Vivian Santos

Vivian Santos

Point Douglas ward report

Vivian Santos is city councillor for Point Douglas.

Recent articles of Vivian Santos

Blue Bird, Lismore parks renewed with new equipment

Vivian Santos 2 minute read Preview

Blue Bird, Lismore parks renewed with new equipment

Vivian Santos 2 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

On June 2, Point Douglas city councillor Vivian Santos, together with Brooklands School principal Rex Ferguson-Baird, students and community residents celebrated the final redevelopment of Blue Bird and Lismore Parks, located in the Brooklands neighbourhood, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the intersection of Lismore Avenue and Oddy Street.

“During the pandemic, we realized that public green spaces and city parks are safe havens where families and neighbours can come together and enjoy being outdoors together safely,” Santos said. “I am very honoured to be able to join the students of Brooklands School and area residents to finally celebrate the redevelopment of these two beautiful neighbourhood parks. This newly developed green space is particularly special as area stakeholders participated in a public engagement back in 2018 and they were instrumental in how the park is defined today.”

“The community has welcomed this renewal project with much enthusiasm. I see families and kids playing here every day, with the addition of the skating rink the space sees even more year-round use,” Ferguson-Baird said. “This is not only a park opening, it is a lesson for our children in being citizens in a democratic society. Two years ago, we hosted the planning of this project, at the school. Student and their families met with community members to dream and co-create the plans for the parks. Last year we celebrated the sod breaking together, and now our students get to see the official opening.”

The focus at Blue Bird park was installation of new play equipment and a two-bay swing set, replacement of existing light poles and fixtures with new LED pole lights. Other features include a new compacted granular path, new site furniture, picnic areas and tree plantings. The approximate cost for this project is $203,667.

Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

On June 2, Point Douglas city councillor Vivian Santos, together with Brooklands School principal Rex Ferguson-Baird, students and community residents celebrated the final redevelopment of Blue Bird and Lismore Parks, located in the Brooklands neighbourhood, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the intersection of Lismore Avenue and Oddy Street.

“During the pandemic, we realized that public green spaces and city parks are safe havens where families and neighbours can come together and enjoy being outdoors together safely,” Santos said. “I am very honoured to be able to join the students of Brooklands School and area residents to finally celebrate the redevelopment of these two beautiful neighbourhood parks. This newly developed green space is particularly special as area stakeholders participated in a public engagement back in 2018 and they were instrumental in how the park is defined today.”

“The community has welcomed this renewal project with much enthusiasm. I see families and kids playing here every day, with the addition of the skating rink the space sees even more year-round use,” Ferguson-Baird said. “This is not only a park opening, it is a lesson for our children in being citizens in a democratic society. Two years ago, we hosted the planning of this project, at the school. Student and their families met with community members to dream and co-create the plans for the parks. Last year we celebrated the sod breaking together, and now our students get to see the official opening.”

The focus at Blue Bird park was installation of new play equipment and a two-bay swing set, replacement of existing light poles and fixtures with new LED pole lights. Other features include a new compacted granular path, new site furniture, picnic areas and tree plantings. The approximate cost for this project is $203,667.

Winter’s here and there’s plenty to do

Vivian Santos 3 minute read Preview

Winter’s here and there’s plenty to do

Vivian Santos 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 19, 2021

With the recent snowfall we received, it’s safe to say that winter is fully here for another year. When it comes to winter activities, I really like the Nordic adage that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”

With this in mind, here are some of the fun winter activities that I’m looking forward to taking part in this winter.

• Winter walks in our city parks — Winnipeg has some real gems to explore, and winter can be a super fun way to experience our tree-lined trails. Some highlights include the off-leash path at the Maple Grove Park, if you have doggos who need to run around; the Assiniboine Forest, especially when the branches of the hundreds of trees are frost-lined; and Little Mountain Park; just off of the Oak Point Highway. Little Mountain Park just opened new washroom facilities earlier this year; in case your little ones forget to go before leaving home.

