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This article was published 1/10/2018 (602 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry city council candidate Michael Thompson said representatives at City Hall need to take responsibility for the issues plaguing Winnipeg.
The 45-year-old said after seeing years of neglect in the city he decided to put his name forward as an advocate for residents.
"Just seeing the roads deteriorate, little things left undone, and the sense that there wasn’t ownership of the issues that we see in the city," Thompson said. "As well as the big ones, problems with our water treatment, the police headquarters, the wasting of money.
"I’ve seen how the city has grown in the last couple of years and it’s important that we have representation and leadership at City Hall connecting people with the things that they need. And so I wanted to be that person working for our community and advocating for improvement," he said.
Thompson, who lives in Osborne Village with his partner Jill and five-year-old son, is the director of the Iron Man Outdoor Curling Bonspiel and previously worked in computer operations with the Western Canadian Lottery Corporation for 25 years. He is also on the board of the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival and has lent a hand on the boards of Toastmasters International and the Winnipeg chapter of Junior Chamber International.
"I have a lot of experience in dealing with huge budget projects and co-ordination with a lot of groups so that’s project management and experience in leadership," Thompson said. "Winnipeggers will be getting reliable integrity with myself."
In the ward, Thompson said the general care of streetscapes and sidewalks can be improved. Snow clearing, accessibility and lighting improvements, and landscaping maintenance should be addressed with a sense of urgency, Thompson said.
"Year round, having good sidewalks for people to walk in the community it keeps them active and it keeps the community safer because people feel comfortable walking," Thompson said.
Vibrant, well-cared-for public spaces will also enhance neighbourhood safety with more people out on the street, Thompson said, and suggested more resources should be allocated to community centres to provide programming for youth and create a sense of belonging.
"It keeps them active and it gives a sense of pride — those things are important," he said.
With growth continuing in the ward, Thompson said the City’s infill and development policies can be reviewed and updated.
"I believe in progress, so we can’t have houses that are run down and not lived in. We have housing issues, so it’s great to have all of our homes active on the street," Thompson said.
"I want to be there to advocate and support our communities because they want homes that fit in with the character of the neighbourhood. They want to be heard. I’m looking at changing the bylaws and updating them, so developers have a better sense of what’s expected of them and to get them to work in co-ordination with community groups."
Winnipeg Transit is also due for a review, Thompson said, beginning with safety and security on board, making Handi-Transit more accessible, and accommodating school-aged riders.
"It’s a need for everybody. It’s not a want. People need it to get to school and to get to work," Thompson said. "There’s a lot of area for reform there and I’d like to see increased frequency. So more resources and budget applied to transit."
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.