All Sections

June 2, 2020

21° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?


Advertise With Us

A campaign of hotly contested opinions

Signs supporting various candidates have dotted lawns throughout St. Vital during the civic election campaign.


Signs supporting various candidates have dotted lawns throughout St. Vital during the civic election campaign.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/10/2018 (588 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg had a brisk start to fall this year, but the cool weather and October snow didn’t slow down campaign efforts or the civic election on Oct. 24.

In addition to the mayoral election, which has been a hotly contested race between eight candidates, there is the referendum on opening Portage and Main, which seems to face widespread opposition throughout the city.

Candidates in St. Vital have been making the rounds to talk with residents and to get their signs out. In St. Vital, there are two candidates running for the St. Vital city council seat — Brian Mayes, the incumbent since 2011, and Baljeet Sharma.

Mayes and Sharma and their teams, have been braving the cold and going door to door, to talk to residents in person, hear their concerns, and hopefully to get their vote. There is more ground for candidates to cover this year, too, as the St. Vital ward was recently expanded to include Royalwood and Sage Creek.

The top reported issues for St. Vital voters are roads and public transit, while the opening of Portage and Main also prompts strong opinions. Opening the intersection would have a major impact on St. Vital residents, as Main Street turns into St. Mary’s Road, which is already a heavily travelled commuter route through St. Vital.

It is likely the referendum will fail, and both Mayes and Sharma oppose the opening of Portage and Main, saying there are other more compelling issues.

Yet, despite common local concerns about traffic delays and pedestrian safety and a lack of support from local politicians, the impact studies on opening Portage and Main do not find any major increased delays and report that the intersection is no more dangerous than any other in the downtown. In fact, safety would be improved by better sightlines and accessibility once the barriers are removed.

As part of his platform, Mayes has advocated for improving the infrastructure on St. Mary’s to improve traffic flow on both St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s Road, as well as for better Handi-Transit service throughout the city. Top priorities for Sharma include paving back lanes in St. Vital and moderating increasing ambulance costs, because high ambulance costs are an issue for many seniors.

In Louis Riel School Division Ward 2 there are four candidates for trustee — Chris Sigurdson and Robert Page, who are the incumbents, and Rodger Salm and Mark Olfert, who are running for the first time.

Salm, Olfert, and Sigurdson have priorities that range from increasing inclusivity and diversity to improving safety for students.

Whatever the result, this has been a race of strong opinions throughout Winnipeg.

Abigail Byle is a community correspondent for St Vital. Follow her on Twitter, @abbyinitio or email her,

Abigail Byle
Community Correspondent — St. Vital

Abigail Byle is a community correspondent for St Vital. Follow her on Twitter, @abbyinitio or email her,

Read full biography


Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us