Brian Mayes

Brian Mayes

St. Vital ward report

Brian Mayes is the city councillor for St. Vital.

Recent articles of Brian Mayes

Proud to carry the baton for St. Vital

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Preview

Proud to carry the baton for St. Vital

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

I once heard the baseball announcer Tim McCarver talk about his playing career, when he served as the catcher for the great pitcher Steve Carlton. McCarver said that by the end of their years together, it no longer mattered who the batter was, the two men knew each other so well that they were essentially playing a “sophisticated game of catch.” I told that story to then-St. James city councillor Scott Gillingham a few years ago, as an example of how I wanted to relate to the people of St Vital — that I could relate directly to the people without concerns about social media or outside influences.

“It’s a wonderful image,” he said.

I thought about this on civic election night for two reasons — I once again want to thank the people of St. Vital for putting their faith in me, and for taking the time to talk to me at their doors, asking questions or stating their concerns. I will work to demonstrate that I deserve that faith.

I also thought Coun. Gillingham — now Mayor Gillingham — as election results came in. He is one of the finest people with whom I have worked in my adult life; a very decent man determined to work hard for the City of Winnipeg and all its residents. I usually roll my eyes at people on social media who say they are “thrilled” about something, but I am thrilled to be back on Council and back on the executive policy committee under Mayor Gillingham, continuing as chair of the water, waste and environment committee.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press

Mayor Scott Gillingham (right) shakes the hand of Coun. Brian Mayes after announcing the new executive policy committee at City Hall in Winnipeg on Nov. 2.

To go boldly – light rail transit on St. Mary’s Road

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To go boldly – light rail transit on St. Mary’s Road

Brian Mayes 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

The opening words of Star Trek are often cited as the example of a split infinitive — “to boldly go.” And yet, there is something stirring about the idea – even if you have to rephrase it as “to go boldly.”

In considering the future (should I be graced with another term as St. Vital city councillor), I have been thinking a lot about the bold idea of a light rail transit (LRT) line running along St. Mary’s Road and then further north on Main Street.

Back in 2014, I voted for the extension of the bus rapid transit (BRT) line from Jubilee Avenue down to University of Manitoba. I still think this was the right vote, as we would otherwise have had a short stub of BRT. At that time, Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge–East Fort Garry) pointed out that this leg of the BRT was supposed to be part of an overall network of dedicated lines. In the intervening years, city council has moved away from this network concept, approving no new BRT lines.

In 2014, Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) made the argument that — given growth in Winnipeg and the decades that had passed since BRT was first considered — the city should be looking at light rail rather than BRT. With another eight years gone, I now think Wyatt’s bold idea for LRT deserves serious consideration. I think we can bypass the BRT stage and move to LRT, at least for a St. Mary’s–Main line, and a Portage–Point Douglas or Portage–Provencher line.

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

The opening words of Star Trek are often cited as the example of a split infinitive — “to boldly go.” And yet, there is something stirring about the idea – even if you have to rephrase it as “to go boldly.”

In considering the future (should I be graced with another term as St. Vital city councillor), I have been thinking a lot about the bold idea of a light rail transit (LRT) line running along St. Mary’s Road and then further north on Main Street.

Back in 2014, I voted for the extension of the bus rapid transit (BRT) line from Jubilee Avenue down to University of Manitoba. I still think this was the right vote, as we would otherwise have had a short stub of BRT. At that time, Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge–East Fort Garry) pointed out that this leg of the BRT was supposed to be part of an overall network of dedicated lines. In the intervening years, city council has moved away from this network concept, approving no new BRT lines.

In 2014, Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) made the argument that — given growth in Winnipeg and the decades that had passed since BRT was first considered — the city should be looking at light rail rather than BRT. With another eight years gone, I now think Wyatt’s bold idea for LRT deserves serious consideration. I think we can bypass the BRT stage and move to LRT, at least for a St. Mary’s–Main line, and a Portage–Point Douglas or Portage–Provencher line.

Collaboration with LRSD improves facilities

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Collaboration with LRSD improves facilities

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

One of the highlights of my career as a councillor has been the collaborative work I have done with Louis Riel School Division. The most recent project to be approved is a replacement play structure at Victor H. L. Wyatt school. Funded with St. Vital ward funds, a contribution from the province and the LRSD, it is to be installed this summer. Why is there a city play structure on school division land? It’s a long story, but luckily the three levels of government worked together to find the funds to replace the aging structure.

On one of my long runs, I thought about the list of projects I have worked on with LRSD in the past four years and came up with 27 different projects. The list includes:

• Grants for all seven of LRSD’s high schools; including a new basketball court at Glenlawn Collegiate, new tennis courts at Dakota Collegiate and $500,000 in city funds towards the new community theatre space at Collège Jeanne-Sauvé;

• Grants for other LRSD K-8 schools in the St. Vital ward, including new play structures at Victor H.L. Wyatt and Dr. D. W. Penner, basketball upgrades at Lavallee, Minnetonka and Windsor and a new running track at Victor Mager;

Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

LRSD trustee Chris Sigurdson (left) and Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) show off artist’s renderings of the new play structure to be built at Victor H.L. Wyatt School.