• Pleasure rinks — If you’ve got a little Hailey Wickenheiser or Sidney Crosby at home, the many outdoor rinks around the city offer a great place for your future hockey stars to practise their breakaway skills or offer an opportunity to take in a little bit of pickup hockey. However, if you’re more like me, and need to work on your skating skills without the added tripping hazard of hockey pucks, you can take in one of the pleasure rinks around the city. The City of Winnipeg parks department is still finalizing locations for this upcoming winter, but some favorite spots from previous years include Old Market Square, Lismore Park, the Forks and of course, the River Trails.

Friday, Nov. 19, 2021

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free
Assiniboine Forest is just one of many parks and natural spaces to be enjoyed in Winnipeg during the winter months.

March 07,2018

How will the city recover from service cuts?

Vivian Santos 3 minute read Preview

How will the city recover from service cuts?

Vivian Santos 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 22, 2021

I have spent most of my council term advocating to divert funds from the increasing operating and wage costs of Winnipeg Police Service, and I am still deeply concerned that our community services and transit budgets continue to face deeper service cuts each year.

That is why I voted against the operating budget for the City of Winnipeg last year. COVID-19 has made these service cuts all the more visible. Just a year ago, the city faced an additional epidemic of trench fever in our homeless population, a disease not seen since soldiers fought in the trenches of the First World War over a century ago.

Almost daily, I receive emails and calls from concerned residents about encampments around their businesses, their homes, and green spaces. The pandemic and the social isolation faced by many has led to increased drug use and overdoses, yet we have seen little structural change to even begin to assist people.

The vulnerable population continues to be forgotten about and left to fend for themselves. They feel abandoned by their government, and feel no need to clean up their garbage or make our community a better place. If you put yourself in their shoes, can you blame them?

Friday, Oct. 22, 2021

I have spent most of my council term advocating to divert funds from the increasing operating and wage costs of Winnipeg Police Service, and I am still deeply concerned that our community services and transit budgets continue to face deeper service cuts each year.

That is why I voted against the operating budget for the City of Winnipeg last year. COVID-19 has made these service cuts all the more visible. Just a year ago, the city faced an additional epidemic of trench fever in our homeless population, a disease not seen since soldiers fought in the trenches of the First World War over a century ago.

Almost daily, I receive emails and calls from concerned residents about encampments around their businesses, their homes, and green spaces. The pandemic and the social isolation faced by many has led to increased drug use and overdoses, yet we have seen little structural change to even begin to assist people.

The vulnerable population continues to be forgotten about and left to fend for themselves. They feel abandoned by their government, and feel no need to clean up their garbage or make our community a better place. If you put yourself in their shoes, can you blame them?

My Winnipeg summer bucket list

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

My Winnipeg summer bucket list

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 3 minute read Friday, Jul. 30, 2021

I will just come out and say it — I don’t like winter.

It’s because I love summer so much. I live for the long days and heat. No socks, no jackets. Slip on some sandals and head out the door. Everything feels lighter and easier. Hands down, it’s my favourite season in Winnipeg.

I look forward to savouring the long days with my kids and husband exploring the city. It feels great to safely spend time outside. It’s been a long time and we love all the new adventures our city has to offer.

To inspire you to safely explore Winnipeg this summer with your family and friends, I’m sharing with you the Santos family Winnipeg summer bucket list:

Friday, Jul. 30, 2021

Sasha Sefter / Winnipeg Free Press photo archives
The patio at Nonsuch Brewing (pictured here in 2019) has been expanded this summer.

Celebrating students, educators in a difficult year

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Celebrating students, educators in a difficult year

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 9, 2021

As we wrap up another school year, I applaud the persistent hard work of teachers, administrators, students and staff who continued to adapt and work together through incredible circumstances to complete another school year.

The 2020-2021 school year was completely adapted and adjusted to deliver flexible education, community and support for our children when they needed it most.

Again, I thank our teachers and staff. You have been absolutely amazing. Thank you. Thank you for your continued front-line work, sacrifice and dedication to our children. It is difficult to express my true admiration and gratitude for continuing to make remote learning possible and continuing to lead our kids through these times, building resilience and showing hope for the future. I literally see it every day in my own home with my two children.

To the kids — you have been absolutely amazing. Wearing masks, sitting apart from your friends, adjusting to smaller cohorts of friends and remote learning, again. Your entire school year looked very different, without field trips, holiday concerts or graduation celebrations. Your ability to adapt is truly remarkable.

