Will he do it? 10 pledges Brian Bowman made on the campaign trail

After months of listening to campaign promises from seven different candidates, only Brian Bowman is left to deliver on the ones he made on the campaign trail.

Brian Bowman was elected Winnipeg's newest mayor Wednesday night after months of campaign promises

Winnipeg's mayor-elect, Brian Bowman, celebrates his victory in the civic election on Oct. 22. Now, he has a host of pledges and commitments to make good on. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

All eyes are on Brian Bowman, the City of Winnipeg’s newest mayor.

After months of listening to campaign promises from seven different candidates, only Bowman is left to deliver.

This is a list of 10 things Brian Bowman pledged, committed to or promised for the City of Winnipeg if he were elected mayor.

10. Put an off-leash dog park downtown

On Sept. 12, Bowman said he planned to create a fenced, off-leash dog park in downtown Winnipeg. The measure was part of his plan to create a stronger downtown, and it also included a collaboration with CentreVenture and the Downtown BIZ to “mandate to attract” a major grocery store to the downtown area within the next two years.

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: Developing a Downtown Neighbourhood

9. Reduce the city’s departmental operating costs by 2 per cent

Bowman has pledged to find two per cent in savings in the operating budgets of different city departments. He said he’ll do it by phasing in more fuel efficient vehicles, reducing salaries, switching software licenses to less expensive options and switching to LED light bulbs.

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: Targeting Cost Savings at City Hall

8. Increase small business tax credit to $30,000 and reduce business tax rate

On Aug. 20, Brian Bowman shook hands with Shwarma Khan owner and former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Obby Khan, promising to increase the small business tax credit to $30,000 from $23,880 to take effect in the 2015 tax year. He also pledged to reduce the business tax rate on an annual basis to offset increases in annual rental rates.

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: Supporting Small Business

7. Restore 5% in museum funding, establish creative campus in The Exchange 

On Sept. 26, Bowman pledged to restore a 2013 five per cent reduction in funding for civic museums as well as establish a “dedicated capital fund for upgrades to existing cultural and heritage facilities” like concert halls and museums. He said his plan to make Winnipeg an internationally recognized leader in indigenous art and culture also included the creation of a “creative campus” in The Exchange District.

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: Winnipeg to be Internationally Recognized Leader in Indigenous Art & Culture

6. Open Portage and Main to pedestrians by 2019

On Aug. 11, Bowman pledged to tear down barriers at Portage Avenue and Main Street by no later than 2019. As part of that announcement, he also pledged to develop a seasonal pedestrian mall in The Exchange District.

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: Bowman Stands Up For Downtown Winnipeg

5. Open data at city hall (including putting some budgets online)

On June 26, Bowman committed to reducing freedom of information requests (FIPPAs) by 25 per cent in his first year in office and proposed a host of measures to make city data available online “unencumbered by restrictive licensing agreements” so the data could be freely used by research groups, community organizations and businesses. Earlier that month, Bowman proposed a host of measures to “lift the veil” at city hall, including posting detailed discretionary budgets of councillors online each month.

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: Lifting the Veil of Secrecy at City Hall and Unlocking the Door to City Hall.

4. Pump $10M more a year into infrastructure, form Build Winnipeg

On July 10, Bowman said he would invest an additional $10 million each year over the next for years into the city’s infrastructure budget, specifically to address roadwork.

About a month later, Bowman said one of his “first priorities” would be to create a cost-neutral Build Winnipeg partnership to deliver a 10-year repair plan for the city’s city’s roads, public transit and active transportation networks with representatives from several city departments.

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: Better Infrastructure for Winnipeg and BuildWINNIPEG partnership

3. Add Wi-Fi to buses and finish all rapid transit routes by 2030

On Sept. 2, Bowman pledged to put Wi-Fi on city buses, add additional bus shelters and finish all of the city’s bus rapid transit routes by 2030.

“We’re going to be looking at borrowing. We’re going to be doing everything we can to lead,” Bowman said. “I’m going to work with city officials. I’m going to work with the private sector, and we’re going to make it happen.”

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: http://www.bowmanforwinnipeg.ca/rapid_transit

2. Limit property tax increases to the rate of inflation

On Sept. 5, Bowman said he was committed to limiting property tax increases to the rate of inflation for the next four years.

Bowman said using the “average rate of inflation in Winnipeg over the last three years” that would mean an annual property tax increase of approximately two per cent.

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: Bowman Pledges To Work Towards a New Tax Model

1. Overhaul city council, including cutting his own salary

On Aug. 26, Bowman committed to reducing salary top-ups for executive policy committee members, the speaker, deputy speaker and deputy mayor by 50 per cent. He also committed to reducing the mayor’s salary (now his own) “by an equal amount to that of members of EPC.”

Bowman also committed to making an electable executive policy committee (rather than how it currently works, with members being appointed by the mayor). He said he will have council elect EPC members.

Finally, within days of the election, he said he would nix severance packages for city politicians leaving office or not seeking re-election.

Bowman's pledge on his campaign site: A City Hall That Works


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