Elmwood-East Kildonan incumbent Jason Schreyer has one challenger — Rob Massey, who is hoping history repeats there.
In 2014, troubled one-term councillor Thomas Steen was soundly thrashed by the NDP-affiliated Schreyer, son of former premier and Gov.-Gen. Ed Schreyer.
Massey, a church pastor, coach and mentor who lives in the area, says neither Steen nor Schreyer were ward residents when they were elected.
He’s hoping to oust one-term Schreyer who’s faced criticism over his expenses, with his city-issued credit card suspended last year after he filed his expenses late for the fourth time and for ringing up 600 personal expenses over 2015 and 2016, totalling $57,000, and was repeatedly late in repaying the funds.
The Free Press invited all council and mayoral candidates to fill out a questionnaire about themselves, their platforms and what they hope to achieve in office. Read their responses below.
No response given
Profession: I have been in Not-For-Profit Leadership for most of my career. My focus has been on community building, youth leadership, families and youth at risk, and the transition of leadership. Most recently I was the Transitional General Manager for a 12 staff person NFP in the West End. I also have a Coaching and Speaching business where I coach families in Mountain Biking and marketplace leaders to overcome challenges.
Bachelor of Physical Education, University of Alberta 1997
Have you ever previously run for or held office?
Have you ever been a member of a political party?
Yes. I am a member of the Conservative Party, and the Progressive Conservative Party.
My only other election experience was to volunteer on a friend’s successful campaign as an NDP candidate. I have found that my ability to work with everyone at the table is rarely understood but often appreciated.
Why did you decide to run for office?
This is my community and I want the best for us. After many years of representatives coming from outside Elmwood-EK, I saw an opportunity to be a local voice at City Hall for our community. Our current councillor has been frustrated and ineffective in bringing the needed investment in our community.
I believe this is an amazing community with human and infrastructure assets that are overlooked and require proper investment. I want to improve communication between organizations, decrease overlap of services, reduce government waste and open up opportunities for businesses to see the possibilities here.
What are the biggest issues facing your community?
1. Poor representation.
2. Crumbling infrastructure.
3. Essential businesses are leaving the core of our community.
4. Safety. Petty crime is on the rise around the city but hits hard here.
5. Image. We need to change our perception of what a great community we live in. Then we need to invite others to discover that this is a great place to live and do business.
Tell us something about yourself that voters might find surprising.
Our family moved to Belgium for a 2 year work contract. It was an incredible experience to unlearn all the limits we had put on ourselves. To motivate and pack up a family of 6, twice, taught me many lessons about leadership.
We all learned to persevere and gained a more global perspective of how local communities function. My ideas are not always best, I can learn from anyone.
What is your position on reopening Portage and Main to pedestrians?
Walkability is a big issue for me. I see the problems in Elmwood-EK around this: poor lighting, lack of crosswalks, speed of traffic, lack of transit, closed businesses and garbage are just a few things that affect our feeling of safety when we walk in our community. I am generally in favour of improving walkability downtown but will vote NO because I feel that for a smaller investment we could dramatically improve the walkability of Elmwood-EK.
What should Winnipeg’s plan be for the future of public and active transit?
I will fight for affordable and effective transit for Elmwood-EK. We have some of the highest transit use rates in Winnipeg and have the opportunity to capitalize on our proximity to downtown, the Forks, St. Boniface and North Kildonan. It should not be cheaper to drive and park downtown than it is to bus.
Car Drivers (we have 2 cars) should love Transit and BRT because it has potential to reduce traffic congestion, road wear, wait times and gives options to families.
Travelling by bus should feel safe and be affordable to everyone. Extending the times routes run, and connecting the various parts of our city is critical to becoming the city we are on trajectory to become.
What actions should the city take to progress toward reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians?
I support the current initiatives of the city to address the issues raised in the TRC. I have served as a pastor in the North End, Elmwood, Point Douglas and in the West End and have heard many stories, listened and learned from my Indigenous brothers and sisters.
I believe that how we walk out the TRC will be a measure of how our generation is judged.
How can the city tackle growing problems with drug addiction?
1. Take the stress off the police and emergency wards by getting the Main Street Project up to capacity to help first responders deal with someone who is high on meth.
2. Invest in organizations with a track record of investing in youth as a way to prevent crime.
3. We need city-wide policies for crime prevention that cross neighbourhood lines, party lines and philosophical lines. It's important that we work together, as a council, to change our future.
4. I strongly support "Beat Cops" as a proactive measure to build trust, identify families in stress, and help our schools deal with the increasing pressures on teens.
5. Getting to know our neighbours through events and community activities is key. Some things are better done by neighbours than police.
Tell us about something you’ve seen in another city that Winnipeggers should consider implementing here.
Poop bags. We have been in several places where a city will strategically place Dog Poop Bag dispensers. It’s simple and inexpensive but small changes add up. There is even potential that these could be funded by local pet stores and become a revenue generating clean-up plan. NEXT get garbage containers in the places where garbage accumulates (and empty them).