‘It’s a win:’ Winnipeg moves closer to approving second urban reserve

News source from CTV News

Winnipeg is one step closer to incorporating a second ‘urban reserve’ in the city.

Peguis First Nation and the City of Winnipeg have been negotiating for several years about converting a piece of land on Portage Avenue.

Wednesday Mayor Brian Bowman’s Executive Policy Committee approved the recommendations of a report that would see land at 1075 Portage avenue converted.

Chief Glenn Hudson said he expects the 3.6 acre piece of land to eventually generate about $10 million dollars a year, and will create opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

“I think it’s a win win win for everybody,” said Hudson.

“The future is condominium developments, we’re going to look at putting up a larger office tower and some retail space, so things are looking up.”

Long Plain First Nation secured an urban reserve in 2013 in St. James.

It opened a gas bar on the property in 2015.

Tim Daniels heads the economic arm of the first nation — and says since it was converted in 2013, profits support its education, health and recreation programs.

“We’re in a strategic location in Winnipeg to create a significant revenues,” said Daniels, Arrowhead Development Corporation CEO.

A different deal

Unlike the urban reserve in St. James, Peguis has worked out a different deal.

Daniels says Long Plain pays 100 per cent of the city taxes owed.

The new Peguis agreement is for five years and would see it pay 80 per cent of city taxes.

The city hopes the province will make up the rest.

“We expect that we will be able to leverage that. The program is only in place for five years that’s why this agreement is for five years,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.

With the latest hurdle cleared the decision on whether to move ahead with the urban reserve now goes to city council. A vote is expected Thursday, July 19.

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