Always Working for a Better Future
I am both humbled and proud for the chance to put my name before the Mynarski Ward residents for re-election as your City Counsellor. My slogan is heartfelt, and an extension really of who I am. I have been steadfastly working at the governance, policy and budget levels of City Council on numerous fronts to address serious issues for our ward, and Winnipeg. This includes dedication to my previous commitments to Mynarski Ward residents. The Mynarski Ward Office is staffed to ensure that your individual service cases and complaints are heard and dealt with to the best of our ability. While resolve is sometimes not simple due to complexities of existing infrastructure and inherent bureaucracy, you can be assured that your issues and concerns matter. These are my six major commitments to you:
Work for Fair City Financing
“Today, Mynarski residents face surmounting financial pressure, needing to work more than one job in many cases.”
Continuing my work towards a property tax credit for property owners, today’s financial reality will make it easier to influence the Mayor and many Council members to follow my lead to establish a $150.00 property tax credit for homeowners with assessed home values that are below the average assessed value of Winnipeg.
In the City of Winnipeg Charter under “PART 5 POWERS OF THE CITY, DIVISION 5 CORPORATE POWERS”, the city has the authority with Council’s consent to provide property tax credits. Behind the scenes I haven’t stopped pushing for a property tax credit for families who struggle to pay a mortgage on a modest home. The property tax credit can be done without raising the City’s property tax budget.
Improvements in Crime and Safety
“Calls to the Winnipeg Police Service for crime, and non-crime issues – often health crisis related – continue to rise, with the WPS unable to respond in a timely fashion.”
Continuing my work on the Winnipeg Police Board and with City Council means I will push for improvements for proper community service. WPS’s efficiency at responding to crime calls needs to be better.
City Council needs to push for improvement for its citizens for non-police matter service needs by lobbying the Province of Manitoba to take responsibility for health crisis related calls, and City Council must continue to support its valuable grassroots community organizations trying to deal with the community’s needs for help.
This work includes more adequate support for the 911 Emergency Call Centre which faces tremendous call volumes. Our exceptional 911 operators are over worked and stressed – we hear it in the media when operators express their frustration. There is an immediate need to resolve problems to ensure our first contact workers can manage the stress and be with their families more often.
Continue Focus on Parks and Recreation
“Winnipeggers demanded and received plans to improve and renew green space, leisure, and recreation services.”
Continuing my work on improving and renewing Mynarski neighbourhood parks and facilities – important for good health, means I will push for appropriate budgetary support for renewals in the Mynarski Ward neighbourhoods that haven’t seen renewal yet. The focus on leisure, green space and recreation services requires an actual Parks and Recreation Department. Under the Public Works, Parks and Open Spaces Department, this important area gets less budgetary focus than street services and road renewal do.
At the direction of City Council, the Forestry Branch applied for and received a multiyear grant from the federal 2 Billion Trees Program to try and meet the demand of Winnipeggers to replace two trees for every one taken down because of disease and age. There is more to do including keeping our West Kildonan Library right where it sits today.
Always working for a better Mynarski Ward has meant pushing for and allocating limited City budget dollars according to high-need neighbourhoods, while renewing West Kildonan’s aging infrastructure. Projects I need to continue working on:
- The West Kildonan Library move is on hold. I have been dedicated to keeping this library where it is since 2014. I fought for the necessary detailed feasibility study and condition report being undertaken to determine the cost of retaining this building as a library, able to deliver modern day services to the community.
- In the Margaret Park neighbourhood, there have been many park and road renewals since 2010. Top of the list for a re-elected Ross Eadie is a better water facility and green space at Beryl Watt Park in front of Vince Leah CC. Of course, community centres need renewal as well!
- In the Mynarski neighbourhoods, there has been a lot of road renewal, but I need to work with the Councillor from the Point Douglas Ward to combine limited dollars to renew the Frank White Park at Fife and Inkster.
Consolidate Solid Waste Collection
“All the garbage dumped and laying around is ours and affects all of us.”