Wednesday, Jun. 9, 2021

Supplied photo
In 2019, Coun. Vivian Santos (Point Douglas) was able to present Point Douglas Citizenship awards in person to deserving students from her ward. In 2021, the awards will be presented virtually owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let’s all celebrate Asian Heritage Month

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Let’s all celebrate Asian Heritage Month

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 3 minute read Tuesday, May. 11, 2021

May is Asian Heritage Month — a month devoted to celebrating and acknowledging Asian heritage. Winnipeg is a culturally rich city with many Asian communities. In the Point Douglas ward alone, I am proud to share that 46 per cent of our residents identify as having Asian heritage.

It is an honour to represent such a diverse ward. I have been privileged to share in important moments and celebrations in our community. Whether it’s wearing red to ring in Lunar New Year in Chinatown, enjoying a Ramadan feast or celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights — sharing and learning through these festivities connects us.

This month we have an incredible opportunity to learn and understand more about Asian culture in our city. Education builds empathy and understanding. With the recent rise in Asian hate crimes the education and celebration of Asian heritage has never been more important.

Growing up in the 1980s as a first-generation Asian Canadian, I didn’t want to acknowledge my heritage, I grew up wanting to assimilate into what I thought was ‘Canadian’ culture.

Tuesday, May. 11, 2021

Photo by Jen Doerksen / Winnipeg Free Press photo archives
Members of the Magdaragat Philippines dance company perform at the Pearl of the Orient Philippine Pavilion at R.B. Russell School on opening night of Folklorama in 2017.

Get outdoors and improve your well-being!

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Get outdoors and improve your well-being!

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 3 minute read Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2021

Being outdoors can improve your health and well-being in many ways. Being in nature reduces stress, improves mood and focus, provides space to move and play and is a free source of vitamin D (with sunscreen, of course).

Getting outside is proven to be good for both your mental and physical health. Spending just 20 minutes in a park around trees — even if you don’t exercise while you’re there — is enough to improve your overall well-being.

I am thrilled that the City of Winnipeg has seen a drastic increase in use of our parks and community spaces in the last year. We know, especially during the COVID-19 that outside is the place to be. In 2020, City of Winnipeg parks saw an increase in visits of 51 per cent, and we expect 2021 to grow even more.

I am proud to support public green spaces in the city, it’s important to me that everyone can access nature in their neighbourhood. Our parks and recreation spaces are critical infrastructure to safely connect with others, providing us a space to move our bodies and be together safely. These are important investments to build healthy communities.

Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2021

Supplied photo
Now that spring is here it’s time to get outside and enjoy all the benefits that being outdoors brings.

I choose to challenge. Do you?

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 4 minute read Preview

I choose to challenge. Do you?

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 4 minute read Friday, Mar. 12, 2021

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women. The 2021 theme “choose to challenge” is apt for the times - because change comes from challenge.

The women we celebrate have challenged systems, asked questions, and fought for justice and equality. Our stories inspire us to continue our paths toward equality. We must continue to amplify the voices of women and share their stories.

I look at the three generations of women in my own family and realize how different our experiences have been in Canada in the span of 40 years.

I think about my mother’s experience of being an Asian woman, a newcomer to Canada, pregnant with me and in a newly arranged marriage. She arrived in Portage la Prairie in the early 1980s. I think about the courage it must have took to flee from her abusive husband when I was four months old. Moving to Winnipeg, we lived on welfare. Knowing no one, she began a new life. She had to navigate a system in a foreign language. Her first job in Canada was at a sewing factory. When I was in pre-school, she started her own business, working as a seamstress out of our home. We would drive to women’s clothing stores throughout the city - meeting clients to make alternations.

Friday, Mar. 12, 2021

Supplied photo
Coun. Vivian Santos (Point Douglas) is pictured here with her mother and daughter.

Time to make public transit more accessible

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 4 minute read Preview

Time to make public transit more accessible

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 4 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021

I first mentioned my support of an affordable or fare-free public transit system in Winnipeg in 2018.

