Winnipeg’s new mayor, Scott Gillingham, assumed office this week and, among his top appointments to the EPC, was Coun. Janice Lukes, who becomes both Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Public Works Committee (formerly named Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works Committee).
“We have congratulated Mayor Gillingham on his victory October 26, and we thank all those who put their names forward – put their daily lives on hold for months – to run in the civic election this year,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said.
Lorenc said Lukes will ably chair the Public Works Committee, having led the committee in past years. Further, Lukes has maintained a close eye on and engagement in the committee’s affairs, with her keen interest in Winnipeg’s transportation network.
“We want to thank Coun. Matt Allard, who was also re-elected to council, for his collaborative relationship with the MHCA during his tenure as Chair of the IRPW. We expect that relationship will continue because Coun. Allard has good background and interest in the transportation network and, in particular, is a resource to us on the issue of the public benefit from active transportation and transit,” he said.
The MHCA has made contact with Mayor Gillingham’s office, and has sent letters to all councillors to congratulate them and to re-familiarize each member with the primary priorities the association regards as necessary to Winnipeg’s well-being.
That first priority is economic growth for the city, and also strategic investment in a reliable transportation network.
The letters to councillors repeat the five priorities MHCA set out during the civic election campaign, recommended for the new City Council to address, to ensure Winnipeg’s economy grows. Those five priorities are:
- Focus on growing the economy: We recommend the manager of Economic Development be elevated to a level equivalent, or reporting, to the CAO and that EPC be tasked to develop economic growth strategies
- Press for successor funding agreements with senior levels of government: Press the provincial government to enter into a ‘new fiscal deal’ with municipalities; press Ottawa and Manitoba to negotiate a successor plan to the accelerated regional road program
- Develop a detailed strategic transportation infrastructure plan: task a stakeholder group resourced by the Office of Economic Development & Growth, to recommend a detailed Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Plan addressing targeted, strategic goals, including mode shift, induced demand and inverted mobility considerations
- Update full transportation system condition, needs and sustainable funding model: Public Works should provide an updated assessment of the condition and needs of local and regional streets, AT and dedicated bus lanes, and bridges and structures. The updated Local and Regional Streets & AT Renewal Program must continue to see dedicated revenues. Bridges/structures renewal requires its own dedicated revenues and investment strategy.
- Building better roads: Create a Design Specification and Resource Management committee to consider research on and adoption of materials specifications used to build roads, along with their environmental and resource-management impacts.
The letters also note that the MHCA, in support of its advocacy for good resource management, is co-chairing with the Winnipeg Metro Region a provincial task force to improve the recycling and reuse of construction, renovation and demolition waste.
As well, the MHCA is actively engaged with a working group to inform the City of Winnipeg’s social procurement policy and action plan, developing elements of the plan to ensure practical, pre-employment job training and education reaches the intended equity group targets, ensuring individuals ladder not just to jobs for the season, but careers in the construction industry.
The MHCA also followed the results of the civic elections in the municipalities, especially in the capital region. “We congratulate all elected officials, some of whom we have worked with for years but also to those we will meet in the coming months and years,” Lorenc said.
To see the results of the election in municipalities across Manitoba, click here.