Make residents part of Winnipeg community safety plans, mayoral candidate says

A Winnipeg mayoral candidate says he wants to get neighourhood residents involved in safety and livability planning for their own communities.

Glen Murray — one of the 11 people running to become mayor this month — released the second part of his safety strategy on Friday.

It proposes having residents, businesses and other stakeholders identify safety concerns, and then submit ideas for solutions to city council.

“The neighbourhood safety planning process has to be developed to the character, the people and the nature of the neighbourhood,” he said at a news conference at the South Winnipeg Community Centre Waverley site.

“In some areas, cruiser cars and drones will work really well. In other areas, beat officers are really important.”

His goal is to get more people out walking in their neighbourhoods, he said.

“A street that’s full of life, is the safest street,” he said.

“An abandoned street is not a safe street. A street where people are not walking around or not visible or not out in parks, it’s really hard to keep our kids safe if there’s no eyes on them.”

Murray also said if elected, he’ll give residents a say in where recreation facilities and other services are located, and how they’re run. 

“In some neighbourhoods we may need 24-hour libraries, we may need 24-hour community centres. In others we may need evenings or mornings,” he said.

“The idea would be that the entire delivery of services in a neighbourhod would be tailored to the needs of people in the neighbourhood.”

Murray said he doesn’t expect his proposal would add costs to the planning process, although he acknowledged there would be increased costs for delivering services.

“I do not think this is a major cost item. We are spending money doing this in parallel all across the city. 

“The service delivery side, yes, we’re going to have to get some money for whatever we do but … I do really believe that there is, right now, a lot of ability to integrate planning and have an integrated planning system that would not cost net more.”

Murray says his planning overhaul would aim to create communities where everyone can access the city services they need within a 15-minute walk.

Beautify downtown to reduce crime: Adelakun

Another mayoral candidate released his own plan for improving safety Friday.

Idris Adelakun said he wants to make downtown more attractive in order to bring in more people and investment. 

“One part of the plan is to introduce more green spaces along Main Street … and there is a need to also encourage infill housing in downtown as well,” he said in a phone interview.

In a news release, he said he would review street parking regulations and consider offering one-hour complimentary parking from Monday to Friday. 

He also wants to increase the number of entertainment events downtown.

Give city workers living wage: Bokhari

Candidate Rana Bokhari, meanwhile, said she wants to pay city employees a living wage. 

If elected mayor, she would bump up the minimum wage for all city workers from about $14 an hour to more than $18 an hour, Bokhari said Friday.

Wages would then be indexed to inflation.

A woman is standing looking into the camera.
Rana Bokhari called for the city to raise the minimum wage for all city workers from about $14 an hour to more than $18 an hour. (Cameron MacLean/CBC)

Bokhari estimates that would increase the wages of about 1,000 people, at a cost of about $1.8 million.

“It would be an investment in people,” she said.

“Considering that amount of money and how many people would be lifted, I think it’s a doable thing, and I think it’s an action we should take.… Winnipeg should be a leader in this.”

Bokhari said she would work with unions and city administration to implement the new wage, which she hopes to have in place within two years.

In addition to Murray, Adelakun and Bokhari, the candidates running for mayor are Chris Clacio, Scott Gillingham, Shaun Loney, Kevin Klein, Jenny Motkaluk, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Rick Shone and Don Woodstock.

Advance polling is open in Winnipeg until Oct. 21. Election day is Oct. 26.

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