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.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs laine

Retailers' loss, police officers' gain

In theory, most Winnipeggers would welcome the sight of off-duty police officers providing security at stores amidst an often-violent shoplifting spree that has stunned the city.

The reality, though, is the huge increase in special-duty policing — off-duty cops hired at pension-eligible overtime pay rates to deter thieves and robbers — comes with a cost, one that taxpayers have to absorb.

Most observers outside police circles likely assume the OT involves work such as protecting a crime scene or hunting down a murder suspect, not acting as extra store security or directing traffic at a big-box store during the holiday rush.

But the current police pension formula does not differentiate between front-line work and special-duty policing.

This week, city hall moved to remove overtime from the police union's pensionable earnings, an issue that has bedevilled civic politicians for years.

quote:

Already this month, 481 Winnipeg Police Service officers have been booked for special-duty work including security detail at Superstore, Polo Park and Liquor Marts and directing traffic in and out of the St. James Street Costco parking lot.....

Aristotleded24

epaulo13 wrote:
..txs laine

Retailers' loss, police officers' gain

In theory, most Winnipeggers would welcome the sight of off-duty police officers providing security at stores amidst an often-violent shoplifting spree that has stunned the city.

The reality, though, is the huge increase in special-duty policing — off-duty cops hired at pension-eligible overtime pay rates to deter thieves and robbers — comes with a cost, one that taxpayers have to absorb.

Most observers outside police circles likely assume the OT involves work such as protecting a crime scene or hunting down a murder suspect, not acting as extra store security or directing traffic at a big-box store during the holiday rush.

But the current police pension formula does not differentiate between front-line work and special-duty policing.

This week, city hall moved to remove overtime from the police union's pensionable earnings, an issue that has bedevilled civic politicians for years.

quote:

Already this month, 481 Winnipeg Police Service officers have been booked for special-duty work including security detail at Superstore, Polo Park and Liquor Marts and directing traffic in and out of the St. James Street Costco parking lot.....

This does not add up for me at all. What would the typical police response be to residential property crime in a major centre? If I found my residence broken into and things stolen, what are the chances that the police would catch the person and recover my stolen items? This after they want to ask us to do their jobs for them when calling to report a break-in. Any lawyers care to weigh in on how, if I were to face-time with police and walk through my residence, that evidence would stack up in court if the person responsible was caught? Meanwhile, these big retailers all have loss prevention departments of their own that can handle in-store thefts. Why can't they just call the police and wait for them to respond like the rest of us? Catching someone in the act of shoplifting isn't a diffucult thing to prosecute.

As for who's doing the shoplifting? Can we please dispense with this nonsense that this is a crime brought on by poverty? I've talked to retail managers who've told me that they catch shoplifters from all walks of life, and in some cases the majority are not even from the groups that are being targeted. But look at who is being targeted for this, and the bias is very clear. And while I do believe that individuals caught shoplifting should be prosecuted, having police in the store does seem a bit overkill for something that is essentially a property crime. I could understand if it involved protecting individual safety, but shoplifting? Especially when I don't have the option to have a police officer watch my residence while I am away?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Can we please dispense with this nonsense that this is a crime brought on by poverty?

..your conflating this piece with the stuff which began the discussion. not a good idea imo.

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.”  ― Anatole France

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..was waiting for the bus today and got to talking with a lady. she was telling me about how she was at a 7-11 on selkirk ave. a homeless woman had locked herself in the washroom as a means of keeping warm. people were banging on the bathroom door trying to get her to open up. desperate people do desperate things. 

..there has been an early onset of winter and temps, with windchill, has been in the mid -30's at times.   

Aristotleded24

Meanwhile Brandon police are being outfitted with a new tactical vehicle. But not to worry, says the minister, because apparently the money is coming out of proceeds of crime, rather than tax dollars.

Is this where proceeds from civil forfeiture go? I'll go out on a limb and accept the idea that for high-level crimes that assets need to be seized quickly to disrupt these networks. They should at least hold the seized assets in some sort of trust, and then after the criminal case either hand the assets back or make the seizure permanent, depending on the outcome of the criminal case. And any assets seized from proceeds of crime should be used in some way to benefit the community as a whole and not automatically be directed towards police agencies.

Aristotleded24

With Jason Schreyer coming out against a municipal compost program, I have to ask if he has contributed anything to the left in Manitoba other than a famous last name? Do any of our other resident Winnipeggers have more knowlege on that front? One of the arguments he gives is that to meet climate change reduction targets it is better to focus on vehicle emissions rather than composting. Do you know why vehicle emissions in Winnipeg are so high? In many case, a trip that would take 20 minutes by car can take an hour (or sometimes even longer) by bus. Given those options, who wouldn't drive a car if that option was available? You know what will help on that front? Rapid transit, however Schreyer is on the record as being opposed.

Aristotleded24

laine lowe wrote:
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.

