Winnipeg Centre candidates to square off on downtown issues in September forum

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ wants to make city cores a federal election issue by inviting the candidates for Winnipeg Centre to a debate next month.

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hosting debate on Sept. 16

Issues and topics in Winnipeg's downtown will be discussed by candidates for Winnipeg Centre at a forum slated for Sept. 16. (Michael Fazio/CBC)

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ wants to make city core areas a federal election issue by inviting the candidates for Winnipeg Centre to a debate next month. 

So far, Green Party candidate Don Woodstock, the NDP's Pat Martin and Liberal candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette have been confirmed to participate in the debate, set for Sept. 16 between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Portage Place. The public is welcome to attend.

Officials say they have also extended an invitation to Allie Szarkiewicz, who was recently nominated as the Conservative candidate in Winnipeg Centre.

Candidates will discuss issues such as finding ways to make the downtown area an economic and employment engine for the city, funding downtown infrastructure and transit systems, and ending homelessness.

Downtown organizations in other Canadian cities will hold similar debates in mid-September, including Charlottetown, Halifax, Fredericton, Ottawa, London, Ont. and Regina.

The debates are being hosted by Downtowns Canada, a nationwide coalition of downtown agencies, to "highlight the importance of downtowns in Canada's national economic prosperity," the BIZ said in a news release Thursday.


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