Motkaluk touts collaboration as mayoral bid kicks off
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/05/2022 (310 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Oops, Jenny Motkaluk did it again – but this time, the mayoral candidate has launched a campaign that aims to win over Winnipeggers by touting her collaborative leadership style rather than rolling out policy ideas from the start.
As Motkaluk, the runner-up for the City of Winnipeg’s top job in 2018, entered a room of supporters at the Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park on Wednesday evening, the speakers were blaring Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time.
“This campaign is about choosing the person who best reflects our values and has the vision to inspire Winnipeggers to work together to achieve the amazing things,” the business development consultant told a crowd of roughly 75 people, including her husband and daughter, as she spoke on a stage behind a backdrop with blue and yellow balloons.
During her speech, the 50-year-old spoke at length about her large family and how she learned about the value of working together when their “whole life turned upside down” during her childhood. Motkaluk, who grew up in the North End, said she was 10 when her mother left and she, one of six children at the time, had to collaborate with her brothers and sisters to take care of housekeeping and the younger children so their single father could work.
Motkaluk likened Winnipeg to a family of people who are united by their shared choice to live in the Manitoba capital and suggested Winnipeggers’ “defining characteristic” is their ability to co-operate.
While the mayoral candidate said she wants to focus on four key areas: growth and investment; effective and efficient services; celebrating all things Winnipeg; and enhancing accountability at city hall, Motkaluk said she doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to policy making. “But I know who does, and it’s the people of Winnipeg,” she said.
Motkaluk said she plans to release a fulsome policy book after Labour Day after consulting residents across the city about their ideas on how-to achieve the above goals this summer.
Kathy Knight, a former CEO of Tech Manitoba who is currently the executive director of the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology’s cybersecurity technology centre, endorsed her former colleague and friend as a tenacious, collaborative, and strategic leader. “She just knows how to get the right people together to move things forward,” Knight said.
Motkaluk has built up significant name recognition since her political debut in the 2010 civic election, when she lost a bid for city council in the Mynarski ward. Throughout her 2018 mayoral campaign, during which she collected an extensive roster of endorsements from politicians and business leaders, her right-of-centre platform focused on business friendly policies, expanded policing, fixing roads, and halting spending on both the bus rapid transit system and reopening Portage and Main to pedestrians.
This time around, she is touting her campaign as a united one that involves people from all political stripes. Bonnie Mitchelson, former Progressive Conservative MLA for River East for more than 30 years, and Aaron McDowell, whose resume includes organizing with the New Democrats, were among the attendees at her campaign launch.
Motkaluk came in second place, with a total of 76,554 votes, in 2018. Mayor Brian Bowman won his re-election campaign with 114,222 ballots.
In late 2020, the incumbent announced he had no desire to be a career politician and would not be seeking a third term.
There are currently eight candidates, including two experienced politicians: St. James Coun. Scott Gillingham and Robert-Falcon Ouellette, a former Liberal MP for Winnipeg Centre, who have announced aspirations to become mayor after the civic election on October 26.
Security company owner Don Woodstock, grocery worker Chris Clacio, outdoor equipment store owner Rick Shone, policy analyst Shaun Loney, and biosystems engineer Idris Ademuyiwa Adelakun have also thrown their hats in the ring since candidate registration opened May 1.
Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.