City responds to the ongoing pandemic
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/05/2020 (1114 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
As of May 4, we have headed into what I believe is the second phase of this pandemic.
Beginning in mid-March, Winnipeg entered a period of lockdown the likes of which we’ve never seen. It does appear as of this writing that we have “flattened the curve.” After rising throughout March and early April, they began to slow, then mostly plateau. We are now seeing days go by with no new cases announced by provincial officials. This is very encouraging. It’s a testament to the widespread uptake and compliance with social distancing recommendations. Thank you, Dr. Brent Roussin for your ongoing work and leadership.
With the curve flattened for now, some of the economy has begun to reopen. While this situation is at its heart a healthcare issue, it has huge implications for all areas of society, including municipal government.
In the past few weeks and ongoing, the City of Winnipeg has made a number of major changes in its jurisdiction.
Following direction from provincial officials, the City of Winnipeg is reopening some functions:
• All City-owned play structures, picnic shelters, skate parks, tennis courts, basketball courts, and athletic fields. It’s important to note that only non-contact sports are allowed;
• Kildonan Park, Crescent Drive and Harbour View golf courses will reopen following provincial guidelines;
• For the time being, as of this press deadline, libraries, pools, community centres, and other municipal facilities remain closed.
In an effort to provide safe forms of recreation, opportunities for exercise and fresh air while respecting social distancing, the City has also designated nine streets as traffic-restricted to one block for the purpose of creating safe open spaces for cycling and walking. They will remain open until May 29, at least. They are:
• Lyndale Drive, Wellington Crescent, Wolseley Avenue, Scotia Street, Egerton Road, Kildonan Drive, Assiniboine Avenue, Kings Drive/Kilkenny Drive, and Churchill Drive.
The City of Winnipeg has reduced weekday transit service to adoption of “enhanced Saturday service” as of May 4. I am a huge supporter of transit and it has pained me to support this, but with a 70 per cent drop in ridership, it doesn’t make sense to continue running full service. I look forward to returning service to normal levels and continuing to advocate for its return and improvement. The City is keeping a close eye on crowding levels on buses and can make adjustments as necessary.
These are far from the only measures the City has undertaken. Others include the community ambassador program to encourage social distancing, new supports for seniors through 311 and partner agencies, as well as salary top-ups for laid-off City workers.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch about anything on your mind concerning Winnipeg’s response to COVID-19 or any other issue.
Please stay safe and practice social distancing.
St. Boniface ward report
Matt Allard is the city councillor for St. Boniface.