Mayor Brian Bowman checks off campaign promises ahead of civic election
Mayor Brian Bowman is making the final stop on his tour to visiting all Winnipeg high schools.
It was an election promise he made — to increase youth engagement in politics — and on Wednesday he stopped by the Laureate Academy in St. Norbert to talk to students.
With an election looming and less than six months until Winnipeggers cast their ballots for mayor and council, Global News is looking into some of his other campaign promises.
The mayor campaigned on a vision to open the iconic Portage and Main intersection to pedestrians by 2019.
In March the mayor said the barriers at the Richardson Building would be the first to come down, but no timeline was given for how soon that would happen.
In a statement, Bentall Kennedy, the property manager for the Richardson Centre, said the plan to renew their plaza is a two-year process and they are “working with the city to include the sidewalks at the Richardson Centre corner of Portage & Main” into the design.
Once that is done, the city confirmed to Global News that “the first phase of their approach to introducing pedestrian traffic is contemplated to connect the northeast corner (Richardson) to the southeast corner (Bank of Montreal).”
Bowman also campaigned on a promise to limit property tax hikes to the rate of inflation. The 2018 city budget upheld that increase, adding $38 to the bill of an average home.
Another tick on his to-do list was his goal of opening up a downtown dog park, which he completed in November.
He has also strongly pushed his agenda on fixing Winnipeg roads and increasing the budget for street repairs.
The mayor increased dollars for road construction from $84 million in 2014, to a total of $103 million in 2015 and $105 in 2016. The increases then stalled in 2017, with $105 million spent for a second year.
And if Bowman only has under a year left in office, he said in November, more road repairs are his priority.
Completing Rapid Transit by 2030 was another Bowman campaign promise.
So far only part of one of the legs of rapid transit have been completed, the southwest transit way, which runs from Queen Elizabeth Way and Stradbrook Avenue to Pembina Highway and Jubilee Avenue.
Stage 2 is expected to be completed in 2020, which would connect Downtown to the University of Manitoba.
READ MORE: Free Wi-Fi coming to select Winnipeg buses
His campaign pledge to add free Wi-Fi on city buses was accomplished, to a degree, in April. The city set up 12 buses with Wi-Fi service.
The civic election will be held Oct. 24, 2018.
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