This election is a critical moment in time, a real turning
point, mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis told the BOLD Winnipeg caucus.
“We have to get rid of the cloud hanging over city council.
The first challenge is to rebuild trust … there’s a big barrier between
citizens and council,” Wasylycia-Leis said, suggesting she’d put in place an
oversight and accountability mechanism, such as conflict of interest guidelines
and a code of ethics and conduct.
“We’ve got to stop the blaming and the lack of respect.”
Her BOLD idea for Winnipeg would be to give “life” to Our Winnipeg, the City’s official
development plan guiding growth and change.
The document seems to be gathering dust on a shelf. Going
forward, there must be a real dialogue with key players in the community, she
“Different pockets of people are doing things ‘inspite’ of
City Hall. We need to collaborate and the mayor can act as a facilitator … a
The challenge is how to implement neighbourhood and
secondary plans, and to avoid developers looking to bypass these plans based on
their own free-will.
She also indicated enough is enough … the City has been
letting Winnipeg’s infrastructure slowly erode to the point there’s an
$8-billion infrastructure deficit.
“It can’t be solved overnight, but my BOLD idea would be to
have a plan … no bandaid approach. Over the next 20-30 year, this is how we’d
address it. Funding would go to things that really matter and we’d get away
from the legacy of neglect.”
She alluded to a proposed New Deal strategy from 10 years
ago, which looked at new revenue sources, because cities today are taking on
more responsibilities without having the dollars. She also expressed interest
in the BOLD platform suggestion to look at other sources of revenue than
property tax, including a municipal income tax and community bonds.
She added that should she be elected in October, she would
like to have a small business roundtable within her first 100 days to talk
about business-related issues, plus she’d like to establish a business advisory
“My other big concern is how do you enlist the untapped
potential of Aboriginal youth,” she said, adding they represent a huge
potential labour force, ready to be trained and contribute to growing our
“We need to ensure people get a foot up … buy local, use
She also pointed to Merchant’s Corner, a redevelopment
project that is converting the Merchant’s Hotel on Selkirk Avenue into a
multi-use community facility, as a model of how you can bring the community
In listening to the BOLD platform, she also expressed
interested in plans for Innovation Alley and the West Exchange.