Manitoba municipal politics

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Aristotleded24
Manitoba municipal politics

So given the latest news from a long list of items the city says we have to cut, I thought I would start a thread about Manitoba's municipalities, and where things go from here.

It seems that the City is undergoing the exact austerity measures we voted against last year. It's true that the Pallister government has cut funds to the city. I also wouldn't be surprised if they were angry that Motkaluk lost and are doing everything they can to put Bowman in a bad light. Still, this is very disappointing. I voted for Bowman last year because he was the best option available and I wanted to send a message, but I really hope he doesn't run again. He was elected in 2014 by an uneasy coalition on the one hand of urbanists who were inspired by his message, and right-wingers who wanted more than anything a viable right-winger to stop Judy Wasylicia-Leis. Last year, the right-wing abandoned him, and since there was no left-wing candidate, those were the votes he won. I think he may be damaged. The police are angry with him over pension issues, while the left is unhappy with proposed cuts, especially to transit. Who is going to vote for him now?

So who would be a good person to run in 2022? I don't want Bowman to run again, because if he did, I think a left-wing mayoral challenger would pull enough votes from him to elect a Jeff Browaty type. Think Browaty as Mayor is far-fetched? This is a city that re-elected Sam Katz twice. Furthermore, Browaty has been a thorn in Bowman's side his entire administration, which will be good for Browaty. Bowman is the 4th mayor elected under the current structure. At the end of each prior mayor's term, the voters sent a very clear message of repudiation to the former administration. The right-wing will be very active, and will frame things as if the city is collapsing under all the debt and taxes, and we just need to cut our spending to get in order. Who should run instead? It can't be any of Bowman's council allies, which includes John Orlikow (whom I wanted to support in 2014) and Brian Mayes. The voters will reject more-of-the-same. Could Eadie run for mayor? He has been a thorn in Bowman's side, and is a north-end councillor supported by the NDP. Is he a principled figure, or an obstructionist who is still holding a grudge over Bowman's attempt to eliminate council severance packages? I'm not sure where Eadie is on all the issues. Does Eadie support rapid transit? Jason Schreyer does not, so while he is also anti-Bowman, that is a deal-breaker issue for me. Could Marianne Cerilli win? She ran against Katz in 2006. Would she be able to generate enough excitement among poor North End, downtown resients and a few swing voters to take her over the top? Is there another outsider figure who could run?

We need to start having these conversations fast. If we don't, we risk sleepwalking into electing a city government that will not hesitate to make cuts far worse than what we are hearing about right now.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i've moved recently and eadie is my councillor. i've just emailed him a couple days ago as part of the actions below. i'm waiting for his reply. 

..from an email.

FTW: Call to Action - On proposed transit service cuts

After five years of FTW’s advocacy, the City of Winnipeg has put forward a
plan for a network of frequent, rapid and direct transit routes with the
Winnipeg Transit Master Plan. This is a network of 22 bus routes across the
City of Winnipeg that will run like a metro system.

However, we have just learned from Winnipeg Transit’s budget presentation
on Nov. 13 that the city has not included the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan
in the budget. In fact, the city is considering cutting evening service
after 12:15am, ending the Downtown Spirit and DART service, reducing bus
shelter and bus interior cleaning, and ending paper schedules. We have to
stop this, and demand better.

*We need you to come to the Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works meeting
on Thursday, November 28 @ 1pm and tell city council there must be no cuts
and the city must fund frequent service on all 22 routes on the
frequent/rapid/direct network to arrive every 10 minutes every day and into
the evenings.*

To get the service Winnipeg needs, we have to demand it.

The proposed Transit Master Plan, put forward by the city, involves
creating 22 routes with high frequency and more direct paths that allow
easy movement throughout the city. But the city has not committed to
funding.

We are very proud of where we’ve gotten, but *the only way to defend our
service and implement a plan that will fix transit is if we get a
substantial crowd to attend the committee meeting for the upcoming 4-year
budget.*

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Aristotleded24

Councillor Eadie posts rumour about Bowman leaving, then retracts:

Quote:

On Wednesday morning, Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie posted a claim on Twitter and Facebook that Bowman was planning to take a federal appointment and "jump off the sinking ship he created in Winnipeg." Eadie wrote the rumour Bowman was planning to leave his job had been circulating "for months."

Three hours later, after a phone call with the mayor, Eadie posted a correction, saying the original tweet was a "false alarm" but still accusing the mayor of "mismanagement."

Following the phone conversation, Eadie said he believed Bowman when he said he wasn't leaving — but didn't offer the mayor an apology.

"I don't think I have to apologize," Eadie said. "I believe I did him a favour. He can clarify the false rumour."

