Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman reflects on his time in office

As Winnipeg gets ready to elect its 44th mayor next month, current mayor Brian Bowman reflected on his time in office.

On Oct 23, 2020, Bowman announced in a statement that he would not be seeking re-election.

Bowman started his first mayoral campaign at just three per cent in the polls and thanks Winnipeggers for taking a chance on him.

Bowman was first elected mayor in 2014, handily winning re-election four years later. Prior to entering politics, he was a well-known Winnipeg lawyer.

“I had never run for public office before,” he said.

“I was obviously pleased to get a stronger mandate for the second term and this has been a wonderful experience for our family.”

In an interview with Global News, he named sustainable growth and infrastructure projects as some of his top accomplishments, saying he aimed to regain the public’s trust in city hall and to move forward with sustainable infrastructure projects.

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However, he is most proud of how the city has moved forward on reconciliation.

“Our work on human rights and reconciliation is now receiving national recognition,” he said. “I am really proud of the community and the work we’ve been able to do to move forward on our journey of reconciliation.”

He said human rights and reconciliation have been key issues for him, saying he worked very hard to assemble the leaders in the community to move forward.

“That work continues and there’s more work to do in a city with the largest Indigenous community in Canada,” he said.

However, Bowman says he wished he was able to be more effective as a community in helping those affected by homelessness, mental health and addictions.

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“We’ve done our part here but in a country as wealthy as Canada, we shouldn’t have so many people that are affected by homelessness in any major city in Canada — including here in Winnipeg.”

Not all of Bowman’s pledges or plans came to fruition during his time, such as opening Portage and Main and improvements to transit.

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“You don’t win all the votes on council,” he said. “There are also issues that have intervened in the last number of years — including the worst public health crisis in a century.”

Bowman said he will continue to look for ways to support the community as well as support whomever the next mayor will be.

“You can expect to see me assisting with a smooth and orderly transition, and thank as many Winnipeggers as I can for the opportunity to serve two times as mayor.”

Eleven candidates are up for Bowman’s job. The election takes place Oct. 26.

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