In less than two weeks’ time, people living in the Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood neighbourhood will have a new councillor.
This comes with incumbent Kevin Klein now running to be Winnipeg’s next mayor.
Five candidates are vying for his council seat and residents of the area are voicing their concerns for the neighbourhood, among which are addictions and mental health.
One of the five vying for the seat is Evan Duncan. He narrowly lost to Marty Morantz in 2014 but hopes this time will be different.
Duncan has experience working for Manitoba Justice and has lifelong roots in the community, which he thinks will make him the top pick to handle the city’s challenges.
“People want somebody who’s from this community first and foremost,” he said. “People want somebody at the table at city council who has some real experience and not just talk.”
The top priority on his mind is to deal with what he calls “the public safety crisis.”
“Homelessness, poverty, addictions — our city right now is at a tipping point, where we need to reach out and help these people and give them real solutions,” he said.
Duncan proposed solutions, such as a temporary housing solution, addictions counselling and any sort of programming to ensure people have an opportunity to get out of crisis situations.
“We need to step up and do something, but we also need to hold people accountable. We need to hear from the victims and make sure that people are accountable,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of his competitors, Hal Anderson, said he will prioritize improving infrastructure but also agrees that crime is a big issue.
“Crime. It’s out of control. We need better streets. We’re going to fix our streets. Homelessness. We need more action on homelessness,” Anderson said.
Anderson also agrees that the best course of action is to get a better understanding of homelessness and addiction and then work toward a solution.
“We have to work with every level of government, provincial and federal. And I’m committed to doing that,” he said.
“If they have a better understanding, then they’re going to have a better ability to be a part of the solution that we’re gonna need to find.”
Anderson hopes his experience as a radio host will be a leg up for his campaign.
“I’m a communicator, I’ve done it for 40 years and so I’m going to, as counsellor for the area, do a really good job of communicating with residents.”
The three other candidates vying for the seat are Brad Gross, Gordon Penner and Steven Minion.
–With files from Rosanna Hempel