Staff and members of the Canadian CED Network – Manitoba (CCEDNet-MB) called on 2014 municipal election candidates to share their position on policies that support our collective vision of fairer and stronger local economies, reduced poverty, and more sustainable communities. This is Brian Mayes's response:
1. Are you in favour of this policy practice? If yes, how will you work to implement a procurement strategy that takes into account the added economic, social and environmental value of purchasing from social enterprises and other businesses that generate community benefit through the inclusion of Community Benefit Clauses in contracts and purchases?
Yes. It is difficult to quantify such a strategy given the broad scope of the term 'community benefit', but this measure (however defined) should be part of the evaluation in procurement. I think the easiest measure to include would be how a given bid will assist with employment of margainalized groups (this could be quantified) and how it will assist with poverty reduction.
2. Are you in favour of Right to Housing’s proposal that the City of Winnipeg support at least 350 new units of affordable rental housing and 350 new units of social housing over three years? If yes, what City supports will you provide so this target can be achieved?
Yes. A of good work has been done in recent years on housing policy at the City led by Coun Gerbasi. I was pleased to support the use of TIFF (tax increment financing) to assist Siloam Mission with its expansion to provide more housing, and I think the TIFF mechanism offers the most promise for development of the additional housing units.
3. Are you in favour of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for Winnipeg with targets and timelines? If yes, how will you partner with community-based organizations and other key stakeholders to create and implement one?
Yes. In my view the city could work in the short term through the already existing aboriginal youth initiative. Additionally I think a great deal more could be in terms of collaboration between city council and school divisions to target programs/ spending into certain areas where poverty reduction would be the focus.