Mayor Brian Bowman wouldn’t reveal which candidate he cast a ballot for in today’s provincial election, but said city hall will benefit if whoever wins power commits to long-term and predictable funding for municipalities.
Bowman told the Free Press Tuesday the strained relationship that has developed between city hall and the Pallister government "is not unique to city hall."
"I think the relationship Broadway has had with a number of groups has been similar," he said.
Bowman said he was pleased with the NDP's commitment for full provincial funding for the North End sewage treatment plant upgrade as well as the Progressive Conservative promise for a phased removal of education taxes from the municipal tax bill.
"We will be prepared to work with whomever Manitobans choose as their next premier and next provincial government. We’ll see what happens," he said. "I just hope whomever forms the next government, we can work collaboratively together."
Bowman said there’s been a different tone to this provincial campaign, adding he didn’t sense the same level of engagement by the public.
"I didn’t hear the discussions among friends, family, colleagues and the public in this election over the summer that the last election. It was a very low-key campaign, but over the summer that’s probably predictable," he said. "It was really the last week or two that seemed like people were a little more engaged."
Whatever the outcome, he said the constituency outcomes will provide a lot of entertainment.
"It’s going to be fascinating. I’ll be interested to see if there’s a number of spoiled ballots, support for the Greens."
With a federal election in October, he said Winnipeg stands to benefit if the governments in Ottawa and here have mutual interests.
Since becoming mayor in 2014, Bowman said he’s dealt with Tory and Liberal governments in Ottawa and NDP and Tory governments on Broadway, adding each political party has its own approach to dealing with municipalities.
"I’ve seen first-hand when there’s an alignment between the federal government and the provincial government, and Winnipeg benefits from that."
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.
Updated on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 12:01 PM CDT: Story fixed.