SQUARE DEAL FOR DOWNTOWN WINNIPEG TAKES STEP FORWARD

WINNIPEG —; An ambitious $400-million mixed-use development planned for downtown Winnipeg is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Manitoba’s premier, Winnipeg’s mayor and the president of True North Sports and Entertainment made an announcement about the next phase of True North Square Monday morning.

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“We are taking downtown Winnipeg to the next level, with the $400 million private sector investment,” Premier Greg Selinger said. “Our commitment is to create world class public space downtown”.

The premier said the deal will take the two acre space and turn it into an outdoor entertainment facility, with skating rinks, retail stores, a five star hotel and office space. He also said the deal will create around 2,000 jobs.

“We need a downtown that’s more than a place to park,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “These investments will help bring more people downtown.”

Some of those public spaces will be built with money coming from the provincial and civic governments.  They’re splitting a $17.6 million dollar investment in public spaces around the project site.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says that money should be allocated differently, “When you consider that the debts are massive and even the interest payments are massive, once we get that down maybe we can consider it but in the meantime we have to be realistic about the situation, we simply don’t have the money,” said prairie director Todd MacKay.

“There are a lot of needs to be addressed from our roads to our highways and hospitals and schools and then of course my favourite priority is getting taxes down.” he continued.

On Feb. 23, new architectural designs of the project will be unveiled. Phase one of the project is set to be complete in 2018.