Renewing St. Vital Park

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Renewing St. Vital Park

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2022

Growing up in the Pulberry area, I took St. Vital Park for granted. I didn’t appreciate the fact that not every neighbourhood has access to a large, natural green space. I now realize how important the park has been for me as a child, as a runner, and as a parent. I am very proud of the many improvements that have been made in the park over the past 12 years.

The first two projects — a modernization of the boat launch and resodding of the soccer field, were started by my predecessor, Coun. Gord Steeves. In 2014, I had the honour of opening the new $1.2 million pavilion next to the duck pond, a project I had championed in my 2011 campaign; along with a public art project (the Ecobuage fire pit) funded by the Winnipeg Arts Council.

The upgrades continued in 2016, with the new shipping container washroom building next to the play structure. In 2017, I was proud to open the new $750,000 toboggan slide complex, along with Riel MLA Rochelle Squires, who had contributed some provincial funding. In 2018, I provided ward funding to upgrade the park entry with better, lighted signage and new gardens.

This term of office at City Hall has featured one small budget project in the Park — new accessible swings near the play structure — as well as a $1.6 million road paving job in 2020.

Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2022

St. Vital city councillor Brian Mayes (right) and Saint Boniface-Saint Vital MP are pictured at the old staff house and garage in St. Vital Park. Staff facilities will soon be replaced and upgraded in the park.

Upgrades at the St Vital Arena

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Upgrades at the St Vital Arena

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022

The St Vital Arena recently “celebrated” its 50th anniversary, though unfortunately COVID-19 was in full swing and no formal celebration could be held.

This arena is in better shape than many of the city’s indoor arenas, and the St. Vital Minor Hockey Association deserves credit for its management of the facility for many years. Though I can barely skate and never actually played hockey at the arena, I am proud of the financial support I have worked to get for St. Vital Arena.

The most recent project is a $180,000 condensing unit which will be installed sometime later this year (subject to supply chain issues), replacing the aged condensing unit now in place. The condensing unit is a major component of ice making equipment. Funding for this project comes from the City of Winnipeg, but I want to thank Winnipeg South MP Terry Duguid who worked with me last summer in the hopes of getting federal funding — without those efforts I don’t think city staff would have endorsed the plan.

Earlier this year, the city provided about $30,000 to update internal ice-making controls at the arena. This project uses infrared sensing for energy efficiency and to reduce the risk of losing ice due to equipment failure. The city should be looking at energy efficiency work in all of its aging fleet of arenas (I am working on this). In 2020 I was pleased to approve $20,000 from my ward’s land dedication funds to help with exterior upgrades at the arena, with provincial funding help from Riel MLA Rochelle Squires.

Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022

St. Vital city councillor Brian Mayes (left) and Rick Andre of the St. Vital Minor Hockey Association, pictured recently at St. Vital Arena.

City budgets include money for St. Vital

Brian Mayes - St. Vital city councillor ward report 5 minute read Preview

City budgets include money for St. Vital

Brian Mayes - St. Vital city councillor ward report 5 minute read Monday, Jan. 17, 2022

In December 2021, I voted in support of the City of  Winnipeg’s capital and operating budgets for 2022. Here are some of highlights that will affect the city as a whole, as well as St. Vital:• The budget maintains property tax increases at 2.3 per cent, the eighth straight year at this level. Funds for road resurfacing increase to a record $160 million, more than five times the amount being spent when I was first elected in 2011. There are several streets scheduled for repaving in St. Vital, as well as the $45 million modernization of the St. Vital bridge connecting Dunkirk Drive and Osborne Street; with most of the work taking place in 2023-24.• The city continues to increase its support for fire, police and ambulance services, though the annual increase for police is not as high as levels recorded prior to Mayor Bowman’s election. Transit service is being maintained at a level about 6 per cent lower than pre-COVID-19 service levels, owing to the drop in ridership during the pandemic. Once the pandemic is finally behind us, I look forward to an expanded role for Transit, and the city is planning a major purchase of electric buses in the next few years.• I am very proud of a breakthrough in sewer funding, which I championed. The city’s efforts to reduce sewage spills into the rivers have been funded at $30 million per year for some years. I was pleased to win a $15 million per year increase for four years, a new $60 million environmental expenditure to improve the health of our rivers (and eventually Lake Winnipeg). There are still many years of work left on combined sewers, but this new funding is a step forward!• The budget also funds a new recreational amenity for St. Vital — a new rubberized basketball court to celebrate Glenlawn Collegiate’s 100th anniversary in 2023. This court will be located on city property at Memorial Park, next to the school. The city funded a similar court at Dakota Collegiate in 2017, so I am pleased to “even the score” in the decades-old Dakota/Glenlawn rivalry.• One project from last year’s budget has not yet broken ground is the new $2 million staff building/garage at St. Vital Park. This is the latest project of the more than $5 million invested in St. Vital Park over the past 10 years. There is federal support for the new building and I look forward to having Dan Vandal, MP for St. Boniface-St. Vital and my old council colleague, there for the groundbreaking.

In December 2021, I voted in support of the City of  Winnipeg’s capital and operating budgets for 2022. 

Here are some of highlights that will affect the city as a whole, as well as St. Vital:

• The budget maintains property tax increases at 2.3 per cent, the eighth straight year at this level. Funds for road resurfacing increase to a record $160 million, more than five times the amount being spent when I was first elected in 2011. There are several streets scheduled for repaving in St. Vital, as well as the $45 million modernization of the St. Vital bridge connecting Dunkirk Drive and Osborne Street; with most of the work taking place in 2023-24.

Monday, Jan. 17, 2022

Winnipeg Free Press photo archiv
A new, rubberized basketball court is to be installed in Memorial Park, next to Glenlawn Collegiate, to commemorate the school’s 100th anniversary in 2023.

Let’s talk about traffic on St. Mary’s Road

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Let’s talk about traffic on St. Mary’s Road

Brian Mayes 3 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021

During my 10 years as councillor, morning and afternoon traffic congestion on St. Mary’s Road north of its intersection St. Anne’s Road has been a consistent source of complaint.

The afternoon rush-hour parking restrictions for south-bound traffic have been extended to 6 p.m. on both St Mary’s and St Anne’s, which has helped ease congestion to some extent. The city is now consulting with the public on a new transportation master plan, and I want to ensure that concerns specific to St. Mary’s Road are heard.

The 2011 city transportation master plan (approved just prior to my election) called for St. Mary’s to be widened by a northbound lane north of St. Anne’s to Marion at a cost of $60 million (this was projected to be done by 2021). By 2016 the infrastructure plan for this same project had grown to an estimated $78 million. A year or two later, city staff informally estimated the cost at $100 million. However, in December, 2019, the new infrastructure plan decreased the estimate to $65.5 million.  

In short, no one seems to have a handle on the cost, nor is there money allocated in the city budget for the project.

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021

During my 10 years as councillor, morning and afternoon traffic congestion on St. Mary’s Road north of its intersection St. Anne’s Road has been a consistent source of complaint.

The afternoon rush-hour parking restrictions for south-bound traffic have been extended to 6 p.m. on both St Mary’s and St Anne’s, which has helped ease congestion to some extent. The city is now consulting with the public on a new transportation master plan, and I want to ensure that concerns specific to St. Mary’s Road are heard.

The 2011 city transportation master plan (approved just prior to my election) called for St. Mary’s to be widened by a northbound lane north of St. Anne’s to Marion at a cost of $60 million (this was projected to be done by 2021). By 2016 the infrastructure plan for this same project had grown to an estimated $78 million. A year or two later, city staff informally estimated the cost at $100 million. However, in December, 2019, the new infrastructure plan decreased the estimate to $65.5 million.  

In short, no one seems to have a handle on the cost, nor is there money allocated in the city budget for the project.

Helping St. George School serve its community

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Preview

Helping St. George School serve its community

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021

During my first two terms as a city councillor, there were no St. Vital ward-funded announcements for St George School a kindergarten to Grade 8 school in the St. George area of the St. Vital ward.

 This term we have been making up for lost time with three projects. In early November, I joined Louis Riel School Division trustees Chris Sigurdson and Robert Page to celebrate the new community kitchen facility at the school.

St. George School is a very culturally diverse school with students from over 38 different countries. Many of these students are from economically challenged backgrounds and reside east of St Anne’s Road, in a part of St. Vital that has been identified as having the lowest median incomes in the city outside of the core area. Part of the school administration’s mandate has been to connect these students and their families to the school through its family centre and community kitchen.

In 2018, I was pleased to contribute funding for anew hydrology table, which St. George School uses to educate its students about the Seine River eco-system and about waterways in general. In spring 2021, I provided $10,000 in funding to upgrade the crumbling outdoor basketball court at St. George — where I was again joined by trustee Sigurdson, my former Hastings School and Dakota Collegiate basketball teammate.

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021

Supplied photo
Coun. Brian Mayes (at left) and others recently celebrated the opening of a new community kitchen at St. George School.

Working to preserve our tree canopy

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Working to preserve our tree canopy

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021

As I approach the 10th anniversary of my election to city council, I am struck by the evolution in thinking on certain items which periodically come before council. One of these subjects is the importance of protecting Winnipeg’s tree canopy.  

When I was first elected, there was considerable pressure to sell off city green spaces. Recent debates now highlight council’s desire to protect and enhance our tree canopy.

Mayor Bowman deserves credit for starting up the Million Tree Challenge and my colleague, Coun. John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) has, for many years, been a leader in fighting for greater budget allocations to protect the city’s trees.

I am proud of the financing I have provided over the years to support tree planting initiatives in St. Vital. In 2015, Coun. Janice Lukes (Waverley West) and I arranged funding to deal with the Schubert chokecherry scourge that affected large parts of River Park South.

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021

Supplied photo
St. Boniface MP Dan Vandal (far left), Southdale MLA Audrey Gordon (fourth from left), St. Vital councillor Brian Mayes (fourth from right) and Coun. Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River, third from right) do their part alongside community members, helping plant trees in the area.

Tunnel mural rooted in reconciliation

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Tunnel mural rooted in reconciliation

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 22, 2021

I want to take a moment to celebrate a project my office funded in conjunction with Take Pride Winnipeg - the creation of a 120-foot-long mural (two-sided) spanning the length of the pedestrian tunnel which connects the YMCA, Glenlawn Collegiate and the St. Vital Library.

This mural, which not only beautifies the tunnel, also pays tribute to the area’s Indigenous history and is a step on the path towards reconciliation.  

Take Pride Winnipeg’s press release said “the artwork features many larger-than-life species and plants found in Manitoba, that are used as medicines by Indigenous healers.”  

The lead artists were Jeannie Whitebird and Mandy van Leeuwen and the project also involved many young artists from Glenlawn Collegiate, who provided both artwork and poems that now grace the walls of the tunnel.  

Wednesday, Sep. 22, 2021

Supplied photo
St. Vital city councillor Brian Mayes takes in the new mural in the pedestrian tunnel underneath Fermor Avenue which connects the St. Vital Library to the YMCA and Glenlawn Collegiate.

Plenty happened in St. Vital during pandemic

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Plenty happened in St. Vital during pandemic

Brian Mayes 2 minute read Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021

As the city re-opens after the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to showcase some of the highlights for the St. Vital ward.

This summer, there have been launches of major recreation projects - the $230,000 tennis and pickleball courts in Sage Creek, and the new baseball diamond at Highbury Park in South St. Vital, which was a joint $150,000 project with Coun. Markus Chambers (Seine River) and the Bonivital Minor Baseball Association.

August saw the dedication of the new mural on the walls of the pedestrian tunnel under Fermor, between the St. Vital Library and the YMCA and Glenlawn Collegiate. Last year, I was proud to announce a $300,000 city-funded modernization of the tunnel and this year I used $10,000 in ward funds to partner with Take Pride Winnipeg’s $6,000 contribution for a mural, which celebrates Indigenous themes. This tunnel’s transformation involved several of Glenlawn’s painters and poets.

On Aug. 28, my office is sponsoring a series of six afternoon Curbside Concerts in the Royalwood area, spread across three different venues.

Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021

Supplied photo
Bonivital Blacksox 13U AAA players (from left) Quinn Legace, Cole Pritchard and Jackson Bailor were pictured recently with Coun. Markus Chambers (St. Norbert - Seine River) at the newly refurbished baseball diamond at Highbury School.

Returning to a public/private Transit Plus model

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Returning to a public/private Transit Plus model

Brian Mayes 3 minute read Thursday, Jul. 29, 2021

The City of Winnipeg funds the Transit Plus service for transit users with mobility challenges. At present, it is delivered entirely by private contractors.  

In July, a committee of city council considered my motion from 2019 to bring 30 per cent of Transit Plus (formerly Handi Transit) services back “in house” - meaning the services would be delivered directly by the city rather than contracted out to private operators.  

The city used to deliver 30 per cent of these services itself, so the idea of a model that mixes both public and private operators has been successfully used in the past. My motion has been referred to budget deliberations later this year and I am hoping that council will give a green light to the idea this fall so that the transition to a public/private model can get underway.There are three main problems with the current Transit Plus arrangements:

1. Complaints from Transit Plus users about the quality of these services;

Thursday, Jul. 29, 2021

Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press photo archives
St. Vital councillor Brian Mayes has proposed that Transit Plus service returns to a model whereby the City of Winnipeg is responsible for delivery of 30 per cent of services.

An update on infill development in St. Vital

Brian Mayes 3 minute read Preview

An update on infill development in St. Vital

Brian Mayes 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 6, 2021

On June 24, after a two-year process, Winnipeg city council approved new guidelines for the future of infill residential development in the city’s “mature communities” (areas built before 1950).  

The clumsy and unregulated approach to infill construction in St. Vital’s Glenwood area (lot-splits; where one home on a 50-foot-wide lot is demolished and replaced with two new homes, each with two units) has dominated this term of office, resulting in hundreds of complaints from area residents.

There can be cost savings to a city from infill (such as more people using existing community centres), but shoddy developments in Glenwood have led to streets, lanes and sidewalks constantly being blocked, builders destroying the property of neighbours without taking responsibility for these damages, new builds often ignoring the rules for demolition and constructing homes that differ from submitted plans. 

 When the matter came to council, I supported the guidelines, in part because two changes that were incorporated, after months of effort from my office and from the residents of St. Vital.  

Tuesday, Jul. 6, 2021

On June 24, after a two-year process, Winnipeg city council approved new guidelines for the future of infill residential development in the city’s “mature communities” (areas built before 1950).  

The clumsy and unregulated approach to infill construction in St. Vital’s Glenwood area (lot-splits; where one home on a 50-foot-wide lot is demolished and replaced with two new homes, each with two units) has dominated this term of office, resulting in hundreds of complaints from area residents.

There can be cost savings to a city from infill (such as more people using existing community centres), but shoddy developments in Glenwood have led to streets, lanes and sidewalks constantly being blocked, builders destroying the property of neighbours without taking responsibility for these damages, new builds often ignoring the rules for demolition and constructing homes that differ from submitted plans. 

 When the matter came to council, I supported the guidelines, in part because two changes that were incorporated, after months of effort from my office and from the residents of St. Vital.  

Province should not eliminate school trustees

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 3 minute read Preview

Province should not eliminate school trustees

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 2, 2021

In previous years on city council, I have commented on the actions of the provincial government. Sometimes people agree with this, and sometimes people tell me my job is not to meddle in provincial affairs. I understand both points of view.  

However, because I was once a school trustee in Brandon, I do want to publicly state my view that the provincial government should not proceed with its plan (Bill 64) to get rid of all the province’s elected school trustees.  

I cannot speak to the work of trustees in other parts of the city but in my experience the trustees of the Louis Riel School Division have been terrific to work with. LRSD has had a “can do” attitude when it comes to building projects in conjunction with my office over the past 10 years.

The school division has worked with me for the benefit of the community as a whole by collaborating on recreation projects (sports fields, a running track, tennis courts, etc.), arts spaces (outdoor theatre at Collège Jeanne-Sauvé) and play structures.  

Wednesday, Jun. 2, 2021

In previous years on city council, I have commented on the actions of the provincial government. Sometimes people agree with this, and sometimes people tell me my job is not to meddle in provincial affairs. I understand both points of view.  

However, because I was once a school trustee in Brandon, I do want to publicly state my view that the provincial government should not proceed with its plan (Bill 64) to get rid of all the province’s elected school trustees.  

I cannot speak to the work of trustees in other parts of the city but in my experience the trustees of the Louis Riel School Division have been terrific to work with. LRSD has had a “can do” attitude when it comes to building projects in conjunction with my office over the past 10 years.

The school division has worked with me for the benefit of the community as a whole by collaborating on recreation projects (sports fields, a running track, tennis courts, etc.), arts spaces (outdoor theatre at Collège Jeanne-Sauvé) and play structures.  

Supporting the importance of play

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Preview

Supporting the importance of play

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Wednesday, May. 5, 2021

As I approach the 10th anniversary of my election as city councillor, there is a natural urge to list out the various projects that have been completed.  

I was pleasantly surprised to count up almost 20 playground improvements in the ward over those years. These improvements have variously benefitted area schools, community centres (such as the new accessible structure at Norberry-Glenlee, opened last fall) and parks.  

In 2021 work is planned on a variety of projects, ranging from a replacement of the swing set at St. Vital Park, to play structure safety upgrades at Pulberry (Cabot) Park.  

In addition to the Norberry-Glenlee project, upgrades in 2020 included a new bench addition at Ecole Guyot, and a new structure in the city park outside of Dr. D.W. Penner School. Unfortunately, funding is sometimes delayed (for example, modernizing the play structure at Dean Finlay Park has been pushed back to 2023).

Wednesday, May. 5, 2021

As I approach the 10th anniversary of my election as city councillor, there is a natural urge to list out the various projects that have been completed.  

I was pleasantly surprised to count up almost 20 playground improvements in the ward over those years. These improvements have variously benefitted area schools, community centres (such as the new accessible structure at Norberry-Glenlee, opened last fall) and parks.  

In 2021 work is planned on a variety of projects, ranging from a replacement of the swing set at St. Vital Park, to play structure safety upgrades at Pulberry (Cabot) Park.  

In addition to the Norberry-Glenlee project, upgrades in 2020 included a new bench addition at Ecole Guyot, and a new structure in the city park outside of Dr. D.W. Penner School. Unfortunately, funding is sometimes delayed (for example, modernizing the play structure at Dean Finlay Park has been pushed back to 2023).

The billion‐dollar question

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Preview

The billion‐dollar question

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Monday, Apr. 5, 2021

There is much to like in the newly announced Transit Master Plan, which will come to city council for a vote on April 30.

