Letters to the Editor: Too stressful. Too long. How did elections get this way?
As a longtime resident of the City of Winnipeg, I feel compelled to write this letter to express some of my thoughts on the 2012 Winnipeg municipal elections, the issues raised by candidates and issues that are being left unaddressed by the current municipal government.
The City of Winnipeg was under a constant, long-term debt burden following the 2008 recession which began in 2008 and ended in 2013. Winnipeg’s municipal debt is approximately $7 billion dollars today and has grown much faster than city spending as a percentage of GDP. As a result, as our government debt grows the tax burden of the average citizen begins to grow, the cost of living in Winnipeg increases and the burden on our streets and infrastructure becomes greater as a consequence. It will require a greater amount of taxes to maintain and improve infrastructure in Winnipeg and many citizens are beginning to feel that the city government has ignored, or at the very least been complacent in doing nothing about, issues which could have been alleviated by a more proactive spending plan.
From an economic perspective Winnipeg has been doing quite well and when the province of Manitoba made cuts to their provincial subsidies Winnipeg was left with a huge bill to pay. We were left with a $700,000 deficit for every $1 spent and an $8,000,000 deficit for every $3.50 spent. Our revenue has increased and our debt has increased as a result and with no real plan in place for the short and long-term future we are facing, we are now in a worse fiscal position than we have been since 2009.
The 2012 election was the last that I felt confident that our city government would be able to make needed investments in our city. As I left the polls in 2012 I felt that voters no longer had confidence in the government’s ability to make decisions in a positive manner and that our city government was not making the best use of its resources