Riverbank restaurants, bike paths among promises on mayoral campaign trail

Winnipeggers were promised riverbank development and bike paths Thursday, and for those Winnipeggers who work for the city, good faith bargaining.

There was also a vow to bargain in good faith with city's unions

Winnipeggers were promised riverbank development and bike paths Thursday, and for those Winnipeggers who work for the city, good faith bargaining. 

Brian Bowman says if he's elected, he wants to see Winnipeg's riverbank property developed.

Standing in Stephen Juba Park with the Red River in the background, Bowman said about half of the 240 kilometres of riverbank is privately owned, but the city owns the other half. 

David Sanders said the city, as a public employer, should set a good example of the way employees are treated. (CBC)
​​"I would like to see more development closer to the rivers so that we bring people down to the river," he said. "I'd love to see places where you could have some pizza, or have lunch close to the river. I'd like to see people looking at the river because I think the more you get people down to the river the more it becomes part of the political conversation in the city."

Bowman said the Red and Assiniboine rivers are assets that the city has ignored, and he wants to change that by encouraging more people to use the rivers, developing commercial opportunities and generating economic activity. 

"This is why Winnipeg is here. It's because of these rivers and right now, too often people see the rivers as an obstacle to be driven over, rather than an asset that can help contribute to our economic growth and development," 

Bowman said his 'Smart River Growth Strategy' will build up infrastructure like docks and access points so people can use the river for recreational activities like canoeing or kayaking as well. 

And he said he will press the premier to keep water levels low by using the floodway. Bowman said that's a promise Greg Selinger made five years ago.

Active transportation would get a boost, promised Judy Wasylycia-Leis, if she's elected mayor, with an investment of $20 million in bike paths. (CBC)
"I'd like to see the premier delivering on his commitment to leveraging the floodway to help control the river levels. You know, right now it's, it's kind of shameful that we can't, I guess now we can, but earlier this summer we couldn't use our riverwalk to the extent Winnipeggers expect," he said.

Bike paths to get boost

Mayoral hopeful Judy Wasylycia-Leis is promising money for more active transportation if she wins the race Oct. 22.
Standing on a bike path near Sterling Lyon Parkway, Wasylycia-Leis committed $20 million over four years for bike paths and other active transportation routes.

She said the bike path is a good start but is a good example of how far the city has yet to go. 
"It still requires active Winnipeggers to walk or cycle through busy intersections, without sidewalks or dedicated paths," she said. "It's obviously still very incomplete."

Wasylycia-Leis says the money she's pledging won't complete all the paths the city needs, but should help complete what's already there.

Brian Bowman pledged to encourage development along the city's riverbanks to encourage people to appreciate the rivers while creating economic activity. (CBC)
"It will make a significant dent in the process and there are a number of priorities in terms of connecting existing bike paths and in terms of working and creating some new ones," she said. 

Winnipeg as employer should set an example

David Sanders promised the 9,000 people who work for the city of Winnipeg that if he is elected mayor, he will bargain in good faith.

Sanders said the city's way of managing vacancies is actually a hiring freeze, and it's contributed to some of the challenges facing the city, such as increased workloads and fewer employees. 

He said he would take a more co-operative approach when it comes to bargaining.