For example, the increased use of electric buses and more frequent north/south bus service for St. Vital. However, the TMP also presents major cost questions.

The TMP outlines a plan, ending in the year 2045, for new dedicated bus lanes and other new Rapid Transit infrastructure (such as a bus bridge from St. Vital, over the Red River to the University of Manitoba) at an estimated price tag of $1.08 billion.  

Unfortunately, city staff have provided almost no details of these plans and have stated that they really don’t know what the whole package would cost. The various projects are presented as Class 5 cost estimates, which are “rough estimates based on very limited information”.  

Monday, Apr. 5, 2021

There is much to like in the newly announced Transit Master Plan, which will come to city council for a vote on April 30.

For example, the increased use of electric buses and more frequent north/south bus service for St. Vital. However, the TMP also presents major cost questions.

The TMP outlines a plan, ending in the year 2045, for new dedicated bus lanes and other new Rapid Transit infrastructure (such as a bus bridge from St. Vital, over the Red River to the University of Manitoba) at an estimated price tag of $1.08 billion.  

Unfortunately, city staff have provided almost no details of these plans and have stated that they really don’t know what the whole package would cost. The various projects are presented as Class 5 cost estimates, which are “rough estimates based on very limited information”.  

Traffic flow and safety improvements coming to St. Vital

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 3 minute read Preview

Traffic flow and safety improvements coming to St. Vital

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 10, 2021

This spring, residents of the St. Vital ward can expect a series of long-awaited projects from the public works department at city hall, on various traffic initiatives I have requested.

As recently reported in The Lance, an advance flashing yellow light has been installed on eastbound Bishop Grandin Boulevard (eastbound) at St. Mary’s Road. I had first requested this warning system of impending light change back in the summer of 2018.  While I am pleased to see the light installed, I would also like to get one at the other end of this mile-long stretch (westbound) on Bishop Grandin Boulevard at River Road.  That intersection will soon be getting a separate improvement.

A new apartment block is to be constructed at the southwest corner of Bishop Grandin and River Road. Many residents opposed this building, due to ongoing traffic concerns. This construction project provided the much-needed dynamite to break a log jam at city hall concerning traffic at the intersection. As a result, there will be a new green turning arrow installed, for the afternoon rush hour, allowing northbound traffic on River Road to make a left turn onto Bishop Grandin with more ease. The present “stacking” problems for northbound traffic should be much reduced. There will also be a “phasing” improvement for morning traffic allowing for a longer green light for north and southbound traffic.  

I am also pleased to have staff approve two new paint-and-sign style pedestrian crosswalks. One of these is across Novavista Drive near École Julie-Riel, a joint project with Coun. Markus Chambers (St. Norbert - Seine River) who represents the more southern part of St. Vital, past Novavista. More on this at a later date.

Wednesday, Mar. 10, 2021

This spring, residents of the St. Vital ward can expect a series of long-awaited projects from the public works department at city hall, on various traffic initiatives I have requested.

As recently reported in The Lance, an advance flashing yellow light has been installed on eastbound Bishop Grandin Boulevard (eastbound) at St. Mary’s Road. I had first requested this warning system of impending light change back in the summer of 2018.  While I am pleased to see the light installed, I would also like to get one at the other end of this mile-long stretch (westbound) on Bishop Grandin Boulevard at River Road.  That intersection will soon be getting a separate improvement.

A new apartment block is to be constructed at the southwest corner of Bishop Grandin and River Road. Many residents opposed this building, due to ongoing traffic concerns. This construction project provided the much-needed dynamite to break a log jam at city hall concerning traffic at the intersection. As a result, there will be a new green turning arrow installed, for the afternoon rush hour, allowing northbound traffic on River Road to make a left turn onto Bishop Grandin with more ease. The present “stacking” problems for northbound traffic should be much reduced. There will also be a “phasing” improvement for morning traffic allowing for a longer green light for north and southbound traffic.  

I am also pleased to have staff approve two new paint-and-sign style pedestrian crosswalks. One of these is across Novavista Drive near École Julie-Riel, a joint project with Coun. Markus Chambers (St. Norbert - Seine River) who represents the more southern part of St. Vital, past Novavista. More on this at a later date.

Wellness grants help combat COVID-19 blues

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Preview

Wellness grants help combat COVID-19 blues

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

The civic level of government can sometimes seem slow-moving and mired in red tape. However, we have an initiative this winter that was been developed quickly and is getting money out the door to assist with “mental, physical and spiritual wellness” during this depressing winter quarantine.

Coun. John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) created the Winnipeg Wellness grant program through which each ward councillor has $40,000 to spend this winter. Applications close Feb. 28, and the money must be spent by April 30.

This is a short-term program that City staff have jumped to implement.  

