Statements from the 2018 Mayoral Election Candidates

With the 2018 Winnipeg Mayoral Election quickly approaching, the Youth Parliament of Manitoba asked candidates running to be Winnipeg’s next mayor to take stances in regard to two key issues that are prevalent in our city.

First: It has been reported that 14% of non-Indigenous, and 35% of Indigenous Winnipeggers live in poverty, for a total of over 100,000 people living below the poverty line. Cities such as Edmonton and Calgary have recently taken mayor-driven action to reduce their poverty, such as transportation, housing, and employment reform. What are some actions you’d take as mayor to address financial disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, and the high rates of poverty writ large?

Second: The City of Winnipeg offers many services for youth, such as public swimming pools and skating rinks, Youth Action Centres, community centres, and library programs. What are some improvements you’d like to make to these services, and how will you prioritize the funding of these services in the municipal budget?

Below are the responses made by Brian Bowman, Don Woodstock, and Tim Diack:


Brian Bowman:

In regard to poverty:

“The Mayor has an incredibly important leadership role in working toward Reconciliation, which is part and parcel of closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Winnipeggers. As Mayor I worked with my Indigenous Advisory Circle, in consultation and collaboration with numerous community leaders and organizations, to create the City of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord. The Accord is a living document to guide our shared commitment to the Journey of Reconciliation in Winnipeg. Through our work together, we hope to effect a positive change in Winnipeg through our knowledge and perceptions of Indigenous history, culture, and peoples, through understanding the state of the current relationship between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples, and through creating partnership-based initiatives that recognize and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples.

As we grow, so too will our diversity and our need to ensure we’re building a more inclusive and city for all Winnipeggers. I am committed to working with a range of community organizations to reduce poverty in our city and improve the lives of all Winnipeggers. I acknowledge that poverty is complex and that poverty reduction can be effective only when all levels of government and community stakeholders work collaboratively. The City of Winnipeg, given its jurisdictional and fiscal limitations, cannot reduce poverty alone.

The City of Winnipeg tackles poverty on many fronts, including grant funding to numerous community organizations as well as the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation, and a Fee Subsidy Program for recreation and leisure for families falling below the Low Income Cut Off, all of which I continue to support. During my term in office, I supported multi-year funding to End Homelessness Winnipeg and the Community Homelessness Assistance Team (CHAT), and I will continue to support their good work into the future. I also facilitated the creation of an Unsafe Panhandling Steering Committee made up of numerous stakeholders, including those with lived experience, to connect panhandlers to a continuum of services. I recently supported a pilot project that will see Mother Earth Recycling divert discarded mattresses and spring boxes from the landfill and employ individuals with multiple barriers to employment. Finally, CentreVenture is currently accepting Expressions of Interest from non-profit housing developers to build affordable units at Market Lands where the former PSB and civic parkade stand.

But there is still more we can do. That is why I will work with the new Council on specific measures to further reduce poverty in Winnipeg and on introducing a new low-income bus pass. Moreover, I am committed to having the City of Winnipeg continue funding End Homelessness Winnipeg into the future.”

In regard to youth services:

“We are a growing city and we need a positive vision and balanced plan today for a future we know will impose greater demands on our city infrastructure and services. For many years, City Hall allowed infrastructure and services to languish and deteriorate. Over the last four years, we have been playing catch-up to compensate for those lost years. A stable, balanced approach focused on strategic investments will ensure that our city infrastructure and services are responsive to Winnipeggers’ needs and are no longer lagging behind. That is why, for example, we have invested in our city-owned public libraries, swimming pools, and spray pads.

Building and preparing Winnipeg today for a population growing toward one million people strong requires additional investment in community centres as well as the thousands of volunteers committed to running them. If re elected, I would increase the budget for the city’s existing Community Centre Renovation Grant Program from the current level of $965,000 a year to $2 million annually for five years. Furthermore, I have committed to working with Council and key stakeholders to identify additional funding for a new recreational centre in Waverley West.

