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Lasers, hot tubs, evergreens would enhance city: former mayor Thompson

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Winnipeg's image would be enhanced by building a laser pyramid that would be visible from space, former mayor Susan Thompson said during a speech outlining her ideas about the city's future.

A laser pyramid, hot tubs at Portage & Main on New Year's Day and evergreens along major city streets would all enhance the city's image, Thompson told a Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce audience during a 30-minute speech today.

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Thompson served as Winnipeg's mayor from 1992 to 1998. She now lives in Vancouver.

During her chamber speech, she also said the city could use a second source of water to supplement Indian Bay on Shoal Lake.

Thompson said a second source is required to meet the city's growth and water-security needs. In the 1980s, the city had a plan to draw water from the Winnipeg River as well as Shoal Lake, but abandoned that plan when per-capita water usage dropped and conservation efforts increased.

Thompson said she proposed her laser-pyramid idea to executive policy committee in the 1990s but was told lasers would interfere with aircraft.

She said she also proposed planting evergreens but was told they could not withstand the salt on Winnipeg's streets.

After her speech, she said all problems have solutions and someone should breed a salt-resistant evergreen.

Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce president David Angus said he enjoyed the speech because Thompson focused on water and the city's image.

The chamber has tried to convince the city to beautify major streets. In 2013, the chamber proposed spending $7 million on new fencing on Route 90 to improve the first impression of visitors travelling downtown from Richardson International Airport.

Angus said that report is now sitting on a shelf.

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