On Oct. 26 of this year Winnipeggers will head to the polls to elect their city council and a new mayor. There are many key civic issues that affect West Broadway, including pedestrian safety, transit, housing affordability, and sidewalk snow clearing.
West Broadway is in the northwestern part of Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry ward, which is currenlty represented by Coun. Sherri Rollins, who is likely to run again.
In the mayoral race, social enterprise expert Shaun Loney and River Heights-Fort Garry councillor John Orlikow have announced that they are running. St. James councillor Scott Gillingham says it is very likely that he will run for mayor while Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood - Tuxedo - Westwood) and St. Norbert - Seine River councillor Markus Chambers are both considering mayoral runs.
Although the civic election is still nearly seven months away, it is important for West Broadway residents to consider issues to bring up to politicians during campaign season. The citys snow clearing priorities can leave many sidewalks inaccessibly icy during the winter, often resulting in swampy conditions during the spring melt. While this may be out-of-sight, out-of-mind during a September-October campaign, its important for residents to bring this up during the election. There may be some action on the issue, as Rollins and Coun. Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre) put forward a motion on March 24 to upgrade snow-clearing on sidewalks near transit routes.
Infrastructure for pedestrians and non-motorized modes of transportation is a big issue for West Broadway. According to the 2016 Census, over 60 per cent of West Broadway residents use transportation other than an automobile to get to work. This can include busing, walking and cycling. A 2017 survey of the neighbourhood by the West Broadway Community Organization determined that a large majority of residents want improved infrastructure for cyclists, transit, and pedestrians. Winnipegs transit master plan, passed last year, could make major improvements to our bus service but the city needs to allocate money over many years to implement it.
Affordable housing for those with low to moderate incomes is another critical issue in West Broadway, one in which the city has some role to play in alongside the provincial and federal governments. The WBCOs 2021-2026 Housing Plan noted that affordable housing is a longstanding neighbourhood issue.
West Broadway residents should keep many of these matters in mind as they speak to political candidates and canvassers and head to the polls later this year.
West Broadway community correspondent
Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.