June 25, 2019

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Working-class ward needs help

Neighbourhood 'at tipping point'

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/9/2010 (3203 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

IT'S a working-class neighbourhood with a growing crime problem that's lost a community club, and doesn't qualify for a lot of anti-poverty program funding.

Elmwood needs some targeted help from city hall before things get worse, says Martin Landy, executive director of the Elmwood Community Resource Centre.

"This neighbourhood is at a tipping point," he said recently. "It's a shoulder community that's ignored by all levels of government."

It's also the backdrop for one of the city's tightest and most star-studded council races, where former CTV journalist Shaneen Robinson is using her NDP endorsement to take on maverick school trustee Rod Giesbrecht and well-loved former Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/9/2010 (3203 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Council candidate Shaneen Robinson (left) holds open house.

BORIS.MINKEVICH@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

Council candidate Shaneen Robinson (left) holds open house.

IT'S a working-class neighbourhood with a growing crime problem that's lost a community club, and doesn't qualify for a lot of anti-poverty program funding.

Elmwood needs some targeted help from city hall before things get worse, says Martin Landy, executive director of the Elmwood Community Resource Centre.

"This neighbourhood is at a tipping point," he said recently. "It's a shoulder community that's ignored by all levels of government."

It's also the backdrop for one of the city's tightest and most star-studded council races, where former CTV journalist Shaneen Robinson is using her NDP endorsement to take on maverick school trustee Rod Giesbrecht and well-loved former Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen.

Thomas Steen.

JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

Thomas Steen.

Also running in Elmwood-East Kildonan is Nelson Sanderson, a self-employed, 23-year-resident of Elmwood who has been active in the Métis community.

Giesbrecht appears to be ahead of the campaign curve, even though he lost the NDP nomination and got punted from the party when he ran anyway. His NDP-orange signs line the ward's major thoroughfares. He's already dropped thousands of leaflets when he's been out door knocking. And he's got the most specific platform of the four contenders.

He says it's time for change in the ward, long represented by NDPer Lillian Thomas, who is retiring.

Without Giesbrecht, the race in Elmwood-EK would likely break down along traditional right-left lines — Robinson's NDP machine versus Steen's Tory affiliation and name recognition.

But Giesbrecht and his aggressive campaign could be the race's wild card, siphoning votes away from Robinson. As a Christian pastor, he might also appeal to seniors and some of Steen's conservative base.

"I'm not taking any of (the candidates) for granted," said Robinson, whose father is NDP cabinet minister Eric Robinson. "I'm just focussing on my own candidacy."

All three agree that crime and safety top the agenda, especially in Elmwood.

Robinson, who stresses her lifelong roots in the neighbourhood, says residents are still peeved about the closure of the Kelvin community club, and she would make programs for youth a priority.

Steen, who is tight with Mayor Sam Katz's campaign manager, said his ability to build strong relationships with the other levels of government, the police and emergency services will be key to improving Elmwood-East Kildonan.

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

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