Manitoba

'The North End is kinda forgotten': Mynarski residents want city to tackle bedbug problems, meth use

Mynarski residents in want to know what the four candidates running for the Winnipeg ward's city council seat would do about the ongoing problem of bedbugs in rental properties.

Voters in Mynarski ward will choose from 4 candidates in Oct. 24 election

Mynarski resident Thomas Strauski says bedbugs are among the problems the area faces. (Rick Clement/CBC)

Mynarski residents want to know what the four candidates running for the Winnipeg ward's city council seat would do about the ongoing problem of bedbugs in rental properties.

"I know there are differences between private and public rent," says Thomas Strauski, 45, who lives on Magnus Avenue. "I don't know if much can be done if you rent off a private landlord."

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

The bedbug issue is one identified by residents in the ward, who will choose their councillor in the Oct. 24 election from four candidates. Ross Eadie, who has held the seat since 2010, is running against coach and life mentor Dave Capar, lawyer Greg Littlejohn and DLM Group owner Micheal Wiens.

Strauski says extermination is expensive and it seems that when it happens, someone often moves back in with bedbugs and the cycle starts all over.

"These landlords, they're not gonna do anything about it," says Dave Regan, 60, who lives on Boyd Avenue. "So you're forced to live in a place that's infested or whatever."

Regan feels that low incomes are a driving force behind social problems in the area. He says that the living conditions also tie into the city's current meth crisis and other substance abuse issues in Mynarski.

"They're drinking to forget, or self-medicating to forget," says Regan.

Community feel in North End: new resident

He says the meth crisis is the biggest issue in the area. He wants to see more money put into alleviating the social issues faced by the neighbourhood.

"Why don't we have a foot patrol?" said Regan, who wants to see more cops on the street.

"I don't even go out of the house after 7 p.m., try and get home before dark. But like I say, it happens any time of the day."

The problem, Regan says, has "been building for a while but this last summer was just a nightmare."

"There's no way to stop it," says Rod Perrault, 45, who also believes the drug problem is the biggest issue facing his neighbourhood.

"It's almost like the North End is kinda forgotten," says Regan.

Jessica Piper recently moved into the Mynarski ward. Although she's concerned about empty storefronts in the area, she says she likes the North End's community feel. (Rick Clement/CBC)

"I think that a lot of the public spaces are sort of neglected," says Jessica Piper, 33. "There are a lot of empty storefronts."

She points to the closure of the Red River Co-op grocery store on Main Street between Luxton and Polson in 2016, saying that was a big loss to the neighbourhood.

While Piper would like to see more money go into drug treatment programs for the neighbourhood she would also like to see effort put into economic development.

"I think that Main Street has this potential to be this active, vital area and the way that it's allowed to be managed makes it sort of less desirable."

Piper, who attends school at the University of Manitoba, lives on Machray Avenue and says she feels safe in the neighbourhood.

She and her husband recently moved from B.C. They enjoy living in the North End, she says, and it has a community feel.

She'd love to see a coffee shop within walking distance though, she says.

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

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