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City needs to find its soul, mayoral hopeful tells church meeting

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Shaun Loney wants to be mayor of a city “with soul.”

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Shaun Loney wants to be mayor of a city “with soul.”

“I want to bring the soul back to Winnipeg,” Loney said Tuesday evening at West Broadway’s Crossways in Common during an event titled Where Faith and Politics Meet.

“I want to build a system on love and compassion,” he said.

JOHN LONGHURST / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“I want to build a system on love and compassion,” Shaun Loney said.

Speaking to about 75 people, Loney shared his experience growing up in the United Church in a small town in northwestern Ontario. That’s where he first heard the song O Holy Night at Christmas.

Lyrics that stayed with him from the song included, “Till he appeared, and the soul felt its worth.”

For Loney, a city where souls feel their worth is one where money-saving ways are found to respond to homelessness and other social issues, along with reallocating resources from the police to do things such as caring for the environment.

“Trees are competing with the police in the budget cycle,” he said, noting that property values rise when there is a generous tree canopy.

Recalling the words of Jesus in the New Testament, Loney went on to say he envisions a city where “the last shall be first”— a place where marginalized people are given a chance to succeed.

Acknowledging he comes from a place of privilege, Loney told the story of giving a job to a young person with many strikes against him.

“We need to see the potential in each other,” he said of the man. “That’s a Winnipeg that feels its soul.”

Loney was critical of the Winnipeg Foundation which, like many other Canadian foundations, invests its money in real estate in other provinces and the United States instead of in Winnipeg.

“That money would have more soul if it was invested in non-profit housing in the city,” he said.

Citing recent challenges faced by “another candidate,” Loney said “integrity is on the ballot, soul is on the ballot” in the upcoming election.

faith@freepress.mb.ca

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John Longhurst

John Longhurst
Faith reporter

John Longhurst has been writing for Winnipeg's faith pages since 2003. He also writes for Religion News Service in the U.S., and blogs about the media, marketing and communications at Making the News.

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The Free Press acknowledges the financial support it receives from members of the city’s faith community, which makes our coverage of religion possible.

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