Winnipeg mayoral candidates debate crumbling infrastructure
Meghan Roberts, CTV Winnipeg
Published Monday, September 29, 2014 10:28PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, September 30, 2014 11:52AM CST
All seven mayoral hopefuls debated the city’s roads on Monday night at a forum on infrastructure hosted by the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and the Canadian Automobile Association.
About 150 people watched the discussion. CAA Manitoba president and CEO, Mike Mager, said organizers had to switch to a bigger venue at the last moment due to high interest in the debate.
“I think it’s good to hear the candidates points and views. And we thought it was important to bring up infrastructure. Again, every one of us is impacted by it every day as we drive to work, as we drive to our daily activities,” said Mager.
Candidates came ready to criticize the city’s roads, suggest solutions, and talk money.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis, David Sanders, Paula Havixbeck, and Michel Fillion all proposed a tax increase to pay for fixing roads.
Gord Steeves wants to save money by scrapping the second phase of rapid transit.
Robert-Falcon Ouellette suggested a land value tax.
While Brian Bowman wants a share of the provincial government's PST hike.
“The candidates were a little more forthright in what their ideas for the vision and going forward for the city of Winnipeg. And I heard a little more meat to their campaign,” said Brian Bortley, who attended the forum.
But not everyone got answers to their questions. Ernie Mcgrath asked a question about infrastructure in the Polo Park area, and he wasn’t satisfied with the candidates’ responses.
“I found that the answers… there was no vision in any of the answers, really,” said Mcgrath.
Mcgrath thinks that roads and sidewalks should be a priority in this election, and Brian Bortley agrees.
“I also think it’s time for one of these candidates, or all of them, to consult with Public Works. I really think that there’s something going on with the standard of work that’s being done on our roads,” said Bortley.
Candidates also discussed rapid transit, the potential for 24 hour construction in Winnipeg, and working with the provincial government to complete projects within city limits.