Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/1/2021 (202 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
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:
• Residents south of the Perimeter had no access to Transit Plus (formerly Handi Transit) service prior to Jan. 1, 2021, due to tan outdated policy limiting service for the disabled to spots within 500 metres of a bus stop. Thanks to Mayor Bowman’s support, Transit Plus now goes everywhere in the city;
• University students south of the Perimeter were being charged for the transit U-Pass despite the complete absence of transit service in the area. As of 2020, students in the area can now opt in to pay for the pass;
• Fire services in the area are much improved with the city’s new water tanker program (no city water service in the area means no fire hydrants to use for fire fighting);
• The city has committed to start spending some of the long-hoarded "future services account" money held in trust that homeowners paid into decades ago on the understanding that their gravel streets would see some improvements, such as chip seal pavement. This 2021 policy change should benefit the wards of both Coun. Chambers and Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood), both of whom championed this change in policy.
I will be talking about projects coming in Royalwood, Bonavista and Sage Creek — but I do take real pride in the work done with Coun. Chambers to benefit the outlying parts of St. Vital.
Brian Mayes is the city councillor for St. Vital.