Winnipeg’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy

I’m pleased to be supporting Winnipeg’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy. This initiative aims to reduce poverty, increase equity, and incorporate a “culture of caring” in all City endeavours over the next decade.

  • In the 2022 City Budget, which I supported, Winnipeg is investing $1.1 million for outreach, public washrooms and work on the construction of rapid housing.
  • This is a significant city contribution to poverty reduction, considering the City’s entire operation budget is just over $1Billion, and poverty reduction is not a core service delivery are for the City of Winnipeg.

It is important to note some of the City of Winnipeg’s key service delivery areas are providing water, sewer services, garbage services, snow removal and other key operations. It is also important to note, some of the Province of Manitoba’s key service delivery areas are health, family services, and housing.

City of Winnipeg – Total Operating Budget*: $1,180,000,000 

Province of Manitoba – Operating Budget Department Specific**:

  • Families                                                                          $2,143,807,000
  • Health and Seniors Care                                             $5,820,916,000
  • Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery                    $341,347,000

*City of Winnipeg 2022 Operating Budget

**Province of Manitoba 2021 Estimates of Expenditure

In November 2021, Council approved the City of Winnipeg’s first-ever Poverty Reduction Strategy (2021 – 2031), a comprehensive plan, co-created with the community, that includes a practical approach to reducing poverty, increasing equity, and incorporating a “culture of caring” in all City endeavours over the next decade.

The Strategy aims to be a catalyst for additional and increasing action and partnerships going forward to address underlying root causes and localized impacts of poverty in our city, which requires collaboration by all levels of governments, the community, and people with lived experience of poverty.

Included in the Strategy are eight goals that have been identified as critical steps towards reducing poverty in Winnipeg:

  1. Equity and a Culture of Caring are Demonstrated through Strategy Implementation and Systems Change
  2. The City Actively Plans for and Partners in Affordable Housing
  3. Equity is Embedded in all City Employment and Income Opportunities
  4. Community Well-Being Supports for those in Greatest Need are Increased
  5. Transportation System Equity is Enhanced
  6. All City Services are Equitable, Inclusive and Accessible
  7. Food Security and Food System Resilience is Expanded
  8. Equity in Community Safety is Increased through Collaboration

The Strategy also identifies two key areas – or “Life Poles” – for priority focus and enhanced support as the Strategy is implemented: Indigenous Children, Youth and Families and Affordable Housing. The term “Life Poles” is a reference to the last tipi pole that is raised, which has the critical role of supporting the canvas and representing ultimate protection. “Life Poles” in the Strategy are areas that require ongoing collaboration with partners, other governments, and the community as a whole, in order to make meaningful impact and systemic changes that will help reduce poverty in Winnipeg.

The first implementation plan for the Strategy includes 80 specific actions across City departments — all of which can be undertaken within existing resources — that will begin over the next 18 months. The Public Service will report back to Council in spring 2023 with a status update and the next implementation plan.

The Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Strategy (2021 – 2031) was co-created by representatives of the City of Winnipeg Public Service, Make Poverty History Manitoba, the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council (United Way Winnipeg), and Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc., and was informed by engagement with community stakeholders, including people with lived experience of poverty.