Poverty continues to be a serious problem in Winnipeg. It is most evident in Winnipeg’s now sprawling inner city, and in pockets in many suburbs. It is a root cause of many other serious Winnipeg problems—for example, lack of safety and social exclusion.
Judy’s vision for A City That Works is one in which everyone is safe, no one is excluded, and no one is left behind. To realize this vision requires addressing root causes.
Judy agrees with Chief of Police Devon Clunis who, in discussing violence against Aboriginal women, referred to their “long, historic marginalization,” saying further that without “looking at the root causes and attacking those root causes,” we will not solve these problems. Chief Clunis added that “If any city should take the lead, it should be the City of Winnipeg.”
If elected Mayor, Judy will take up this challenge.
She will work in partnership with community organizations and other stakeholders to create a coherent and action-oriented poverty reduction strategy. OurWinnipeg calls for the city to work in collaboration with community partners and key stakeholders to establish a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy with goals and objectives, We will take a leadership role in this strategy, recognizing no one level of government or organization can achieve this alone.
Many others in Winnipeg are calling for a poverty reduction strategy. Other cities in Canada have such strategies. Judy will make the creation of a Winnipeg poverty reduction strategy a priority.
While the major players in reducing poverty have to be the federal and provincial governments, since they have access to much greater taxing capacity, the city can play a positive role, in many cases working in concert with other levels of government, and in some cases acting on its own, making use of the tools at the city’s disposal.
Some of the announcements that Judy has already made are important parts of an effective poverty reduction strategy:
- Her crime-prevention plan includes support for block-by-block and a 24/7 facility for youth in the North End;
- Her Aboriginal Accord includes a commitment to creating jobs, improving housing, providing recreation services, and public safety;
- Her housing policy commits her to working in collaboration with other levels of government and with the community to improve housing conditions, especially for those with low incomes;
- Her food security commitment includes a plan to promote community gardens and farmers’ markets, and to take other measures to make good quality, local food more available to those with low incomes;
- Her proposed to develop OurWinnipeg Studio will work with Neighbourhood Renewal Corporations to create and implement creative neighbourhood-based solutions to poverty.
These commitments are the product of broad community consultation, and so in this sense, Judy has already begun the process of developing a poverty reduction strategy.
More broadly, Judy will make poverty reduction initiatives a top-of-mind priority, and will work closely with relevant community-based organizations, key stakeholders and other levels of government to ensure that action is taken to reduce poverty.
In all aspects of City of Winnipeg undertaking, urban planning, housing, infrastructure renewal, recreation, for example, Judy will ensure that poverty reduction is built into what the city does.
A City That Works is a city in which everyone has the opportunity to contribute to building a better future for all of us.