St. Boniface incumbent Matt Allard is being challenged by realtor Marcel Boille.
Allard, a lifelong St. Boniface resident, won the vacated seat in 2014. Allard says he is a proponent of urban density and infill and a defender of public transit.
Boille says his vision aligns with mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk in that he opposes opening Portage and Main, expanding the rapid transit system and growth fees.
The ward has been altered slightly, with the neighbourhoods of Dugald, Southland Park, St. Boniface Industrial Park, and Symington Yards moved to the Transcona ward and Royalwood, Fraipont and Sage Creek neighbourhoods shifted to the St. Vital ward.
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.
Born and raised in St. Claude Manitoba. Graduated in 1971 from Arthur Meighen HS and Insittut Collegiat St. Claude. Moved to Winnipeg around 1974, resident of north St.Boniface for 37 years. Father of Daniel(Michelle), Stephanie(Dave) and Georges (Ashleigh) and grandfather to 5 wonderful grandchildren. French is my first language and am bilingual. My friends call me Jack of all trades. Have worked in construction over 40 years, 26 years as a Realtor and have automotive, accounting and drafting experience. Founded Children's Place d'Enfants day care center and sat on board of directors for almost 10 years. Was also on board of Notre Dame Rec Center, Member of Knights of Columbus since 2000. My grandchildren are my Joie de Vivre.
Grade 12 graduate
Have you ever previously run for or held office?
Yes I did in 2004 for councilor in St. Boniface. At that time I was more of a protest candidate and did little to try and win. It was during a low point in my life involving personal family issues. I have no regrets of that experience because I achieved what I wanted at that time.
Have you ever been a member of a political party?
Although I have worked for a number of candidates over the years, I have never belonged to any party and have no loyalty to any party. Party means nothing to me... the person and his or her idea's is what I have loyalty to
Why did you decide to run for office?
There are 2 reasons why I decided to run in this election. One reason is because I have been bombarded by calls from residents and organizations in my ward who had all the same message. We need someone at city hall who will listen to us and work for us. That in itself is a huge statement because I always thought that a councilor was an employee of the taxpayers, and nothing more. I know I was born in the country and we might have been brought up differently, but I was taught that he who pays your wages is your boss and not the other way round. I have been in this city long enough to realize that this is no longer what Councilors and the mayor believe to be their job description. Every election they dangle a nice sugar coated carrot in front of you in the form of promises and once the election is over they appoint themselves as gods and run your life. The system is rotten to the core and it discourages honest working people from even attempting to run for office. Very sad and it needs to change. Change requires new blood
My other reason and the most important reason of all is for the future of my grandchildren. I have been blessed with 5 wonderful grandchildren that I adore, and want to give them a chance to have a bright future and a place to live in where they are proud to call home. Any one who has grandchildren will agree that it is our duty to make our city the best we can for them. Our grandparents worked their rear ends off to give us what we call home. Our grandparents built Winnipeg and they could boast that we were the 4th largest city in Canada and that was before amalgamation. Now even with 7 municipalities amalgamating we have been reduced to 7th. Why .. We have chased hoards of people away with high taxes, crime rates that are spiraling out of control, and a huge debt. Certainly not the way to attract young people to remain close to their roots. Successive administrations have mortgaged our grand children's future so as to make sure that they will not enjoy their future. They will be paying for our luxuries which they will not have had the pleasure of enjoying, and still pay for the things that they will need. The current administration if allowed to govern will spend millions upon millions of money they don't have and simply tell the bank..don't worry , our great grand children will pay for it. That is simply not acceptable. The theme of my campaign is TAKE BACK YOUR CITY. I believe that Winnipegers have a ray of sunshine at the end of the tunnel with people like Jenny Motkaluk running to replace the captain of the reckless ship we have at city hall, and she needs people like myself who want to listen to you the voters and return our once glorious city back to it's glorious state. Our grand children are our legacy, not pet projects, that waste millions of dollars. I hope that Winnipegers have had enough and will vote for good change.
What are the biggest issues facing your community?
