Mayoral Candidate Shaun Loney is vying for a safe Winnipeg that is full of opportunity for everyone.
"I was actually cleaning up a homeless camp near my home in Norwood and realized this woman had been living in a tree," says Shaun Loney, one of the mayoral candidates. "I thought, I don't think I can live with the regret of being 75 or 80 and looking back at my life and thinking, I was supposed to stand up there."
Loney has been working in the social enterprise sector with non-profit businesses in Winnipeg.
"It's a very different way of seeing Winnipeg. This type of thinking has so much potential for us to resolve these issues that we've been plagued with."
Addressing Homelessness and Crime in Winnipeg
A few weeks ago there was a town hall meeting at the Norwood Hotel to discuss these issues.
"It started out with a shopkeeper. He was so frustrated because of the levels of crime. He said, 'These are people that are struggling.' Here's the truth. People that are committing crimes, they're going to do it over and over again until they get the access to the interventions they need."
Loney says that people experiencing homelessness in Winnipeg is not a money problem.
"Governments think they've got to spend more money to resolve it but that's why there are human beings living in bus shelters in our city and along our riverways. I've learned so much being on the frontlines about how to modernize relationships between non-profits and government."
The Winnipeg Police Service attended to 240,000 calls last year, according to Loney.
"They will have a new public safety tool if I am mayor that they will be able to purchase from non-profits and a reduction in that workload," says Loney. "The solutions are actually cheaper than managing the problems."
Loney has been working with a group called BUILD. It stands for Building Urban Industries for Local Development.
"We have about 100 people at a time on the payroll, 100 people with criminal records. They're working. We introduce them to a punch clock with actual accountability. At the same time, we're saying to them, 'You can do this! You've had a rough life but this causing problems, committing crimes, it's done.'"
He shares that working with this organization, he's watched people respond positively and become tax paying citizens once again.
"That's the kind of Winnipeg that we all want. We're only going to get there if we've got the political courage to do things differently."
Winnipeg's Road Infrastructure
Loney is taking a different approach than other candidates when it comes to fixing Winnipeg's crumbling roads.
"We announced a 'fix it first' policy. Here's the truth: we're spending way too much money on building new infrastructure and we can't afford to look after the infrastructure that we have. My policy is simply. We're going to look after what we have first."
He shares that Winnipeg cannot afford to build new roads at this time.
"We're talking potholes but we're building bad and we need to build better. We're not looking after the infrastructure that we have so that'll be my priority."
Some of the other candidates announced they are looking to spend $1 billion on new roads, and Loney's whole approach is to cut back on new spending.
"We're by far the stingiest campaign in terms of new spending. You'll notice the things I've been talking about aren't about spending more money. It's actually about spending differently."
People interested in learning more about Shaun Loney's campaign can find it here.