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Canada

City of Winnipeg pauses water and sewer rate hikes while waiting for provincial, federal funding

The city has put a pause on rate hikes for water and sewer rates for this year.

On Tuesday the Executive Policy Committee voted to maintain 2018 rates for 2019 as the city waits to find out how much money is coming from the federal and provincial governments.

The 4.7 per cent rate increase was proposed to help fund $422 million in upgrades to the West End Sewage and South End Sewage Treatment plants and more than $2 billion in upgrades to the North End Sewage Treatment Plant.

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Mayor Brian Bowman said the rates are frozen for now, but home owners will be getting a rate hike in the future depending on how much money comes from other levels of government.

“It’s reasonable to expect rate payers and home owners to expect to pay their fare share,” he said.

“Ultimately I believe there will be [a rate hike]. It’s a question of when and how much. This is simply a pause.”

The mayor said the upgrades required are largely driven by provincial regulatory requirements, so he expects help from the province.

“We are going to be seeking clarity from them on the levels of support,” he said.

“It’s absolutely critical other levels of government provide support on a project of this scale.”

Global News has reached out to the province for comment.

Tensions rise

Tensions between the province and the city continue, and last week on social media they reached a new level.

Bowman responded at City Hall saying Fielding’s tweet was unproductive and accused the minister of ‘trolling.’ Pallister responded with the tweet below.

Bowman has said several times he has been unable to get any kind of meeting with Pallister in several months.

-With files from Elisha Dacey

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