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 Shane Nestruck'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?
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?
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?
THIS is not only something that I endorse, it is also COMPLETELY missing from the Mayoral Candidate Platforms…. except Robert-Falcon Ouellette’s platform.
Envisioning Winnipeg’s future without such a focus and COMMITMENT to dealing on this VERY REAL level of civic re-structuring and engagement is TRITE, and disingenuous! RHETORIC is cheap! Commitment is even rarer. Mayoralty candidates, with the exception of Ouellette, have PROVEN to be very short on actual ideas or serious attention to these ideas… in fact the rest are just blowing hot air!
BUT! Any such focus MUST be in context of the large view of the EXISTING physical and structural impediments to progress.
I could spend HUGE amounts of time discussing POSSIBILITIES but what you really need to know is that I am 100% supportive of REAL SOCIAL CHANGE in this city.
As a bit of help in understanding my position I will discuss how the LARGE view of the directions this city MUST go if it is to survive as a viable modern city and I will show how TRANSIT and RAIL RE-LOCATION are two of the HUGE issues that NEED to be discussed .
Please go to my blog www.shanednblog.net to see how envision A BEGINNING to modern transit in this city. ‘Abetter Future for Wpg'
BUT be sure such a vision of a modern transit system is all about changing the social dynamics of the city:
e.g., the rail lines cause huge problems of ‘depressed’ areas where poverty and crime flourish those rail lines cause HUGE health hazards for the people living near them ACCESS to viable transit is a HUMAN RIGHT in cities and Winnipeg has a “system” that dooms the poor to last century third-class transit AND it functions very poorly. Transit within the centre city should be FREE… for all sorts of fair reasons…we subsidize cars etc massively but have made transit a “must pay for itself “ option.
e.g. THE DEAD areas on either side of the CP rail yards are a PRIME OPPORTUNITY to re-develop the centre city with modern urban designs and by-laws… like the one in Vancouver that legislates a MIXED income ratio of housing with every project.
I have been suggesting that the Habitat For Humanity model of re-development be implemented in Winnipeg as the PRIME way of re-developing the centre city.
This brilliantly functional way of engaging people CAN be enlarged to include small business and larger community organizations!
The “pump money into the pockets of the already rich is abhorrent and , although it may have a place in very large projects it has NO PLACE in smaller development.
On that specific issue. “IN-fill” projects by small contractors MUST become the most attractive option and all impediments to that sort of economic activity must be ended.