Establish a Committee of Council to report to Mayor and Council on the Addiction problem in Brandon. Use this committee to lobby the provincial government for more tools and services to address the problem in our community.
Rationale: We have a Poverty Committee at City Hall consisting of three councillors and three community members at-large. An Addiction Committee would allow for the coordination of opportunities and identify resources that may help curb the crisis in Brandon. The committee would also be a united voice to lobby the Provincial Government for the needs of our community.
Partner with Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College to launch a HomeStay program in the City of Brandon.
Rationale: Students attending BU and ACC require adequate living accommodations, and matching students (particularly International students) with families in the community with extra space could be a win-win situation. The host families and tenants (students) are vetted by a third-party, with payment of rent also coordinated by the third party. Students are held to the same standard they would be if they were living in residence as far as behaviour and responsibilities. Host families could have an extra source of income, which might be appealing to those in a fixed income.
Promote and encourage alternative public transportation opportunities, including CarShare, RideShare and RideMatching programs.
Rationale: We need to look for creative and innovative ideas to help those without their own modes of transportation the opportunity to move about our city without putting more taxpayer money into the Brandon Transit system. RideSharing and//or RideMatching could be initiated by third-parties for people who work at the same business or attend school at the same institution.
Increase by-law enforcement accountability, and streamline for the process for residents to report issues and see results.
Rationale: Residents are frustrated with the lack of response(real or perceived) from by-law enforcement officers on minor nuisances in their neighbourhoods. They especially point out that ‘nothing if ever done.’ By establishing a ‘tracking system’ for complaints, we’d allow more transparency into what is done with these complaints, even if it is the fact they aren’t breaking the nuisance by-law.
Explore the City of Brandon’s current economical development strategy when it comes to attracting new business and industry, including any possible incentive packages.
Rationale: It’s been nearly 20 years since Maple Leaf set up shop in Brandon, the last major industry and/or business to do so. If there something more we could be doing to attract major business or industry to our city? Could we establish an incentive package matrix based on a number of factors, including job creation, economic impact and location? Is our ED department adequately staffed? Would should also remember how job creation would impact other issues, including poverty.
Encourage a city-wide audit to determine the City of Brandon’s staffing levels and priorities moving forward.
Rationale: Does the City of Brandon have too much staff? Not enough staff? Too much staff in one department and not enough in others? I don’t have answers to those questions, but I’d like to find out. Ultimately, I’m curious to find out if we have enough ‘boots on the ground’ to deal with the day-to-day maintenance in the City of Brandon, or if we have too many salaries tied up in mid-management.
Create more recreational and/or greenspace opportunities for the citizens of Brandon.
Rationale: The City of Brandon has lagged behind even small communities in Western Manitoba when it comes to creating recreational options for our residents (e.g. WaterParks in Souris & Wawanesa). We need to provide more greenspace and recreational options for our residents, especially for our young families.
·Replace the South End Community Centre, which has been closed for several months, and explore creating a recreational hub on the site.
Rationale: Community Centres play an important role in providing people with the opportunity to work and organize together for the benefit of their local communities, including adult education, social and cultural activities. The reservor at the site could make it difficult to build a full recreation hub, but we should try to maximize the greenspace in the area. And, hey, could we establish the recreation hub at the ‘almost done’ pool located at the Keystone Centre.
Map out a long-term plan for upgrades to street infrastructure in the South Centre Ward, including replacement the current gravel shoulders with pavement, curbs, and sidewalks.
Rationale: Not a short-term project, but over the next (10-15?) years, we need to stay paving the gravel shoulders in the Ward and establishing curbs on, at the very least, some of the main streets. This plan should be funded under the streets budget.
Keep our children safe by ensuring school zone speed limits and adequate crosswalk signage exists on all four sides of our schools.
Rationale: We need to expand our school zone speed limit (30 km/h) to include all four sides of the school (e.g. There is no reduction in speed on the south side of Betty Gibson school, between 11th and 12th Street on College Avenue). We should also look at providing better signage (including lights, if financially viable) for busy crosswalks.
Explore establishing a ‘pet protection’ by-law to provide protection for pets against cruelty, abuse and neglect. Part of the by-law would include penalties for leaving pets out in harsh winter or summer conditions.
Rationale: The province’s Animal Care Act needs to be applied to the City of Brandon, to ensure pets aren’t being mistreated by their owners. If a separate by-law needs to be enacted, we should do so. We should also expand by-law enforcement’s responsibilities to not only include Animal Control but Animal Care as well.