Manitoba Votes 2010: Mayoral Races
A businessman who embarked on his career by opening a clothing store in Brandon shortly after graduating from the University of Manitoba, Katz's entrepreneurial ventures also include forays into real estate and entertainment. He owns Showtime Productions Inc., which brings concerts, musicals and consumer shows to the city. He also owns the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team, which plays in the Northern League.
He has also run businesses in the restaurant and club sectors and was once listed as one of 125 Influential Manitobans.
He became the city's 42nd mayor in 2004, winning a byelection when Glen Murray resigned to run in that year's federal election. He was re-elected in 2006, receiving more than 61 per cent of the vote.
In 2004, he was given the province's highest honour, the Order of Manitoba, for demonstrating an ability to improve the social, cultural and economic well being of Manitoba and its residents.
His legacy in office includes keeping property taxes frozen, reducing business taxes (eliminating it for a third of the city's smallest businesses), a police Auxiliary Force Cadets program and a police helicopter, which is scheduled to begin flying in October.
The priorities in his election platform include reducing crime, addressing infrastructure needs and providing a climate for economic growth.
A real estate broker and property manager, Gill says his single greatest election issue to create safer neighbourhoods. To that end, he promises to up a "Crime Free Housing" program in his first year as mayor. He says the program, being used in more than 2,000 cities worldwide, brings together police, landlords, city hall, and the community to reduce crime in rental properties. Where it is already in use, nuisance calls have been reduced to police by 33 per cent to 50 per cent, allowing the police to focus on more serious issues.
He also wants to outfit police officers with body cameras mounted on their badges. The cameras would combat frivolous complaints against officers, result in higher conviction rates and increase officer safety, he says. Better funding for community centres is also vital to steer youth of the streets and into sports, arts, and other activities.
A Winnipeg real estate agent with Royal LePage, Gross claims his political affiliations lie with the people, not a party. His platform includes promises to provide citizens over 60 years old with discounts off property taxes, to build a holding cell 45-55 minutes outside of Winnipeg to make it inconvenient for criminals to get back, and to offer free bus fare during rush hours in an attempt to reduce the amount of cars on the roads. He also promises to "bring common sense to City Hall [and to] get the education tax off of the city property taxes."
Wasylycia-Leis worked as a policy planning consultant for the federal NDP and served as an executive assistant to party leader Ed Broadbent in the 1970s. She also served as women's organizer for the federal NDP during that time.
Moved to Manitoba during the 1980s, where she worked as executive assistant to then-Premier Howard Pawley and coordinated the Women's Directorate in the Manitoba government.
First elected as MLA in the north Winnipeg riding of St. Johns. She was re-elected again in 1988 and 1990.
She resigned her provincial seat in 1993 to take a shot at a federal seat. She won the NDP nomination for the riding of Winnipeg North but lost the election. In the 1997 federal election, she won the riding of Winnipeg North Centre. She was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
In Parliament, she has focused primarily on issues relating to women and general human rights. She has served as her party's caucus chair, health critic, finance critic and critic for women's and senior's issues and persons with disabilities.
She stepped down from federal politics on May 1, 2010, and filed her papers two days later to run for mayor of Winnipeg.
Her campaign slogan, "a safer, better, greener, fairer Winnipeg", refers to the main issues of her platform, which deal with crime reduction, more transparency at City Hall, and strengthening the city's environmental programs and policies.