Janice Lukes to run for councillor in new Waverley West ward
With her ward to be essentially split in two, Lukes says it was time to make a decision
Councillor Janice Lukes says she hopes to be re-elected to one of the city's new wards.
This weekend Lukes put to rest speculation over which ward she would run in and confirmed she is planning to run in Waverley West.
"So many people were asking me, 'Where are you going to run, where are you going to run,'" said Lukes. "So I thought, you know what, it's probably best to say where I'm going to run and be done with it."
Lukes was first elected to the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert ward in 2014, the most populated ward in Winnipeg, with about 68,000 people.
The final report of the Wards Boundaries Commission says the average population of a Winnipeg ward is 47,016 people, with the St. Charles ward having just under 32,000.
"Myself and councillor [Brian] Mayes (St. Vital) called for a boundary review about one year in, just after being elected," said Lukes. "I have 70,000 constituents I represent, and it's very challenging to give them fair representation … and the resources that we get are the same [no matter how big the ward.]"
The WBC report set forth new ward boundaries, essentially cutting the Lukes's current ward in half, bringing them more in line with population numbers for other wards in Winnipeg, said Lukes.
The new wards, now called Waverley West and St. Norbert, take effect later this year, just before the 2018 Winnipeg General Election.
The boundaries of the new Waverley West ward, according to the WBC reprot, are roughly Pembina Highway, McGillivray boulevard, Brady Road and the South Perimeter highway. The new St. Norbert ward consists of St. Norbert, the University of Manitoba, Fort Richmond and parts of south St. Vital.
I believe that in an emerging community I can bring my almost-20-year now of grassroots community experience.- Janice Lukes
Lukes said she decided to run in Waverley West to continue working on the South Winnipeg Recreation Campus she has been fighting for since before she was a councillor, and to continue working on the problem of illegal rooming houses near the University of Manitoba.
"I just love this rooming house file, I've done some amazing work with residents on it and even though the university won't be in the ward I'm going to run in … many homes in the south end are rental properties. Many of them are complying and adhering to the rental property bylaws, but many aren't.
"It's a bittersweet decision," she added. "In making the decision, I had to think about where am I going to add the most value to the community. I believe that in an emerging community I can bring my almost-20-year now of grassroots community experience."
She also said she hopes to push for a general governance review for the city in the hopes of helping city hall run more efficiently.
"I really want to look how the nuts and the bolts operate of governance," she said. "We haven't done a governance review in 20 years, and we receive information, we make decisions, all kind of things, differently than we did 20 years ago. I think we need a review on that."
As for speculation she was considering a mayoral run?
"That's not in my bucket list right now at all."