River Heights-Fort Garry Candidates: Winnipeg Without Poverty 2018 Questionnaire Responses

River Heights – Fort Garry

Candidates: John Orlikow, Gary Lenko, Garth Steek

  1. 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?

John Orlikow:

I am committed to reducing poverty in Winnipeg.

Gary Lenko:

Yes I will become a champion for a Winnipeg without poverty. I will commit to implementing an all-inclusive strategy that is community-based and advocate for social benefits that provide full coverage for rent and that raise recipients above the poverty level. I believe every initiative must have targets and set timelines to ensure that progress is being made in a timely manner and adjust the plan as needed to reach as many people as possible. It is important to get the word out in the community so that people in need know where to turn. At times, program funding is not used to the maximum because the target audience is not being reached.

Garth Steek:

No response.

  1. What specific actions will you take to reduce poverty in Winnipeg via the City of Winnipeg?

John Orlikow:

During my time as a city councillor, I’ve been dedicated to building strong communities through my actions, such as:

  • As chair of the Property and Development, Heritage and Downtown Development Standing Policy Committee, I have been able to work with stakeholders to ensure affordable housing is developed within projects
  • I am a member of the Affordable Housing Committee
  • I support our local community centres and public green spaces with grants to improve recreational facilities in all corners of our city
  • I engaged my fellow councillors to explore and develop options for an affordable bus pass system
  • I’ve worked with grassroots community members and groups to find proactive ways to increase safety within our ward
  • I’ve worked to preserve public spaces and buildings and convert them into child care centres to increase the number of available daycare spaces

Should I be re-elected, I’m committed to continuing this work and finding new initiatives that support reducing poverty.  

Gary Lenko:

I will bring a motion to implement free transit for children, youth, seniors, persons with disabilities and people with low-income. I will advocate to increase city funding and secure funding for affordable housing from the federal government through its array of affordable housing programs. I would work with the provincial government to access additional funding for mental health services and addiction treatment facilities. The province must be forced to assume a greater responsibility for eliminating poverty than it has in the past. Implement a program for Indigenous peoples moving to the city from the North and other remote communities that is similar to those available to newcomers but with a culturally appropriate focus. Expand on the initiatives to reduce poverty that our city is currently operating. Research what other municipalities are doing and implement programs that are working.

Garth Steek:

No response.

  1. How will you work with community groups and people with lived experience of poverty?

John Orlikow:

I grew up with a lifelong belief in public service. With my early employment in education and employment readiness, I understand the need to provide everyone with the tools they need to participate in all aspects of life in our city. As a city councillor, I will continue to work with local stakeholders and community members to remove the barriers to accessing employment opportunities and to reduce the social issues that underscore poverty in our city.

Gary Lenko:

I will listen. I will respect them and work with them to find solutions. People who live or have lived in poverty know what is needed to survive, encouraging their participation in planning discussions must be part of all poverty reduction efforts.

Garth Steek:

No response.

  1. Anything further to add?

John Orlikow:

Many of the ideas I have helped implement have come from grassroots organizations. As a city councillor, I will continue to listen to ideas that come from those on the front lines and advance the needs of the community for the betterment of us all.

Gary Lenko:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to your coalition’s  questions and for sharing information on this critical issue. I support your coalition and will get involved to pressure the province to do its part if I’m elected and if not as a private citizen. Keep up the great work.

Garth Steek:

No response.

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