What started out as a joke during 2010 civic election campaign ended with a few extra dollars in the food budget for a local community centre.
Winnipeg Free Press city hall reporter Bartley Kives quipped a humourous line regarding Cracker Barrel during a televised CBC debate with the mayoral candidates in early October. We jumped on the idea that it would make a great T-shirt and began selling them.
We put them up for about $20 a piece, or a bit more if you wanted a higher quality cotton, and the sales started coming in.
After the cut taken by Zazzle.ca to produce and print the items, the profit was 25% of each T-shirt. A total of $40 was raised for the Luxton Community Centre, which president Carolyn Lotz says will go to buy healthy snacks for kids on weekdays.
Bart plans to deliver the donation to Luxton shortly.
If you’d like to make a donation to the community centre, cheques can be sent to: Healthy Campaign, c/o Luxton Community Centre, 210 St. Cross Street, Winnipeg, MB, R2W 5H4.
ChrisD.ca live streamed Katz’s celebration from 8-10 p.m. and brought you uninterrupted coverage from inside the party. We’d love to know your thoughts and comments if you happened to be one of the almost 900 people who tuned in. Drop us a line.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis accepted defeat Wednesday night at Canad Inns Polo Park, losing out to incumbent Mayor Sam Katz, who was re-elected for a third term.
Wasylycia-Leis took a gamble last April, quitting her job in Ottawa to take a run at the city’s top seat. Days after returning to Winnipeg, she announced her candidacy on May 3 at a rally at The Forks.
It’s been a battle for Wasylycia-Leis over the months, often exchanging jabs with Katz over policy and other issues.
After kicking her campaign off in the spring, both front-running candidates were rather quiet, with no campaign announcements or news conferences for weeks until later in the summer. Her first commitment had to do with the touchy topic of rapid transit, which she vowed to finish, slamming her main opponent for wasting time and money on the project. She also touted Winnipeg’s New Flyer Industries over a Quebec company to handle the contract for manufacturing the streetcars locally.
One of the bigger issues during Wasylycia-Leis’ campaign was the Veolia water contract debacle, which came up numerous times as she criticized Katz for holding the details of the 30-year deal private. It became a regular line during her news conferences to get rid of secrecy and backroom deal-making at City Hall if elected.
Wasylycia-Leis also made the move of announcing to increase property taxes by 2% for every year she would have been in office, but she also won a lot of support form residents fed up with Winnipeg’s crumbling roads and infrastructure. The increase would have seen the average taxpayer pay about $27 more a year, bringing in $8 million annually for the city.
Wasylycia-Leis’ support base appeared to be strong, receiving the backing of the NDP and residents living in Winnipeg’s North End, the area affected by last Saturday’s violent shootings. Her stance on crime wasn’t as strong as Katz’s, though, vowing to give ex-gang members jobs with the City of Winnipeg. Often heard saying to get at the “root causes” of crime, she also came out pledging to increase police resources, and staff at community centres to get inner-city youth off the streets.
While addressing the crowd Wednesday night, Wasylycia-Leis thanked supporters for being part of a “grassroots movement” and putting in endless volunteer hours. She acknowledged having called Katz to congratulate him on his victory.
There will be four new faces at City Hall after Wednesday’s civic election. Newly-elected councillors Thomas Steen (Elmwood-East Kildonan), Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo), Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan) and Ross Eadie (Mynarski) were all elected.
Thomas Steen is a former Winnipeg Jet and was seen as the underdog in the councillor race, facing a tough battle against former CTV reporter Shaneen Robinson. Steen takes over for the retired Lillian Thomas. Paula Havixbeck fills in the vacant spot left by the late Bill Clement, while Devi Sharma replaces the retired Mike O’Shaughnessy, who Sharma worked for as his executive assistant. Ross Eadie replaces Harry Lazarenko, who retired due to health reasons earlier this year.
Incumbent councillors John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry), Justin Swandel (St. Norbert), Gord Steeves (St. Vital), Dan Vandal (St. Boniface), Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry), Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), Grant Nordman (St. Charles), Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas), Russ Wyatt (Transcona), Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre) and Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands) all return to their seats.
Mayor Sam Katz has a busy few days ahead, as he must choose which councillors will make up the Executive Policy Committee (EPC). Katz says a decision on who will sit on the committee needs to be finalized by Tuesday, November 2.
Mayor Sam Katz kept his title Wednesday night, clinching 55% (116,308) of the vote in the 2010 civic election while celebrating at the Radisson Hotel downtown.
The incumbent Winnipeg mayor battled former NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who quit her job in Ottawa to take a run at the city’s top job in May. Wasylycia-Leis was trailing for most of the night as poll results began to come in shortly after 8 p.m. and ended up receiving 90,913 votes with 43%.
Other mayoral candidates Brad Gross and Rav Gill received 3,398 (2%) and 1,175 (1%) votes, respectively.
Weeks of campaigning and endorsements from some big names, including a backing by the Winnipeg Police Association, appeared to have paid off for Katz’s promise to hire 58 additional police officers to help curb the city’s relentless crime problem. Katz also garnered the support from the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg, among others.
Katz campaigned with public safety in mind, also committing to boost resources to Winnipeg’s 911 call centre. Critics accused Katz of using his role as mayor to acquire information that there was a shortage in the first place. Just one week later, city council passed a vote to hire 19 more operators to handle 911 calls at a cost of $1.2 million next year.
In his last campaign announcement on October 20, Katz promised to fund the city’s street festivals, such as Ciclovia and Lights on Broadway. He also committed to more than double the street closure budget from $47,000 to $100,000 to allow more organizations to host community events.
Accompanied by girlfriend Leah Pasuta Wednesday morning, Katz cast his ballot at Shaftesbury High School shortly before 10 a.m. He was confident going in, but had a plan in his back pocket just in case he didn’t win a third term. Speaking to reporters outside the voting hall, Katz said he would be spending more time with both of his daughters and also at the Winnipeg Goldeyes’ offices, where he is currently owner of the American Association baseball team.
Katz’s third term as mayor begins Tuesday, November 2.
A total of 47% of the population came out in the blistering weather Wednesday to make their voice heard. To see which school trustrees won, visit the city’s election website.