This is why, on top of his unprofessional attack on Brian Bowman, I seriously question Ross Eadie's judgement. He has argued that the city needs to raise property taxes, yet he endorsed Jenny Motkaluk, who proposed a lower property tax increase than Bowman did. Simple math says that the cuts we would be facing under a Motkaluk administration would be even worse. Not only that, but enabled by Motkaluk's election, the Browaty wing of council would have simply rammed those proposed cuts through regardless of the backlash, end of discussion.

laine lowe wrote:
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.

Bowman has tried to address this by assessing development fees onto suburban builds, but that is currently tied up in court challenges. The real issue is that anyone who wants to avoid paying higher city taxes can simply relocate outisde the city limits and commute in for all their big city needs. Currently the city does not have any tools to address this, and the Pallister government is not interested in changing that any time soon. What needs to happen is to simply tax commuters who live on the outskirts but commute in (I'm not sure whether I think there should be an exemption for medical appointments or not). In exchange, the city and the province would need to collaborate with the surrounding municipalities for construction of a regional public transportation system. Now you have disincentivized people from commuting into the city and not paying for the services they receive from the city. Not only that, but such a move would benefit not only surrounding farms, whose lands keep getting gobbled up because of rural sprawl, but it also benefits the surrounding towns, as people now have more incentive to spend locally rather than going into Winnipeg all the time.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from an email

quote:

Thanks to our collective efforts, we have made positive steps forward
during the City of Winnipeg budget consultation process. I want to thank
everyone who has spoken at city hall and contacted city Councillors and the
Mayor.

The impact you have made has borne fruit. The public works committee,
citing the massive outcry from all of us, committed to find the money for
transit -- enough to not cut service -- before sending their recommendation
the budget review committee.

However, that battle won us the status quo. A status quo that has seen
transit pass-ups rise every year for the last five years. In short, there
is still work to do to win the transit system our city needs.

*Over the next three weeks, FTW needs your support. Please consider one or
more of the following actions:*

*March 2 @ 12pm* (Monday) – *Transit Rally* @ City Hall

*March 2 @ 9am to 5pm* (Monday) – *Call the Mayor and your Councillor*

   < March 6 – Budget Release >

*March 12 @ 1:30pm* (Thursday) – *Infrastructure Renewal & Public Works
Meeting*

*March 19 @ 9:00am* (Thursday) – *EPC Meeting* – Special meeting to hear
delegations

The EPC (Executive Policy Committee, aka the inner circle) meeting is a
special meeting for Councillors to hear from the public. Please consider
registering.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Block Party for All! Neighbours for Fair, Funded City Services Link

Aristotleded24

Meanwhile the Mayor continues with meetings:

Quote:
Mayor Brian Bowman said he’s confident that continuing public meetings throughout this week was the right decision, even as many other gatherings were cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

The mayor said the decision to condense the 2020-2023 budget meetings, so they end March 20 instead of March 25, followed all public health guidelines.

"We want to ensure that business continuity and funding that Winnipeggers would expect can ensure vital services continue in the coming weeks," said Bowman. "That’s why we’ve rescheduled some meetings. All of the meetings and all of the activities are taking place in accordance with recommendations from Manitoba Health."

...

Joe Curnow, a member of the citizen group Millennium For All, said some Winnipeggers won’t speak to council in order to follow health guidelines. Curnow said she personally decided not to appear as a budget delegate because she has a cold, noting the city has asked those who feel sick to stay home.

"It basically means that if you are possibly sick, if you’ve been exposed (to COVID-19), if you’re immune-compromised, if you’re old, if you’ve travelled (and now need to be isolated), all of these people just now suddenly can’t participate in the budget process," she said.

We're in the middle of a pandemic, and this guy is concerned about "business continuity?" Curnow is absolutely correct that people who are exposed are put at a disadvantage, especially if they come from the more marginalized groups who will be impacted by his propsed budget cuts. And how fucking hypocritical that he closes down all city facilities, imposing restrictions on my ability to get out and socialize, while he goes on with his meetings?

Really hope this guy doesn't run again. I know he was the best candidate available in the last election, but I am very sorry that I voted for him last time.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Functional Transit Winnipeg

COVID-19 Response - Meeting Update
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Functional Transit Winnipeg will be holding all meetings via video conference using Zoom until Manitoba Health advises otherwise. To join us for the upcoming members meeting this Thursday, on April 2 @ 7:00pm, follow the link below to register:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/uJQrcu2trDMs5ySWJik6vLvanb36GM5Gbw

City of Winnipeg Budget
City Council passed the 2020-2023 budget on March 20th. We are extremely grateful for everyone that spoke at a meeting at City Hall, attended the meetings in support, or contacted their Councillor to voice their support for better transit in Winnipeg. It was unfortunate that the City did not take innovative steps to include more people during this budget, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many people had to decline attending the last budget meetings at City Hall. We have worked hard to make council aware of the importance of improving transit service through one-on-one meetings, emails and other advocacy efforts.