I have been pleased to announce several grants to date:

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

Supplied photo
St. Vital city councillor Brian Mayes (left) and Dakota Collegiate phys-ed teacher Lindsay McLeod.

South of the Perimeter not forgotten

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 3 minute read Preview

South of the Perimeter not forgotten

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 3 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

In 2018, city council ward boundaries changed, and St. Vital ward lost its southern quarter while adding Royalwood, Bonavista and Sage Creek. I regretted losing some familiar parts of the ward but the reasoning for this was sound — Coun. Janice Lukes and I had fought for new boundaries that accurately reflected the growth of the city’s population in the south end.

As a result, the new St. Norbert- Seine River ward was created in 2018, with Markus Chambers being elected as its new councillor.

Since 2018 we have obtained some real gains for St. Vital, particularly in the area south of the Perimeter Highway and east of the Red River. St. Vital south of the Perimeter contains about 600 homes that are within city boundaries but which have no city water or sewer connections, no city transit and no community centres. The area used to be in my ward, and is now with Coun. Chambers.

I have been very pleased to support Coun. Chambers in making these breakthroughs, some of which were projects which I had worked on for years:

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

In 2018, city council ward boundaries changed, and St. Vital ward lost its southern quarter while adding Royalwood, Bonavista and Sage Creek. I regretted losing some familiar parts of the ward but the reasoning for this was sound — Coun. Janice Lukes and I had fought for new boundaries that accurately reflected the growth of the city’s population in the south end.

As a result, the new St. Norbert- Seine River ward was created in 2018, with Markus Chambers being elected as its new councillor.

Since 2018 we have obtained some real gains for St. Vital, particularly in the area south of the Perimeter Highway and east of the Red River. St. Vital south of the Perimeter contains about 600 homes that are within city boundaries but which have no city water or sewer connections, no city transit and no community centres. The area used to be in my ward, and is now with Coun. Chambers.

I have been very pleased to support Coun. Chambers in making these breakthroughs, some of which were projects which I had worked on for years:

Online city ‘surveys’ fundamentally flawed

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 3 minute read Preview

Online city ‘surveys’ fundamentally flawed

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 3 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020

The City of Winnipeg has released its draft 2021 budget, which I anticipate supporting at the council vote in mid-December.

One aspect of the budget, however, leaves me frustrated — the City’s habit of asking for online input prior to the budget, and then announcing the results as a “survey”.  Any public opinion survey should try to ensure that the sample of respondents is representative of the larger population. The City has many smart, professional people doing public engagement, but unfortunately there seems to be no effort to make clear that their online questionnaires are NOT statistically valid surveys.

This year’s online “budget survey” contains the startling revelation that Winnipegers view the police as the third-least important service delivered by the City, trailing only golf and parking in unimportance.

So, what was the population sample that provided that result?

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020

The City of Winnipeg has released its draft 2021 budget, which I anticipate supporting at the council vote in mid-December.

One aspect of the budget, however, leaves me frustrated — the City’s habit of asking for online input prior to the budget, and then announcing the results as a “survey”.  Any public opinion survey should try to ensure that the sample of respondents is representative of the larger population. The City has many smart, professional people doing public engagement, but unfortunately there seems to be no effort to make clear that their online questionnaires are NOT statistically valid surveys.

This year’s online “budget survey” contains the startling revelation that Winnipegers view the police as the third-least important service delivered by the City, trailing only golf and parking in unimportance.

So, what was the population sample that provided that result?

What’s up with the St. Vital Bridge ‘pipeline’?

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Preview

What’s up with the St. Vital Bridge ‘pipeline’?

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Monday, Nov. 16, 2020

A recent email to my office asked “why is there a pipeline going across St. Vital Bridge” from Dunkirk Drive to Osborne Street?”

The question is actually a pretty good summary of the situation, which has persisted for over a year with the sidewalk on the east side of the bridge being closed due to sewer pipe repairs.  I can provide some background prepared by City of Winnipeg water and waste staff:

• The existing Baltimore force main crossing is a 500 mm diameter steel pipe crossing the Red River along the St. Vital Bridge. The pipe is approximately 200 metres long, suspended on the underside of the east bridge structure. Built in 1988, it conveys wastewater from the combined sewer district on the north side of the Red River along Churchill Drive into the Mager sewer district on Kingston Row on the south side.

• In mid-2018 the force main began to leak and was repaired. After the original repairs, the force main experienced additional leaks, requiring emergency repair.

Monday, Nov. 16, 2020

File photo by Sasha Sefter/Winnipeg Free Press
The temporary bypass of the Baltimore main force sewer crossing was constructed and installed in July 2019.

Norberry-Glenlee opens accessible play structure

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Preview

Norberry-Glenlee opens accessible play structure

Brian Mayes — St. Vital City Councillor Ward Report 2 minute read Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

On Thanksgiving Saturday — Oct. 10 — a small group of St. Vital community members and elected officials gathered to “give thanks” and to unofficially open the new Norberry-Glenlee Community Centre accessible play structure at the NGCC main campus on Molgat Avenue.

