Jim in River Heights, welcome to (Videon) Insight. You're on the air.
Hi, goodevening Mr. Doer.
Yeah, good evening Jim.
My question is this. What would the NDP do differently regarding downtown revitalization,
specifically in bricks and mortar and public transportation projects. For example when
the NDP was in power they had the opportunity to construct the southwest rapid transit corridor,
but nothing was ever done about it. So what would your response be on that?
OK Jim, thanks for you question.
Well, it's a good question, and we didn't build the southwest transportation because
of the huge cost of building it. Uh, we were looking at different alternatives and what
we did do during the years transportation was to look at putting more money into the
infrastructure transportation, more money into the purchase of bus capital. More money
into Handi-Transit and seniors transit, some of which has been really cut back dramatically,
because we thought that was the greatest short-term need.
In terms of downtown (Winnipeg) revitalization, we were a partner in the, and I was a Minister
involved in the plan to have the public involved, and it ultimately came from the public for
The Forks. We have been critical of casinos moving out of downtown, the Casino moving
out of downtown, going into just the McPhillips and Regent Avenue. We were involved with the
Exchange District revitalization. We were involved in the Core Area Initiative project,
which included the whole concept of having training for people in the areas of the bricks
and mortar, so you can have a human improvement in employment plus the bricks and mortar.
I was involved in the passing legislation, the Business Improvement Zone legislation,
which allowed companies. I worked with the business community on this, that allowed companies
to get together in their own region whether it's Corydon Avenue, or Sargent, the Exchange,
downtown, and there's controversy at the Airport. And get them to develop their community businesses
in a way that allows more co-operative way at it.
The transportation challenge is a real one. We would see the immediate transportation
needs being made very much not necessarily all on rapid transit right now. We think we
have to improve the quality of life in Winnipeg, right throughout the city, to attract more
people so that we can even begin to look at other transportation alternatives.
We think that bicycle paths, cross-country skiing paths, paths that connect, not just
talk about connecting the riverway where we did the Forks project along the river, we
wanted more acess to the River, the Tache Promenade, the Forks, the Kildonan, the St.
Norbert river projects. We wanna get a lot more public access to the rivers, a lot more
walkways that can be used four seasons, and we've gotta really work on the quality of
life here. We see cities like Saskatoon, Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver, Halifax really investing
in the quality of life, and this kind of Zero mentality of in the last number of years in
the City, and with the Province, I think has allowed us to fall behind on quality of life.
So that would be our immediate priority for urban, for the urban 'vision of the city',
along with some other ideas that would allow us to incorporate longer-term decisions in
the whole Capital Region.