October 20 – Judy Wasylycia-Leis returned to the front lawn of her home today, the location of the first policy announcement of the campaign, to recommit to fixing City Hall if she is elected mayor.
“I have the experience to fix City Hall,” Wasylycia-Leis said. “My plan will help restore the ethical foundation of municipal government and rebuild the trust of Winnipeggers.”Read more
October 18 – Judy Wasylycia-Leis today reiterated her commitment to make Winnipeg a more innovative, prosperous, and vibrant city where diversity is celebrated, where everyone has a voice, and which keeps our young people here.Read more
October 15 – Judy Wasylycia-Leis today released a list of those who have donated over $250 to her campaign. This is part of her commitment to ensuring an open and transparent City Hall as mayor. The people who want to help Judy make Winnipeg A City That Works represent a wide cross-section of the community.Read more
October 14, 2014 -- Judy Wasylycia-Leis today recommitted to investments in local and regional roads that will enable the rebuilding of Winnipeg’s key routes if she is elected mayor.
Speaking beside a crumbling section of Roblin Boulevard in front of the Assiniboine Park Zoo, Judy highlighted how important it is that key routes are in excellent condition for Winnipeg drivers and visitors to the community.
"The poor conditions of our roads create headaches for Winnipeg drivers and leave an unfavourable impression on visitors who come here to see world-class attractions such as The Journey to Churchill exhibit," Wasylycia-Leis said. "Investments in regional and local streets are critical to the economic health of our city."
Judy's four year, $400-million investment is an important component of her plan to make Winnipeg A City That Works. Her commitments include:
- Fixing City Hall
- Rebuilding Our Infrastructure
- Protecting City Services
- Creating Opportunities
Judy will build on the $340 million in road construction already approved by city council by investing a further $60 million in local and regional roads over the next four years, while keeping property taxes affordable.
In addition, Judy has committed that $20 million of the $400-million local and regional roads budget is dedicated to active transportation projects.
“I am committed to the priorities of Winnipeggers,” said Judy. “A City That Works means roads that work.”
Judy Wasylycia-Leis today announced her plan to have Winnipeggers celebrate their city and provide a warm, welcoming and fun urban atmosphere for visitors.
“Some of Winnipeg’s greatest assets are its diverse neighbourhoods that are hotbeds of live music, festivals as well arts and culture,” said Wasylycia-Leis. “Our plan can help strengthen neighbourhoods and make them sources of local pride while making them places people want to visit and enjoy all the great things we have to offer.”
This strategy builds on the success of the existing film and special events office with the City of Winnipeg. Judy will expand the scope and resources of the office focussing on the following areas:
Arts and Culture: Judy will implement a key recommendation of Manitobans for the Arts, which is to incorporate the arts and culture sector into all municipal planning.
Judy will ensure the Winnipeg Arts Council receives an annual cost of living increase, that the arts council is consulted on planning and has a role in the Our Winnipeg Studio, and that the five per cent funding for museums previously cut by City Hall is restored within the next two years.
In addition, Judy is committed to developing an Aboriginal arts policy, with Indigenous artists taking the lead in the process.
Live Music and Entertainment: Judy will support the live music industry by providing a service through the film and special events office to connect artists with venues. This will complement changes the Manitoba government made to liquor laws designed to foster a stronger live music scene.
Festivals and Block Parties: Judy will work with small festivals and block parties to address the costs associated with street closures and liability insurance that can make small festivals and block parties prohibitively expensive.
This builds on Judy’s previous announcement of the $250,000 Mayor’s Community Enterprise Fund. The fund would provide loans of up to $10,000 to help finance innovative ideas such as pop-up restaurants, small businesses, emerging music and arts festivals and other events that promote economic development, make our community more vibrant and enhance our quality of life.
“I fell in love with this city the day that my husband Ron and I moved here. The strengths of this city is its diversity. It is time to celebrate it, grow it and share it with the world,” said Wasylycia-Leis.
October 2 - Judy Wasylycia-Leis today committed to support active transportation, using human power to move Winnipeggers through our city in a healthy, productive way.