I do have issues with Bowman, but Eadie acted completely unprofessionally here. You don't use your platform as an elected official to post as fact a rumour that may not be true. I think this could be considered an act of bullying on Eadie's part.

Hey Eadie, if you want to play the role as a sort of unofficial opposition leader to the Mayor, learn from how Gerbasi dealt with Sam Katz. Articulate a vision that contrasts with what Bowman is doing. Don't let your grudge about Bowman trying to take away your severence pacakge control your thoughts!

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

So the Winnipeg Labour Council has a new President. It'll be interesting to see if they actually participate in the 2022 elections, given CUPE Local 500 decided to disregard their endorsement in Daniel McIntyre last time. 

Mike Kelly, a re-elected executive member of the labour council, said Dvorak was elected after months of campaigning, because she promised to create a stronger voice for the labour council, as well as to restart advocacy at the municipal level.

Tuesday's vote came about because Basia Sokal, the former president of the Winnipeg Labour Council, abruptly announced her plans to resign in March, after being in the role for over two years.

Sokal alleged that her male colleagues bullied her, made sexist remarks and pressured her to quit. She also said that union labour leaders and executives, and the provincial Opposition NDP, did not listen to or act on her complaints.

Manitoba NDP MLA Nahanni Fontaine posted on Facebook at the time that she was proud of Sokal for speaking out.

At the time, Sokal said she did not feel comfortable naming the people who made the comments.

There is an ongoing investigation into the allegations.

Dvorak is aware of the circumstances surrounding her predecessor's resignation, but feels confident there will be no repeat, saying she has built respectful relationships with labour leaders.

"I'm just really hopeful that we can move on from there, and we can rebuild the Winnipeg Labour Council to be what it should be," she said. "I have total confidence in everyone to be respectful to one another."

New president aims to rebuild Winnipeg Labour Council after predecessor's resignation

 

Aristotleded24

I hope they to start advocacy at the municipal level because we really need it.

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I hope they to start advocacy at the municipal level because we really need it.

This brings up some questions. The last Winnipeg Labour Council (WLC) President worked closely with social movements and was more geared towards a social unionism model. CUPE Local 500 pushed back and undercut some of the WLC's slate of candidates in the 2018 elections. 

How much wiggle room does the current WLC president have?

Aristotleded24

The Analyst wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

I hope they to start advocacy at the municipal level because we really need it.

This brings up some questions. The last Winnipeg Labour Council (WLC) President worked closely with social movements and was more geared towards a social unionism model. CUPE Local 500 pushed back and undercut some of the WLC's slate of candidates in the 2018 elections. 

How much wiggle room does the current WLC president have?

Since when has the Winnipeg Labour Council worked with anyone outside their little NDP bubble? I can't remember them being effective on anything in the time I've lived here. Do they have any communication and media presence that does not rely on trusting the corporate press to report things accurately? Is there any reflection on the fact that they blew the council election in Point Douglas, an open ward where a labour-endorsed candidate should have won with both hands tied behind his or her back? Why did they fail to endorse Orlikow even though he had one of the more solid voting records during the Sam Katz years? And finally, remember how the last candidate they endorsed for Mayor lost 2 consecutive civic elections that she should have easily won?

The labour council needs to pick up its game, and fast. Otherwise Jeff Browaty (or someone who shares his political view) will be our city's next mayor.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..excellent podcast re library, transit and other cuts. begins at 22 min mark with library. 

The Police Budget is Bleeding Winnipeg’s Community Services Dry

Aristotleded24

epaulo13 wrote:
..podcast re library, transit and other cuts. begins at 22 min mark with library. 

The Police Budget is Bleeding Winnipeg’s Community Services Dry

And ironically, they are less and less accessible to the public, as the smaller community police stations have been closed and they have changed to district stations (with the exception of the station on Graham Avenue) that are in far away locations that are essentially only accessible by driving.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..give a listen ari. clarifies the processes in play. ie how money has been shifted to police. also includes a discussion around alternatives.

..i'd love to hear your feedback on this laine. 

Aristotleded24

Epaulo, I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. I know that the police budget is going up and up. I remember when they wanted to build the north district police station and there was local opposition. Part of that opposition centred around the district station being nearly inaccessible to people who don't drive, which is an issue in that part of the city, so that makes it difficult for people who want to report their crimes to the police.

