Collaboration is crucial to our way forward


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/01/2021 (869 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

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.

Through public consultations in 2020, we heard from citizens that community services were the number one priority for our civic budget. Hearing these needs, we were able to work together with our provincial government to secure a $50 million, three-year recreation and library investment strategy to provide the much needed investments in and maintenance for our crumbling, community services infrastructure.

As a leader, I will always make decisions in the best interests of my constituents. Listening to what’s important to you is how I believe to be a good public servant.

Indigenous leaders and community organizations are telling us that an Indigenous-led reconciliation is one path forward to meaningful change in our city. This makes sense to me, as current government systems attempting to solve these issues are not meeting the needs of all Winnipeggers.

Secured, barrier-free housing, poverty and mental health are complex, interconnected issues that require all levels of government to work together. We must work together to integrate community reconciliation and the inclusion of cultural sensitivity into the supports and programs we offer and provide. To achieve this, all levels of government must listen and work collaboratively toward solutions and meaningful change.

As a BIPOC woman, I will endeavour to bring more voices to the table in 2021.

Now is the time for decision makers to listen with empathy and compassion to understand that our solutions are complex and require many voices in the room to be heard.

Vivian Santos

Vivian Santos
Point Douglas ward report

Vivian Santos is city councillor for Point Douglas.

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