St. Norbert is one of four wards where Winnipeggers will see a new city councillor after the Oct. 22 election. Three people are on the ballot to replace Justin Swandel, who is not seeking re-election.
In the 2010 election, 45 per cent of people eligible voted and Swandel was chosen to represent the ward.
Three candidates are running in the 2014 election. This year’s candidates are Joe Chan, Janice Lukes, and Sachit Mehra.
- Joe Chan: He is the current owner of Transcona's Cathay House restaurant. He promises to be an aggressive candidate and "fight for you."
- Janice Lukes: She is an entrepreneur and former business owner who provided floral services in Winnipeg for over 15 years. She's also a fundraiser and project manager. According to her website, she has raised over $65 million for her community development.
- Sachit Mehra: He is an entrepreneur, father, chair of the Downtown BIZ, and a member of Winnipeg’s 2015 Grey Cup Steering Committee.
From Jan. 1 to Sept. 16, 4,629 calls have been placed to 311.
The most common complaint was missed garbage collection with 1,203 complaints. The second-most common complaint was missed recycling collection with 1,159 calls. The least common complaint was autobin overflow with no complaints, while the second-least had to do with canker worms with only one complaint.
CrimeStat says that 216 calls were recorded from Jan. 1 to Sept. 16. Breaking and entering residences was the most common crime with 85 calls. Second was actual motor vehicle thefts with 45 calls. Compared to other wards, St. Norbert has lighter criminal activity, with only three sexual assaults, no shootings, and no homicides reported in 2014.
Candidate Q & A
- Who do you support for mayor of Winnipeg?
Sachit Mehra: “As a councilor and candidate, I am focused on my own ward, and will continue to do that until the end of my race.”
Joe Chan: “I cannot make up my mind yet. We never had so many candidates, and they’re all good. I’m going to vote for whoever is closest to my platform.”
Janice Lukes: “I’m going to wait for the Chamber of Commerce luncheon to decide who to support for mayor.”
- With which political party are you associated?
Sachit Mehra: “I have served since the age of 16 proudly, with all levels, of the Liberal Party.”
Joe Chan: “I identify as a Liberal. I’m really proud to tell the people I’m a Liberal.”
Janice Lukes: “I have no political affiliation.”
For people living in St. Norbert, infrastructure is one of the hottest topics for potential voters.
- Don Trudell, 68
Trudell lives on Laurent Drive and believes his ward could be better represented.
“I would say [it’s been represented] slightly less than adequate,” he said.
“General maintenance of streets … snow clearing,” he added. “They spend a ton of money, but the people who are going out and doing the job are not properly trained.”
Though there are issues with infrastructure, Trudell says he enjoys his neighbourhood.
“I feel very safe,” he said. “I know there are a lot of women who feel unsafe, but that’s general across the city.”
- Manny Bharaj, 44
Bharaj, who lives on Marymount Place, also believes that St. Norbert could use some improvements.
“I don’t think it’s very well represented at all,” said Bharaj. “I used to [feel very safe]…. You have too many cops in the wrong areas.”
Bharaj, like others interviewed in St. Norbert, believes that infrastructure and city development are important issues facing his neighbourhood.
“Transportation is a big thing for me ... city planning and development," he said.
Unlike others interviewed, Bharaj wants the city to focus more on crime.
“Policing will be a big thing,” Bharaj said about changes he hopes to see in the next four years. “Get more cops strategically walking.”
- Yolanda Kozlowski, 55
For Kozlowski, living in Bridgwater — a newer area in the St. Norbert ward — infrastructure is a big concern.
“It’s quite sad … how the public space is maintained. You come in, and it’s actually quite disgusting. There’s weeds everywhere. The public boulevards are not mowed,” said Kozlowski.
“But I feel safe. It’s a brand new area.”
- Julie Peake, 56
Infrastructure was another change that Peake, a Kilkenny Drive resident, said the city could fix.
“I’d like to see some improvements in the infrastructure,” she said. “There’s a lot of heavy traffic, but that’s kind of understandable. There’s not much they can do about it.”
But Peake also believes that St. Norbert has been well represented at city hall the past four years.
“We do get newsletters … we get lots of updates,” she said.
“I feel safe [here]. You often see the community police cars driving back and fourth down the street.”
- Abbas Butt, 19
Younger residents like Butt say there are other ways St. Norbert could be improved.
“There could be more engaging physical education programs and activities for youth,” said Butt, who lives on North Town Road.
In the next four years, Butt wants people to be more aware of upcoming elections — “Maybe a better voting atmosphere and coverage for elections.”
All of the individuals interviewed said they would be voting on Oct. 22.