Ward candidate calls for St. B separation
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/10/2022 (237 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
St. Boniface has gotten a raw deal since it joined the City of Winnipeg 50 years ago, and should now separate to become an independent municipality once more, according to one candidate for its council seat.
Marcel Boille is calling for “a new city of St. Boniface,” and vowing to ensure a referendum on having the ward leave the city is held within 18 months, if he’s elected to become the area’s councillor Oct. 26.
“St. Boniface sure as heck did not need to be part of Winnipeg to survive. It was doing very well,” said Boille, during a phone interview Monday. “We were forced into (amalgamation along with other municipalities in 1972) to help the City of Winnipeg survive. And for 50 years, we’ve been paying millions upon millions of tax dollars.”
The candidate accuses multiple city councils of investing the vast majority of tax revenue into road construction, an arena and other amenities for the downtown ever since, to the neglect of St. B.
“The City of Winnipeg needs us to subsidize a city that was failing,” said Boille, during a campaign video he posted on Facebook.
The candidate’s campaign materials claim police and emergency vehicles also respond to incidents mostly in the downtown area, leaving police little time to deal with property crimes in St. Boniface.
“We were better off before we joined the city and we would still be better off outside, as our own city… We no longer have the right to say what we want to do in our communities. They’re our communities, they don’t belong to a councillor from Charleswood or Transcona or anywhere else,” Boille said.
While it is possible for a community to exit the City Winnipeg, as Headingley did in 1992, the change could not occur without provincial approval.
Incumbent Coun. Matt Allard and Nicholas Douklias are also running to represent St. Boniface in the Oct. 26 election.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.