Winnipeg mayoral hopeful Paula Havixbeck pledges mental health help
Brian Bowman promises to change EPC appointments at City Hall
Paula Havixbeck says if she's elected mayor of Winnipeg this fall, she would offer city support for citizens with mental illness, including a transit subsidy and workshops for families.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Havixbeck said one in four Winnipeggers has a mental illness which contributes to addictions, suicide, crime and poverty.
"Addictions and mental health is a real issue facing our city. It knows no social class, it knows no gender boundaries. It affects everyone," she told reporters outside the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba's office.
Havixbeck said if elected mayor in the Oct. 22 election, she would offer a transit subsidy for people with mental health issues through agencies that provide support for them.
She also promised to provide ongoing training to Winnipeg police officers and cadets in recognizing and helping those with mental illness.
As well, Havixbeck said she would use the city's community centres and Leisure Guide to offer more courses and workshops to help citizens with mental illness and their families.
"It has to happen at every level of government that we're taking action. These suggestions and ideas are well within the city's realm of responsibility: transit, policing, community centres," she said.
Havixbeck also pledged support for current and retired emergency workers who have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bowman pledges EPC changes
Also on Tuesday, rival candidate Brian Bowman says if he is elected mayor, he would let council elect all six members of the mayor's Executive Policy Committee instead of having the mayor appoint them.
Commonly known as the mayor's inner circle or cabinet, the Executive Policy Committee has consisted of councillors who were all appointed by the mayor.
In June, council approved changes that would make three of the six EPC positions elected, with the remaining three positions to remain mayoral appointments.
Those changes would take effect after the civic election. The city has to ask the Manitoba government to amend the City of Winnipeg Charter to reflect those changes.
Bowman said he would ensure that all six positions to EPC are elected for two-year terms.
He also proposed a method that would not require changing the City of Winnipeg Charter: have council submit their EPC recommendations to the mayor for approval and appointment.
Bowman promised to slash all salary top-ups for EPC members, the Speaker and deputy mayor by 50 per cent, as well as reduce the mayor's salary by an equal amount to that of the EPC members.
As well, he said he would create an Executive Council that would "help develop meaningful policies for the city and serve as an effective go-between with EPC and administration," according to a campaign news release.