From the Mayor's Desk: Fair Share, Fair Say Collaboration Delivers Success

I was very pleased to attend and speak this morning at the Municipal Officials Seminar in Brandon, an annual event hosted by the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and attended by over 500 municipal Mayors and Reeves from across Manitoba.

One of my priorities when becoming Mayor was to have Winnipeg re-engage with municipal organizations such as the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

I thought it was important to strengthen Winnipeg’s relationship with these organizations so we could work better together to get things done on issues that matter to all our residents.

I continue to believe that taking a collaborative approach and working together on important issues can achieve great results.

That’s why I was glad to speak in Brandon today about the success of the Fair Share, Fair Say campaign led by the Association of Manitoba Municipalities.

The collaboration shown in this campaign fit naturally into what I believe works best to get things done.

When 137 mayors and reeves join together, stand side by side to speak as one voice, it is great to be a part of that.

At the heart of it, we all share similar problems so it made sense for all of us to speak with one voice.

There have been some naysayers along the way about the Fair Share, Fair Say campaign, questioning how municipalities this time around could be successful where so many before us have failed.

Some of the previous efforts to work with the province on new ways to fund municipalities had some hostility attached to it that I’m not sure was helpful.

This time around, I believe it was the notion of collaboration that led to success.

And make no mistake; we have achieved many successes this time around.

In fact, an independent poll released earlier this week by Probe Research indicated that infrastructure is the number one priority for voters in Winnipeg, and across our entire province.

At the municipal level, we have long known this is our number one priority and I was pleased to see that voters across Winnipeg and Manitoba agree.

The Fair Share, Fair Say initiative heavily contributed to that conversation.  It got provincial political parties thinking about how they could make it part of their election platforms.

From the start, we were flexible in what we were asking from political parties which let them decide for themselves how they could deliver a Fair Share, Fair Say commitment from within their own campaign platforms.

And less than a week from the April 19th provincial election, many different commitments from all three major parties have been made.

In Brandon, together with the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, I identified many of the commitments made and you can review many of them here

Personally, I do not recall a provincial election in recent memory where all three major political parties made campaign announcements literally on the front door to Winnipeg’s City Hall.  We were delighted to host them!

A lot of serious commitments have been made, but there is more work to do, especially on the financial front, in order for municipalities to address our most pressing priorities.

We not only started the conversation, but also managed to get all major political parties to take these issues seriously enough to make it part of their campaigns.

Now, as we move toward April 19, it is up to Manitoba voters to review these commitments and keep infrastructure in mind when casting their ballots.

Manitoba communities, large and small, deserve a fair share of infrastructure tax dollars and a fair say in how they are invested.

I look forward to working with whichever party wins the provincial election on April 19th, and I will continue building Winnipeg’s relationship with each member of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities as we work together to build modern, stronger communities for all the citizens we so proudly serve.