Continuing my work to resolve the garbage that we see everyday, and that poses serious health and fire hazards, I will follow through on my City Council motion to consolidate solid waste collection with the Solid Waste Division of the Water and Waste Department.
Like so many other wards, the Mynarski Ward experiences three main issues: garbage and litter on the streets and in our parks; dumped solid waste on our streets, back lanes and private properties; and dumped solid waste, garbage and litter around our bridges and open spaces.
There are multiple details involved in the City’s system to be dealt with. The issues can begin to be addressed by the Solid Waste Division collecting the inevitable dumped garbage on a regular, route-based collection system rather than by the ‘complaints-based’ system that the City currently uses whereby a problem area is dealt with only if a complaint is lodged by a resident or business.
To read the motion and minutes on the report “2. Consolidating City Garbage Services”, follow this link: City Clerk’s Decision Making Information System (winnipeg.ca)
Another fight I haven’t given up on is stopping the flat fee for solid waste diversion services on our water bills. In the next term, there will be a compost diversion plan for which unprogressive members of Council will want to charge a flat fee. I’m using my strong voice to stop this trend because we used to pay the cost through the more progressive assessed value of our homes; lower valued properties pay less than higher valued homes. In the City of Winnipeg Charter under “PART 5 POWERS OF THE CITY, DIVISION 5 CORPORATE POWERS”, the city has the authority with Council’s consent to calculate solid waste fees by using the assessed value of your property.
Better Employment with the City
“This year the City of Winnipeg had a difficult time hiring workers to staff and fulfill the goals of some City services, like neighborhood wading pools, because the City no longer pays living wages.”
Continuing my work towards providing decent pay for City jobs ties into the continued focus on Parks and Recreation. This year’s reality will give incentive to City Council to do just this. Working for the City in the past provided a decent wage for many North End and West Kildonan youth and families. For at least two decades City Council has ignored its former role in providing these decent paying jobs that ensured we could raise our families in a healthier way to experience a better future.
Continue Roads Renewal and Focus on Major Infrastructure
“Inflation in construction costs is reducing the number of streets that get renewed each year.”
Continuing the pressure I have put on City Council will mean pushing for better funding for the local road renewal program. Streets in some of our oldest neighbourhoods need to be reconstructed, but many that are being renewed in the ward now are cheaper rehabilitation projects. Mynarski had been funded to get two back lanes reconstructed each year but that was reduced to one back lane every two years due to the inflation.
For the Mynarski Ward, we have three major infrastructure projects that must be dealt with in the City’s capital budget going forward: Chief Peguis Trail extension west; Louise Bridge renewal; and Arlington Bridge renewal. Financially, it will not be done without higher level governments picking up two-thirds of the costs. By utilizing my strong voice, I will work with the Mayor and Council to push for that financial input.
As a result of public consultations and councillor support, including mine, the Chief Peguis Trail extension west will apparently be moved up in the major asset projects’ list in a new Transportation Master Plan to be introduced to City Council for a vote in 2023. While the driver for this project is economic development related to Centre Port North and Airport West/Centre Port South employment lands, it will resolve many traffic problems in the Mynarski and Old Kildonan wards.
Our Louise Bridge is in a much better position for replacement under the City’s new Rapid Transit Strategy City Council passed last term. Priority was given to this project after connecting the south rapid transit with the north in Downtown along Main Street. With the understanding that the next City Council could change the plan, I need to continue my advocacy to keep South Winnipeg from changing this priority.
While an important employer of many Winnipeggers, the Canadian Pacific Railway has made the replacement of the Arlington Bridge difficult by demanding a bridge that is much longer, with a high price tag of $340 million, with estimates that could add as much as 60% (or potentially reduce costs by 40% – but is this realistic?). We need to rethink what to do with this important North End bridge. We could spend approximately $200 million to make it a transit, pedestrian and cycling bridge. We can and should call on the Province of Manitoba to change the property tax apportionment on rail lines from the low 25% to 80%, which would generate much more in rail line property tax to pay for the kind of bridge that both works for the CPR and all modes of transportation, at $340 million, more (or less).