Previously published in the Winnipeg Free Press October 4, 2022
Municipalities and urban development
The condition ofWinnipeg’s infrastructure is a seemingly endless source
The City of Winnipeg is experiencing difficulty retaining and recruiting employees to deliver key public services due to low wages in select positions. City service wages have not kept pace with the cost of living over time and the recent steep rise in the cost of living means workers’ real incomes have fallen substantially. Widespread job vacancies compromise the City’s ability to deliver services citizens rely on.
This spring, Global Affairs Canada sought advice on the development of a reciprocal procurement policy that would “reduce access to Canadian federal procurement opportunities for foreign suppliers, goods, and services from countries that do not provide a comparable level of access to Canadian suppliers.” The department frames the policy as a means of ensuring fairness and mutual benefit in Canada’s international trade relationships.
The clamour around the future of Portage Place has quieted down to a chirp, for the moment, closer to the timbre of the sparrows that live in the mall than to the bluster of Bay Street billionaires. The stage is now set for a more modest yet in many ways profoundly more ambitious vision for the neighbourhood mall than the one formerly proposed by Toronto mega-developer Starlight Acquisitions.
In the two years since Canada’s pandemic experience began, transit ridership across the country has plummeted. Or perhaps, more accurately, riders who had the ability to work remotely or the ability to find alternate transportation to work did so. Early in the pandemic, ridership in Toronto, for example, declined as much as 85% resulting in a $21 million per week revenue loss for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). In turn, the TTC laid off 450 employees and reduced service.
In Winnipeg, hundreds of tickets have been issued for cycling on the sidewalk or “failing to exercise due care”. The vast majority of these have been in central neighbourhoods where there are few safe bike routes.
The Building Sustainable Communities Program After Two Years: Where Did the Money Go? report by Shauna MacKinnon was prompted by the changes brought on by the amalgamation of funding programs into the Building Sustainable Communities (BSC) Fund in 2019.
VANCOUVER — The 150th anniversary of British Columbia joining Canada arrives at a time when people and institutions are being asked to reckon with the foundational impacts of racism in our society. Challenging Racist British Columbia: 150 Years and Counting, is a new publication examining the long history of racist policies that have impacted Indigenous, Black and racialized communities in the province over those 150 years, tying those histories to present day anti-racist movements.
In this issue: