Business highlights from the State of the City Address

March 23, 2018
Earlier today Mayor Brian Bowman gave his fourth State of the City address to 1,200 business and community leaders at the RBC Convention Centre. The Mayor announced several new initiatives, some of which were based on Winnipeg Chamber policy. They included:
  • The introduction of electronic tracking of how each elected member of Council votes at community committees, standing policy committees, and Council meetings. (A recommendation from Winnipeg BOLD).
  • A commitment to bring forward a motion tasking the public service to develop a new “buy-local” procurement policy for civic contracts valued at less than $100,000. (Another Chamber recommendation).
  • A commitment to continue reducing the business tax, until it is eventually eliminated.
  • That Winnipeg will lead the establishment of a new national committee that will enable municipalities across the country to share information and best practices on how to best create sustainable labour agreements.
  • A complete overhaul of 311’s existing online service to improve the quality of information available to residents.

While no timeframe was given on the elimination of the business tax, your Chamber continues to push for faster reductions in the business tax rate. As the last city with a business tax in Canada, it’s time is long overdue.

It is also exciting to see Winnipeg take a leadership role with the new national committee, and it is always good for governments to share best practices. As well improving online services is much needed, especially as more and more of those citizen requests are taking place on mobile devices.

Other announcements focused on working to electrify our transit system, reducing aggressive panhandling and the creation of an illicit drug strategy. A lot was announced in the speech, but the real work begins now.

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For further information on this and other Chamber advocacy initiatives, please contact Director of Advocacy, Michael Juce, at [email protected] or 204-944-3315.