Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/8/2019 (362 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Jon Reyes is doubling down on his commitment to one of the fastest-growing communities in Winnipeg ahead of the provincial election.
Reyes, a 47-year-old father of two, is running for MLA with the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba in the new electoral division of Waverley.
"I’m running on my record now as an MLA," Reyes said. "I’m a very hands-on type of MLA and really connected to the community, and I want to do that in Waverley as well."
The former Canadian Armed Forces member, business owner, and football official was first elected to the Legislature in April 2016 with the PCs in St. Norbert, and over the past three years served as the special envoy of military affairs.
As part of the 2018 Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission, the St. Norbert constituency was eliminated and voters were redistributed into the new Seine River, Fort Richmond, and Waverley electoral divisions. The Waverley electoral division includes the communities of Bridgwater Forest, Bridgwater Lakes, Bridgwater Trails, South Pointe, Prairie Pointe, and Waverley Heights.
When considering where to run, Reyes said Waverley was the natural choice, though he doesn’t reside in the area.
"I’m a very hands-on type of MLA and really connected to the community, and I want to do that in Waverley as well."
During his time representing St. Norbert, Reyes said he was pleased to "go to bat" for the expansion and renovation to École Noël-Ritchot, part of the La Division scolaire franco-manitobaine. The $16-million project had previously been announced by the former NDP government prior to the 2016 election, and approved by the current provincial government in November 2018. Locally, the province also supported the new canopy at the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market and the playground project at South Pointe School. Reyes said he’s also proud of his work with the municipal government to support a regional recreation campus in Waverley West in conjunction with a K to Grade 8 and high school at Kenaston Boulevard and Bison Drive. The two schools were announced as part of the 2018 provincial budget with an anticipated completion date of 2021.
While government and school officials have long known new school facilities were required in the community, it wasn’t until two years into the PC’s mandate that the government committed cash and capital support, leaving the community in limbo while the merits of projects were reviewed.
"This project with the two new schools and the City, with community centre, is a very unique project for Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg," Reyes said. "When you rush you tend to make mistakes, and we don’t want to rush this project.
"It has been, and I can understand, it’s frustrating," Reyes said. "We are addressing the problem because we did announce the two new schools will be there and that plan is in place."
Of interest to residents in Waverley are newcomer integration services (funded through fees related to the provincial nominee program), seats for children locally in schools and child care programs, maintenance of grounds, and a community centre, Reyes said. The conversion of the Victoria General Hospital emergency room to an urgent care centre hasn’t had a major negative impact on the community, he said.
"Based on the research, people have been pretty pleased with the conversion," Reyes said.
Reyes said he is committed to being a representative for the community to Manitoba Housing, the developer of the Bridgwater communities. Bridgwater Forest and Bridgwater Lakes were formerly represented by premier Brian Pallister, MLA for Fort Whyte.
Also running for MLA in Waverley are Dashi Zargani for the New Democrats and Fiona Haftani for the Manitoba Liberal Party. The provincial election is Sept. 10.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.
The Winnipeg Free Press invites you to share your opinion on this story in a letter to the editor. A selection of letters to the editor are published daily.
Letters must include the writer’s full name, address, and a daytime phone number. Letters are edited for length and clarity.