Mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis says she would have the first leg of a Winnipeg-built bus rapid transit system in place within her first term, if elected.
The former NDP MP made the major policy announcement for her campaign Monday morning during a news conference at Hethrington Park, located next to the southwest corridor of the project.
Wasylycia-Leis would focus on giving local businesses and workers the chance to be part of the construction and supplier agreement for the BRT line, underlining the reputation of local company New Flyer Industries. To help back her message up, she was joined by Thor Bielert at the podium, a 16-year employee of New Flyer. She criticized the current City Hall administration for wanting to award the work to Quebec-based Bombardier Inc.
Wasylycia-Leis also wants to put down $130 million from the federal and provincial governments to get the job done on the first leg, as originally negotiated under current Mayor Sam Katz, which he later turned down. Completing the second phase of the southwest corridor would cost an estimated $220 million.
She also said the City of Winnipeg needs to rethink how it tenders contracts, and consider awarding them to local businesses first, and not whoever can offer the lowest price.