Council candidates tout different priorities for St. Vital ward
The two candidates vying to be city councillor in St. Vital are both against the opening of Portage and Main to pedestrians, but beyond that have a very different vision of what they’d bring to the job.
Incumbent Brian Mayes was first elected to represent St. Vital in a bi-election in November of 2011. He told CTV News growing up in the neighbourhood has fuelled him to work tirelessly to improve it over the past seven years.
“We’ve had millions for the library and for the park, for the outdoor pool,” said Mayes.
Mayes also pointed out Dakota Community Centre, saying it had received more money than any other community centre.
When asked what he would focus on if re-elected as St. Vital councillor, Mayes said roads are top of mind for many and that he’d like to see them improved for motorists, cyclists and transit users.
“The issue is traffic flow and getting downtown: St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s,” said Mayes.
“To some extent Bishop Grandin. And transit is part of that puzzle.”
Speaking further on transit, Mayes highlighted an interaction he had while door knocking in the Sage Creek neighbourhood, where a man told Mayes his mother wasn’t able to visit because she uses a wheelchair and the bus stop is too far away.
“Handi-Transit doesn’t go everywhere in the city; I’m trying to extend that out,” said Mayes.
Baljeet Sharma is the other candidate running in St. Vital.
Sharma has lived in the area for 20 years and is a self-employed heavy duty mechanic who said he wants to give back, with a focus on Winnipeg seniors.
“You go to a neighbourhood where seniors live, you see sidewalks with snow. They’re never getting their way through with walkers and canes,” said Sharma.
Along with improving the condition of sidewalks, Sharma said he’d like to see more back lanes paved in the ward, and speed bumps installed in school zones.
Both candidates said they were against opening Portage and Main to foot traffic but acknowledged that they would accept whatever results the referendum brings.
With changes to the ward’s boundaries, the St. Vital ward gained three neighbourhoods, including Royalwood and Sage Creek.
The civic election is on October 24.