Winnipeg votes 2018: Charleswood-Tuxedo ward profile

Charleswood-Tuxedo will have a new councillor this year, as Marty Morantz seeks the federal Conservative nomination in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley. That leaves the door open for four candidates vying for the council seat.

4 candidates vying to replace Marty Morantz, who will seek federal Progressive Conservative nomination

Four candidates are running for the Charleswood-Tuxedo council seat in Winnipeg's 2018 civic election. (CBC)

About Charleswood-Tuxedo

With new ward boundaries for 2018, the old St. Charles ward neighbourhoods of Assiniboia Downs, Glendale, Kirkfield, and Westwood are now a part of the Charleswood-Tuxedo ward for the 2018 Winnipeg civic election.

That gives the newly named ward — previously called Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge — a population of 45,947, according to 2016 census data.

Marty Morantz, who was first elected to city council in the 2014 election, announced in May that he will not be seeking re-election and will instead run for the federal Conservative nomination in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, leaving the door open for four candidates vying for the council seat. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

The ward will also have a new councillor this year — Marty Morantz, who was first elected to city council in the 2014 election, announced in July that he will not be seeking re-election, as he plans to run for the federal Conservative nomination in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, leaving the door open for four candidates vying for the council seat in the Oct. 24 election.

In the 2014 civic election, turnout among eligible voters in the Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge ward was 57.2 per cent.

Other facts about Charleswood-Tuxedo:

  • Between Jan. 1, 2016, and Sept. 28, 2018, Charleswood-Tuxedo residents contacted 311 a total of 8,711 times, according to city data. The majority of the complaints from citizens in the ward were for missed garbage collection (2,876 complaints) and missed recycling collection (2,205 complaints). 
  • According to the City of Winnipeg CrimeStat data, which uses the old ward boundaries, there were a total of 179 incidents reported to police in the Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge ward in the 2018 year to date as of Sept. 28  — an increase of 28 per cent from the same period in 2017.
  • Motor vehicle theft was the most commonly reported type of crime. There were 50 motor vehicle thefts for the year to date in Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge as of Sept. 28, according to CrimeStat — a 117 per cent increase from 23 over the same period in 2017.

Charleswood-Tuxedo in the news

The candidates

Kevin Klein has worked as publisher and CEO of the Winnipeg Sun and also for MTS as a president of a new digital division. He has also been recognized for his work with people in the martial arts and hockey communities. 

Kevin Nichols is a business owner and community leader. He is a former Ecole Dieppe Home and School Association president. He is also a member of the CCHP (Citizens for Charleswood Habitat Preservation).

Grant Nordman is an entrepreneur and political volunteer in west Winnipeg. He was a city councillor from 2006 to 2014 for the now-defunct St. Charles ward. Before politics, he served as president and CEO of the Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce.

Ken St. George has been nursing in the downtown core of Winnipeg for 14 years, caring for some of Winnipeg's most impoverished, vulnerable and marginalized individuals. He formed his own foundation, Albert House, in partnership with Main Street Project.

What the candidates say on key issues

Questions in this section were those voters in the ward said they wanted to see asked of candidates. Responses have been edited and condensed.

Do you think the tax money is well spent on roads, sewers and other services? What would you do differently? 

Kevin Klein: No, I don't think the money is well spent. I think the city needs to do better with the money it already has. I would challenge how we spend people's hard-earned money. I think we need to review how current tax dollars are being spent. Then we need to get back to the core basics of city government, which is fixing our roads and improving our infrastructure.

Grant Nordman: We have to prioritize where the problems are. You'd like to fix every residential street, but they don't have nearly the volume of traffic as Portage and other high traffic areas. So, I think those have to be the prioritized locations. If the funding is there then you do what you can. I've also learned a lot about water and waste with my time working at the city. The money needs to go to where it is required. Stuff wears out.

Kevin Nichols: I know for a fact the money is not well spent, I can't go into detail but I do know this for a fact. What I would do differently is to allocate more funds to street/sidewalk repairs, promote better planning to reduce expropriations that are costing the city millions. Finally, allow city staff to perform the jobs we pay them to do without too much political interference and hold them accountable for the end product. These are just some of the key factors to get the city infrastructure improved.

Ken St. George: Tax money at present is not spent wisely. Often infrastructure projects, as they go through the procurement process automatically go to default status as lowest bid wins. This … easily becomes unsustainable, for this practice is not good business. Often, repair needs to be done not long after the project is complete, or contractors end up well beyond their estimates.

All services are struggling, including the civil service. My platform contains ideas of harnessing the true experts of any service provision, the front-line workers. Similarly, to the recently released transformation capital fund released by the province earlier this year, it nourishes and harnesses innovation from the service providers themselves. Constituents are all investors and stakeholders in civil service via the property tax they pay, time to stop the wasteful spending.