“When people walk and cycle to their destination they make themselves healthier and reduce wear and tear on our infrastructure," said Wasylycia-Leis. “Active transportation is healthy for our citizens and our city.”
As part of her announcement on active transportation Judy highlighted:
- $20 million of funds earmarked for infrastructure improvements over the next four years to support active transportation from the four year, $400 million plan to fix Winnipeg roads.
- Incorporation of Active Transportation components in new construction.
- More bike lanes, and bike lanes that connect to each other instead of just ending.
- Priority snow clearing of sidewalks to get people moving all year round.
- Plans to accommodate cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair users with more time to cross streets at intersections.
- Emphasis on walkable communities and neighbourhoods in any new suburban developments.
Judy noted that in addition to its environmental benefits, active transportation can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, anxiety and depression.
“Winnipeg is on the right path. There is an active transportation coordinator on staff and an active transportation advisory committee. But that is only a beginning, not an end,” said Wasylycia-Leis.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis today announced she will make Winnipeg A City That Works by developing a comprehensive housing strategy that builds partnerships and takes advantage of the tools City Hall has its disposal.
“Our plan will enable the private and not-for-profit sectors and other levels of government to leverage more value for their investments,” said Wasylycia-Leis. “Together we can improve access to affordable and social housing while taking on more complex issues such as homelessness.”
Under Judy’s plan, the city’s housing strategy will include:
- Expanding use of tax increment financing (TIF),
- Using inclusionary zoning policies and buy out options,
- Prioritizing land for affordable housing including pre-zoning when land is available,
- Donating land for affordable housing, using Merchants Corner project as the model for success,
- Providing waivers of development fees for affordable housing,
- Taking a more active role in enforcing existing regulations and bylaws to ensure safe living conditions,
- Actively engaging with the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council to implement the Action Plan to end Homelessness developed by the multi-stakeholder Community Task Force to End Homelessness.
"We need to take an active role in developing policies that give households of all income levels a variety of options. Other cities across Canada such as Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon have well developed action plans," said Wasylycia-Leis. “It is time for Winnipeg to catch up with other western Canadian cities.”
Judy said many of the ideas for her housing strategy come directly from the Right To Housing Coalition as well as the OurWinnipeg plan. This plan will complement the province’s plan to build another 500 affordable and 500 social housing units over the next three years.
"While Winnipeg remains a relatively affordable city when it comes to housing, it has become a challenge for many households of modest income levels. We need to ensure that all Winnipeggers have access to affordable housing to make Winnipeg A City That Works,” said Wasylycia-Leis.
Poverty continues to be a serious problem in Winnipeg. It is most evident in Winnipeg’s now sprawling inner city, and in pockets in many suburbs. It is a root cause of many other serious Winnipeg problems—for example, lack of safety and social exclusion.
Judy’s vision for A City That Works is one in which everyone is safe, no one is excluded, and no one is left behind. To realize this vision requires addressing root causes.
Judy agrees with Chief of Police Devon Clunis who, in discussing violence against Aboriginal women, referred to their “long, historic marginalization,” saying further that without “looking at the root causes and attacking those root causes,” we will not solve these problems. Chief Clunis added that “If any city should take the lead, it should be the City of Winnipeg.”
If elected Mayor, Judy will take up this challenge.
She will work in partnership with community organizations and other stakeholders to create a coherent and action-oriented poverty reduction strategy. OurWinnipeg calls for the city to work in collaboration with community partners and key stakeholders to establish a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy with goals and objectives, We will take a leadership role in this strategy, recognizing no one level of government or organization can achieve this alone.
Many others in Winnipeg are calling for a poverty reduction strategy. Other cities in Canada have such strategies. Judy will make the creation of a Winnipeg poverty reduction strategy a priority.
While the major players in reducing poverty have to be the federal and provincial governments, since they have access to much greater taxing capacity, the city can play a positive role, in many cases working in concert with other levels of government, and in some cases acting on its own, making use of the tools at the city’s disposal.
