Two weeks ago, my good friend Chris Lorenc submitted an excellent editorial to the Free Press on big-picture leadership as it related to the mayoral campaign.
In the article, Lorenc laid out a number of must-haves if one wanted to gain the necessary votes in order to lead this great city.
These included the ability to work closely with their capital region counterparts in order to improve for the greater good and not just life inside the Perimeter. The new mayor must be able to work closely and co-operatively with the premier on regional economic growth, transportation and core infrastructure delivery.
Lorenc noted Winnipeg has undergone significant positive transformation in benefiting from growth. He also correctly stated without the revenues generated from economic growth, proper funding of social programs could not occur.
However, he highlighted an urgent issue that has to be addressed is our broken infrastructure. Without improvement, our ability to expand our economy is limited.
Historical thinking has been to attempt to raise more money to throw at problems. Future thinking must be how to use the money we currently have in better and smarter ways.
Over the next 10 weeks leading up to the election, there will be many comments regarding our ailing infrastructure. Every viable candidate for mayor and council will concede this is a serious problem. It's a problem in every city in Canada, but that doesn't make it any less critical here. Numerous candidates, interest groups and individuals will offer their solutions to this problem. Many will conflict; many will be discarded.
I maintain we should collect and consider every suggestion, no matter the source or political stripe. We can't expect the new mayor and councillors to be experts on our infrastructure woes, but we can expect them to be amenable to looking for solutions. We have tremendous human capacity in this city who would work with council on this issue. I know Lorenc would volunteer his time to work towards a solution. So would I.
Mike Moore is the president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association.