Winnipeg mayoral candidates roll out plans tackling many issues

On the campaign trail Friday, Winnipeg’s mayoral candidates put forward their action plans, tapping into a variety of issues.

Glen Murray released a plan regarding mental health supports for addictions and recovery.

“I see what you see: the worst drug-fueled problem in our history, overwhelmed emergency services, and people suffering without proper supports,” he said.

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“My vision for Winnipeg is a city where everyone has a key to a safe place to call home, with the supports they need so they can lead healthy, happy lives as members of livable, safe neighbourhoods. The COVID pandemic has shown us all just how important mental health is, and has been our biggest act of caring as a society. It’s time to take our caring to the next level.”

Murray’s plan includes scaling up existing programs to create better wraparound supports.

Read more: Mayoral race kicking into high gear, Winnipeg pollster says

Rana Bokhari held a press conference to address her plan to reallocate a portion of the police budget and conduct an independent review of the Winnipeg Police Service.

“I was privileged enough to do a ride-along with the WPS recently, and it was obvious there is a disconnect between the top brass and the officers on the street,” she said.

“The WPS has lost their way and need help.”

Bokhari’s plan is to allocate 10 per cent of the police budget into local social groups as a preventive measure.

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“We have a very large budget — $320 million — to prevent and deal with crime in this city. We need to spend more of that budget on groups and services in our city that prevent crime, so that police officers can do their actual jobs.”

Scott Gillingham also released plans to make Winnipeg more of a “patio city” by easing up the process for restaurants to add an outdoor dining space.

“Other candidates have talked about making it easier for restaurants to ask for permission to build a patio,” he said. “I’ll introduce the PATIO CITY approach instead, so we’ll automatically allow restaurant owners to add outdoor dining spaces rather than forcing them to run through a gauntlet of regulations.”

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He said the changes and financial benefits would be immediate.

”These reforms can generate a real on-street economic boost based on what we’ve seen in other cities.”

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