Some of the announcements that Judy has already made are important parts of an effective poverty reduction strategy:
- Her crime-prevention plan includes support for block-by-block and a 24/7 facility for youth in the North End;
- Her Aboriginal Accord includes a commitment to creating jobs, improving housing, providing recreation services, and public safety;
- Her housing policy commits her to working in collaboration with other levels of government and with the community to improve housing conditions, especially for those with low incomes;
- Her food security commitment includes a plan to promote community gardens and farmers’ markets, and to take other measures to make good quality, local food more available to those with low incomes;
- Her proposed to develop OurWinnipeg Studio will work with Neighbourhood Renewal Corporations to create and implement creative neighbourhood-based solutions to poverty.
These commitments are the product of broad community consultation, and so in this sense, Judy has already begun the process of developing a poverty reduction strategy.
More broadly, Judy will make poverty reduction initiatives a top-of-mind priority, and will work closely with relevant community-based organizations, key stakeholders and other levels of government to ensure that action is taken to reduce poverty.
In all aspects of City of Winnipeg undertaking, urban planning, housing, infrastructure renewal, recreation, for example, Judy will ensure that poverty reduction is built into what the city does.
A City That Works is a city in which everyone has the opportunity to contribute to building a better future for all of us.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis' campaign to become the next mayor of Winnipeg received a significant boost today when she received the endorsement of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg.
"I am humbled and honoured to receive the support of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg," said Wasylycia-Leis. "Every person in this community owes you and owes your families a debt of gratitude. Your work is hard, dangerous and essential to the city we all love."
The announcement made at the Fire Fighters Museum of Winnipeg comes 30 days before Winnipeggers go to the polls to select their new mayor.
"Winnipeggers have a clear choice. They will be able to decide between a mayor who will protect their services or cut them, or unite their city or divide it," said Wasylycia-Leis. "I am energized that I will have firefighters at my side over the next four weeks. True to their professional calling, they are here when they are needed most."
Judy Wasylycia-Leis today announced she will spark innovation and creativity in city planning and design through the OurWinnipeg Studio.
“We will make Winnipeg A City That Works by taking care of the basics,” she said. “But we will also reach beyond the nuts and bolts by harnessing the talent and energy of our city’s creative urban developers, academics, forward- thinking businesses, the planning and design community and students.”
Modeled after Vancouver’s CityStudio, OurWinnipeg Studio will be a permanent city space where city planning staff, educators, students, practitioners and Winnipeg urbanists can come together to actively engage in putting innovative ideas into action.
This will be a low-cost initiative. The city will contribute space and a co-ordinator who will work closely with universities, colleges and other organizations to make OurWinnipeg Studio an engaging place of learning and action. It will provide opportunities for student internships, discussion groups, consultation and citizen engagement.
Winnipeg is home to several innovative urban development programs and we have many talented and motivated people keen to share their ideas. Students from across Canada and the world attend the University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture.
The University of Winnipeg is home to the Urban Institute and the Urban and Inner City Studies Program. Red River College has several programs including a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technology Program and a Community Development Program.
Winnipeg also has a wealth of community knowledge.
There are now six Neighbourhood Development Corporations in Winnipeg, where many young and creative people are working hard to improve their neighbourhoods. The City of Winnipeg has creative and talented people from many disciplines who are keen to collaborate to improve our downtown and inner city neighbourboods.
One of its mandates will be to provide technical advice to the OurWinnipeg Task Force announced earlier in the campaign. This group of experts and community leaders will be called upon to dust off the OurWinnipeg Plan and ensure its successful implementation.
“Many people provided input into the OurWinnipeg plan,” said Judy. “It was unanimously passed by city council and there is general agreement it is a good plan but there has been no will to move it forward. I will change that.”
