Katz Pledges $1M for Community Centres, Judy Would Raise Taxes

Incumbent Mayor Sam Katz and challenger Judy Wasylycia-Leis (CHRISD.CA)

Mayor Sam Katz is pledging to create a Community Centre Renovation Fund if re-elected.

The fund would be dedicated to renovate city-owned community centres at a cost of $1 million — taken from 15% of city land sale proceeds.

Katz says the funding would double the annual grants available to volunteer board-run facilities in the city.

“We can play a much bigger role to support our volunteer boards so they can focus on implementing the priorities of the communities that they know best,” Katz said in a release. “This new renovation fund, along with the doubled investment for community centre programming grants, will ensure our centres’ volunteer boards can maintain high-quality facilities and receive on-going support to hire staff to assist with implementing programs and priorities they have established with the community.”

The fund would be part of the $63 million in investments Katz says he has delivered on to upgrade recreational facilities in Winnipeg since being elected in 2004.

Meanwhile, a day after mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis hinted at raising property taxes during the first of seven election debates, she says a two percent increase every year is in the cards.

Speaking at her campaign headquarters Friday afternoon, Wasylycia-Leis said the extra money would work out to be about $8 million a year and would go to fix the city’s potholes, improve parks and increase police resources. The increase would cost each taxpayer about $27 more every year.

Mayor Sam Katz was mum on ending the property tax freeze during the debate Thursday at the Viscount Gort Hotel.