Voters will decide in October whether the Portage and Main intersection should be reopened to pedestrian traffic. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Where do you stand on the Portage and Main referendum?

Kevin Klein: It is a staple of our city. It is known across the country, as it is indicated in songs. I think the bigger question is, "What is the big picture plan for Portage and Main?" From what I hear at doorsteps is that people don't want tax dollars spent on Portage and Main right now. We have more important issues that need to be addressed in our city. I'd like to take the time to look at alternative possibilities for a more inclusive plan that will benefit our city. 

Grant Nordman: No, the answer is no. If it ain't broke don't fix it. It closed 40 years ago and the reason it closed then is still valid today. I will abide whatever the decision is if I'm voted in as city councillor.

Kevin Nichols: Keep it closed as it isn't a priority right now. Perhaps in the future when we get the rest of the city under control, then look at opening it.

Ken St. George: I would like to see Portage and Main opened up. However, I am not certain if the timing is right at present considering the city's bottom line is struggling, there is more borrowing than ever, intergovernmental department borrowing, and so many infrastructure and social issues to handle first. So yes to Portage and Main, when it is feasible to do so.

What are you going to do about the crumbling sidewalks and streets in Charleswood? When are you going to fix them? 

Kevin Klein: There are more crumbling sidewalks than just the ones in Charleswood. There is some in Tuxedo and especially crumbling back lanes in Westwood. Again, I'd get the city focused on the basics of improving infrastructure. 

Grant Nordman: Sometime in the next 10 years, let's put it that way. Streets are a priority, but second come residential areas. Each individual ward gets $1 million so there is $15 million dedicated to all 15 wards for residential renewal. It's up to public works and councillors to figure out what needs to get done over a period of time. There is no magic wand. 

Kevin Nichols: This speaks to Question 1, allocate more funding for repairs. The reason for patchwork repairs is due to a lack of funds. City departments are given a certain amount of money in their budget and told to perform miracles. In order to actually repair crumbling sidewalks and roads properly and completely, more funding and proper allocation must be administered.

Ken St. George: I note crumbling infrastructure in Charleswood, Tuxedo, Westwood and St. Charles. I applaud our current administration for being aggressive regarding infrastructure. However, our constituency is not seeing significant enough revenue towards repairs here. Revenue flow required to speed up the process is needed. My portals of entry concept found on my site is a top priority for motion to create added revenue without raising taxes to Winnipeggers.

Since 2015, the city has been looking at several ways to better align Sterling Lyon with Wilkes Avenue and carry more motor vehicles between the South Tuxedo area and the Perimeter Highway. Traffic management is one of the concerns raised by voters in the Charleswood-Tuxedo ward, which will elect a new city councillor on Oct. 24. (CBC)

What is happening at Wilkes Avenue [and with the Sterling Lyon Parkway extension]? Are they twinning it through McCreary Road all the way back to the Perimeter?

Kevin Klein: This is what I do know, the people in that area deserve much better from city hall. If I'm elected councillor people in that area or in our ward will not be left out of any discussions that impact their neighbourhoods or their homes. 

Grant Nordman: At this point, I think that's still on the table. I'm not sitting councillor. Wilkes does need to be twinned, there is no doubt about that. 

Kevin Nichols: There have been a number of designs presented at open houses put on by the city. There have been some other plans that our current councillor states he was unaware of, these plans to move Wilkes altogether. Should it be twinned from McCreary to the Perimeter, I am in favour of that. However, this would cause the city to expropriate [land].

There is no easy solution to this problem as you can't go back in time and plan better. A compromise may be to make Wilkes three lanes.  There will come a time when the city will need to put lights up in the interest of public safety and/or decrease the speed limit.

Ken St. George: I have reviewed project plans and drawings regarding the Sterling Lyon and Wilkes alignment. I have also spoken to key members of the South Wilkes Community Association. What I can confirm is that approximately 75 per cent of land holders in the area are willing to expropriate a portion of their land to allow the project to move forward.

Wilkes will be twinned from Shaftesbury to the Perimeter. I will lobby for safe turning lanes from Wilkes to perpendicular roads such as Community Row, Harstone Road, etc. I will also review the safety of the Wilkes/Perimeter junction.

Winnipeggers will vote for mayor and councillors in 15 city wards on Oct. 24, 2018. (CBC)

More CBC Manitoba election ward profiles:

​Journalism students from Red River College's creative communications program have prepared profiles of each city of Winnipeg ward ahead of the 2018 civic election for CBC Manitoba. Read all of our election 2018 coverage here