When Bartley Kives wrote in the WFP that he was fed-up with the ‘Blather’, I hoped that the candidates running for Mayor would start to address some, AT LEAST SOME, of the serious issues plaguing Winnipeg.
I have been very disappointed by most of the candidates for Mayor and see clearly that leadership in this campaign needs to come from those with less ambition and more concern for our city.
These are the issues I wish to discuss and debate I this election:
1. Integrity – Honesty – Accountability
Everywhere I go I hear the words ‘Crooks’ and ‘Corruption’, and all the Mayoralty candidates endorse “TRANSPARENCY”, but nobody is explaining HOW they intend to implement that transparency.
AMAZINGLY the Law Reform Commission of Manitoba has already completed a report on Conflict of Interest but somehow these wannabe leaders don’t seem to have read it. Or perhaps some of them are more interested in obtaining power and maintaining the status quo.
Because History tells us conclusively that The Law…e.g. Conflict of Interest legislation…has always been written BY the rich and influential, FOR the rich and influential, which today means ‘with access to lawyers’. I am standing demanding that a new Winnipeg Conflict of interest law be written in layman’s language so every citizen can understand every aspect of it and the Courts cannot play silly putty with ‘the law’ as it did this last spring.
It is TIME the city is run for the benefit of the general population NOT political parties, politicians and friends of politicians.
2. Public Safety
Public Safety is much than more police and more cadets on the streets. It is far more complex but also much simpler…. Everything the city does must have Public Safety at the top of the list of concerns governing that measure. Here is ONE (just one!) glaring examples that such is NOT the case at city hall or the provincial legislature.
Wise-up Winnipeg has made presentations to provincial authorities and municipal authorities about the Photo Radar SCAM and the lack…almost complete absence… of internationally accepted standards of traffic engineering in this city. They have brought in experts from other jurisdictions and data from all across the continent but somehow NOTHING has changed.. AND only one of the mayoralty candidates has dared to challenge this hegemony of irresponsibility.
This and many more aspects of Health and Safety policy…or LACK of policy speak directly to the irresponsibility of the city and provincial governments. e.g. Every day MILLIONS of tons of hazardous chemicals transit this city and not a single politician even murmurs the words Rail Re-location. But rail re-location has happened in umpteen cities all over this continent… but in Winnipeg YOUR politicians, supposedly there to govern in your benefit remain mute…. like Lac Megantic and MANY other disasters have not even happened!
If these topics are NOT discussed during an election campaign NOTHING will ever change in this town.
Transit – Mass Transit
The amount of false information, misinformation and political spin surrounding this topic in Winnipeg is monumental. However it is abundantly clear to many, many Winnipeggers that the whole transit issue is completely tangled-up with the Integrity-Honesty-Incompetence issues plaguing city hall.
It is time for some straight talk and clear objectives. There are solutions to every problem… other cities have found them… but there is no sign that anyone presently at city hall and few if any of the mayoralty candidates have any concepts or ideas about how to even approach finding solutions. As a result, as with everything else the costs of our vaunted BRT have gone through the roof and the impression that it is being designed for the benefit of developers is commonplace. Believe me there is absolutely no rational reason for the present BRT plan other than to spirit off taxpayers dollars. There are very much better, far, far cheaper and proven ways of developing transit in this city other than this present extremely ‘back-room’ deal..
What Winnipeg needs is a clear economic and functional example of planning that also has the interests of the existing citizens and the future of this city as its first two objectives.
Winnipeg is presently being abused by the incompetence, myopia, and political machinations of the establishment to the tune of nearly $600 MILLION dollars with the BRT extension to the U of M. If that project goes ahead then Winnipeg is doomed to a continuation of this incredibly corrupted concept of public service that is presently emanating from city hall.