What to know in St. Boniface ward before Winnipeg's election
Restaurant owner, real estate agent hope to unseat ward's councillor
About St. Boniface
The councillor of a Winnipeg ward with a large French-speaking population will face off against a political newcomer and a familiar opponent this election.
St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard will go head to head with real estate agent Marcel Boille — who ran against him in the 2018 city election — and restaurant owner Nicholas Douklias for the central-east Winnipeg seat.
The ward stretches from north St. Boniface to the Island Lakes development and also includes the Southdale, Windsor Park and Norwood neighbourhoods.
It also has a large French-speaking population. Based on data collected for the 2016 census, about one in every four people in the ward speaks the language.
People in Winnipeg will head to the polls on Oct. 26 to vote for councillors in 13 of the city's 15 wards, as well as a new mayor and school trustees. Councillors in the other two wards have already been acclaimed — meaning they automatically hold on to their seats — after no one ran against them.
In the 2018 election, less than half of the people eligible to vote in St. Boniface — or just over 45 per cent — cast a ballot for their ward's council seat, data from the city clerk's office says.
Here's what you need to know before election day in St. Boniface.
Matt Allard has been the ward's councillor since 2014. He was elected after former councillor and current Liberal MP Dan Vandal — whom Allard worked for as executive assistant — left the seat to run in federal politics.
During his time on council, Allard has been on several committees, including the executive policy committee, which functions like the mayor's cabinet.
Marcel Boille is a real estate agent who has lived in north St. Boniface for decades. He co-founded a St. Boniface daycare, where he was a board member for many years. Boille was also on the board of the Notre Dame Recreational Centre for about a decade.
Nicholas Douklias owns and runs Helios Restaurant in St. Boniface.
He's a member of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce's small business advisory council and has volunteered on community boards, including the Société de la francophonie manitobaine, the Norwood Grove Business Improvement Zone and Entreprises Riel.
Allard says he'd focus on improving the diversity of housing options in Winnipeg — including by pushing for more affordable housing — and work to improve roads to make active transportation more accessible.
He'd also aim to improve public transit service and address safety concerns in the city, focusing on both road safety and tackling the root causes of crime.
Boille says he'd focus on improving services, increasing police presence, fixing roads and boosting development in St. Boniface.
Douklias says he'd include community groups in decision making and work with them to address crime. His pledges also include improving access to city services, such as transit, snow clearing and community pools.
Douklias would also expand community gardens, develop a food waste and composting program, improve green spaces and plant more trees in communities and native plants on boulevards.
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