Mayoral Candidates Respond to Our Questions
On October 26, Winnipeggers will head to the polls to elect a new mayor and city council. Throughout August, WCA has been asking mayoral candidates questions on topics that have a deep impact on the local construction industry. We’ve been posting videos of these questions over the last several weeks, and you can get a quick overview of the topics we’re asking about in the recap video below:
We’ve compiled answers from the leading candidates for mayor (as well as one city council candidate who requested to be involved) who got back to us in time. They’re listed alphabetically below – please take the time to review them and see where each candidate stands on our five topics of interest.
For reference, here are the questions candidates were responding to (links to answers at the bottom of the page):
1) Permit, Planning and Development Department Resources
The Permit, Planning and Development Department current collects between $4 million $8 million more annually in permit and inspection fees than what is spent on those services. This over-collection is then transferred into consolidated revenue to help pay for other operations of the City of Winnipeg. Despite this, we see permit processing times still exceeding the City’s suggested target timeframe.
Question One: What would you do to ensure the permit department is adequately resourced in the future?
Question Two: Would you support changes to the Permit Reserve Fund to increase the total fund and ensure it is replenished prior to any funds leaving the permit department for consolidated revenue?
2) Adoption of industry-approved construction documents
The Canadian Construction Document Committee (CCDC) is an organization representing contractors, architects and owners that has developed standardized construction contract documents. The Winnipeg Construction Association has been trying to work with the City the past four years to bring balance to their unique construction contracts. While this work has delivered improvements, it still does not meet the level of balance offered by CCDC.
Question Three: Would you support the use of the widely-accepted standardized documents (CCDC) for City of Winnipeg construction tendering?
3) Funding Important Construction Projects
The City of Winnipeg has a significant capital investment budget which is between $450-$550M per year for the next six years. Winnipeg needs to be prepared for when Kenaston Boulevard can be widened, there is still over a billion dollars in investments needed into the North End Water Pollution Control Centre and the Combined Sewer Overflow Master Plan needs to be accelerated. Our Mayor will need to develop and implement a plan that considers the current financial situation of the City of Winnipeg and can also deliver on these important quality-of-life infrastructure projects.
Question Four: How do you plan to balance the responsible use of taxpayer dollars and funding important infrastructure projects?
4) Winnipeg Metro Region
Manitoba’s success relies on Winnipeg and Winnipeg’s success is directly linked to the rest of Manitoba – especially the metro region around Winnipeg. To create a successful metro region, Winnipeg and the surrounding municipalities will need to work together. Areas that will need close attention are planning, delivering of services and building of roads.
Question Five: What will you do to improve collaboration in the Winnipeg Metro Region to attract outside investment?
5) Execution of Winnipeg’s Construction Projects
Winnipeg is about to embark on a number of large-scale construction projects, such as NEWPCC, the Transit Master Plan and the widening of Kenaston Boulevard. It is important to the construction industry and all Winnipeg taxpayers that the city can execute construction projects in an efficient manner.
Question Six: As the City embarks on more significant infrastructure projects, what will you do to ensure Winnipeg construction projects can be executed more smoothly and efficiently?