AMBM President Ivan Normandeau issued the following statement on the release of the 2022 provincial budget:
There are several fundamental issues in this budget that must be addressed in order to maintain the delivery of quality municipal services. In particular, like the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) and a majority of Manitobans, we believe that one order of government (the Province) should not tax another (municipalities) and we reiterate the importance of refunding the PST to local governments in the province.
We appreciate that the Province of Manitoba’s 2022 budget prioritizes (re)building our economy, investing in our communities and protecting our environment. These are all themes that are directly linked to the Economic Recovery Strategy for Manitoba’s Bilingual Municipalities.
We support the $5 million investment to strengthen immigration programs to attract newcomers to Manitoba. I confirm our intention to actively participate in achieving this goal through a renewed provincial-municipal partnership in immigration, with both a regional and bilingual lens. We offer a continuum of solutions as our subsidiary, the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM), has been coordinating the Invitation to Manitoba component of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) for a number of years now, and offering several employability programs for immigrants.
We see great promise in the overall investment of $25 million (2022-2023) for the Building Sustainable Communities Program (BSC). Our members rely on the BSC program to support their local and regional economic recovery. This program is a real lever to contribute to the development and vitality of our Francophone and bilingual communities, in keeping with The Francophone Community Enhancement and Support Act.
We applaud the provision of more than $6 million for 12 initiatives to advance the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, including $1.5 million to expand the Conservation and Climate Fund (CCF). We look forward to continued and strengthened collaboration between the Province and our subsidiary Eco-West Canada (EWC) for a green and responsible recovery. A key partner of the Province, EWC has been supporting Canadian municipalities for nearly 15 years in their energy transition in a sustainable economic development perspective. A strong federal-provincial-municipal partnership will help achieve bold climate change goals.
For decades, AMBM members have been actively involved in supporting the vitality of Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs). More than ever, we are ready to work with the provincial government for a prosperous future, ensuring that the investments and actions undertaken in the coming year in economic recovery and the delivery of municipal services in both official languages contribute to the vitality and development of rural and bilingual communities in Manitoba.
We look forward to continuing to work with the Stefanson government through the AMBM—Government of Manitoba Working Group on Collaboration and Consultation and with the Department of Municipal Relations. All together for a bold economic recovery and compelling municipal service delivery in both official languages.
Information: Office of the Chief Executive Officer (O-CEO), 204-289-4077, [email protected].