News / Winnipeg

‘No indication’ budget cuts would be coming, says head of Manitoba Children’s Museum

A least one museum affected by the City of Winnipeg’s 10 per across the board cuts in the 2013 preliminary operating budget said they may be facing stark choices.

Diane Doth, executive director of the Manitoba Children’s Museum, said she’s spoken to a few of her colleagues at other museums and they’re all shocked.

“We don’t know why there’s a 10 per cent cut across the board,” she said on Thursday, a day after the preliminary budget was tabled at city hall.

“There was no indication there would be anything like this.”

The Children’s Museum’s funding is being reduced by $12,000, while the grant to its capital program is being cut by $9,200, basically shrinking what it received in 2012 from $212,000 to $190,800.

Doth said if these cuts stand, she’ll have to look at doing away with or limiting non-revenue generating programs, such the 300,000 free passes given to underprivileged children through the Christmas Cheer Board.

The Children’s Museum, added Doth, has already downsized by eliminating one position, turning two full-time positions into part-time ones and not replacing two maternity leaves.

“It’s very scary in terms of what we’ll be able to do and what we’re going to have to cut,” she said.

The amount of the reductions, which add up to $270,162 for a total budget of $2,431,460, depends on the grants the organizations received in 2012.

Among the highest reductions are those to the civic initiatives, promotional and protocol budget ($57,000), St. Boniface Museum ($45,000), the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation ($20,000) and the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation ($20,031).

Two programs, the Poverty Action Strategy and the United Way of Winnipeg’s ’Peg Community Indicators System, lost their entire funding totaling $85,000.

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