Winnipeg mayoral candidate gets bike stolen 85 minutes after promising to reduce bike theft
Rick Shone down a set of wheels; Kevin Klein promises to speed up permits
A Winnipeg mayoral candidate had his bicycle stolen less than 90 minutes after announcing a cycling-infrastructure plan that included plans to reduce bike theft.
Just before noon on Wednesday, Rick Shone parked his truck at The Wilderness Supply, the Isabel Street retail store he owns, walked inside and briefly spoke to an employee.
When he returned to his truck minutes later, his bicycle had been lifted from the back of the truck.
It was the same bike he took to a 10:30 a.m. news conference near Granite Curling Club, where he promised to spend $250,000 on 500 new bike racks in Winnipeg and pledged to replace the city's bike-registration system with a national theft-deterrent program.
"I feel so stupid," Shone said Wednesday afternoon. "I was inside for two minutes. I got distracted by a question."
If anyone sees my orange Rossin riding around - I would really like it back from the person who just STOLE IT FROM ME...529 alert has been activated...(stolen in West End) <a href="https://t.co/OyCl7h4XRX">pic.twitter.com/OyCl7h4XRX</a>—@RickShone
Shone is the second mayoral candidate to address bike theft in two days. Shaun Loney made a similar bike-registration pledge on Tuesday, when he also promised to install more bike lockers in public places and change city zoning rules to make lockers mandatory in new developments.
Shone is also the second Winnipeg mayoral candidate to report a theft this August. Earlier this month, Rana Bokhari had a catalytic converter stolen from her campaign RV.
Shone also promised Wednesday to increase the city's annual spending on bike trails, sidewalk improvements and pedestrian trails from approximately $4.3 million this year to a minimum of $9.4 million every year.
More cycling routes would be converted into protected bike lanes under this program, gaps in the cycling network would be filled in and wayfinding signs would be improved to the standard of markers along the Southwest Transitway bike path, he said.
"We spend a lot of money building the trails, but to visitors or even to people like myself who go to different areas of the city, it's often really hard to figure out where you are and where you're going," Shone said alongside the protected bike lane on Granite Way, near Osborne Street.
Klein promises prompt permit process
Winnipeg mayoral candidate Kevin Klein, meanwhile, promised Wednesday to reduce red tape for small businesses and developers — and says his plan will pay for itself.
The outgoing councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood promised Wednesday to ensure business owners applying for permits only have to contact one city office, rather than multiple offices, regardless of how many permits they require.
Klein also promised to ensure developers wait no longer than 90 days for occupancy permits and demolition permits. Restaurants, daycares, public housing projects and health-care providers would only have to wait 15 days for permits, he said.
Klein said he has not costed out the plan and could not say how many more city inspectors would be required in order to implement it, but suggested the new revenue that would flow from faster development would cover the cost.
"Any FTEs [full-time-equivalent jobs] we add to the planning, property and development department will return the investment quickly to the City of Winnipeg," Klein said at an announcement at the Exchange District location of Canadian Footwear, a shoe retailer.
As it stands, developers in Winnipeg seeking to demolish buildings are required to present a plan to redevelop the properties. The rule was put in place to prevent the proliferation of empty lots.
Klein said he is not concerned that eliminating that requirement could result in more vacant lots. He said he would charge an additional fee of $2,500 on empty properties every year they are vacant.
Brian Scharfstein, who owns three Canadian Footwear locations, said he hosted Klein's policy announcement because he has had trouble finding property for a new warehouse.
Scharfestein is also a member of the Winnipeg Police Board. He said he sees no issue in hosting a political event and said he has not yet endorsed any candidate for mayor.
"Clearly I've had the ability, being the vice-chair of the Winnipeg Police Board, to wear my hat as a board member for the police board, and when I'm in business, I wear my business hat," Scharfstein said.
"I make that very clear in any conversation. I never get confused."
Klein is a former police board chair.
Klein, Shone, Loney and Bokhari are among 14 candidates running for mayor. Idris Adelakun, Chris Clacio, Scott Gillingham, Jenny Motkaluk, Glen Murray, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Jessica Peebles, Govind Thawani, Desmond Thomas and Don Woodstock have also registered mayoral campaigns.
Candidates must also complete a nomination process in September in order to appear on the election-day ballot in October.
Race on in Waverley West
Voters in Waverley West now have a choice of candidates running for council.
Pascal Scott, a trade advisor, registered Tuesday to run in the southern Winnipeg ward where Coun. Janice Lukes ran unopposed during the 2018 election. Lukes is running for a third term at city hall.
Now that she has an opponent, the number of wards where candidates are unopposed has dropped to four.
As of Wednesday, councillors Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River), Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) and Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan) remained unchallenged.
The deadline to run for council is Sept. 20. The election takes place Oct. 26.