This project included $320,000 for a new play park and $45,000 for a handicapped parking area. The NGCC reports that the “base is a poured-in rubber compound that is great for wheelchairs, walkers and people with walking difficulties” and that the structure “includes many tactile and sound/music stations and many visual features for those with sight issues”.  

The real heroes of the story are the NGCC board members who have pursued this project for almost four years, led by the unstoppable duo of executive assistant Carmelle Remillard and president Sean Fedorowich.

Funding for the project came from many sources — $100,000 from the City of Winnipeg, $100,000 from the federal government, $75,000 from the Province of Manitoba, $11,000 from local donors and businesses, $10,000 from Riverside Lions, $10,000 from Manitoba Tire Stewardship and $59,000 from the community centre.

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

Supplied photo
(From left) Sean Fedorowich, Jamie Moses, Dan Vandal, Brian Mayes and Rochelle Squires were on hand to open the new accessible playground at Norberry-Glenlee Community Centre on Oct. 10.

Make your voices heard on infill issue

Brian Mayes and Sherri Rollins 3 minute read Preview

Make your voices heard on infill issue

Brian Mayes and Sherri Rollins 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 9, 2020

A deeply divisive issue is brewing and spilling into our mature, established neighbourhoods, and over the next several weeks, Winnipeg citizens will have the opportunity to give voice to their values.

The issue is lot-splitting.

As a case in point, Glenwood neighbourhood in St. Vital has not fared well. Despite many protests by area residents, 100 lot-splits have gone ahead to date, changing the look and feel of many streets, as small homes are razed and replaced by two tall houses. Dozens of full-grown trees have been cut down and replaced by saplings that will take decades to provide shade. Side yards and back yards have disappeared as cement parking pads take over. Construction headaches, inconveniences, and the speed of the developers’ wrecking ball have stunned this neighbourhood and others.

Manitobans value fairness and transparency. With release of the draft Small-Scale Residential Development Guidelines for Mature Communities (available online), city planners are trying to deliver a blueprint that will apply more evenly across the city. The difficulty is that this dense and often technical 88-page report does not capture a deeper sense of what makes Winnipeg neighbourhoods so unique.

Friday, Oct. 9, 2020

A deeply divisive issue is brewing and spilling into our mature, established neighbourhoods, and over the next several weeks, Winnipeg citizens will have the opportunity to give voice to their values.

The issue is lot-splitting.

As a case in point, Glenwood neighbourhood in St. Vital has not fared well. Despite many protests by area residents, 100 lot-splits have gone ahead to date, changing the look and feel of many streets, as small homes are razed and replaced by two tall houses. Dozens of full-grown trees have been cut down and replaced by saplings that will take decades to provide shade. Side yards and back yards have disappeared as cement parking pads take over. Construction headaches, inconveniences, and the speed of the developers’ wrecking ball have stunned this neighbourhood and others.

Manitobans value fairness and transparency. With release of the draft Small-Scale Residential Development Guidelines for Mature Communities (available online), city planners are trying to deliver a blueprint that will apply more evenly across the city. The difficulty is that this dense and often technical 88-page report does not capture a deeper sense of what makes Winnipeg neighbourhoods so unique.

Make your voices heard on infill issue

Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) and Coun. Sherri Rollins (Fort Garry-East Fort Rouge) 3 minute read Preview

Make your voices heard on infill issue

Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) and Coun. Sherri Rollins (Fort Garry-East Fort Rouge) 3 minute read Monday, Oct. 5, 2020

A deeply divisive issue is brewing and spilling into our mature, established neighbourhoods, and over the next several weeks, Winnipeg citizens will have the opportunity to give voice to their values.

The issue is lot-splitting.

As a case in point, Glenwood neighbourhood in St. Vital has not fared well. Despite many protests by area residents, 100 lot-splits have gone ahead to date, changing the look and feel of many streets, as small homes are razed and replaced by two tall houses. Dozens of full-grown trees have been cut down and replaced by saplings that will take decades to provide shade. Side yards and back yards have disappeared as cement parking pads take over. Construction headaches, inconveniences, and the speed of the developers’ wrecking ball have stunned this neighbourhood and others.

Manitobans value fairness and transparency. With release of the draft Small-Scale Residential Development Guidelines for Mature Communities (available online), city planners are trying to deliver a blueprint that will apply more evenly across the city. The difficulty is that this dense and often technical 88-page report does not capture a deeper sense of what makes Winnipeg neighbourhoods so unique.

Monday, Oct. 5, 2020

Ken Gigliotti/Winnipeg Free Press photo archives
Residents of Winnipeg’s older neighbourhoods are considered by the proliferation of taller infill homes on split lots.