A chat with mayoral candidate Kevin Klein

Mayoral candidate Kevin Klein says if he is elected Winnipeg’s next mayor he will make the city a safer place and immediately address the homeless crisis without raising taxes any further.

“We’re fractured right now,” said Klein.  “We’ve had a number of problems, especially over the last eight years. We’ve ignored a lot of problems and its time to get to work on those problems … so that we can return to that city that had bustling streets that people wanted to visit from across the world.”

On the issue of crime and safety, Klein said he has been trying to address the problem for years now as city councillor.

“I’ve tried to bring forward different policies that would help us address crime, and I will allow the police to get back to work,” said Klein. “I will ensure that the money they have goes to public safety so that when someone calls 911, they don’t have to be concerned whether or not someone is going to reply right away.”

Klein said Winnipeg’s homeless problem is a crisis, something he has also been working to solve.

“I brought Homes for Heroes here to Winnipeg. They have been established, they bought their land, they’re starting their build. They will be up and operational by spring, so they will be helping a number of homeless veterans that currently live on the streets of Winnipeg,” he said.

If elected mayor, Klein said he would work with the federal government to bring in up to 1,000 accommodation trailers like ones being used in Ontario and B.C. to help the homeless.

“And that gives people a place to stay, gives them their own home if you will. Gives them an address and key to lock up their stuff,” he said.

Klein said he would assemble a team of relevant stakeholders to determine where the trailers would be located in the city.

He would also create the new position of Indigenous Economic Officer to work with indigenous entrepreneurs in starting and expanding their businesses.

“We need to embrace our Indigenous relatives. We need to work together, we need to respect each others’ culture, and start building a sustainable future together,” said Klein.

As far as property taxes go, Klein said he will keep the current 2.3 per cent property tax increase in place, but would not raise taxes any more than that.

“It is not the right time for huge massive tax increases and fees. We can no longer have tax andspend politics right now,” he said.

Winnipeggers go to the polls to elect their new mayor and council Oct. 26.

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