Challengers in Old Kildonan race critical over Chief Peguis Trail
Published Tuesday, October 9, 2018 6:01PM CST
While they may not have hit a dead end, slow-moving plans for a road construction project in the Old Kildonan ward have become a big issue in the race for Winnipeg City Council.
Chief Peguis Trail ends at Main Street now. Plans have been on the books for years at city hall to extend it west to Route 90.
Incumbent candidate Devi Sharma -- the first woman appointed speaker at city hall -- says she's been pushing hard to get the road extended.
"It's the number one priority. I hear it often and we've made a lot of progress on this file I have to say over the last number of years," she said.
Not everyone agrees that there's been enough progress.
Pharmacist Kaur Sidhu made two unsuccessful runs as a provincial Tory candidate and is now running for council. In 2012 he was fined $20,000 by the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association for transferring prescriptions from a former pharmacy to his current one.
"I made a mistake. I paid for the penalty and I moved on and why people should vote for me -- because I'm very hard working down to earth," said Sidhu.
On Chief Peguis, Sidhu says Sharma should be blamed for not getting the project done sooner.
"Only she can explain why the delay happened, and I don't know why it has happened," said Sidhu.
The ward’s other candidate, real estate agent Brad Gross, agrees.
No stranger to political campaigns either, Gross, a former mayoral, council and provincial liberal candidate, says he would like to see better constructed streets. He believes Chief Peguis is on the backburner at city hall.
"I think it's not being prioritized. You need a bigger voice there to prioritize it," said Gross.
But Sharma says she's the one who got the project accelerated with a 2013 motion at city hall. She says open houses have occurred and engineering work is complete.
Sharma says only one thing is missing.
"So really, what it comes down to is project funding for this project and it's going to take all three levels of government," said Sharma.
If history is any indication, it could be close in Old Kildonan on election night -- Sharma won in 2014 by only 212 votes.