WINNIPEG – A new report on Winnipeg’s population forecast is adding more fuel to the idea of a growth fee.
The numbers show the city’s population adding 8,200 per year and will reach more than 922,000 people by 2040.
The report also shows the population of the greater metropolitan area, which includes neighbouring municipalities where 50 per cent or more of the labour force that works in Winnipeg, is expected to surpass 1 million people within 20 years.
Housing is expected to remain steady with the numbers of households expected to increase by 100,000 or 32 per cent.
City hall has been looking at the idea of a growth fee and even hired a firm to study ways to craft it. The report is due later this month.
Mayor Brian Bowman stressed Winnipeg is falling behind on this matter.
“We are the only city in Canada, the only municipality in Manitoba that does not have that revenue tool to meet the infrastructure demands of today, but also to prepare for the future. That’s why that discussion and this study are so important,” Bowman told reporters at City Hall on Wednesday.
The Homebuilders Association of Manitoba have been quite vocal critics of the idea of growth fees. Bowman hopes the study will point council and the industry in the right direction.
“We understand the position of the homebuilders, and we’re sensitive to it. We want to support growth, we want to support the industry. That’s exactly why we want to have objective information from a study that has been commissioned by council.”
In the past, Bowman has said ‘growth should pay for growth’, but will wait to see what the study says before making any decisions.