Bryan Metcalf - Winnipeg Council Candidate for St. James-Brooklands

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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 Bryan Metcalf'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 I am, we could ensure we add a community benefit clause in all our tenders and have a process followed by IAP2 and community consultation to meet the needs of the community.

We could work with the local labour groups to ensure that they incorporate their forces into the sub trade agreements.  We would also ensure we select consultants that have the experience working with community and local labour forces.

We could also consider preparing a detailed index of products and services that the City uses and that would fit under the umbrella of social enterprises and local businesses.  Once these products and services were identified, we could offer the vendors information sessions on how the City’s bid process works as well as outlining timelines for annual purchases etc.

Additionally, we may want to set a target for the number of contacts awarded each year to social enterprises and local businesses.  By setting a goal, appropriate plans and measures can be implemented and adjusted based on performance.

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, Right to Housing is heading in the right direction and we would like to be involved with the selection criteria of the team.   Working with the right consultant team will ensure they respect the City’s requirements of being an all-inclusive process through community consultation.

We should have continuous involvement with the province to ensure that the team delivers and ensure that the city becomes a stake holder in the project.  We would also work with the city planners to accommodate a faster review process for such projects so we can meet the requirement in 3 years.

To help facilitate affordable housing, I would like to create an advisory council who would be responsible for coordinating the City’s efforts to increase affordable housing through partnership with community organizations that would be interested in making housing more accessible for people in need.

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?

I am in favour of this however I would concentrate more on affordable housing/right to housing and working with the community first.  I think if we are successful in those areas, we may not have the same issue with poverty after making more local jobs available and giving more homes to people in need.

I believe that all levels of Government must work together to reduce poverty but that leadership for this public policy should come from the Provincial Government.  I think the city can contribute to the direction that the Province has laid out by having a clear understanding of the inventory of city programming currently available to those living in poverty and by ensuring that effective communication about these programs is taking place with the correct stakeholder groups.