The biggest issues facing our community cannot be singled out to one. We have many issues, but our biggest one would be that once elected, elected officials simply stop listening to their employer(the taxpayer) for 3 1/2 years and six months before an election pretend that they have been working for you and want another chance to represent you. Sharing the top spot is the crime and drug problems and the lack of will from administration to combat it. Talk is all we get ... no one standing and saying that they will re organize and commit our resources where they are needed, to get a grip on these problems. All we hear is we want more resources, and more money. There is no shortage of commitment and allocation of resources to combat infractions that generate revenue. Winnipeg has possibly more resources than many Canadian cities, and yet we are not getting similar results. Winnipeg does not have a revenue problem, but sure has one big priority spending problem.
Tell us something about yourself that voters might find surprising.
I don't really think that I have anything that is really surprising.. I am just a humble and simple man who does what he needs to survive. am not a rich person and don't have a lot, but everything I have I have earned from a lot of sweat equity. Give me a pile of nothing and will build something with it. I live for my grand children and the love and respect they give me makes me the richest man in the world.
What is your position on reopening Portage and Main to pedestrians?
Total waste of money, which will do nothing to revive the downtown. What it will do is add to the congestion of traffic, and how long before we get fatal auto/pedestrian accidents.This is not a need, it is a want.... If the roof of your house leaks to you replace the stained carpets years before you fix the roof. Don't thinks so
What should Winnipeg’s plan be for the future of public and active transit?
Manitoba produces tons of power that we sell at a loss to America at a loss. I would like for the city to look towards replacing a good part of the fleet with cheaper alternatives to half million dollars replacement price per vehicle (battery electric) such as Hydro electric trolley buses. Big deal if province or feds foot some of the cost.. in the end there is only one taxpayer that gets dinged at 3 levels. Property taxes should not be footing the bill for Transit. Transportation is a provincial responsibility. Transit should funded by users and the province. It is time for city to force province to look after it's responsibilities. I would also like to see transit to be free of charge to all seniors and students, that portion being subsidized by the province.
What actions should the city take to progress toward reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians?
This is only a dream. I don't ever see this coming to be realized as long as there are lawyers and money to be made.
How can the city tackle growing problems with drug addiction?
The only way we will get a handle on this problem is by putting WPS resources in priority and put them to fighting this epidemic as we call it. If as much emphasis was put on the drug problem by WPS as it does in traffic Enforcement, we would not have this problem. Go after the pushers and dealers, like you go after distracted drivers... problem solved. Instead of WPS accepting illegal payments from MPI to enforce Traffic violations that fill MPI pockets, we as a city should ask the province to transfer legitimate health funds to the city to battle crime and drugs. Revenue generating has infected every branch of the civic administration to the point that safety and prevention are not even on the back burner anymore.. Hoping that the next administration puts it's foot down ans says...enough is enough
Tell us about something you’ve seen in another city that Winnipeggers should consider implementing here.
Three strikes and your out..... Any one convicted of a criminal offense is barred for life from the city
Business and community leader Matt Allard loves St. Boniface will continue to work to make this historic, diverse and growing community even better. Matt is a St. Boniface man through and through: he grew up, lives, works, and volunteers in St. Boniface. Prior to being a City Councillor, Matt's occupation was small business owner and CEO of the Francophone Chamber of Commerce of St. Boniface. Matt has worked with many community groups and initiatives : as President of the Old St. Boniface Résidents Association. Matt speaks fluent Spanish, and raises his children in the language. He holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. He is married to Joëlle and father to Camille and Loïc.
Since taking office, as Councillor, Matt has been energetic in pursuing investment in his ward, from road repair, to parks, to the signature Promenade Tache riverwalk project in partnership with the Winnipeg Foundation. He believes strongly in the need for urban density and infill, to make the City more financially sustainable, and foster dynamic and thriving neighbourhood main streets. He is a daily user of Winnipeg Transit and a passionate believer, defender and promoter of transit service. In addition to the day to day service to his constituents, he works constantly to move Winnipeg into the future through innovative and creative new public policy and growth.