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 Judy Wasylycia-Leis'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: Social enterprises provide good value while also offering other benefits. I believe we need to create a strategy that allows social enterprise to bid on city services and contracts and the benefit they provide should be taken into account when those bids are assessed.
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 announced a comprehensive housing plan on September 24 that embraces many of the Right to Housing principles including
- Expanding use of tax increment financing (TIF),
- Using inclusionary zoning policies and buy out options,
- Prioritizing land for affordable housing including pre-zoning when land is available,
- Donating land for affordable housing, using Merchants Corner project as the model for success,
- Providing waivers of development fees for affordable housing,
- Taking a more active role in enforcing existing regulations and bylaws to ensure safe living conditions,
- Actively engaging with the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council to implement the Action Plan to end Homelessness developed by the multi-stakeholder Community Task Force to End Homelessness.
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: We are in need of a poverty reduction strategy in Winnipeg. Included in this would be a mechanism by which the three levels of government (city, provincial and federal) work on poverty issues together. This is especially important since senior levels of government have the legal and financial resources to address these issues. I would propose an Intergovernmental Poverty Reduction Governmental Task Force including the mayor, the premier and Manitoba’s regional federal minister to work together. I am also committed to introducing an Aboriginal accord that will focus on key areas including jobs, recreation, safety and housing, all of which are critical in reducing poverty. I have also committed to the OurWinnipeg task force, which articulates the need for community collaboration on poverty reduction.