3- minute read
Written by Chris Minaker, Vice President of Policy and Engagement
Municipal election day is October 26. The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has been working hard to make sure that the voice of our members is heard in this election campaign and we are introducing ideas that will make Winnipeg a better for everyone.
Based on extensive consultation with our members, the Winnipeg Chamber published our Election Playbook early in the summer.
There are five main goals and 28 recommendations on how to achieve them:
- Make Winnipeg the easiest city to do business in Canada
- Finance the new urban reality
- Reignite downtown
- Build faster, smarter and denser
- Invest in infrastructure to get Winnipeg moving
Mayor Brian Bowman, first elected in 2014, announced that he would not be running for a third term almost two years ago, which gave lots of time for others thinking about replacing him to plan and prepare their campaigns.
There is a deep pool of 15 candidates, which is the largest number in recent memory. As the election is more than a month away, there is still a significant amount of time for Winnipeggers to get to know the candidates, what they stand for, and most importantly, what kind of mayor they might be.
The Winnipeg Chamber has been meeting with mayoral candidates since July. The Playbook is the basis of conversation with each one of the mayoral candidates and we asked each of them a series of questions designed to get at their vision and priorities.
We will be publishing the results of those meetings very soon, which we hope will provide you with some additional information to help you make your decision.
Winnipeg’s mayoral candidates are not suffering from a lack of vision, or ambition. The consensus among candidates seems to be that we took a step back during the pandemic and that there is lots of room for improvement on many different fronts. The state of the downtown is a major issue, as is public safety, infrastructure and the level of service that the City provides. Most of the candidates also spoke about a vision for our City and what they want life here to be like in the future.
If there is any disagreement, it is not as much about what needs to change or why things need to improve, it is about how to how to get there.
Jenny Motkaluk believes that the City needs to focus on delivering effective and reliable services that we all depend on.
When it comes to removing barriers to growth, Rick Shone believes that we need to create a “yes, first” culture at City Hall.
Scott Gillingham believes that we need to think longer term and create a city where our children and grandchildren are planting their roots because they see a future here. He proposes to do this by collaborating and making sure the City implements the best ideas.
Kevin Klein believes that we need to continue building a culture of entrepreneurship, where Winnipeg is known as the best place in Canada to start a business.
Glen Murray wants to see Winnipeg become the most prosperous City in Canada. He believes that Winnipeg has a tremendous number of opportunities and that we need a Mayor who champions innovation.
Rana Bokhari is thinking about inclusiveness and how we can do better by including the voices of different people and ideas.
We have yet to meet with all the candidates but will be sure to continue asking the questions that you told us were important.
Remember to mark the date of October 21 on your calendar and plan to attend the Winnipeg Chamber’s mayoral debate. If you care about the future of our City, that will be a must-be-there event.