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This article was published 5/10/2018 (382 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Crime, infrastructure and wasteful spending are top priorities for Charleswood-Tuxedo councillor candidate Ken St. George.
The 45-year-old lives in Westdale and has a blended family with his wife of six years, four children and a new granddaughter. St. George has worked as a nurse in Winnipeg’s core for 15 years and believes that experience will benefit him in the council chamber.
"Nurses are critical thinkers and we’re one of the most trusted professions in the world and I just need my constituents to put their trust in me to do the right thing for our area," he said.
According to St. George, property crime is the top concern for residents in the ward. The candidate said he would like to see more investment in frontline services that deal with the root causes of crime, like socio-economic issues, youth engagement and drug addiction.
"I’m tired of hearing about Band-Aid solutions and throwing more police on the streets," he said, adding that he believes large corporations should help foot the bill. "If we’re going to continue corporate welfare perhaps we can ask for, or mandate, a percentage of that to come back and give to our community service providers."
When it comes to infrastructure, he has some concerns about major projects proposed in the ward. Instead of expropriating land along Kenaston Boulevard to make room for a wider roadway, St. George is proposing double-decking a section of the street to create a raised expressway from Ness Avenue to Waverley West.
"Would it cost a little more? Yes. But when you look at the big scheme of things when you’re avoiding expropriation… how much more would it really cost?" he said.
He is also opposed to the second phase of the William R. Clement Parkway and would like to see an underpass created to save the Charleswood dog park or another solution explored. To pay for this major roadwork, St. George is proposing a $2 "portal of entry fee" for people who live outside the Perimeter and commute to Winnipeg for work.
"They’re still coming to Winnipeg to work every day, which puts demands on our infrastructure, which puts demands on congestion," he said. "What I propose to do is a licence scanning system… Winnipeggers would be exempt and then the bedroom community commuters would be exempt when they exit."
Through creative revenue ideas, St. George says he will help reduce spending waste at City Hall and avoid raising property taxes.
"Every constituent is an investor and a stakeholder in the civil service that is providing service for them and they expect results."
He would also like to see smaller class sizes and more schools in the ward and would lobby the provincial government to see that happen.
"If that means spending part of my day harassing people down on Broadway, then that’s what I’ll do."
Eva Wasney reports on arts, culture and life for the Winnipeg Free Press.