The President of the AMBM and Reeve of the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie, Mr. Ivan Normandeau, issued the following statement following the tabling of the 2023 Provincial Budget: 

With the tabling of its 2023 Provincial Budget, the Manitoba government has chosen to invest strategically and to operate in solution mode with respect to several current issues. Many of these investments are in line with the Economic Recovery Strategy for Manitoba’s Bilingual Municipalities (2021-2024) and will contribute directly and indirectly to building strong and prosperous bilingual communities.  

Identified on several occasions by the Province of Manitoba as a key partner in Budget 2023, the AMBM appreciates this recognition, as well as the Stefanson government’s commitment to the priority issues of our bilingual municipalities. 

We appreciate the reconfirmation of $19 million in additional unconditional funding to Manitoba’s 15 bilingual municipalities to support their operations. This is an average 60% increase in provincial support that will strengthen the capacity of municipal governments and provide them with unprecedented flexibility to implement their priorities. More importantly, this amount is critical to the financial health of our municipalities as runaway inflation has had a devastating impact on their budgets in a context where they are legally prohibited from running deficits. We join the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) in continuing to work with the Province to further simplify the municipal funding model and index funds in future years. 

In addition, we welcome the following investments: 

  • The injection of $15 million towards the Community Economic Development Fund and $20 million to support economic development and investment attraction in our communities.
  • Increasing municipal strategic capital funding by $23.4 million to $160.4 million, a 17% increase over last year’s budget. This funding support for key infrastructure projects will be provided through the Municipal Strategic Investment Fund. 
  • Continued funding of $25 million for the Building Sustainable Communities Fund as well as the extension of $9 million for the Urban/Hometown Green Team Program, both of which are critical to our member municipalities. 
  • $50 million in funding for the Arts, Culture and Sport in Community Fund. 

We are also pleased to see the Province continue and expand its commitment to reducing GHG emissions and addressing climate change, including the addition of $8.7 million to support recycling, composting and waste diversion initiatives through the Waste Reduction and Recycling Support Program. This commitment by the Province goes a long way to supporting the development of sustainable infrastructure, one of the priorities expressed by our members in our Municipal Economic Recovery Strategy. Furthermore, we appreciate the Province’s recognition and intention to strengthen its partnership with our subsidiary, Eco-West Canada (EWC), to enable a green and responsible recovery for all Manitoba municipalities. This effective collaboration will enable EWC to strengthen the capacity of local governments to build more sustainable and environmentally responsible communities, and leverage additional investments from the federal government, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Efficiency Manitoba, and other public and private partners. 

In terms of economic immigration, in response to the significant labour shortage, we welcome the $2 million investment announced in the Budget. This additional funding will expand the Newcomer Community Integration Support Program to better deliver settlement and integration services. This vision aligns perfectly with our Strategy to Support Economic Immigration to Manitoba’s Bilingual Municipalities (2022-2025) and reinforces our own commitment to further regionalize economic immigration to our Francophone and bilingual communities by optimizing the key role of our subsidiary, the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM). CDEM is already well positioned to expand its role, as it acts as the Province’s delivery partner for the Francophone sub-component of Invitation to Manitoba within the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. One of the priorities of the CDEM and AMBM for the year 2023-2024 will be to educate and encourage our rural employers on the importance of immigration to meet their needs and support their growth, as well as to effectively connect them with numerous Francophone and bilingual immigration candidates. 

With the release of Budget 2023, the AMBM can reaffirm that the winning conditions are in place to continue and expand our partnership with the Government of Manitoba to improve municipal services in both official languages and to fully participate in the economic recovery of our province. 

Information: Office of the Chief Executive Officer, (O-CEO), 204-289-4077, [email protected]. 

Provincial Budget 2023: Many sound investments in the development of Manitoba’s bilingual communities