Shawn Nason: Transcona Biz Questionnaire Responses
What will you do as the City Councillor for Transcona to support the Transcona BIZ and its members?
Our key to the long-term success of Transcona is our business sector and downtown. We have existing infrastructure that needs to be maintained and we need to maintain service levels in existing areas. This makes it important to continue to rehab our existing storefronts in order to attract more business and consumers to Transcona.
However, many people are beginning to recognize one of the best kept secrets in the City: Transcona is a great place to live and play! We should embrace this growth and allow opportunity for new families and businesses to enjoy the wonderful sense of community we have here in Transcona.
What is your vision for the Transcona Business Improvement Zone in the next five years?
My vision would be to focus on marketing our great community and attracting and retaining the businesses that the community wants and needs to be prosperous in the long-term.
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 would be seeking vendors and services that will round out the needs of our community and reduce the vacancy rate of downtown office space. I would look to work with those who work in the economic development space and local developers to bring home long-term stable businesses and jobs to our downtown core.
What will you do to increase public safety and to reduce vandalism in the downtown area, especially after dark?
I would work to increase public safety and reduce vandalism through the following strategies:
We need to have more positive reasons for our downtown to be busy well into the evening and early hours. More people in downtown Transcona mean more eyes in our community, which reduces opportunity for crime.
Finding a different outlet for youth to steer them away from mischief and towards positive behavior through community outreach.
Work with our Winnipeg Police Service to push the meth issue out of our community and find ways by working with the Police and other levels of government for treatment programs for these persons addicted to meth.
What policies will you develop to increase commercial economic development in Transcona?
Businesses need government to create a stable environment for them to be successful in the long-term. Spending money on marginally successful businesses only leads to marginal and short-term results. I would look to foster an economic environment that would encourage investment in our community.
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 work with the local business community to determine what barriers exist for them to be successful, regardless of those barriers being Civic, Provincial, or Federal. Again, I would work with them create an environment to be successful and connect them with partners to set the course. If their business model is one that customers want- they will be successful.
What will you do to assist small businesses with the municipal permit process (occupancy permits, sign permits etc.) at City Hall?
I know this is a long-standing sore spot and an area at City Hall that is currently re-envisioning itself at the moment. I understand the process has gotten better but it is far from perfect. I would look to see where the pain points are and what other like cities have done to address these issues and look to see if these approaches would fit within Winnipeg’s model.
Are you for or against opening Portage & Main to pedestrians?
I agree improvements are needed at Portage and Main, however, I disagree with the full opening of the intersection. I believe accommodations and improvements can be implemented in the area to make the intersection, including the barriers, more visibly appealing and more accessible. These changes would be in line with being a modern and vibrant city, accommodating accessibility for all, and ensuring the safety of drivers and pedestrians.
Have you read any books by Jane Jacobs?
No, but I know who she is.
Do you support protected bike lanes in Transcona?
No, I don’t believe there is a need to restrict traffic in Transcona on side streets or our major roads in order to facilitate protected bike lanes.
What are your priorities to increase active transportation between Transcona and the rest of Winnipeg; and within the community itself?
I would focus on extending the Transcona Trail network to connect with active transportation corridors in St. Boniface, rather than maintaining the current termination point at Regent.
In addition to this extension, I would continue the approach of new developments having trail system type pathways as part of their design.
What is your position on legal recreational cannabis retail stores opening in the BIZ Zone?
Any retail stores pertaining to the sale of legal recreational cannabis would need to adhere to Civic/Provincial bylaws and legislation pertaining to safe distances from areas where children may be present. It will be legalized and there are rules that have been established to govern the sales/use of it.