Basil Evan QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES
What will you do as the City Councillor for Transcona to support the Transcona BIZ and its members?
“As your new City Councillor for Transcona, I will establish a collaborative partnership between stakeholders and strive to develop an effective neighborhood plan in our community that is both responsible and sustainable. The neighbourhood plan will include efforts to improve online directories and mobile websites, and the development of formal and informal support services which help businesses succeed.”
What is your vision for the Transcona Business Improvement Zone in the next five years?
“In the next 5 years, I envision the Transcona BIZ as being a safe, family friendly destination center which attracts local residents and visitors from across our city. I also see a community which has adopted the Model for Improvement; a continuous process of revitalization whereby we think globally, interact regionally and act locally to improve our social and economic climate.”
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?
“My top priorities for improving and revitalizing Transcona’s historic downtown include promoting the good points of our community (i.e. marketing our lifestyle/values with the natural beauty of our area), developing economic development resources which support our local entrepreneurs and offering new businesses incentives to locate in our community. Examples of how we can make this happen include sponsoring a good cause which attracts tourism to our area, and organizing weekly events (e.g. Small Business Saturdays, Scavenger Hunts, etc.) which provide residents with more opportunities to explore and support the businesses in our downtown.”
What will you do to increase public safety and to reduce vandalism in the downtown area, especially after dark?
“A multifaceted approach to increase public safety and reduce vandalism includes implementing a well advertised Business Watch Program, organizing community meetings which address safety risks and solutions (e.g. better lighting around doors and windows), providing businesses and their employees with safety training and developing after dark strategies (e.g. motion sensor lights with video recording, etc.) in partnership with people living nearby to downtown in our community.”
What policies will you develop to increase commercial economic development in Transcona?
“We need policies that protect the natural landscape, provide plans for recreation and create attractions which bring investments into the local economy. I support the development of mixed-use policies which provide illustrated planning and design guidelines that are in alignment with greener development standards. By doing so, we will preserve our ‘small town appeal’ and also improve our economic vitality.”
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?
“Policies which offer incentives to new small businesses such as lower rent and discounted fees/permits are helpful but they are not always necessary. Good press, word-of-mouth referrals, providing special deals to employees of new businesses (e.g. 15% discount on local goods/services) and a community’s willingness to support local businesses will encourage businesses to stay and/or fill vacant buildings.”
What will you do to assist small businesses with the municipal permit process (occupancy permits, sign permits etc.) at City Hall?
“I will assist small businesses throughout the municipal permit process by connecting-the-dots at City Hall and helping to expedite the process as needed.”
Are you for or against opening Portage & Main to pedestrians?
“99% of the residents that I’ve spoken with do not support the opening of Portage and Main to pedestrians. As a representative of our community, I support the 99%.”
Have you read any books by Jane Jacobs?
“I have read, ‘Vital Little Plans, The Short Works of Jane Jacobs’. One of my favourite quotations by her is ‘In most activities, and certainly taking society as a whole, we must be creative or else resigned to decay. This is not simply an imperative of modern economies. It is an imperative of the human condition itself’.”
Do you support protected bike lanes in Transcona?
“I support a blend of bike paths and protected bike lanes in Transcona but we need to have our businesses and our residents involved in the decision-making process about where they should be built in our community.”
What are your priorities to increase active transportation between Transcona and the rest of Winnipeg; and within the community itself?
“My priorities for increasing active transportation include revised bus routes and effective transit schedules, reducing unwarranted stop signs/lights on busy roads, and the development of walkable downtowns with bike lanes that meet the diverse needs of our community.”
What is your position on legal recreational cannabis retail stores opening in the BIZ Zone?
“Legal recreational cannabis retail stores should be supported in a safe and responsible community.”