I remember in the 2010 campaign where Sam Katz promised to hire 58 more police officers as part of his crime fighting strategy. Judy Wasylicia-Leis said we need to hire more police officers, but didn't give a specific number. I was disappointed in her for giving any credence to the so-called broken window theory of policing. The answer I think should have been given is, "if more police made the city safer, Winnipeg would be one of the safest cities in the country. That is not the case when you look at either the crime stats or public perception. We need to involve more community partnerships and to things that prevent crime in the first place." We would have to hash that idea out to get to exactly what we mean, and then find out how to effectively communicate that message, but I think it is one that would resonate. But we do have to do a better job communicating exactly how these alternatives would work. I remember a CTV web poll that asked if 24/7 safe spaces would prevent crime, and the answer came back 55% no. How do we change that? Are there people who have used these spaces who can tell their stories to explain the difference it made, and what would have happened had those spaces not been there? And don't count on CBC, CTV, Global News, the Free Press, or the Sun to cover that issue fairly. We need to find our own way to communicate that on our terms.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..give it a listen ari. it's not only about it going up but how it's used. who it targets. going up doesn't necessarily mean more police on the street. it's too much for me to try and explain. 

Aristotleded24

Fair enough, epaulo. I'll try and find some time for that. I think that with differences over what aspects are emphasised and what specific communication tactics will or won't work, that you and I are largely on the same page regarding the general issues at play.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i have a direction, a base, a left politic that has been developed over many years. what's missing right now is details when it comes to wpg and mb. but i'm learning..slowly. this podcast was a great teacher..especially the 2nd part. it's good to hear we're on the same page. in all honesty, i'm not sure where i am though.  

Aristotleded24

epaulo13 wrote:
..give it a listen ari. it's not only about it going up but how it's used. who it targets. going up doesn't necessarily mean more police on the street. it's too much for me to try and explain.

I heard in the podcast that there was more attention going to surveillance and intelligence gathering. Presumably that means the police would be more aware of threats to public safety before they happen and would be better positioned to be proactive. Yet we are struggling with crime rates that are increasing, particularly theft, robbery, and homicide?

Something's not adding up about this. We're not getting the best value for our dollar with these budget increases at all.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Presumably that means the police would be more aware of threats to public safety before they happen and would be better positioned to be proactive. 

..what i heard was they were using the info to target the poor.

Aristotleded24

epaulo13 wrote:

Presumably that means the police would be more aware of threats to public safety before they happen and would be better positioned to be proactive. 

..what i heard was they were using the info to target the poor.

I think the interviewer should have pressed the prof to give some specific examples. We always hear that "the police target the poor," but if we have specific examples of what they've done, who they've targeted, and the impact it has had that would be very helpful in understanding what is happening.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the politic that i talked about in #15..encompasses the role of the police as described in the podcast. in fact i believe this view is quite universal. 

The Analyst The Analyst's picture
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..it's idiotic to criticise transparency when really they just can't take the heat. from the above link. txs analyst!

City criticized for transparency about proposed cuts

The city's new process that offers public transparency to budget deliberations was roundly criticized on Wednesday for alarming citizens and city workers.

More than 45 delegations signed up to speak at Wednesday’s special meeting of the protection, community services and parks committee to voice their opposition to proposed closures of libraries, pools and other public amenities throughout the city.

The meeting was step two of three for the committee as the city’s new multi-year budget process plays out publicly, stoking fears among Winnipeggers as they hear about potential service clawbacks. The committee is considering proposed budgets from the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, Community Services and Public Works.....

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

Three Councillors oppose the cuts but forward them to the Budget Working Group all the same.

Aristotleded24

The Analyst wrote:
Three Councillors oppose the cuts but forward them to the Budget Working Group all the same.

Orlikow used to be my councillor. Very disappointed that he took a softer approach and said he didn't want to be blamed for them.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from an email

quote:

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up for the FTW members/public meeting
in January; at the last meeting we decided:

1. The next meeting will be January 9th.
2. Meetings will not be held at Millennium Library due to the security
screening.

We are hoping to find something more fitting for meetings and inline with our budget.

www.functionaltransit.com

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Hey, I did note a request to weigh in and then I lost track of this thread. So obviously there is this stupid cap on property tax increases, which always results in more fees for services or program cuts. What I have not heard spoken was the option of increasing business taxes. In the near two decades of living here, I don't know if there has ever been a business tax increase.

As for the cuts to programs and services, I am beyond disgusted. All this talk about concern about meth addictions and increased crime, and yet the services that help the people who are most likely to fall into desperate patterns that lead to homelessness and addictions to the cheapest highs available for escape from their misery are being gutted if not eliminated. And today, some paltry envelope of funding was announced by the Mayor to help frontline organizations deal with the rise of addictions like meth, including neighbourhood policing. Talk about bandaid solutions when each organization might get 5-10k each if they are lucky.

And don't get me started on urban, multi-dwelling buildings being relegated to have to pay for garbage and recycling. Why are we being punished? Why not go after the suburban sprawl residents who have been taking more than their fair share of infrastructure spending for their services and roads. And they are the least likely to support public transportation.

And then there are the trees. The beautiful canopy that should be a thing of pride in this city. It is also so important to the environmental health of the city.