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Crime, youth recreation key topics at Elmwood-East Kildonan debate

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/10/2010 (3169 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Crime, youth recreation, and the ghost of Kelvin Community Club were the key topics at the Elmwood-East Kildonan candidates debate Wednesday night.

Asked whether they would support rezoning the former Kelvin Community Club from recreation to commercial, candidates dared not say yes. Candidate Gordon Warren said it would be like shoveling dirt on Elmwood’s face. City council closed the club over two years ago.

Several candidates talked first hand about their experiences with crime in the area. Shaneen Robinson, the NDP nomination for the ward, said she caught someone trying to steal her car two weeks ago. Robinson, who has lived in Elmwood all her life, linked the attempted crime to Kelvin’s closure.

Metis candidate Nelson Sanderson, who has lived in Elmwood 23 years, said two youths were shot to death in his backyard on Dec. 6, 2009. He wanted to see police foot patrols.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/10/2010 (3169 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Crime, youth recreation, and the ghost of Kelvin Community Club were the key topics at the Elmwood-East Kildonan candidates debate Wednesday night.

Asked whether they would support rezoning the former Kelvin Community Club from recreation to commercial, candidates dared not say yes. Candidate Gordon Warren said it would be like shoveling dirt on Elmwood’s face. City council closed the club over two years ago.

Several candidates talked first hand about their experiences with crime in the area. Shaneen Robinson, the NDP nomination for the ward, said she caught someone trying to steal her car two weeks ago. Robinson, who has lived in Elmwood all her life, linked the attempted crime to Kelvin’s closure.

Metis candidate Nelson Sanderson, who has lived in Elmwood 23 years, said two youths were shot to death in his backyard on Dec. 6, 2009. He wanted to see police foot patrols.

Rod Giesbrecht said he has heard the crime stories from knocking on doors this election. "(People) are getting fearful and withdrawing into their homes and getting big dogs," he said. All candidates agreed more programs for youths are needed.

Candidates were questioned about their credentials.

Giesbrecht seems to lead in the life experience department, serving as a school trustee the past dozen years and holding numerous volunteer coaching positions in basketball and performing charity work for Winnipeg Harvest and in Africa. He is also a former pastor.

The youngest candidate was Shaneen Robinson, 30, daughter of NDP cabinet minister Eric Robinson. Robinson said she still lives in an apartment in Elmwood but is buying a home soon.

"Some people think I’m too young. I beg to differ," she said. Robinson called herself a community activist and rattled off a list of associations she volunteers for, including helping at risk youths through the YWCA.

Robinson had the largest entourage including NDP supporters and many of her friends, and usually received the loudest applause.

Former Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen talked about running his Amadeus Steen Foundation named for his infant son who died. He also organized a trip for NHLers to boost morale of Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Steen made it clear the event was to support the troops, not necessarily the war.

Steen was clearly the right wing candidate. He ran as a Progressive Conservative in the Elmwood riding in the federal election two years ago. He favoured a tax freeze but didn’t seem to know as much about the ward as the other candidates.

The candidates debate was for Elmwood-East Kildonan but it was more about Elmwood than East Kildonan. But more of Elmwood is in the ward. Its northeast boundary angles westward from North Kildonan, eventually following Henderson Highway’s east side only (leaving out the river side of East Kildonan) until Roxy Park, when it includes the west side of Henderson.

Of close to 200 people in attendance, about 75 were Creative Communications students from Red River College. Most everyone in the audience was asked for an interview at least a couple times. The Free Press was asked three times. Protocol has it that media don’t interview media, who try to be non-partisan.

Robinson is a graduate of the Red River program and has worked in journalism.

Giesbrecht said the ward needs more senior housing while Robinson would like to see more incentive to build and renovate homes. Sanderson said there are a half dozen boarded up homes where he lives in Elmwood. Warren said the area needs a Metis-Aboriginal Community Centre.

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

Bill Redekop

Bill Redekop
Rural Reporter

Bill Redekop has been covering rural issues since 2001.

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