We are cautiously optimistic with the introduction of Winnipeg's first frequent service routes. However, these routes need to be run with 10-minute frequency or less and connect to well serviced feeder routes. That is why we are very disappointed that this budget has left us with cuts to service for 14 routes across the city and the elimination of the Downtown Spirit.

Positives:

  • First frequent network routes in the city
  • Low income bus pass starting in 2021, although only available for monthly passes
  • Fare free for children under 12 starting in 2021
  • UPASS not canceled, although at a higher rate

Negatives:

  • Cuts to service on 14 routes around the city
  • Elimination of the Downtown Spirit
  • $3.2M cut to city mill rate funding for transit
  • 30% drop from projections from previous years for city transit spending

Aristotleded24

This is not good news:

Quote:

Mayor Brian Bowman has shuffled his inner circle in a rare mid-year shakeup at Winnipeg city hall.

Bowman announced Friday that River Heights-Fort Garry Coun. John Orlikow is leaving city council's executive policy committee. The Liberal-affiliated Orlikow is being replaced by Conservative-affiliated North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty, who returns to EPC for the first time since 2016.

Bowman punted Browaty from EPC in 2016 when the two had differences over reopening Portage and Main to pedestrian traffic. That sticking point has disappeared after council honoured a 2018 plebiscite to keep the intersection closed to people.

Browaty said his relationship with Bowman is fine.

Remember that Browaty was first elected as part of a right-wing shift on council in the 2006 election when Katz was re-elected. He supported Jenny Motkaluk, who ran as a hard-right winger in the last election. While I do not think he should run again after having previously supported him, I think Orlikow's departure from EPC is a bad sign. Orlikow was a good councillor when I lived in his ward, and he was very consistent in voting with the left-wing opposition to Sam Katz. I fear that this may signal a rightward shift in the Bowman administration, the same right-wing shift we rejected when we held our noses and voted for Bowman last time because he was the best option available.

I've expressed a belief that we are sleepwalking into the reality of Browaty being the city's next mayor. The likelihood of that oucome could be reduced as Browaty is now somewhat tainted by association with Bowman, but the possibility of the likelihood of that kind of politics once again controlling City Hall remains. Given how the left in the city botched the 2010 and the 2014 elections which they should have won easily, I'm not particularly confident or optimistic about the future of Winnipeg politics.

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

Time to start guessing who will be running in the mayoral race, 2022? 

Because I suspect it's gonna be Mayes vs Klein. 

Aristotleded24

Then I think Kkein wins. Mayes, having been on Bowman's EPC, would represent a continuation of the status quo. Since council was reduced to its current size, in open elections voters have always rejected the legacy of the outgoing mayor, both at the top and on council. Mayes may nominally be NDP, but I don't think he's relateable to the average voter we would need to turn out in large numbers. He certainly would not have my support if he ran.

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

Mayes is gonna run a dull as dishwater campaign similar to Judy WL's 2014 run, but without any focus on smart growth or sprawl as an issue. Inner city residents will be super low engaged, but he might be able to carry them against Klein. He'll then rely on his reputation & name recognition for ward work to carry southeast Winnipeg.

Aristotleded24

I doubt Mayes has the name recognition and street cred among urban voters in Winnipeg to even accomplish that, which is less than what Judy had in her runs. This scenario also assumes a straight-up match between these 2 contenders. You could have a wild-card scenario such as Ross Eadie, Jason Schreyer, or some other yet unknown who catches fire, and Mayes might not even carry urban wards in this scenario. The conventional wisdom going into 2014 was that it was a match-up between Judy and Gord Steeves, and I would suggest that had that campaign run another week, Judy would have finished in third place. Klein may have some baggage, but this is a city that re-elected Sam Katz twice. We should never count on the buffoonishness of the right-wing candidate, and I stand by my assessment that Mayes will not stand a chance if he runs.

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

 Jason Schreyer trying to run for mayor would be hilarious. Rambling speeches, funky business with credit cards, who knows what other foot in mouth eruptions.

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

Of course, there's more than enough time for Mayes to fall out with the Mayor, get kicked off of EPC, and run free of Bowman association by 2022. The real question will be whether a bland politician can get people to cast ballots for them.

Aristotleded24

I don't think even that will work. Bowman's original coalition included urbanist, progressive voters impressed with a platform that went farther in many ways than Judy's did, plus right-wingers who wanted to stop Judy. The right portion of his coalition collapsed and voted for Motkaluk. Bowman is perceived by the public to be a centre-left mayor. There is no way that anybody on council's left flank can run without being seen as more of the same. The left needs a serious, credible candidate with no ties to Bowman or his administration who can be seen as an outsider in order to have a shot.