Province adds more money to Green Team program after facing criticism for funding cut

The Manitoba government has partially walked back a funding cut to a program that funds summer jobs for teens and young adults.

Municipal Relations Minister Ian Bushie says he is adding $300,000 to the Green Team program, which helps non-profit groups and municipalities hire young people in the summer.

Bushie says he made the decision after hearing from some of the affected organizations.

The NDP government has been facing criticism for reducing Green Team funding this year by $4 million.

This year, $5.6 million was distributed through the program, compared to $9.6 million given out last year under the former Progressive Conservative government.

Sports groups, museums and others have said they were surprised when, after years of getting funding, they were either rejected or given less money.

The Manitoba Camping Association previously told CBC it surveyed its 27 Manitoba groups after hearing about Green Team grants being denied. Of the 19 that responded, eight said they were denied grants — including some groups that already hired staff, banking on the government money.

Bushie previously said the Green Team program had a record number of applications for funding — over 800 this year, compared to the usual 600 to 700.

The Opposition PCs say they will continue to push for the funding to be fully restored to last year’s level.