Judy Wasylycia-Leis announced today she has completed the necessary paperwork to ensure her name will be on the mayoral ballot for the October 22 civic election.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank my supporters who signed my nomination papers and who worked so hard to collect the names to make this process go so smoothly," said Wasylycia-Leis. "I am honoured and humbled by your hard work on my behalf to make Winnipeg A City That Works."Read more
Judy Wasylycia-Leis today committed to a new relationship between Aboriginal peoples and City Hall if she is elected mayor to ensure Winnipeg is A City That Works for all of its citizens.
“We need to move forward in a spirit of mutual respect that acknowledges our shared and broken history, recognizes the challenges of the present and embraces the opportunity for a better future," said Wasylycia-Leis.
Within the first 100 days of being elected, Judy will establish the Aboriginal Vision and Implementation Roundtable. The roundtable will be chaired by Judy and a senior representative of Winnipeg’s Aboriginal community and will include Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal business, community and labour leaders.
Within a year of its inception, the roundtable will develop an Aboriginal accord focusing on four priority areas including:
Jobs: Build on social enterprise programs such as BUILD, the Social Enterprise Centre, Inner City Renovations and Manitoba Green Retrofit and seek partnership with the private sector to identify training, apprenticeship and other opportunities for meaningful long-term jobs.
Recreation Services: Establish a 24/7 community centre and work with existing Aboriginal organizations such as the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sports Achievement Centre to enhance their capacity to deliver recreational programming.
Safety: Work to ensure that the Winnipeg Police Board takes a central role on the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls, as requested by the Chief of Police, while working in partnership to create safe places for women to go when they are at risk of violence.
Housing: Work with other levels of government who fund housing and use tools the city has at its disposal such as Tax Increment Financing and zoning options to ensure a full range of housing options for Aboriginal people.
The roundtable will continue to meet regularly following approval of the Accord to play a guiding role in ensuring its long-term success.
It is estimated that nearly 100,000 Aboriginal people will be living in Winnipeg by 2020. This presents an opportunity to build upon the rich and vibrant Aboriginal cultures in this city and also recognizes the responsibility to ensure that Aboriginal people are full partners in civic life.
“Through the creation of the Aboriginal Relations Division and the implementation of the City’s Aboriginal Youth Strategy, some positive progress has been made,” said Judy. “But this approach can be much stronger with a broader vision and mandate. I am committed to moving forward with that mandate in partnership with the urban Aboriginal community.”
A new radio advertisement featuring mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis will be heard on private radio stations starting Sunday, September 14.
“We are looking forward to reaching as many Winnipeggers as possible to tell them about our plan to make Winnipeg A City That Works,” Judy said.
On September 2, Judy unveiled her four commitments to make Winnipeg A City That Works. They include:
- Fixing City Hall
- Rebuilding Our Infrastructure
- Protecting City Services
- Creating Opportunities
Since then, she has been outlining specific details on her plan to ensure there are new resources to protect city services as well as a four-year, $400-million plan to fix local and regional roads in Winnipeg.
This builds on previous commitments made earlier in the campaign to restore trust in decisions made at City Hall and creating new opportunities by building a better relationship with business, engaging Winnipeg youth and preventing crime.
You can hear the advertisement at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHJkYJmdBc0
Judy Wasylycia-Leis announced today she will take a bite out of Winnipeg’s infrastructure deficit by investing $400 million in local and regional roads over the next four years while keeping property taxes affordable.
“We will make Winnipeg A City That Works by focusing on the number one priority of Winnipeggers, fixing our roads,” said Wasylycia-Leis. “Our action will allow us to take a bite out of the infrastructure deficit so we don’t leave a legacy of crumbling infrastructure to our children.”
Under the plan proposed by Judy, she will build on the $340 million in road construction already approved by city council by investing a further $60 million in local and regional roads over the next four years.
The revenue provided through two per cent in dedicated property taxes will support road construction and rehabilitation both through direct cash payments and smart financing that will advance the timelines on these capital projects.
Judy will ensure these modest increases in financing are well below the guidelines set by bond rating agencies to ensure there is no threat to the city`s cost of borrowing.