I will also continue to support the $1,250,000 in grant funding provided by the City for the Indigenous Youth Strategy, important funding that supports community-based organizations that provide employment development programs to Indigenous youth.”

Tim Diack:

“I work as a police officer in the poorest postal codes in Canada. I am married to a WSD teacher who has worked with under supported children. I can go on and on about the horrible conditions I’ve seen children in. I also hear the “not my problem, who pays for that” people. Ok, I simply put it as “feed them now or feed them in prison” Blunt, not kind, but puts perspective to those who resist doing the right thing. Which is helping those with less resource. I have forwarded a proper breakfast program and paying teachers for after school activities.

Calgary’s pro-rated fees for public services. This is a structure I would like to follow. I would also fund a return of Police and Pal which would provide opportunity for disadvantaged, impoverished youth to experience things like scuba, canoeing, camping, sports, and other activities. This program was destroyed by the WFP twenty years ago and no one wants to volunteer since.

I’m not soft on reconciliation which is suggested when Indigenous ethnicity is referenced as a measure. I want this issue to go away. I want to know how to measure progress, no over representation in CFS, health care, corrections, and truancy. I want the suicide rate to drop. I want my grandkids to wonder why it took so long to fix it. As a mayor I’ll fix what I can and get the other levels of government; Indigenous Provincial and Federal to fix what I can’t.

This is a key issue for Winnipeg’s future. I’m a community police officer in Point Douglas. These programs have a significant impact on these kids lives. I’ve been inspired to run for public office because of my experiences with this issue.”

Don Woodstock:

“First, I will cut-off ALL corporate welfare. No more taxpayers’ dollars given to millionaires. Let them go to the bank and borrow their own money.

My first campaign pillar is – ending homelessness – A ‘Housing First’ action will be undertaken by my administration, which will see the Planning Dept fast-tracking all applications that addresses affordable, low income housing. Securing the needed funds for many projects.

The next pillar is “Sports Capital not crime capital” – this will see a $250-$350M annual investment in the core neighbourhoods for recreational centres, sports activities, music, arts, etc. as this is the one way that we will increase the outlook of the city from the investor’s perspective, hence business will grow, investment will come in, and jobs created. Safety & a robust neighbourhoods will bring investment. I want to our children playing hockey in an arena, then sitting in a jail cell.

The Final part of this is my Human Rights policy that all levels of employment at the City will be opened equally regardless of race, colour or creed, which is not the case today. I hope as the City leads by example – other businesses will follow.

When our core is healthy – our city will be healthy.”


We at The Youth Parliament of Manitoba are all very excited for the upcoming election, and hope these responses help readers learn more about the potential future leader of Winnipeg. Furthermore, we would like to stress just how important it is for young people LIKE YOU to get engaged and vote in elections. So get out there, voice your opinion, and make a difference in creating a better and brighter Winnipeg!

WCYP Has Come to An End

Western Canada Youth Parliament has come to an end. We had the pleasure of having the delegates from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta participate in our House! These last few days we went through bill presentations that led from chill to some heated debate. The bills presented were as follows: The Food Security Act and The Rights of the Dead are Dead Act. Both bills had a considerable amount of controversy but this is what invited members from the other parliaments to speak.

Western Canada Youth Parliament is special. It’s an event that happens once every 8 years in Manitoba and Youth Parliament of Manitoba couldn’t be prouder to host it this year. We commend our Cabinet and Exec on help making such an event come into action.

Signing off,

The Minister of PR

 

The Final Words

This is it, no more all nighters, or morning breakfasts with friends. All have gone their separate ways, and #YP96 is now a memory in 90 members lives.  During December 26 – 31, 2017, we learnt and experienced public speaking, parliamentary procedures, debate and about our province. We got the opportunity to  discuss worries and concerns that youth may have.  YPM had the wonderful opportunity to have lunch with The Liberal, PC and NDP parties. During these luncheons, youth are able to share and speak their minds to current and past members of parliament. YPM gives engaging opportunities for the leaders of today.

