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Winnipeg mayor's plan for downtown safety includes increased foot patrol, 24/7 safe spaces


Winnipeg’s mayor is sharing his plans to address safety in the downtown area, including 24/7 safe spaces and working with social service partners.

On Monday, Mayor Scott Gillingham spoke with business owners and employees as part of Downtown Winnipeg Biz’s Downtown Speaker Series. This event was the first in a series that will connect Downtown Winnipeg BIZ members with experts and decision-makers.

At the event, Gillingham said Winnipeg needs to have a healthy downtown to be a successful city.

“One of the things that is key to your business being successful and people visiting your business and feeling confident to come into the downtown is safety,” the mayor said.

“I have also heard from many of you and from others that safety in the downtown and confidence in the downtown is really, really key. So we’ve got a ways to go.”

Gillingham said his plans for downtown safety include funding 24/7 safe spaces, increased foot patrol, and working in partnership with the police, the Downtown Community Safety Partnership, and other organizations.

Gillingham added that the city is also working to deal with homeless and addiction issues through a coordinated approach with different agencies and levels of government.

“We will never be successful in making an impact in addressing homelessness and getting people off the street unless we’re working together with one plan,” he said.

Gillingham said the city needs to take a “housing first” approach with wraparound support for individuals.

He added that he is excited by CentrePlan 2050, which is Winnipeg’s plan to make downtown a destination over the next few decades. Part of this plan is focused on getting more people to live downtown and developing the downtown neighbourhoods.

“We know the key to a healthy and vibrant downtown is more people living in the downtown, staying in the downtown,” he said.

More than 60 members of the Downtown Winnipeg Biz attended Monday’s event with the mayor. The next Downtown Speaker Series event will take place early next year.

- With files from CTV’s Jeff Keele. Top Stories

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