kives@ freepress. mb. ca BARTLEY KIVES Mayor must put his mouth where the money is D RIVERS face hefty fines later this month if they’re caught driving too far in designated cycling routes. A bylaw approved by city council last summer comes into effect May 24 and lasts until Thanksgiving Monday. The bylaw prohibits traffic from travelling more than one block on four Winnipeg roads, including Wellington Crescent, Wolseley Avenue, Lyndale Drive and Scotia Street on Sundays and holidays. Drivers will face a fine of $ 190.80 for driving more than the allotted one block through the bike routes. The streets are part of the Sunday and holiday bike- route street closures — roads set apart for cyclists during the summer to encouraging biking. The streets are favourites for cyclists because of the picturesque routes. River Heights- Fort Garry Coun. John Orlikow, whose ward includes Wellington Crescent, said the restrictions foster a sense of community for cyclists. “ It will provide a nice environment for families to get out on a Sunday, to take their kids on the street to bike or learn to bike. It allows people to connect in the neighbourhood,” Orlikow said. Drivers should expect a two- week phase- in period as police begin to educate the public, police Staff Sgt. Rob Riffel said. “ Our primary goal is to change driving behaviour. Officers may use discretion when issuing any offence notice,” Riffel said. “ The police are not going to be draconian,” he said. “ For one day a week. I believe it’s a good community- building thing.” Any inconvenience to homeowners in the area should be minimal at best, he said. “ If there is an inconvenience, it will be minor. It’s only on the Sunday, they have access to their property at all times. They just have to tell visitors to go up the side street closest to them.” City spokeswoman Lisa Fraser said the city is making drivers aware through media releases and social media, as well as issuing letters to homeowners on the affected streets. Traffic signs will be posted to let drivers know when they are entering a bike zone. Before the bylaw, bike routes were not enforced. Barriers were put up to discourage traffic, but cyclists said they often found themselves surprised by cars. “ You’d see people who would simply drive normally through the street, and when they reached the barricade, they would thread their way through and carry on,” said Shawn Kennedy, a cycling advocate. He said there were huge risks to cyclists by people who disrespected the current bylaw. Mark Kohoe from Bike Winnipeg said property owners might be surprised by the pleasant effect of the bylaw on the community. “ It’s just more the through traffic that is dropping down,” Kohoe said. “ It might be kind of nice because you’re not getting the though traffic you might otherwise be getting.” Sunday and holiday bike- route closures are in effect regardless of the weather every Sunday and holiday from May 24 to Oct. 12 from 8 a. m. to 10 p. m. kathleen. saylors@ freepress, mb. ca Driving on bike routes to be costly Sunday, holiday closures will carry hefty fine By Kathleen Saylors Police will ticket drivers who travel more than one block on designated bike routes on Sundays and holidays beginning May 24. Right now, there is no fine attached to the infraction. JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS B_ 01_ May- 06- 15_ FP_ 01. indd B1 5/ 5/ 15 10: 46: 10 PM

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