Anita Durand has been cutting hair in west Winnipeg for 30 years and has seen black hair turn to grey in front of her eyes.
And with the civic election next month, Durand said that managing an aging population and providing businesses, services and housing for seniors is a key election issue.
"The majority of people who live in this area are seniors, so maybe they could be more senior-orientated in more things," said Durant, who owns Nick’s Barbers at 3235 Portage Ave.
"There’s no new development in this end of town, like housing, and it’s rare if you see something new come in."
Jacquie Richardson, owner of Framing & Art Centre at 3143 Portage Ave., says her business is dependent on young people that are willing to spend their money on artwork and have it framed.
"What I’m dealing with is an older population that has had all of their stuff done over the years and whatever they’re doing now is downsizing," she said.
Richardson said the area is geared to an older population and there should be more incentives for young people to live in the area.
Alan Chalkley has lived in west Winnipeg for more than 40 years and said the area offers services that most residents need, except for seniors housing.
"They were going to develop north Saskatchewan Avenue years ago. That was all to be done there and now it’s going to be CentrePort, and now there’s nothing left," Chalkley said.
Incumbent councillor Grant Nordman and candidate Lloyd Finlay both agree that affordable senior’s housing is a must for the area in order to attract more young families into the area. Candidate Shawn Dobson declined to speak for this story.
When it comes to attracting businesses, Nordman admits that space for new developments is hard to come by but there are things that can be done to help attract businesses.
"Some of the incentives that I would like to see is from the provincial and federal government to get rid of things like the payroll tax that is a disincentive to all kinds of organizations coming to this province," Nordman said.
Finlay said that he would try to attract more businesses for seniors rather than those aimed at a younger clientele.
"The younger crowd I think tend to want to go to areas where other people are and congregate, and Polo Park in this area is where young people shop at," Finlay said.
Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce executive director Ernie Nairn said that developments like CentrePort Canada would serve as a catalyst for future development in west Winnipeg and attract families.
"Any stimulus of infrastructure that creates the building of new facilities for the inland port and the Winnipeg Airport Authority campus is going to be a stimulus for younger people in the area," Nairn said.
The Winnipeg civic election will take place Wed., Oct. 27. For more information, visit www.winnipegelection.ca.