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November 12, 2019

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Community connections inspired candidacy

Spina running for city council in Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry

Bryanna Spina is running for city council in Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry.

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Bryanna Spina is running for city council in Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/10/2018 (406 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/10/2018 (406 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A community volunteer and yoga instructor is asking for the voters in Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry to send her to the City’s council chamber this October.

Bryanna Spina, 41, has put her name forward to become the city councillor for the ward after a decade volunteering with the Earl Grey Community Centre and serving as a board member.

"Having had that really deep connection with the community there I felt that I wanted to take another step, and find a way to help even more," Spina said. "I’ve seen some of the areas where we are underfunded and areas where we can improve when it comes to community centres, youth programming, greenspace renewal and revitalization even more."

The mom of three, who runs a youth serving mobile yoga studio called Prairie Roots Yoga, said she’s passionate about improving the day-to-day lives of her neighbours and wants to ensure people are being connected with the municipal services that they require.

"Everything I’ve done in the past is all about information, education, and engaging with the community," she said. "We placed ourselves within this neighbourhood and community centre because we felt we belonged, we had a say, had a voice, and were about connecting with everybody.

"I feel very motivated by my community to move forward."

Within Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry, Spina said she’ll be a champion for community spaces and services at City Hall.

"The area that touches my heart and what I’m most passionate about is the youth remaining engaged, the community centres remaining active and funded, and the greenspaces remaining active," she said. "It’s connecting those aspects of our neighbourhood feel."

Spina said the responsibility of Winnipeg Transit to provide its passengers and employees a safe, secure, and supportive environment is also an important issue in the ward.

"I want to make sure that our bus rapid transit that’s already put into place is being used to its best and as effectively as possible, and ensuring our passengers and drivers remain safe," Spina said. "And for the incidents that have happened and are happening now, I want to make sure the front-line service workers are well taken care of and are getting the physical and psychological help that they need to continue the services."

In Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry, Spina said residents experience an entire spectrum of social and economic issues, and by creating connections among community groups already working in the areas of crime and safety, residents can find solutions to some of  their neighbourhood’s problems. Increasing business improvement zone ambassador patrols, neighbourhood watch programs, and the overall presence of those groups in the neighbourhood is an effective strategy, she said.

"I think that (by) creating more discussions, more dialogue and more ideas to put together safety models, we could share these in the different neighbourhoods. And it’s a collaborative effort that will create that cohesion between the services of the city, the organizations of the city, and the communities of the city," Spina said.

At the city-wide level, Spina said her work will focus on the health and vibrancy of the urban tree canopy and also suggested a review of Winnipeg Transit’s routes and scheduling to more effectively connect communities in the city.

"I know that neighbourhoods are suffering because of the infestations of the elms and the ashes. I want to make sure that the whole city, the greenspaces and streets, maintains the canopy of trees that we see growing," she said.

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva
Community journalist — The Sou'wester

Danielle Da Silva is the community journalist for The Sou'wester. Email her at danielle.dasilva@canstarnews.com

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