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 Mike Pagtakhan'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?
I support the work of social enterprise, and believe in the value of purchasing locally. I will request the City's Materials Management Department to develop a valuation matrix to evaluate social, environmental and local economic benefits as part of the procurement process at the City. Over the years, I have supported local companies such as Food for Thought and Tallest Poppy by ensuring these enterprises are retained for the provision of food for several City Hall events and meetings.
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?
In collaboration with housing stakeholders, we have recognized the need to develop more affordable rental housing stock in Winnipeg as rental stock was being depleted thru condo conversions. I support the direction of creating more affordable rental housing stock as advocated by the Right to Housing, and will be working closely with them and the City to ensure that the benchmark for 350 units over three years is achieved. I will continue to advocate on Council to increase the housing investment reserve. I will also advocate to ensure that our housing policy contains all of the necessary provisions to facilitate the development of affordable rental housing.
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. I support a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy. I recently met with Cindy Coker, Connie Walker and others in this regard, and am supportive of such a plan. I am 100% committed of finding the funding at Council to support a poverty reduction strategy for Winnipeg.