Judy is also committed to reforming the design, management and approval of all capital projects by adopting reforms recommended by the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association and through the KPMG audit of Winnipeg`s new police station and the Ernst Young audit into Winnipeg`s real estate transactions.
“Winnipeg families need to be ensured that their mayor and council are honest, transparent and are following the highest standards in how we proceed on road construction and all capital projects,” said Wasylycia-Leis. “I am committed to be accountable to citizens and ensuring they know that every dollar allocated for road construction is spent on road construction.”
Read the backgrounder by clicking here
Judy Wasylycia-Leis today announced details of her pledge to protect front-line services from cuts while improving those that don’t live up to the standards you and your family deserve.
“One of the keys to making Winnipeg A City That Works is to ensure we have reliable services for Winnipeg families,” said Wasylycia-Leis. “This means better snow removal, a better response plan to frozen pipes and 311 service that brings answers, not frustration.”
Judy committed that one third of her proposed property tax increase be dedicated to funding core services such as police, fire, paramedic, garbage collection, and snow removal, with the remaining two thirds being devoted to local and regional roads.
In addition to ensuring predictable investments in services, Judy committed to developing a winter emergency response plan so that families can get to work or school safely, can have water service restored more quickly and citizens have easy access to the information they need.
The winter response plan will focus on three key areas.
Snow Removal: A public review of snow removal with a specific focus on the 2013-14 winter to examine whether the current policy continues to address the needs of the city, especially in the face of increasingly extreme winter weather patterns. The review will also include an independent cost-benefit analysis of building in-house snow removal capacity.
Frozen Pipes: Investing in additional equipment and exploring options such as cross-training public works staff so the city is better equipped to respond to water service disruption as a result of frozen pipes.
311 changes: This includes better training so calls are more quickly triaged to departments with direct service expertise and increased resources to improve response times.
Judy’s commitment is also in sharp contrast to previous announcements by other mayoral candidates who have pledged to cut $10 million from the budget or to freeze taxes. These actions would put pressure on police, fire and paramedics budgets and would hamper the city's efforts to plow Winnipeg roads and respond to emerging issues such as frozen pipes.
“Frozen budgets mean the City of Winnipeg cannot appropriately respond to issues such as frozen pipes,” said Wasylycia-Leis. “I am committed to ensure we make sound decisions on service delivery so we can meet the needs of our growing city.”
Judy unveils her four commitments to make Winnipeg A City That Works at official opening of her campaign headquarters
Judy Wasylycia-Leis today unveiled her four commitments to make Winnipeg A City That Works at the official opening of her campaign office. Her pledge focuses on the issues that matter most to families in our community.
"Winnipeggers are innovative, generous and hard-working people who deserve a mayor that is able to harness that spirit and work to build A City That Works for all of us," said Wasylycia-Leis. "I pledge to restore trust at City Hall, rebuild our infrastructure, protect city services and create opportunities. This back-to-basics plan will get us all on track for a prosperous and bright future for the city we call home."
Judy will make Winnipeg A City That Works by:
Fixing City Hall: Judy will restore trust at City Hall through the creation of Accountability Winnipeg, an independent watchdog that will put an end to back-room deals and expensive cost overruns that put the interests of a few ahead of you and your family.
Rebuilding Our Infrastructure: Judy will fix Winnipeg’s crumbling roads, sidewalks, back lanes, water, sewer, wastewater systems and improve bike paths by making smart investments now that will take a bite out of the infrastructure deficit, saving Winnipeggers money in the future while keeping property taxes affordable.
Protecting City Services: Judy will protect front-line services such as police, fire, paramedic, garbage collection, snow removal, transit and rapid transit from cuts while improving those that don’t live up to the standards you and your family deserve.
Creating Opportunities: Judy will work to build a more innovative, prosperous, just, sustainable and vibrant city where diversity is celebrated, where everyone has a voice and which keeps our young people here.
"We need to stand up to those who benefit from the status quo, who will divide this city rather than unite it, and engage in personal attacks rather than offering a positive alternative," said Wasylycia-Leis. "Working together, I know we can succeed and begin the task of making Winnipeg A City That Works."
