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 David Sander'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?
In the past I have helped to negotiate major government equipment procurement transactions which required consideration of the substantial economic value of industrial benefits. As chair of the trilevel committee of intergovernmental officials which put together the first Winnipeg Core Area Initiative Agreement in 1981, I also gained first-hand experience with the positive effects of adopting an integrated approach, providing supports and training to the unemployed, who were then employed by private sector businesses.
In conjunction with the necessary review of City material management procurement procedures now, I would be pleased to recommend that the City 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.”
I would appreciate having the assistance of the CED Network in developing this procedure and in monitoring and evaluating the results.
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, I am 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 3 years.
I will start by proposing that the City enlarge its Housing Department, to have the professional capacity and administrative mandate to support a much more active role in advocating for and undertaking specific housing projects. I believe the existing Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation can serve as a vehicle for actually building and managing housing projects, as necessary to achieve the specific results indicated. Furthermore, I believe the City should co-operate fully with the federal, provincial, non-profit and housing industry organizations in revitalizing and increasing our affordable housing stock, to meet the growing demand. Now.
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 the City developing a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for Winnipeg, with ambitious but attainable targets and timelines, building on the Province’s All Aboard Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion Strategy. I believe that civic staff have tried to be a part of the solution for a very long time, without much support from Councils which have wanted to leave these difficult matters to the provincial and federal governments instead.
I believe the City Councilors and administrators can and should provide leadership in tackling poverty reduction for our residents, and should seek to collaborate fully with the other active organizations, such as are represented on the Poverty Reduction Council.
I would rather try to achieve ambitious goals, like ending homelessness, and risk falling short, than to decline to try in the first place.