Shaun Loney says the City of Winnipeg is stuck in its ways and promises to stop the practice of approaching every issue as a question of whether to spend more money or cut back on spending.
The entrepreneur, author and former provincial environment policy analyst registered his campaign for mayor on Wednesday and promised to offer creative solutions to municipal problems.
“What we have right now [is] two options: We have cutting our way out of our problems and spending our way out of our problems. I’m not in favour of either one of those and I’m certainly not halfway in between,” Loney said in the courtyard at city hall, backed by a crowd of about 30 supporters.
Their ranks included former Forks CEO Paul Jordan, former Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce chair Rebecca Dumas and Indigenous educator Rebecca Chartrand.
Loney said the city manages its issues without solving them.
“We have massive infrastructure issues, potholes throughout the city being a good example of that,” he said.
“We’re seeing young people by the thousands leaving Winnipeg on an annual basis for opportunities elsewhere, and we have record spending in emergency services.”
Loney is the first candidate to make a specific pledge in this campaign. In February, he promised to reduce the burden on the Winnipeg Police Service by contracting out the responsibility to respond to frequent 911 callers to social-service agencies.
Loney said his campaign will be informed by his experience running a pair social enterprises that rely on out-of-the-box ideas. He founded Build, which provides training in the trades to Indigenous people with criminal records, and Aki Energy, which installs geothermal pumps at Manitoba First Nations communities.
Loney said he doesn’t see himself as a left-of-centre politician, even though is a member of the NDP.
“I’ve been uninspired by provincial NDP for some time. They’re not talking about the issues that are really important to Winnipeg,” he said.
Six other mayoral candidates registered their campaigns earlier this week.
Grocery worker Chris Clacio, St. James Coun. Scott Gillingham, business consultant Jenny Motkaluk, former Liberal MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Wilderness Supply owner Rick Shone and security company owner Don Woodstock also hope to see their names on the Oct. 26 mayoral ballot.
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