Our community is large in geographical size and growing in population density. Our neighbouring areas including Oak Bluff, South and West Headingly and Waverley West continue to grow. There are a multitude of multifamily dwellings, supportive housing, and condominiums being constructed in the Tuxedo Seasons district and new development at Ridgewood West in Charleswood. This increase of population density will result in an influx of traffic flow within our community and surrounding areas. Priorities to accommodate this influx include:
Widening as already projected must be achieved with fair and reasonable consultation and sensitivity regarding expropriation of properties situated along the base of the St James Bridge. These citizens have been awaiting answers for years, it is time to provide a resolution. Safety for pedestrians and cyclists with minimal disruption to those settled along this route and soon to be developed Kapyong Barracks is imperative. As your councilor, I will ensure meaningful consultation with all of the Indigenous leaders involved in the Kapyong project, so this imperative infrastructure project is completed without hesitation, bureaucracy, or any red tape.
Wilkes Ave / Sterling Lyon Parkway
Ridgewood West and South Headingly are growing increasing traffic flow in the area. The Wilkes/Perimeter Hwy on/off ramps are also dangerous and inappropriate for the traffic flow in and out of the community. Wilkes requires double lanes with safe turning lanes to the perimeter, and a feasibility study is required for the Wilkes/Perimeter junction. Alignment of the Sterling Lyon Parkway with Wilkes Avenue will be handled with harmonization between Public Works and the citizens of the South Wilkes community.
Situated at the southernmost portion of the constituency this is a high speed, high traffic route with single lane from Kenaston Common to the perimeter. This is inappropriate and unsafe for the traffic influx. The feasibility of widening to double lanes will be addressed.
William Clement Parkway
Projected at a cost of nearly 1 billion dollars for both projected phases, this massive infrastructure project has the potential to be simultaneously valuable and disruptive. It is a multidimensional project, with many players involved that requires extremely careful planning. As your councillor, I will seek the common ground and gain insight from all sides of the debate. Discussions with citizens, business interests, feasibility review, environmental and traffic flow studies are all imperative tools to gain harmonization. Accommodating urban sprawl, while maintaining our communities authenticity and beauty will be a challenge, but can be done with the right representation at city hall.
KAPYONG BARRACKS PROJECT
Demolition of the existing structures has just begun. This area will be revitalized into an urban reserve, with leaders of multiple Indigenous communities of Treaty One involved. Within my first term, construction will be well underway. This project will be a success, not only financially for the Indigenous community itself, but for the surrounding communities as well. This has shown to be the case across the country. This project is indeed, reconciliation in action. It is imperative that the existing community supports and embraces this project, and that we all harmonize to make our community stronger. I will work closely with Federal government, Indigenous leaders, project planners, and community organizations to ensure this is done in an admirable, collective, and collaborative fashion. Our indigenous populations have endured much trauma over the generations, when our colonial forefathers forced their supposed superiority over Indigenous peoples. Terms such as cultural genocide are not inappropriate once you have sought the truth. Ken plans to utilize contacts made with our Truth and Reconciliation headquarters, for those whom wish to learn more about the endeavors and hardships our Indigenous peoples have endured, to obtain a more thorough understanding. We must reconcile our relationships, recognize lost lands, and re-discover Indigenous culture. This project certainly takes a step forward in this direction, and must be embraced and supported, in harmony.
New developments and population increase demand on our education system. Ken notes class size numbers increasing across the board, which makes learning more difficult for students, and teaching more challenging for our education professionals. The highest demand and fluctuation appear to be at the high school level, with Oak Park and Shaftsbury absorbing the influx of high school students from developing communities. Ken intends to review this scenario, with the school boards and trustees, to ensure our class room sizes and teacher to student ratios remain acceptable, at all education levels. Expansion of existing institutions of learning, or creation of new ones, whichever deems appropriate will be lobbied for the benefit of our kids and their teachers.
Many of our community recreation centres are falling behind in capacity and infrastructure. A majority require a significant facelift to stay par with newer facilities across the city recently developed. Working with the province to obtain funding for our crumbling infrastructure is key. A prime example of this is the outdated Eric Coy Arena, home of the MMJHL Charleswood Hawks.
It has been brought to Ken’s attention, by many front line public and civil servants, that there is security and safety issues surrounding subsidized social housing buildings scattered within our constituency. A majority of these are operated by Manitoba Housing, a division of the Department of Families and Housing. Manitoba Housing has its own security detail and staff, which are mobile. If residents are feeling unsafe in their homes, a restructure of the security detail offered, or a new structure all together is in order. No matter an individual’s or family’s economic status, everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in their home.
Statistical trends are showing a rise in criminal activity in Charleswood - Tuxedo and the city. As a frontline service provider in the core of Winnipeg, I have witnessed firsthand the socioeconomic issues within the dark shadows of our city. These issues have a direct effect on crime and support from all levels of government are needed to counteract the rise in crime to reduce poverty and improve the socioeconomic status of the citizens of Winnipeg. While many in public office may feel that increased police presence in the suburbs will lower crime stats, the reality is the amount of police presence required to have such impact would be unsustainable. Truthfully, unless there is an officer on every couple of streets in our community, statistics will continue to rise. Property and auto theft crimes are difficult to detect because it happens in minutes. Having more cruisers on the road may deter some criminals and provide a sense of safety to citizens; however, the determined criminal will continue the activity regardless. To take a true bite out of crime, we need to support community service providers engaged in poverty reduction, youth engagement, youth resources and training. We need to intercept vulnerable youth leaving the care of child and family services, help those engaged in addiction recovery and homelessness. Support to such organizations, as well as lobbying and advocating to provincial legislators, combined with police presence to deter some activity would more significantly reduce crime statistics in our community and city.