The vote for a new Mayor for Winnipeg is in one month. Like many people in Winnipeg I have not made a final decision on who to vote for. None of the candidates have convinced me that they can lead our beautiful city into a better future for all citizens. There are a few candidates however that under no circumstances will garner my support. Everyone has to make their own decisions on who to vote for. In a democracy it is important we vote. It is also important that we have our voices heard not only on election day but during the mandate of the next Mayor and Council. We have just experienced what happens when most of us quit paying attention. For as much as we want to lay all the blame on the politicians, some of it is attributed to an electorate that has become a little complacent, myself included.
Of the seven remaining candidates for Mayor I have totally removed four from the list.
Gord Steeves: I have tried hard to understand his policy statements and how they would move Winnipeg forward but of all the candidates I am most fearful of the future of Winnipeg if he is elected. Here is why:
- Proposal to sell off Green Space: Public Golf Courses and Parks are some of Winnipeg’s most valuable assets. Research clearly states the importance of parks and green space for a healthy city
- His stand on Rapid Transit and or Light Rail: I understand the cost implications but it is clear that we need to enhance our alternate public transportation options. This stand shows clearly a person who lacks the vision to move our city forward.
- Urban Sprawl: There seems to be no real plan to stop sprawl from bankrupting our city. No vision to develop livable walking communities.
- A Politician: It seems he looks for what to say to get a vote rather than have a clear plan and vision of what needs to happen. His flip-flop on issues don’t seem to be the result of new learnings but rather on what he sees as public opinion.
- Lastly he doesn’t seem to have a plan for fixing City Hall. Doesn’t seem to be aware of what recommendations from the Audit need to be implemented. He wants to remove more red tape when the audits clearly indicate that was a big part of the problem.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis: To be fair she didn’t have a chance to get my vote. If you have read any of my previous posts it is politics that is getting in the way of addressing the problems and coming up with the solutions needed to move our city forward. Do you ever just get this feeling she wants to be Mayor? I wish I could get the sense she wanted to make Winnipeg a better place. She just sounds too much like a politician for my liking.
- Politician: It is the last thing Winnipeg needs another politician. We need someone to step outside of politics and find a way to bring Winnipeg together. We don’t need right-wing or left-wing solutions. We need solutions that work based on research, not ideology.
- Vision – Doesn’t have a clear articulated vision to move Winnipeg forward in regards to city planning, addressing the issues in the audit, as well as the serious public transportation issues plagueing our city.
- Will keep Winnipeg divided: She is viewed as favouring the perceived left. She hasn’t been able to articulate her ideas in a way that will get us all working together.
- On the plus side she recognizes given the City’s financial situation a tax freeze is out of the question.
- Don’t see her being able to address the tax fairness issues that need to be resolved provincially and federally in order to get the infrastructure money needed to really impact Winnipeg.
- She is a politician – we need a leader.
Paula Havixbeck: She has really tried to distance herself from our current Mayor and for good reason. The trouble is except since the audits she was part of the problem being a member as stated on her website: Paula currently holds several posts in the Mayor’s cabinet
- City Hall: Without a doubt City Hall has been dysfunctional. She was not just a councillor she was in the Mayor’s cabinet.
- The audits: Mistakes in process and huge cost overruns are without a doubt the legacy of our current Mayor and Council. Although blame can’t be put to her alone she was there and part of what happened.
- Don’t see a vision for the city or a strong desire to implement the recommendations of the audits.
Michel Fillion: Well he is not a politician so that is a plus.
- Have not heard one big picture or a new or visionary idea
Who is left:
Brian Bowman: Well he is on the bubble. It is hard to put my finger on it as he has said a few things that I could support but what he says seem to be words. His words just don’t seem to come from the heart. It’s like he is saying what he is told to say, not what he believes. I could be wrong, but it is just the feeling that comes over me when I listen to him talk. If you are not passionate about your direction, then you are susceptible to the politics of government.
- Shows vision in the area of public transportation-like it or not we need to do something different.
- Promotes development in the downtown – the negative is we need development of walkable communities in all our neighbourhoods
- Have not heard the passion I need to hear on cleaning-up city hall, implementing the recommendations of the audit
- Opening up Portage and Main – that is bar talk at closing time. We have at least six months of winter more lately and when it is -30 no one wants to walk across the windiest intersection. Cities like Minneapolis have made glass walkways above the streets. Besides when people go to the Jets game in the winter they are walking indoors and underground, not outside in the cold. It would be a traffic nightmare. A cross walk at the busiest intersection. Come on really….
Robert-Falcon Ouellette: Robert shows the most potential. His inexperience is showing. On instincts alone he has the most potential.
- Needs a clearer vision for the future
- Needs to surround himself with some strong non-political people
- He is not a politician this is a plus
- He wants to make a difference, but needs to adopt a more comprehensive plan
- This is just based on a feeling but I think he wants to make a difference and could
David Sanders: He stood up to City Hall while the rest of us were still asleep. That is a big plus because even when he didn’t have to, he was working to make our city a better place. That scores big points.
- He is the best person to restructure city hall so we can get back to running Winnipeg in an effective manner. Perhaps that is what we need right now. It is a mess and it must get cleaned up.
- He is an Urban Planner and also understands taxation, both areas that need to be addressed. If we don’t develop a plan for our city, our communities in regards to infrastructure, sustainability, transportation and development in four years, as hard as it is to believe, Winnipeg will find itself with a larger infrastruture deficit than we do now.
- We need to change our current tax systems. We need to start the conversation with tax payers as well as the other two levels of government.
- My concern: He just seems to have a hard time bringing everyone together. Could be the candidate with the best qualifications and knowledge for what we need but can he bring us all on board to work together for the common good.
Without a doubt lots could change in the next month. There will be people who totally disagree with me and my thoughts and that is okay. In the end, this election is important and we must have the discussions. We must start the conversations about the big issues, the complex changes and decisions that need to be made. Change will require a committment from everyone in Winnipeg. We must open up our democracy to people again. That part is up to all of us. So someone will get my vote, that is the only thing I am 100% sure of. All of us must vote and not only vote, but vote with a vision to make our city a better place.