QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES
What will you do as the City Councillor for Transcona to support the Transcona BIZ and its members
The Transcona BIZ is so important to the development and sustainability of our community. While I was a police officer with the Winnipeg Police Service, I served as the police liaison on the board of the Transcona BIZ. The work around that table helps build our community. As your next city councillor I will commit to attending those meetings.
Cutting red tape has been a huge undertaking by the BIZ and I will continue to support that undertaking.
I also think we need to improve the lines of communication between the BIZ and city hall. We’ll be able to accomplish so much more if we all work together.
I will be an active partner of the BIZ and assist with promoting all initiatives and projects in the community and with local businesses.
What is your vision for the Transcona Business Improvement Zone in the next five years?
I believe the best ideas come from the community. That’s why I will meet with members of the community to see what they want and need. From there, I will work with the BIZ to make the community needs as a reality.
For example, I will push for continued grant funding to build upon the growth that has been occurring in the last 3 years with the rejuvenation of the community, such as murals and anti-graffiti projects.
Both small business and big business are such an important part of our community. That’s why I will attend the BIZ meetings and gain an understanding of what they need and how I can be more effective in the growth of our community as the local City Councillor.
What are your top priorities for improving and revitalizing Transcona’s historic downtown area including Regent Ave from Winona to Kanata; and how would you make these priorities happen?
Within the last few years, I’ve noted the customer base has expanded and parking is becoming a concern. I feel there is a need to improve parking at that intersection to ensure customer satisfaction when visiting the business in the area 24/7.
I would suggest that we test one side of the road with diagonal parking, as we don’t want to create congestion to traffic flow all at once. I would work with the Biz to ensure this plan fits into their larger strategy.
I would collaborate with Transcona residents to build our communities priorities. However, on the same hand, I do have ideas of my own that I’d like to talk about with other residents. One of them includes, adding more benches for seniors and other residents participating in an active lifestyle. This will encourage more healthy lifestyles.
Another idea that I have, that I think will help rejuvenate and encourage community participation, is if the BIZ were to put a call out to local residents and third parties such as Art Space to create ideas for structures that showcase Transcona’s rich history.
What will you do to increase public safety and to reduce vandalism in the downtown area, especially after dark?
In cooperation with the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) in the East District station, I would lobby for the police to be more visible in the BIZ area.
I would encourage members of the community to continue to report any and all incidents and to track when and where the crime is happening so we are able to monitor the hot spots more thoroughly.
I would also suggest more prominent lighting in the area to shine light on local businesses to help with more safety.
What policies will you develop to increase commercial economic development in Transcona?
I’m extremely eager to work with the Biz on strategies to grow local businesses. I believe we need to invest in high quality infrastructure (including roads and bike lanes), improve community safety, expand cultural/historical attractions, reduce red tape for business and continue to encourage residential growth. I want Transcona to be a go-to destination. I’m also interested in exploring whether our community can secure additional financial service providers to support local businesses and residents with their financial needs.
What policies will you develop to encourage new small businesses to locate in downtown Transcona (Regent Ave from Kanata to Winona); encourage existing business to stay; to fill vacant buildings?
First, I would like to work with the BIZ to see and hear their thoughts and concerns to expand my knowledge on what the issues and concerns are and build from there. Before I even entertain what a policy might look like, I would need a better understanding of what has been tried and tested already. Like I’ve said before, to grow our community we need to listen to the residents and I will commit to doing that.
I am pleased that diversity is continuing to grow in our community. I would love to see some of the vacant buildings in downtown Transcona filled with more culturally diverse businesses and business owners.
What will you do to assist small businesses with the municipal permit process (occupancy permits, sign permits etc.) at City Hall?
This type of paper work could be intimidating to most. Sometimes people might not know even where to begin. This might sound simple, but I would sit down and walk through permit processes with each resident that needs help.
Are you for or against opening Portage & Main to pedestrians?
I am against opening Portage and Main. I have huge concerns about traffic grid lock to the point of interfering with transit scheduling.
The amount of money that this would cost would take away from other important community projects. I feel city council needs to ensure that public safety is on the forefront, and that has been and will continue to be one of my first priorities. We can only grow our city and individual communities when we can assure residents we have safe neighbourhoods to live in.
Have you read any books by Jane Jacobs?
I have never read any of her books and to be honest I needed to google her. After a little research, I feel her visions and views are quite in line with my own.
Urban renewal is important, and I am a big advocate to make that happen. However, I don’t think other areas of our community should suffer as a result.
To have positive urban renewal, we need to work together to ensure no one is left out.
Do you support protected bike lanes in Transcona?
One word – YES!
What are your priorities to increase active transportation between Transcona and the rest of Winnipeg; and within the community itself?
I would like to work with other neighbouring councillors to extend the Chief Peguis Trail to Plessis. Part of the existing Chief Peguis Trail has a walking/bike path that would then be continued into Transcona – and that would go a long way to encourage healthy lifestyles. I would advocate for the new proposed path to connect to the existing walking path. (north of Kildare)
I would also like to see our existing walking and bike paths extended to be connected to other neighbouring communities such as East Kildonan, St. Boniface and downtown Winnipeg.
What is your position on legal recreational cannabis retail stores opening in the BIZ Zone?
I would never want to limit the community choices of business coming into the zone. I am supportive of any business that would provide the community of their needs.
However, my personal opinion is that any mind altering substance should be sold and regulated by a government agency such as Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries as they are already trained to provide safe distribution.