GUINNESS WORLD RECORD RIVER TRAIL FUNDING REDUCED & AT EVENTS

It is pretty amazing that our City Council could be short sighted enough to reduce funding to something as successful, and as positive for our city as the Winter Skating Trail that recently won the Guinness World Record. Yet a series of decisions starting with the 2009 budget and ending at the Riverbank Management Committee will result in a reduction in funding for this incredible winter attraction. I will outline for you the series of unfortunate events. First, the Mayor and Executive Policy Committee removed the $40,000 grant to the Festival du Voyageur that had been a line item in the budget since 1978 and asked for the trail to be funded by the Riverbank Management Committee. The Festival du Voyageur depends on this funding for the programming and marketing of the winter skating trail. Next the Riverbank Management Committee which for many years has provided an $ 8,000 grant to the Forks North Portage Partnership to operate and maintain the River Trail moved a motion to limit the entire amount of money available for the whole project to a maximum of $40,000 depending on if funds are available in 2010. To summarize, next year the Forks will not receive any city funding to extend and maintain and operate the River Trail. The Festival du Voyageur grant status has moved from a budget line item (since 1978) to having to come begging for a maximum of $40,000 from a Committee that may or may not have the funds or decide to grant them. This is an $8000 reduction in funding at a time when the project is taking off! This is the worst example of punishing success that I have seen in a long time!!!! Winnipeg is a winter city that invests very little in providing winter programming and activities, Visitors and residents have enjoyed this healthy and enjoyable activity in growing numbers each year. I urge people to contact the Mayor and members of Council and ask that full funding be restored for our River Trail as a line item in next years city budget. ACTIVE TRANPSORTATION EVENTS COMING UP Bike to Work Day will take place on Friday, June 19th. For more information go visit www.biketoworkdaywinnipeg.org The Commuter Challenge will be taking place May 31st to June 6th. You can register your workplace right now or wait until early May to register as an individual. Register by going to: www.communterchallenge.ca or for more information contact: www.challenge@resourceconservation.mb.ca Thank you for your interest in Civic Issues! Cheers! Jenny Jenny Gerbasi Councillor Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry jgerbasi@winnipeg.ca