Inner city renewal endangered by death of funding agreement

Report demonstrates need for new tri-level revitalization agreement
April 3, 2002

Winnipeg - The expiry of the Winnipeg Development Agreement on March 31, 2001 threatens to kill Winnipeg's unique twenty-year history of tri-level funding for inner-city revitalization--and with it the fragile process of renewal in inner city Winnipeg. A report to be released tomorrow, Building On Our Strengths: Inner-City Priorities For a Renewed Tri-Level Development Agreement, demonstrates the need for a new funding agreement between all three levels of government, developed and directed by people from the inner-city.

"There are many reasons for hope in inner city Winnipeg," said Wayne Helgason, co-chair of Urban Futures, a coalition of community groups. "Some of the revitalization projects are truly remarkable. Without a new, long-term source of funding, they may be in danger. The people interviewed for this report are the ones actually working to rebuild the inner city from the ground up. And they make it clear that a new agreement must be reached."

Building On Our Strengths is based on interviews with representatives from 100 inner-city organizations. Its release kicks off a campaign by Urban Futures designed to convince the City, the Province, and the Federal Government to create a new funding arrangement.

Urban Futures is calling for a new, long-term fund that would be planned with meaningful participation from inner-city residents, promote and support community development initiatives, and make it a priority to provide funds for organizations run by and for Aboriginal people.

All media are invited to attend the release of the report:

Thursday, April 4, 2002
10:30 a.m.
Circle of Life Thunderbird House (Main at Higgins)