City of Winnipeg to post surplus as end of fiscal year draws near

A Winnipeg Transit bus. Shane Gibson/Global News

The City of Winnipeg will report a small surplus for the 2020-21 budget, thanks to cash flows from the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city reported it is showing a $2.5-million surplus in the General Revenue Fund at the end of December.

“The City received $74.5 million in federal Safe Restart Agreement funding in 2020, comprised of $42.2 million allocated for municipal funding and $32.3 million for Transit,” it said in a statement sent to media.

The money will be transferred into the Financial Stabilization Reserve Fund to help mitigate some of the expected unforeseen costs in 2021 as the pandemic continues.

Transit also has a surplus of $3.9 million in operating costs thanks to federal dollars, the city added. That money will stay in the transit budget for next year.

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The financial update will be presented to the city’s finance committee on Feb. 16.

“COVID-19 had a detrimental effect on Winnipeg’s economy through 2020 and will continue to be an issue we face in 2021,” said Coun. Scott Gillingham, chair of the standing policy committee on finance.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 financial questions: deferring payments'
COVID-19 financial questions: deferring payments

“(Federal) funding support allowed the City to reset the Fiscal Stabilization Reserve fund, which will be very important in order to diligently manage the city’s finances through the uncertainty and challenges anticipated in 2021.”

The numbers during the last financial update in November indicated a $23-million shortfall, but that was before federal funds from the Safe Restart program came through.

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