Manitoba

Winnipeg votes 2018: Mynarski ward profile

Four candidates running for election in the newly expanded Mynarski ward in 2018.

4 candidates running for election in newly expanded ward in 2018

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

Winnipeg's historic Mynarski ward has gotten bigger since the last civic election in 2014.

Under new ward boundaries for 2018, the ward in the city's North End now actually includes its namesake neighbourhood —​ Mynarski — as well as the Robertson neighbourhood, both of which were previously in the Point Douglas ward. The Dufferin neighbourhood is also now consolidated in the Mynarski ward.

Winnipeg is growing and city council decided the election wards needed to be redrawn to make the number of people in the wards more consistent.

This reshuffling brought Mynarski from a ward of 42,394 people in 2016 to 49,808 today. Other neighbourhoods that are part of the ward include the Kildonan Park, Seven Oaks, Jefferson, Luxton, St. John's, North Point Douglas, William Whyte and Lord Selkirk Park neighbourhoods.

This Co-op store on Main Street, between Polson and Luxton avenues, shut its doors in 2016. Voters in Mynarski asked the candidates how they'll revitalize north Main Street. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

There are four candidates running for election in the ward: Dave Capar, Ross Eadie, Greg Littlejohn and Micheal Wiens.

In the 2014 election, 10,198 people — or 37 per cent of eligible voters — cast a vote. Ross Eadie received over half the ballots, with 6,565 votes. Greg Littlejohn received 2,698 and Dave Capar received 381. 

Other facts about the ward:

  • Neighbourhood livability complaints to the city's 311 service — meaning complaints about basic conditions in the neighbourhood, like vacant buildings or noise complaints — were the highest of any ward in the city, with 7,913 such complaints made to 311 between the start of 2016 and Sept. 28 of this year, according to city data. That's more than twice as many 311 calls in that category than were made in the Daniel McIntyre ward, which came in second, with 3,435 neighbourhood livability complaints over the same period.
  • Graffiti is also an issue in the neighbourhood, with 1,051 calls made to 311 since 2016. Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry, which comprises part of the downtown, took the top spot for graffiti with 1,228 calls during that period.
  • Data from the city's CrimeStat website shows 1,167 reports of crime in the ward for the year to date (as of Sept. 28). That's up nine per cent from 1,072 complaints over the same period in 2017.
  • There have been four homicides in Mynarski in the year to date, down from nine over the same period in 2017 (a 56 per cent drop). There were, however, 36 shootings in the year to date — a 44 per cent increase from 25 in the January-September period in 2017.​

Mynarski in the news

Meet the candidates

Four candidates are running for the Mynarski council seat in Winnipeg's 2018 civic election:

Dave Capar worked at Dominion Bridge for 20 years as a crane operator and fitter welder. After Dominion Bridge closed down he started a security company and a kickboxing school, where he continues to work as a coach and life mentor.

Ross Eadie has been Mynarski's city councillor since 2010. Before that he served as a trustee in the Seven Oaks School Division from 2002 to 2006. He has a business degree from Red River College. Eadie is an advocate for people with disabilities.

Greg Littlejohn has lived in Winnipeg's North End for the past 15 years. He studied law at the University of Manitoba and graduated from the University of Winnipeg with an honours degree in economic geography. He currently runs a Main Street law office.

Micheal Wiens was born and raised in Winnipeg's North End where he still lives with his family. He is the founder of the DLM Group of companies, which deals in warehousing, shipping and packaging.

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 is your plan for dealing with the ongoing infestation of bedbugs in rental housing in Mynarski?

Dave Capar: It's a self-control thing — to be more watchful about these things about these pests, and to always consider about others, especially when we're living in close quarters, in apartment buildings and such, not just having it and putting responsibility on someone else.

Ross Eadie: Currently there's two services that actually work out of my ward. One is a social enterprise — I can't remember all the details but I wrote a support letter in which they are looking for provincial money to expand their services, while at the same time employ people from the North End. And then there's another service which I'm trying to help.… They are at the corner of McGregor and Selkirk Avenue. They had to expand. We're trying to support them with a grant to build the expansion. Trouble is, there's no money until 2019.

Greg Littlejohn: We are also landlords and we have to deal with that problem too. And I guess the big issue is always it's the landlord's responsibility to clean this up in a rental property. I can't see the public going for assistance to landlords. I may be surprised, but it does need to be stopped and we have to stop the spread of these bugs. In order to do that I think we may have to provide some incentive [to landlords].

Mike Wiens: That's public health. Manitoba Public Housing is exactly that, Manitoba Public Housing. It's up to us at the city to keep their feet to the fire of the other levels of government and say, 'What are you going to do about it?'

Voters in Mynarski want to know how the four candidates running in the ward would address the city's methamphetamine crisis. (Motortion Films/Shutterstock)

What is your plan for dealing with the escalating meth crisis in Mynarski?

Dave Capar: It's all about starting with one person and really connecting with the people. It's one thing we do not do. We have to connect with the person who is having a hard time, so they can find through their own inner strength, to be able to overcome all of these things.

Ross Eadie: Actually, I moved a motion —​ council adopted it. It's not just downtown that's experiencing these drug problems, but they have a funded safety strategy. My motion was to have safety strategies for other areas of the city. 
We need ambassador programs for the various business improvement zones during the day — you have paid people doing … citizen patrolling.

The Nomads [football team] don't have proper facilities. A number of kids who get involved there, if you have good coaching, it's not just about playing football — it's about how to be a good citizen how to live a healthy life and so on. So that's what our recreation and sport does so we need to support them more.

Greg Littlejohn: People are pushing for a safe injection site and that does make sense. It's just a matter of who's gonna object to it being in their neighbourhood. We already have along Main Street places that are dispensing drugs to addicts to help them curb their addictions, but I think we have to go further. We have to do something to alleviate the social conditions [that lead to addiction] for sure.

Mike Wiens: I will not take taxpayer dollars and make safe injection sites. If I had my way … I would build a detention centre in a big warehouse and put all those people who are twitching out on meth, put 'em all in there. Put a public health nurse and a doctor in there and lock em up until these people dry out.

How do you plan to revitalize north Main Street? 

Dave Capar: Economic development is all about people. It's about bringing unity into the ward.

Ross Eadie: The North End has their own storefront grant enhancement thing — the North End Renewal Corp. — through Neighbourhoods Alive. We work on that to make sure that funding continues. There are storefront grants available from them. So, people in the North End [Business Improvement Zone] they can bring in extra dollars that way, to do things with their storefronts, and we make that our business.

Greg Littlejohn: We're doing piecemeal sort of things right now. For new businesses there is assistance in getting signage and paint and freshening up the entrance of a location, but there are so many derelict buildings and vacant buildings along there waiting for someone to start a business.

I think that something more radical needs to be done. There needs to be some kind of transformation of the North End. One things that I push for is the relocation of the CPR [Canadian Pacific Railway] yards. 

Mike Wiens: Don't give them grants or anything of that nature, because that's just corporate welfare. Reduce the taxes so that they can make their own business and business will grow where it can grow. That is the way I would go about developing business for that area.

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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