Candidates: Josh Brandon, Cindy Gilroy, Sarowar Miah
- Will you be a champion for a Winnipeg Without Poverty and commit to leading the development of a comprehensive poverty reduction plan for Winnipeg with progress indicators that have targets and timelines?
The fact that over 100,000 Winnipeggers live in poverty is deplorable. Our city has some of the highest concentrations of child poverty of any urban area in Canada. Earlier this year, more than 1,500 Winnipeg residents experiencing homelessness were interviewed as part of the Winnipeg Street Census. In a society as wealthy as ours, no resident should live in poverty.
I believe that every level of government will need to take responsibility for poverty reduction and social inclusion. This means considering how every policy will affect the most vulnerable in our society. Municipal policies should be developed and considered within the context of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy.
If elected, I will work within council to advance a poverty reduction strategy. The strategy should include specific actions for groups at greater risk of poverty, including Indigenous people, newcomers, women, children, people with disabilities and the LGBT2SQ+ community.
At a minimum, Winnipeg should match federal poverty reduction targets of 20% less poverty by 2020 and 50% less poverty by 2030.
I believe I have been a champion of poverty reduction I have a proven record Including the introduction of a low income bus pass motion my motion to look at a poverty strategy my advocacy of low income housing my work to maintain transit routes. I have committed my personal financial support to community organizations including coffee water and feminine hygiene products for women in the sex trade. I have been a leader and I will continue to lead to reduce poverty in our city.
- What specific actions will you take to reduce poverty in Winnipeg via the City of Winnipeg?
Poverty reduction and social justice are central to my platform. I want to build a more sustainable and more just city that provides an equitable share of services to lower-income residents. Everything the city does has impacts on working families and those living in poverty.
- Throughout this campaign I have been advocating for reliable affordable transit. Last fall, City Council voted to raise bus fares by 25 cents, putting transit out of reach for many low-income residents. I will advocate for a roll back of this January 2018 increase.
- Low income residents will also benefit from improved service. I will work for the completion of a frequent service network with maximum 10 minute wait periods within core areas and along major corridors throughout the day. This will help people get to work, school or other appointments, especially benefiting workers in precarious and lower wage jobs who frequently have irregular schedules in off-peak hours.
- I will also work towards Winnipeg becoming a living wage city, following the example of communities like New Westminster, BC by proposing a Living Wage bylaws. Winnipeg should require all municipal employment, including direct and contract workers, to be paid a living wage of at least $14.54 per hour as calculated by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Winnipeg must show leadership towards making work a path out of poverty not a poverty trap.
- Winnipeg can also support better employment by using social purchasing and providing contracts to social enterprises who employ people with barriers to employment. Winnipeg should encourage more newcomers, Indiigenous and other underrepresented groups to enter the civil service through gateway programs, diversifying the City’s workforce.
- I will support the creation of a dedicated community safety fund to help support 24 hour safe spaces or other supports for homeless and extended community centre hours and programs.
- I will work to pass an “access without fear” resolution at City Council to ensure all residents, regardless of ethnic origin or citizenship have safe access to city services they need.
Rather than giving multi-million dollar tax-holidays to developers, we must consider how poor bus service and fare increases affect those who can’t afford to get to work. Instead of offloading our city’s fiscal shortfalls onto the most marginalized members of our community, we should re-focus municipal resources to create good jobs and grow our economy to make it work for everyone.
Low-income bus pass, more low income housing options working on food insecurity and community gardens to support families, low-income fee waiver so families can access programs and services at city facilities. Support of social enterprise when dealing with city services are some of the actions I would and have taken
- How will you work with community groups and people with lived experience of poverty?
People living in poverty are the best experts about the programs that will best serve them and what will help them exit poverty. As policy makers we must listen to their voices. We also need to give the community more input into our budget process. I will provide feedback opportunities by partnering with service delivery and community development organizations to promote and encourage participation in regular budgeting and policy development meetings within the ward, including in inner city parts of the ward which have the highest rates of low income households.
I have worked with Spence on the 24 hr safe space I worked DMSM on providing grants and supplies for the drop in centre. First and foremost I will listen to those with the lived experience and let them tell me what they want and I won’t dictate my own experience on to them.
- Anything further to add?
I thank Make Poverty History Manitoba for their leadership in providing over 50 positive policy recommendations towards helping Winnipeg become a leader in poverty reduction. These will form a strong basis when combined with further public consultation for a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for Winnipeg.