Manitoba

Winnipeg votes 2018: Elmwood-East Kildonan ward profile

Robb Massey and Jason Schreyer are running for the Elmwood-East Kildonan council seat in Winnipeg's 2018 civic election.

Robb Massey faces Jason Schreyer in Elmwood-East Kildonan race

Two candidates are running for the Elmwood-East Kildonan council seat in Winnipeg's 2018 civic election. (CBC)

The Elmwood-East Kildonan ward, in northeast Winnipeg, includes the neighbourhoods of Glenelm, Elmwood, Talbot-Grey, Munroe, Valley Gardens and a section of Rossmere south of McLeod Avenue. The ward has a population of 44,268, according to 2016 census data.

In 2014, Elmwood-East Kildonan elected Jason Schreyer to his first term. Schreyer received 6,830 of the total 12,395 votes cast and defeated one-term councillor Thomas Steen to win the seat. Voter turnout in the ward in 2014 was 41 per cent, according to city records.

Other facts about the ward:

  • Elmwood-East Kildonan residents contacted the city's 311 service 11,906 times between the start of 2016 and Sept. 28, 2018, according to city data. The most frequent complaints were missed garbage pickup (2,811 complaints) and missed recycling pickup (2,300). There were also 2,244 "neighbourhood livability" complaints, which includes issues relating to building maintenance, property safety, drainage and sanitation.
  • The city's CrimeStat data shows 502 incidents reported to police in the ward in the year to date (as of Sept. 28, 2018). That's a 12 per cent increase from 448 incidents during the same period in 2017. Break-ins are the most commonly reported crime in Elmwood-East Kildonan. 

​Elmwood-East Kildonan in the news

Meet the candidates

Two candidates are running for council in the ward.

Robb Massey is a basketball coach at Elmwood High School, a cycling coach and a John Maxwell certified coach. He is one of the founding members of Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation and a former pastor.

Jason Schreyer will run for re-election. Schreyer has served on the city's standing policy committees for innovation, water and waste, riverbank management and the environment. Schreyer was the assistant to former NDP MLA Steve Ashton and is the son of former Manitoba premier Ed Schreyer.

What the candidates say on key issues

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

What will you do to communicate with your constituents?

Robb Massey: It's going to be really important to me that my executive assistant is aware that returning the phone calls to constituents is a top priority to me.

Once a month [current Daniel McIntyre ward councillor Cindy Gilroy] sets up a portable office at the Cindy Klassen rec centre, and so I would like to look into how to do something like that in our neighbourhood — a location that I could be accessible in the neighbourhood once a month and people could come find me without having to go to city hall.

Jason Schreyer: My positions are on record, and I get around my ward a lot. I wouldn't have the very unique voting pattern I have if it wasn't for the fact that I keep in regular touch with people.

We deal with our casework as it shows up, but it tells me, in a constant communication with people, what their priorities are, and they're constantly frustrated with the same things. 

We have to revamp 311. I believe it's inadequate. We're not putting the resources into where we should be, but we're putting a billion dollars into bus rapid transit instead of into the system that everyone has to rely on, including all city councillors — that being the 311 system.

Elmwood-East Kildonan voters want to know what the candidates would do to fix roads in the ward. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

What is your plan to fix roads in Elmwood-East Kildonan? 

Robb Massey: For sure I'm going to look into [how streets are chosen to fix], and figure out how the priority system is actually being worked out. There's a few streets that are priorities for me. One is Watt, another one is Johnson.… Munroe to me is a big problem, and Molson is another street that we need to take a look at. 

Jason Schreyer: We can't do bus rapid transit corridors to the expense and extent that the city is planning. It will take the money out of our existing transportation infrastructure, that being our streets, our sidewalks, our back alleys and our curbs. We need to maintain them like we used to.

What is your plan to reduce crime?

Robb Massey: For me, the first priority absolutely is the emergency response to the stress of the meth crisis. My best understanding is that Main Street Project is probably the best place to be investing some of our money to cut down on the amount of time that either police, or paramedics or even emergency wards are dealing with our citizens there.

But then beyond that, coming up with proactive means — meaning investing in organizations that are working with youth.… I want to make sure that those continue and grow — citywide policies for crime prevention that cross neighbourhood lines, party lines and philosophical lines.

Another piece is beat cops. When we've had police officers who are embedded in the community, I know the difference it makes from a proactive measure.… It turns police and youth-at-risk from being an adversarial relationship to actually having a bit of a relationship. And then I think there are also really simple strategies of just getting to know your neighbours. 

Jason Schreyer: I think we need to go back to prioritizing our more traditional priorities — making sure that people in our neighbourhoods feel respected by the system. 

Elmwood deserves the same consideration that it did 20 years ago, so in terms of crime, as I said before, encouraging the foot patrols … put resources into community services, the Elmwood Community Resource Centre, Boys and Girls clubs. We need better lighting.

What is your plan for Elmwood-East Kildonan? 

Robb Massey: There are people who would like to establish their businesses within Elmwood, but they're concerned about the infrastructure. And so that's really my first priority. My first priority is, let's figure out how to build the kind of infrastructure that's going to invite business investment.

I want to make sure this neighbourhood stays affordable and accessible. It means that we've got to continue to figure out how to rebuild some of our crumbling infrastructure. It means we've got to figure out how to renew our housing stock that keeps the character of our community. There are parts of our neighbourhood that we've got infill housing going in and the infill housing has to improve the neighbourhood. It can't decrease the value of the houses around it.

Jason Schreyer: There will be pressure in south Elmwood near the bridges for more dense growth.… I want to work with those areas closer to the river. Because Elmwood is right across the river from downtown.

And therefore, work with the Glenelm Neighbourhood Association — and I've been working with then already in terms of developing a local area plan [and] continuing to work with the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation … to make sure that we're not treated as second-class citizens by the system.

All of Winnipeg's city councillors and the mayor attended the signing of Winnipeg's Indigenous Accord, a document intended to further the cause of reconciliation between the city's Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, in June 2017. Elmwood-East Kildonan voters asked how the candidates would further reconciliation. (CBC)

How will you take a lead toward reconciliation with our Indigenous communities?

Robb Massey: Reconciliation is important, not just for our Indigenous population, but for our whole population. So, I strongly believe that.

There's lots of things that have been hidden for years and are coming out and I'm all in favour of transparency, of talking about these difficult issues, but I'm not necessarily in favour of just having a one-size-fits-all plan. I think we need to talk about it.

Jason Schreyer: We live in an era now where … we have lower expectations in terms of what we can do for reconciliation. We talk about reconciliation at city hall, yet we've brought in the most bizarre tax on poor people that I never imagined we would do.

We brought in a frontage levy to tax people on how wide their yards are.… The people in North End Winnipeg, as an example, are paying the same frontage levy as the people in River Heights.… It is unfair and against the spirit of reconciliation, if you consider the fact that North End Winnipeg and West End Winnipeg is the largest Aboriginal community in Canada.

You can't deal with the social aspect without dealing with the economic — otherwise, you're going in a little circle. 

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

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.