On July 15th, 2014 the Downtown Community Residents’ Association reached out to all mayoral candidates. We offered them the opportunity to respond to some important questions from downtown residents. (See the full questionnaire here.) We’ll be posting the full responses from each candidate individually in order to give our community – and the entire City of Winnipeg – the opportunity to see each candidate’s vision for the downtown. The responses will be posted in the order the were received from each candidate.
Below are the responses from Gord Steeves . (View the original .PDF here.)
1. Downtown renewal is one of my five top priorities in this campaign. I support mixed-use developments in our neighborhoods, including downtown Winnipeg. These developments bring a concentration of businesses and residents while also providing connections to existing infrastructure. A thriving downtown area is a combination of successful retail stores, various attractions, destination restaurants, live-work accommodations, and of course an inviting atmosphere. This type of downtown not only carries a city’s economy, but also significantly contributes to a city’s identity.
2. Parking is important for downtown residents, businesses and visitors. I support the plans to increase availability of parking in downtown. If I am elected mayor, I propose implementing a plan whereby any new residential development proposal in the downtown comes forward with a sustainable parking plan available to residents and local businesses.
3. I am aware of the needs for a downtown grocery stores. I commend downtown residents for letting politicians know that this is a very real concern in the downtown area. If elected, I’ll ensure there are more options including accessibility to buy groceries in the downtown area. I’ll be making my announcement on downtown priorities in the near future.
4. It’s unacceptable that downtown taxpayers don’t have proper access to public facilities that exist in other parts of the city. I’m open to exploring a variety of ideas as to how City Hall will provide better access to public facilities in downtown Winnipeg for residents and community organizations.
5. I supported investments in Active Transportation Network in Winnipeg when I was on Council. I will continue to support infrastructure investments to ensure safety of cyclists and pedestrians. My plan would be to bring existing City of Winnipeg committees (Active Transportation and Special Events committees) and departments of Public Works and Winnipeg Police Service together for better coordination and planning of infrastructure during rush hour and major events.
6. As I mentioned earlier, Downtown Winnipeg is a priority for me. I support various types of housing in the downtown, including rental housing. We should continue to increase the downtown population which in turn, will create strong communities attractive to potential businesses. I feel it important to listen to the needs and concerns of the current downtown residents as we move forward with any downtown residential growth.
7. Walkability is an essential part of any vibrant downtown as it helps create vitality within the community. Key elements to a successful walkable environment would include street improvements, streetscape design and public interest in the surroundings. To ensure the connectivity of our downtown area, we will continue investments in the existing infrastructure as one part in our plan for revitalizing the city.
8. I have released my accountability in government platform which offers real solutions on how I will ensure Winnipeggers regain trust in City Hall. For example, urgent implementation of the recommendations of the recent real estate audits, establishment of a transparent budget process and administrative performance measurements are just some of the ideas I am proposing as we move forward to an accountable City Hall.
The Downtown Community Residents’ Association would like to thank Gord Steeves and his campaign for taking the time to respond to the questions from our residents. You can learn more about his campaign here. For responses from other mayoral candidates visit the DRCA election 2014 section.