Fast Five for Business: April Update

April 22, 2021

The Winnipeg Chamber’s Director of Policy, Colin Fast, highlights five things Winnipeg businesses should be aware of this week:

2021 Federal Budget

The 2021 federal budget was released earlier this week. The first complete federal budget in over two years, it proposes extensions to critical pandemic-related business assistance programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. It also includes a significant commitment to work in partnership with the provinces to create a national childcare program that will eventually provide $10 per day daycare options for working parents. For in-depth analysis, see what our partners at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and our Chamber Champions RBC and EY had to say:

City’s new infill guidelines on hold

The City’s property & development committee has put a temporary pause on proposed new guidelines for infill development. The guidelines were introduced last week following more than a year of engagement with the public and various stakeholder groups. While there appears to be broad consensus on many of the proposed new infill rules, the late addition of an annual limit on the number of infill projects per block and a ban on additional units on streets with gravel back lanes has been opposed by some builders and environmental advocates. The committee will reconsider the issue in 60 days and the Chamber will be reaching out to members for their opinions. Read More.

Red tape report

The City’s 2021 red tape reduction report was received by Executive Policy Committee this week. The report highlighted a number of initiatives the City undertook during the pandemic to assist businesses and residents, such as the Temporary Patio Permit Program, expanded digital building permit and inspection services, and temporary loading zones for curbside pickup at retail and restaurant locations. The report also stated the City’s intent to form an ongoing Red Tape Working Group, including representation from the Winnipeg Chamber. This was a recommendation the Chamber made to the City in 2019. More info.

Draft regional plan open for feedback

The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region (WMR) has released a draft of its new regional plan that will guide land use, servicing and development in the area over the next 30 years. Draft Plan20-50 will address future infrastructure and servicing such as water and wastewater servicing, next generation Internet, transportation corridors and other projects that can span across municipal boundaries. All public feedback received by June 1, 2021 will be compiled into Review Report and submitted with Draft Plan20-50 to the provincial Minister of Municipal Relations. Learn more and provide your comments here.

Canadian Chamber develops Vaccine Resource Hub

As employers and providers of goods and services to the general public, businesses have a critical role to play in getting Canadians vaccinated, which will ultimately create the conditions for the relaxation of public health restrictions and a return of normal operating conditions. The new online Vaccine Resource hub from the Canadian Chamber provides companies of all sizes with a single focal point for the information they need to know as employers and the resources they can use to reassure and encourage their employees to get vaccinated. Read More.