At session, one main attraction is the diverse group of individuals you meet. We all come from different backgrounds and with different viewpoints. We as individuals are attracted to people who are different and not like us, we’re intrigued.  Let me further this thought, we had members who enjoyed sports, video games, art, reading, one member was really passionate about recycling. She really encouraged us to recycle our soda cans, or to throw paper in the right slot of the garage bins. It is so encouraging to see young students who are passionate about situations, either that being animal rights or taking care of our precious environment and taking action.

Leaving YPM really makes oneself think about who they are and what they believe in. Even though we are praciting and debating mock bills, this exercise really brings out convictions of ourselves. Who would have thought, a politician camp was so much more than mere politics. It is a place where friendships begin and grow, where individuals can voice their worries, opinions but most importantly, listen to other youth. Listening is just as important as speaking. I urge members to come back, you will grow as an individual, you will not be sorry.

My first encounter of YPM was the 95th Winter Session. I went with an acquaintance that was really a stranger. As time progressed, that acquaintance grew quite dear to me. They would speak up in the House and my mind would be blown! The topics spoken and debated were absolutely outstanding, their convictions, morals and beliefs all contributed to the dabte. Once the 95th Session ended, we both applied for cabinet, and as would have fate had it, we became ministry partners. Without YPM, I can guarantee we would have not spoken to one another. Cabinet is an opportunity for others to come together in an unique way. To work with people you may have not gotten to know otherwise. To help create and make YPM a better organization.  Cabinet is a chance to give others a chance. I encourage all members to apply, you will not regret it!

Thank you again for all who participated in the 96th Winter Session, till next year my friends!

The End

December 30, 2017

Today is the last day of session, we say this with sadness and regrets but also with peace. this week was filled with excitement, joy, fear, nervousness, and laughter. As the 96th Winter Session comes to a close, we say good-bye to the Speaker who was apart of this amazing organization for 8 years. Farewell!

YPM Executive and Cabinet would just like to start off by saying thank you to all the backbenchers. Without you, we would not have had a wonderful and diverse session. Many of you came with fears of what would and could happen. Though now you leave with so many strengths, some that you may not realize that you have.  If you think about what happened this week, every individual is extraordinary. You come to a full house of strangers, speak in front of 50 or more people. Debate topics, that you may or may not have a clue about, or that you have never really thought about. You developed public speaking and communication skills. Your strengths grew, but not only academically, but in social skills.

During the 96th Winter Session, you have learnt friendship and community. YPM is a space that accepts you for who you are. You will always have a home at Youth Parliament for whoever you are.

December 29, 2017

Fourth day of Session has finished! It was a day of excitement, frustration, surprises, and accomplishments. The bills created by the Ministers of Human Resources,Labour, Finance, and Revenue, were all passed. The Minister’s are very proud of the hard work and the positive outcome. Congratulations to all with the wonderful result.

The Member of Yukon stated that our race and age do not determine our path. A number of other members  from Mirabel, Nunavut, and Long Range Mountains explained and discussed how diversity based on culture, gender, race, background, social status and education are important. This is due to the fact that diversity reflects a wide range of opinions and ideologies.

One beautiful thing about YPM is how we are all different. We accept all ideologies, values, and perspectives. The members previously mentioned found this aspect of YPM one of the most refreshing and encouraging part of this organization.

Friends for Life

December 28, 2017

Third day of Winter Session began with an outstanding Bear Pit featuring William Blaikie, Dorthy Dobbie, Gord Mackintosh, and Bonnie Mitchelson who all served previously in the Manitoba Legislative. Today they gave up some personal time during the crazy holiday season to inform and teach us from their past experiences. YPM is so thankful to let youth hear from knowledgeable parliamentarians on a personal connection on real life situations.

