A month later, Winnipeg still doesn’t know implications of Manitoba budget

Before joining CBC Manitoba, Bartley Kives spent most of his career in journalism at the Winnipeg Free Press, covering politics, music, food, the environment and outdoor recreation.
He’s the author of the Canadian bestseller A Daytripper’s Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada’s Undiscovered Province and co-author of Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg.
His work has also appeared in publications such as the Guardian and Explore magazine.
Nearly a month after the Manitoba government tabled its budget for the next year, the City of Winnipeg is still trying to figure out what it means.
City council’s finance committee was told Thursday that city officials are still talking to their provincial counterparts about the 2017-18 Manitoba budget in an effort to determine how program and capital funding will be affected.
This led council finance chair Scott Gillingham (St. James-Brooklands-Weston) to ask Winnipeg chief financial officer Mike Ruta what he’s learned from provincial finance officials.
Gillingham said he assumes the province has thought out the implications of its budget and could not say why they have not communicated with the city.
Gillingham also asked finance officials for an update on talks with the province regarding nutrient removal at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre, the largest of the city’s three sewage-treatment plants, which is undergoing $795 million worth of upgrades.
Last June, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister hinted the province may allow the city to focus on removing phosphorus from sewage effluent instead of removing both phosphorus and nitrogen.
Gillingham said Winnipeg chief administrative officer Doug McNeil remains in talks with the province about nutrient removal.

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