Since I’ve been elected, my council colleagues and I have taken small steps to reducing some of the barriers to public transit. In 2019, council introduced the low-income bus pass and earlier this year we introduced fare-free rides for children 11 and under. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has vividly shown the inequalities in our government systems and policies. Motivated by the inequities exacerbated by the pandemic, I want to lead, inspire and work together to create opportunities for a more efficient and equitable Winnipeg. That is why I am motivated to continue my efforts to advocate for an affordable or fare-free public transit system.

Earlier this month, I introduced a motion at the Lord Selkirk-West Kildonan community committee requesting the city’s public administration to begin researching the costs and effects of both an affordable ($1 per ride) or fare-free transit system in Winnipeg.

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021

I first mentioned my support of an affordable or fare-free public transit system in Winnipeg in 2018.

Since I’ve been elected, my council colleagues and I have taken small steps to reducing some of the barriers to public transit. In 2019, council introduced the low-income bus pass and earlier this year we introduced fare-free rides for children 11 and under. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has vividly shown the inequalities in our government systems and policies. Motivated by the inequities exacerbated by the pandemic, I want to lead, inspire and work together to create opportunities for a more efficient and equitable Winnipeg. That is why I am motivated to continue my efforts to advocate for an affordable or fare-free public transit system.

Earlier this month, I introduced a motion at the Lord Selkirk-West Kildonan community committee requesting the city’s public administration to begin researching the costs and effects of both an affordable ($1 per ride) or fare-free transit system in Winnipeg.

Collaboration is crucial to our way forward

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 2 minute read Preview

Collaboration is crucial to our way forward

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 2 minute read Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

If I were to pick a theme for 2021 it would be collaboration. I believe the need for collaboration is critical to build a successful path forward — between citizens, community organizations and all levels of government.

The cracks in our current systems have been exposed as we continue to live through the COVID-19 pandemic. The data indicates that our elder population, Indigenous population, working women and front-line workers continue to suffer at a greater cost through the pandemic.

These ‘unprecedented times’ have put forth an opportunity into our laps to rapidly innovate our systems. We are all interconnected — it’s time our systems and decision-making processes be reflective and inclusive of this, too.

When we listen and come together, it’s proven to work.

Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

If I were to pick a theme for 2021 it would be collaboration. I believe the need for collaboration is critical to build a successful path forward — between citizens, community organizations and all levels of government.

The cracks in our current systems have been exposed as we continue to live through the COVID-19 pandemic. The data indicates that our elder population, Indigenous population, working women and front-line workers continue to suffer at a greater cost through the pandemic.

These ‘unprecedented times’ have put forth an opportunity into our laps to rapidly innovate our systems. We are all interconnected — it’s time our systems and decision-making processes be reflective and inclusive of this, too.

When we listen and come together, it’s proven to work.

Many lessons to be learned from 2020

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 5 minute read Preview

Many lessons to be learned from 2020

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 5 minute read Monday, Dec. 21, 2020

At the beginning of this year, December 2020 was shaping up to be a big celebratory month.

I’m turning 40 and celebrating my fifth wedding anniversary this month. I had planned to celebrate these milestones with a family trip but now, like everyone else in the country, our original plans have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This holiday season I am very grateful — I feel lucky to have a close multigenerational family, a handful of close friends that I am able to text, Zoom and have phone calls with.

I am also incredibly honoured to be serving in my civic duty during this difficult time. Working to create better opportunities for all to have safe spaces and support systems to live well in Winnipeg has never been more important to me.

Monday, Dec. 21, 2020

At the beginning of this year, December 2020 was shaping up to be a big celebratory month.

I’m turning 40 and celebrating my fifth wedding anniversary this month. I had planned to celebrate these milestones with a family trip but now, like everyone else in the country, our original plans have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This holiday season I am very grateful — I feel lucky to have a close multigenerational family, a handful of close friends that I am able to text, Zoom and have phone calls with.

I am also incredibly honoured to be serving in my civic duty during this difficult time. Working to create better opportunities for all to have safe spaces and support systems to live well in Winnipeg has never been more important to me.

