With less than a month to go before the October 22 civic election, we now know the final slate of mayoral candidates whose names will be on the ballot when Winnipeggers exercise their right to vote. They are Brian Bowman, Michel Fillion, Paula Havixbeck, Robert Falcon Ouellette, David Sanders, Gord Steeves and Judy Wasylycia-Leis.
In the lead-up to the October 9 mayoral forum hosted by WinnipegREALTORS® and televised live on Shaw TV, the association asked each mayoral candidates to provide a 200-word submission briefly outlining their platform to the Real Estate News. Last week, four candidates were featured, and below are the remaining three candidates.
The WinnipegREALTORS® Mayoral Forum will be moderated by Peter Chura of Global TV and features a media panel posing questions to the candidates.
To follow our mayoral campaign coverage, use the hashtag #yourmayor.
The main item on my platform is “to fix the roads,” and that includes sidewalks and boulevards. There are several people that have asked me how I aim to do this financially:
To increase property taxes by 10 per cent in two years. The following years would be determined when the final numbers from other sources come in.
To get our fair share of the provincial sales tax hike, thus continuing Sam Katz legacy on this issue.
A tax imposed on people that work in the city, but do not reside in the city, but use city services. This would be done through payroll for employees, and property tax for business owners.
A one-cent gasoline tax.
This project will demand major funding, therefore, taking most of the infrastructure budget, but there are items that are much less expensive to make this city more appealing. For example, paint railing, fire hydrants, tree grates, etc.; replacing and installing greenery; better lighting, especially towards city structures and historical buildings; the introduction of a cleanliness program; and basic maintenance.
Our city’s roads, sewers, and water lines are crumbling. You pay some of the highest taxes on the continent. That’s why I am dedicated to rebuilding Winnipeg with a solid plan.
I am dedicated to freezing your property taxes. The city takes enough of your money and should be able to manage on the funds it already receives from taxpayers.
I will rebuild Winnipeg’s infrastructure. We should not have crumbling streets and potholes, broken sewers and water lines or even brown water. We need to address these problems and I am the only one who will both freeze your property taxes and put hundreds of millions of dollars into infrastructure renewal.
I believe Winnipeggers have a right to a fair photo radar enforcement program that promotes safety instead of the cash grab it has become.
I will stop Phase 2 of Bus Rapid Transit. It makes no sense to spend $600 million to build Phase 2 through the Parker Lands, if Pembina Highway residents between Jubilee Boulevard and Bishop Grandin Boulevard are better off taking a regular bus to Phase 1 of BRT.
Finally, I am committed to a safer downtown we can be proud of. I will pass a bylaw to ban panhandlers from boulevards and will work to make Winnipeg’s downtown a marquee destination where we can celebrate the best this city has to offer.
Winnipeg needs a mayor who will make Winnipeg a city that works for everyone.
I have a plan that is focused on the issues that matter most to you and your family. My four commitments to you include:
Fixing city hall: I will restore trust at city hall through the creation of Accountability Winnipeg, an independent watchdog that will put an end to back-room deals and expensive cost overruns that put the interests of a few ahead of you and your family.
Rebuilding our infrastructure: I will fix crumbling roads, sidewalks, back lanes, water, sewer, wastewater systems and improve bike paths by making smart investments now that will take a bite out of the infrastructure deficit, saving Winnipeggers money in the future, while keeping property taxes low.
Protecting city services: I will protect front-line services such as police, fire, paramedic, garbage collection, snow removal, transit and rapid transit from cuts, while improving those that don’t live up to the standards you and your family deserve.
Creating opportunities: I will work to build a more innovative, prosperous, just, sustainable and vibrant city where diversity is celebrated.