The race for the wide-open city council seat in Charleswood-Tuxedo is shaping up to be a battle, as three potential candidates have already made their presence known.
Tory-affiliated Paula Havixbeck, Liberal Cheryl Conley-Strange and independent Jarret Hannah are all vying to succeed the late Bill Clement in the leafy suburban ward, one of at least four that will elect new councillors on Oct. 27.
The United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg jumped the gun on Havixbeck's formal announcement by declaring their endorsement of the business instructor, who's volunteer campaign publicist is Liz Peters, the former communications director for the Manitoba Tories.
Havixbeck has also worked with Bonnie Staples-Lyon, chief of staff to Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.
But the mayor said this week he is not endorsing any candidate in Charleswood-Tuxedo, which was represented by Clement from 1983 until he died of cancer this spring.
Conley-Strange, meanwhile, has served as a volunteer organizer on federal Liberal campaigns. Hannah, a former radio programmer who owns Gel Marketing, plans to rely on a network of friends and family to serve as his volunteer base.
Daniel McIntyre, Elmwood-East Kildonan and Old Kildonan will also elect new councillors, pending the respective retirements of Harvey Smith, Lillian Thomas and Mike O'Shaughnessy, who have 69 years of council experience between them.
Mynarski will also be in play if Harry Lazarenko -- hospitalized since suffering an aneurysm in May -- doesn't return.
Swandel, Gerbasi face challengers
IN other election news, a pair of popular veteran councillors will face challenges from the left this fall.
In St. Norbert, where Justin Swandel has been in office since 2005, St. Norbert Arts & Cultural Centre director Louise May plans to formally announce her candidacy next week.
May, the daughter of philanthropist, Comcheq founder and former National Party president Bill Loewen, says she's running as an independent but has received organizational support from the Winnipeg Citizens' Coalition, the group trying to ensure left-of-centre council candidates don't run against each other. She hopes to garner support from NDPers, Liberals and Greens.
Gerbasi, an NDP-affiliated councillor who has represented Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry since 1998, will also face a left-of-centre challenger in the form of Shane Nestruck, who has been critical of the Manitoba NDP's direction.
Construction intensifies at Union Bank Tower
FOUR trees will be removed from the north side of Old Market Square today as Red River College ramps up its $27-million renovation of the Union Bank Tower into a residence and culinary/hospitably school.
An addition to the annex at the west side of the tower -- western Canada's first steel-frame skyscraper -- requires the removal of the trees, which will be replanted at the college's Notre Dame campus, spokesman Colin Fast said.
More vegetation will be added to the site once landscaping is complete. Renovations to the building, which will include the Paterson Globalfoods Institute, should be complete before the start of classes in the fall of 2011.