At the start of Bear Pit, one YPM’s Senators spoke about life long friends, and how a simple action can lead to life long happiness. The senator shared how him and two friends encouraged each other to do more in life, and to do more for the organization. It has been several years since they attended YPM as members and they continue to be very close friends, despite being in different provinces.

Around 4:30 pm today, the Minister of External Affairs, Communications, Publications and the P.S. to Alumni Affairs were all discussing on what to do after session was over. How each one would keep in contact with one another. Though they have known each other, only a few months, the moments of planning and prepping for the 96th Winter Session has grown them together.  They are all different ages, backgrounds and have very different view points. Yet, they appreciate, respect and enjoy each other. This is what makes YPM so special. It is the door way to meet others, to accepting others, and being vulnerable enough to let others accept you.

If you come to Session, you will observe members together, speaking and laughing to one another. Now let me tell you a secret, most of the backbenchers have never met before. They come as strangers, but leave as friends.

Letting Yourself Be Heard

December 27, 2017

Second day of Session! The Executive and Cabinet are in awe of the backbenchers this year. The excitement and the unique perspective that they bring into debate is priceless! Today we debated The Minister of Finance’s bill; The First Nations Recognition Act (Minister of Finance), The Standardized Child and Youth Welfare Act (Minister of Revenue), and The Agriculture and Climate Act (Registrar General).

During one of the breaks, the member from Delta made a lovely point. He acknowledged something very unique about YPM.  He said that those who attend Session are willing to let themselves be vulnerable in the House and just open up about past or current experiences they have lived through which brings the members closer together. He also stated, how even though YPM is a mock parliament, it really brings out emotions and convictions you thought you never had. Session is a safe environment for all to express themselves and to hear different, but amazing points of view.

The Start of Something New

December 26, 2017

Today was filled with excitement,  inspiration, happiness and of course, nerves. The first day was absolutely amazing!  YPM continues to create an engaging and inviting atmosphere for young individuals to debate politics as a group.

We would like to thank all the cadets and bagpipe player, Diana Prince for participating in the opening ceremony. Session could not begin without you guys, YPM is very appreciative.

The Executives and Cabinet are very proud to all of the backbenchers who spoke and debated on the first day. As Alumni will know from personal experience, it is nerve racking to stand up in the House and speak in front of strangers. Congratulations to those who stood up and let their voices be heard. We cannot wait to see what tomorrow has in store!

December 26-31, 2016

One amazing aspect of coming to YPM is the friendships you create. Youth Parliament of Manitoba creates an amazing atmosphere where all feel welcomed. An organization that takes backbenchers who are complete strangers, that gather together to discuss a common topic, passing legislature. Here is a personal experience from the 95th Winter Session.

Our current PS to Alumni Affairs (left) and The Minister of Communication (right) so happened to be on the same committee team last year, and that is where it all started. They began to discuss the amendments to bills together, and realized how similar they were in political thought. From there, their friendship grew. The two would stay up chatting about life as a university student, what they liked and valued, and about humorous things that happened during session. In the late hours, they would watch TV shows and comment on what was happening and take snapchat selfies. To this day, they visit each other at univerity, go out for lunch and of course, go shopping together! Both cabinet members are thankful to YPM, because without it, they would have maybe never meet.  The photo was taken in the morning of the last day, December 31, 2016. As we draw closer to winter session, I hope you are looking forward to it!

FULL HOUSE!

Hello! YPM has some very exciting news! We are currently sitting at a full house for YPM’s 96th Winter Session! Cabinet is overjoyed to meet and engage with new and old members. Thank you to all the 90 members who are participating in this years session; without you, we would not be so successful.  If you have any questions regarding registration and further information if you are registered. Please feel free and comfortable to contact our Registrar General! (admissions@ypmanitoba.ca) The 96th cabinet members are so happy to meet everyone! Only 28 days till session!!