Judy's safety strategy focuses on smart policing, community partnerships and opportunities for youth
Judy Wasylycia-Leis today announced her commitment to work with police, community, and business organizations to build a culture of safety in Winnipeg.
"Together we will succeed in making Winnipeg a safer place by rejecting finger pointing, fear mongering and divisiveness," said Wasylycia-Leis. "Instead, we will support police, the Winnipeg Police Board, community organizations and dedicated citizen volunteers who have made it their mission to make Winnipeg a safer place to live."
Judy said the community-based approach led by Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis is already achieving results, including a 15 per cent reduction the crime severity index last year, according to Statistics Canada. While there is still work to do, Judy enthusiastically endorses the approach and will build on that success through the following measures:
Commitment to Block by Block: Judy will work with the province, community organizations and police to expand the innovative Block by Block crime prevention program. It brings together social agencies, police, schools and the Winnipeg Health Region to ensure communities and families have the appropriate services, supports and programs that promote a culture of safety.
Downtown Foot Patrols: Judy will work with the Winnipeg Police Service and the Winnipeg Police Board to more than double the number of foot patrols in the downtown area, adding five police officers per year over the next four years to make our streets safer.
More Crime Analysts: Judy will fund four new crime analysts for the Winnipeg Police Service, dedicating one of the positions to Block by Block. These resources will help expand the police's use of intelligence-based policing to ensure police are deployed where they are most needed.
Improved Runaway Strategy: Judy is committed to working with Street Reach, an alliance of community agencies who care for children, to ensure that Winnipeg has the best strategy in the country so children who run away from home and are most vulnerable are safely found.
Safe Cities Initiative: Judy will serve as the Winnipeg lead on the Safe Cities Initiative. Last year, Winnipeg became the first city in Canada to join the Safe Cities Initiatives, which was launched by United Nations to stop violence against women and girls.
Employment and Housing Opportunities: During the campaign, Judy will announce housing and youth employment strategies to ensure that Winnipeg is A City That Works for everyone, and integrate these initiatives into the city's overall crime reduction strategy.
In addition, Judy repeated her commitment to work with community organizations to identify and support a 24/7 community centre, where at-risk youth can find safety and help in times of need.
"No matter where people live, they have a right to feel safe and should be able to walk the streets without fear at any time of day,” said Wasylycia-Leis. "That has to be our goal. Together, we can achieve it.”
When I learned yesterday that 15-year-old Tina Fontaine was murdered, my first thought was that young girls should not die.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tina Fontaine and the Aboriginal community.
Tragically, Aboriginal girls and women are killed and go missing in far too frequent numbers in our city and throughout the country.
Although this is an issue that is national in scope, the impact on families is personal. They are daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers. When they are killed, they leave families and communities to grieve and their deaths create a void that can never be completely filled.
It is now estimated that 1,200 women and girls have died in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and in communities across our country.
We need to stand with people who are profoundly sad, angry but most of all are afraid. There is no easy solution to this issue. But at the very least we have a responsibility to ask the right questions and be at their sides at this most difficult time.
Additionally, we mourn the passing of Faron Hall who I had the privilege to meet and who has been an inspiration to many through his actions, his struggles, and his spirit. Faron's struggles were not his alone, and we all bear the responsibility to reach out and support our fellow citizens.
Judy is humbled and honoured by the support she has received for her campaign to make Winnipeg A City That Works. She is looking for your help to deal with another important cause in our city. On Sept 18, Judy will join other community leaders in the fourth Downtown Winnipeg Biz CEO Sleepout. Last year, 100 leaders from business and the community raised $200,000 to bring attention and tackle the issues that result in homeless in our community. You can help Judy help others by providing your support by clicking here.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis announced today her plan to ensure that youth become full participants in municipal government and that their views are reflected in policy at City Hall.
"For too long, the doors of City Hall have been closed to all but a select few people," said Wasylycia-Leis. "If I am elected mayor, I will ensure young people and all Winnipeggers have a voice."Read more