All Winnipeg incumbent councillors re-elected
Several incumbents were re-elected Wednesday according to unofficial results, including Justin Swandel in St. Norbert, Grant Nordman in St. Charles, Dan Vandal in St. Boniface, Mike Pagtakhan Point Douglas, Gord Steeves in St. Vital, Jenny Gerbasi in Fort Rouge in East Fort Garry, Scott Fielding in St. James - Brooklands, Harvey Smith in Daniel McIntyre and John Orlikow in River Heights – Fort Garry.
One of the closest races involving an incumbent was Daniel McIntyre. After 18 years as a councillor, Smith lost the endorsement from the NDP to challenger Keith Bellamy.
However, Bellamy placed third in the ward. Smith won with 3,251 votes, just ahead of challenger Cindy Gilroy-Price who earned 3,142 votes.
"This was a difficult race," he said. "First of all, I've never run as an independent before, you know, so that required a lot of effort we didn't have to do before."
"I'm going to be doing in effect what I have in the past, saying, ‘Look at we have to maintain our infrastructure and we have to increase recreational activities cause if we're going to fight gangs, we've got to do something," Smith said. "And I'm going to focus more on fighting poverty, because, look, there's no gangs in Charleswood."
During the campaign, Smith said Winnipeg needs a bigger police presence. He also said he wants to extend community centre hours.
Another hard-fought campaign took place in River Heights – Fort Garry. Orlikow won with 10,713 votes, over challenger Michael Kowalson's 8,677 votes. However, the campaign was marked by controversy centered on a traffic barricade.
Orlikow described the win as a weight off his shoulders.
"It was a hard campaign, a lot of tempers were flaring, but at the end of the day the residents, in my opinion made the right choice," he said.
For his part on election night, Kowalson wished Orlikow the best, but said he was disappointed that Orlikow took that campaign to a "personal level."
During the campaign in St. Norbert, Swandel said he is working on a plan to deal with events at the new football stadium planned for the ward. However, residents of the area have continued to raise their objections to the plan. Swandel has worked for five years as a member of the mayor's Executive Policy Committee.
In St. Charles, Nordman promised during his campaign to vote to freeze property taxes. Concerning infrastructure, Nordman promised to repair roads, back lanes, community clubs and playgrounds. On safety, Nordman said he supports the police and fire service.
While campaigning in St. Boniface, Vandal said his priorities are working with police and community groups to make neighborhoods safer, finding more funding to deal with the infrastructure deficit, fixing back lanes in older neighbourhoods, improving housing and improving recreational opportunities for families.
Pagtakhan, who was re-elected in Point Douglas, was first elected in 2002 and he has served as deputy mayor. During the campaign, Pagtakhan said he wants to see rapid transit expanded along McPhillips Street.
St. Vital re-elected Steeves, who has held the seat since 2000. He has served as acting deputy mayor and as a member of the mayor's Executive Policy Committee. Steeves is also the first vice president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
The central ward of Fort-Rouge East Fort Garry re-elected Gerbasi, who has served as councillor for 12 years. During the campaign, she said she is focusing on keeping affordable rental housing in the ward. She also said she supports finishing bus rapid transit.
During the campaign in St. James - Brooklands, Fielding said he wants to put more police officers on the street. To help that happen, Fielding said he wants support for more police cadet training. Fielding also campaigned on making the improvements to the roads around Polo Park to ease traffic congestion. He also said that there should be more evening and weekend construction so jobs are done quicker.