Manitoba Government reviews planning, zoning and permitting

The Treasury Board Secretariat of Manitoba released a review of planning, zoning and permitting across municipalities in Manitoba. This sweeping look into development in Manitoba had a few points of interest for advocates of mixed-use density.

  • Concern is raised over a supposed lack of “independent appeals” for developers when it comes to a variety of administrative issues (p. 52).
  • Developers suggests “planners’ priorities are not aligned with what the market is asking”. (p. 52)
  • Discusses that it can be expensive for Winnipeg’s Water & Waste department to grow its “footprint or to expand the size of the pipes servicing various geographic areas” (p. 57).
  • Stakeholder quote: ““Culturally, planning across North America is moving in favour of densification Winnipeg is bucking that trend” (p. 155). 
  • An estimate of the economic loss of a two month delay for a large, densification project (see here).

This review is a lot to digest and hard to assess because of it’s use of anecdotal evidence from unnamed sources and tendency to rarely distinguish greenfield and infill developer concerns. Some of the quotes, particularly about “planners’ priorities” not being aligned with the market, could mean many things and potentially be a shot at strategies to curb lower density, greenfield development. Without more context, it is hard to know for sure what they’re getting at.

There also is not a lot of acknowledgement that mobilized opposition from a set of like-minded individuals tends to delay and obstruct infill development in Winnipeg. Development in mature communities are not singled out in the review as facing unique challenges and opposition relative to greenfield development.

The Government of Manitoba has released this review and wants feedback before making recommendations. The Province has created an email address,, specifically for feedback on this review. Feel free to email the Province with concerns about how, uniquely, infill development faces more opposition and challenges than greenfield development typically receives.