QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES
What will you do as the City Councillor for Transcona to support the Transcona BIZ and its members?
I will commit to attend monthly board meetings and work as an advocate to secure funding for projects or events the Biz board deems are priorities.
What is your vision for the Transcona Business Improvement Zone in the next five years?
I would work with the Biz board to expand its zone and I would like to see an expanded marketing campaign to attract new business to come to the zone. I also would like to work on a marketing campaign to attract new customers to come and see what we have to offer.
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?
I would like to see a continued push of what has already started with the way the storefronts have been revitalized and the streetscaping has been done. I would push for a master plan to be completed if not already done and work with Biz board to complete projects in their priority order. My job as Councillor is not to set your priorities; my job is to help you fulfill your priorities by helping secure funding and cutting red tape to get the projects done.
What will you do to increase public safety and to reduce vandalism in the downtown area, especially after dark?
I would like to create a group similar to the Bear Clan Patrol, where citizens get together and walk the streets, check on businesses and patrol back lanes. They have had tremendous success. The biggest challenge of this is getting volunteers from the community. Another initiative is looking at the model of “Smashing Windows”. This is a Facebook group based in the Osborne area that started up 2 years ago. The posting of crime as it occurred by citizens who witnessed it was so useful that the police began to monitor the group, interact with people, and they are able to find who is causing the crime and where it is happening. This brought back community watch in a huge new way.
What policies will you develop to increase commercial economic development in Transcona?
We as a group would look at what policies are the greatest hindrance in attracting commercial development to the area and push to fix them in consultation with not only The Transcona Biz Board but with all Biz boards throughout the city so that we have uniform policy that was developed by businesses and not by the bureaucrats. We need plans that are developed by experts (you the businesses) not consultants that draft pie in the sky reports that end up collecting dust in some city office.
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?
I would like to see the city in consultation with the Biz Boards create a granting program that would encourage businesses to locate to vacant buildings in the zone. Priority buildings or spaces would be on a list created by Biz Boards. The grants would have a set period of time so the Business can establish themselves in the community and create a loyalty to the Biz Board.
What will you do to assist small businesses with the municipal permit process (occupancy permits, sign permits etc.) at City Hall?
I will work to establish a business friendly one stop shop where new businesses can get all the information they need from a single city contact point and also that point should be customer service orientated to help not hinder the business navigate the proces
Are you for or against opening Portage & Main to pedestrians?
I am against reopening Portage and Main to pedestrians at this time. With my background as a Paramedic, safety is always a top priority for me and I believe opening Portage and Main provides a safety risk. The high volume of traffic through that intersection would be adversely affected and the daily commute time for thousands of Winnipegers would increase. In addition to that, the millions of dollars that would be spent on this project could be spent in so many other ways that are really needed within our city and could bring direct improvement to the lives of many in our communitie
Have you read any books by Jane Jacobs?
While in university, I took a course on Sociology of Cities and Urban Life, and part of that course included reading Jane Jacobs “A Death and Life of Great American Cities”.
Do you support protected bike lanes in Transcona?
I do support protected bike lanes. This provides more safety for cyclists and drivers both. It also promotes a green option by having people bicycle more.
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 would be to make cycling safer, which includes dedicated (protected) lanes and infrastructure modification so sidewalks and trails are connected as well. This would promote active transportation. Another priority would be to focus on education, encouragement and promotion of active transportation.
What is your position on legal recreational cannabis retail stores opening in the BIZ Zone?
I would be against such retail stores opening up in the BIZ Zone. Although it will be legal, I believe it shouldn’t be so visible in the BIZ Zone. We wouldn’t want to romanticize the idea of smoking pot. Like grocery stores now, tobacco is hidden out of sight; I think the same premise should apply.