Now is the time for action

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 5 minute read Preview

Now is the time for action

Vivian Santos - Councillor for Point Douglas 5 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020

For the last few weeks, our city has been faced with many different and adverse issues: COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to defund the police, as well as people living in poverty and experiencing homelessness and systemic racism.  Most — indeed, all — of these issues affect the Point Douglas Ward I represent.

At the city council meeting on June 26, I decided to put some comments on the public record, which I knew would upset some and give voice to others. My commitment as a public servant, however, is to honour people who have been forgotten and try to give a voice to the voiceless.

To put it simply: our city is failing Winnipeggers who do not have permanent addresses, who are currently living in poverty, and who are homeless. While these citizens may not always be heard or seen, elected officials must work just as hard to represent them in our decision making.

Considering the increase in poverty, violence and trauma on our city streets since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear this is not happening. We, as a community, must do better.

Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020

File photo
Last month’s Justice 4 Black Lives rally at the legislature was one of many recent reminders that plenty of work must be done to defeat systemic racism in our city, province and country.

Lower speed limits make streets safer

Vivian Santos - Point Douglas city councillor ward report 4 minute read Preview

Lower speed limits make streets safer

Vivian Santos - Point Douglas city councillor ward report 4 minute read Monday, Jul. 29, 2019

I am often reminded of the fact that I will be turning 40 years old next year. The older I get, the more I think about the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. I am often reminded of the fact that I will be turning 40 years old next year. The older I get, the more I think about the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. 

As I’ve started my second career as a city councillor, I often ponder the question — what can I do to make a difference? For me, the answer I keep coming back to is to make the future of my children, my family and Winnipeggers better and safer. 

One of the most pressing issues we face in Winnipeg is that we have children, pedestrians and cyclists being involved in vehicle collisions and some are dying from their injuries.

Every day, I am reminded of the four-year-old girl who was struck by a vehicle and later died of her injuries in the hospital. Every day, I am reminded of when me and previous city councillor Mike Pagtakhan advocated for better safety measures at the pedestrian crosswalk at Isabel Street at Ross Avenue.

Monday, Jul. 29, 2019

I am often reminded of the fact that I will be turning 40 years old next year. The older I get, the more I think about the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. I am often reminded of the fact that I will be turning 40 years old next year. The older I get, the more I think about the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. 

As I’ve started my second career as a city councillor, I often ponder the question — what can I do to make a difference? For me, the answer I keep coming back to is to make the future of my children, my family and Winnipeggers better and safer. 

One of the most pressing issues we face in Winnipeg is that we have children, pedestrians and cyclists being involved in vehicle collisions and some are dying from their injuries.

Every day, I am reminded of the four-year-old girl who was struck by a vehicle and later died of her injuries in the hospital. Every day, I am reminded of when me and previous city councillor Mike Pagtakhan advocated for better safety measures at the pedestrian crosswalk at Isabel Street at Ross Avenue.

Investing in affordable recreation services

Vivian Santos - Point Douglas City Councillor ward report 4 minute read Preview

Investing in affordable recreation services

Vivian Santos - Point Douglas City Councillor ward report 4 minute read Monday, Apr. 8, 2019

 

In a time when we are all trying to make our families and kids feel safer, we must ask: what steps do we need to make our communities feel whole again? In a time when we are all trying to make our families and kids feel safer, we must ask: what steps do we need to make our communities feel whole again? 

 

I have two young children and they are so impressionable these days. I can already see them copying my habits, repeating some of my most common sayings and even mimicking my movements. As I watch them grow older, wiser, and begin to understand what is happening around them, I feel the need to be a positive influence in their lives and show them, through my own actions, how to be kind, thoughtful and enthusiastic Winnipeggers. 

Monday, Apr. 8, 2019

 

In a time when we are all trying to make our families and kids feel safer, we must ask: what steps do we need to make our communities feel whole again? In a time when we are all trying to make our families and kids feel safer, we must ask: what steps do we need to make our communities feel whole again? 

 

I have two young children and they are so impressionable these days. I can already see them copying my habits, repeating some of my most common sayings and even mimicking my movements. As I watch them grow older, wiser, and begin to understand what is happening around them, I feel the need to be a positive influence in their lives and show them, through my own actions, how to be kind, thoughtful and enthusiastic Winnipeggers.