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Brandon's Mayor and AMM react to provincial budget

13.03.2018 13:23
By: Matthew Higgs

Funding for municipalities frozen for second consecutive year

Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - Manitoba's 2018 budget outlines that funding for municipalities will be frozen for the second consecutive year at 2016 levels.

President with the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, Chris Goertzen said that has to change in the future.

"It's going to pose increasing challenges to municipalities," said Goertzen, explaining that municipalities will have to deal with 2018 problems using 2016 dollars.

With the lack of extra funds, Goertzen said municipalities will have to continue to be efficient with taxpayers money.

"They will have to look closely to the services they provide, and they will have to find any deficiencies," said Goertzen.

Brandon's Mayor, Rick Chrest said it will be difficult to continue providing essential services with the lack of extra funding.

"It's going to have to change sooner or later," said Chrest.

"We can't keep up with all the costs going up, and resources staying where they are."

That doesn't mean Goertzen or Chrest aren't in favor of some parts of the budget.

Goertzen said he liked the potential future infrastructure projects in municipalities.

"We see some extra dollars going to municipalities for infrastructure projects," said Goertzen.

"Also the reduction of red-tape will save some dollars."

For Chrest, the new K-8 school caught his attention.

"I'm thrilled about the commitment for the new school," said Chrest, adding that it's something we had been waiting for some time to get.

Chrest said that there needs to be more discussion with the province when it comes to revenue sharing.

"Specifically when it comes to the carbon taxes, cannabis revenues and federal-provincial infrastructure spending," said Chrest.