The City of Winkler passed a By-law No. 2304-23 Special Service Plan No. 44. approving the pledges made for two healthcare facilities in the region. 

Mayor Henry Siemens explained. 

"That is to fund the support we've already committed to the Boundary Trails Health Center expansion and support we're giving to the C.W. Medical Board to be able to purchase the rest of the building that they are in. These commitments have already been made. This by-law now just shows how we're going to fund that commitment."  

BTHC expansion as of December 13thBTHC expansion as of December 13th

With that said, residents will see tax increases over the next four years, according to Siemens.  

"We know in healthcare, the value is absolutely equal to everyone, but it's used much more significantly by the residential community as opposed to the business community. So, our decision was to place this per roll, meaning every tax roll in Winkler in 2024 will receive about a $91 charge. Next year as there are more tax rolls, that charge will go down a little bit in each one of the years that we have. It's a four year ask, to be able to fund the commitment we've made."  

Siemens gave the breakdown of where the funds would go.  

"It's roughly $530,500 per year for four years. That allows us to fulfill the commitment we made to Boundary Trails Health Centre for the local requirement that was there for their expansion and then this, to assist our medical clinic as well to buy the part of the building that they didn't already own." 

(Submitted file photo of C.W. Wiebe Medical Centre)(Submitted file photo of C.W. Wiebe Medical Centre)

Almost one year ago, three local municipalities got the ball rolling for the BTHC Foundation $10 million fundraiser to go towards the BTHC expansion.  

"The City of Morden, the R.M. of Stanley and City of Winkler, made a joint commitment to the hospital. Each one of us came to the table with a similar number; how we're going to fulfill that commitment. I believe each one of us is doing it slightly differently. Over and above that the R.M. of Stanley and the City of Winkler also had the additional support for the C.W. Medical Center." 

Find more information from the City of Winkler here under 13.3 of the City Council meeting agenda and find a link to the Winkler City Council livestream here. 

With files from Pam Fedack