Note: A version of this story was originally published online in the Free Press Community Review West on April 4, 2022 under the title “Election issues to keep in mind this fall“.
On October 26th this year Winnipeggers will head to the polls to elect their councillor and a new mayor. There are many key civic issues that affect West Broadway, including pedestrian safety, transit, housing affordability, and sidewalk snow clearing.
West Broadway is in the northwestern part of the Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry ward, which is currently represented by councillor Sherri Rollins.
For the mayoral race thus far social enterprise expert Shaun Loney, St. James councillor Scott Gillingham, 2018 mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk, JamRock security owner Don Woodstock, Wilderness Supply store owner Rick Shone, former Winnipeg Centre MP Dr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette, biosystems engineer Idris Ademuyiwa Adelakun, and community activist Chris Clacio have registered.
The city election is about seven months away, but it is important for West Broadway residents to consider issues to bring up to politicians during campaign season. The City’s priorities around snow clearing for sidewalks can leave many inaccessibly icy during the winter and result in swampy conditions during spring melt. While this may be out of sight, out of mind during a September-October campaign, it’s important for residents to bring this up during the election. There may be some action on the issue, with Daniel McIntyre councillor Gilroy and Rollins putting forward a motion on March 24th to upgrade the priority of sidewalks near transit routes for snow clearing.
Infrastructure for pedestrians and non-car modes of transportation is a big issue for West Broadway. According to the 2016 Census, over 60 per cent of West Broadway residents use a mode of transportation other than an automobile to get to work. This can include busing, walking, and biking to work. A 2017 survey of the neighbourhood by the West Broadway Community Organization (WBCO) determined a large majority of residents wanted improved infrastructure for cyclists, transit, and pedestrians. Winnipeg’s transit master plan, passed last year, could make major improvements to our bus service. The City needs to allocate money over many years to implement it, however.
Housing that is affordable for those with low to moderate incomes is another critical issue in West Broadway, which the City has some role to play in alongside the Province and the federal government. The WBCO’s 2021-2026 Housing Plan noted affordable housing is a longstanding neighbourhood issue.
West Broadway residents should keep many of these matters in mind as they speak to political candidates and canvassers and head to the polls later this year.
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