Global News projects Vivian Santos as Point Douglas councillor

Global News is projecting incumbent Coun. Vivian Santos will return to council for the Point Douglas ward. Global News / File

Global News is projecting Vivian Santos as councillor for the Point Douglas ward.

Incumbent councillor Vivian Santos was hoping she’d win her second term on council after taking the Point Douglas seat with 57.37 per cent of the vote against two other candidates during the 2018 election.

Unofficial poll numbers as of 11:30 p.m. showed Santos garnering 4,459 votes Wednesday, nearly 2,000 more than her closest competitor, entrepreneur and social advocate, Moe Eltassi.

Santos had worked as the executive assistant for the ward’s previous councillor, Mike Pagtakhan, who retired before the 2018 election. Prior to that, Santos got her start in politics in 2014 volunteering for Brian Bowman’s first campaign for mayor and then working in his office following his win.

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It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Santos during her time on council, though.

Click to play video: 'Election day and Winnipeg’s crowded mayoral race'
Election day and Winnipeg’s crowded mayoral race

Santos, who had served as the city’s deputy mayor until being replaced in September 2021, stirred up controversy that same month when she stood as the lone councillor to vote against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for elected officials and staff at city hall.

She was also forced to resign from her role on the Winnipeg Police Board in 2020 after failing a background clearance check because of a previous link to a police drug investigation.

At the time, Santos said while two family friends had been charged, she was not involved and had not been aware of any criminal activity. She said her husband had “made a trusted mistake of lending out our vehicles” to one of the individuals who ended up charged.

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Santos has said child and family safety is a top priority for her in the 2022 election and has vowed to work to improve community public spaces if re-elected.

She has also said the city should work with the provincial and federal government on issues leading to crime and poverty in Point Douglas.

Santos’ two challengers for the Point Douglas seat this time around are Moe Eltassi and Joe Pereira.

Joe Pereira.
Joe Pereira. Submitted/

Pereira is a former real estate agent who was permanently banned from practicing in the province in 2021 after the Manitoba Securities Commission found he committed fraudulent acts under the Real Estate Brokers Act.

In a questionnaire filled out on the city’s website, Pereira acknowledged he has faced challenges with addiction but says he is now sober after overcoming the issues through study, an experience he says will help him to tackle issues around homelessness.

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He has said his top priorities if elected include homelessness and addiction, as well as crime prevention and harm reduction.

Eltassi, a father of five, is an entrepreneur and social advocate who currently sits on the Winnipeg Police Board and is a panel member of the Residential Tenancies Commission.

Moe Eltassi.
Moe Eltassi. Submitted/

Eltassi was awarded the Order of Manitoba earlier this year for his work with charitable and not-for-profit organizations that support people with intellectual disabilities and those experiencing homelessness, as well as for financial help he’s given to new immigrants and vulnerable Manitobans.

According to his campaign website, Eltassi’s main priorities include crime, infrastructure, transit, and economic development.

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The Point Douglas ward stretches from the northeast edge of the city into the core and includes the neighbourhoods of Weston, Brooklands, Omand’s Creek Industrial, Logan-C.P.R., Centennial, West Alexander, Pacific Industrial, South Point Douglas, Exchange District, Portage & Main, China Town, Civic Centre, Burrows Central, Burrows-Keewatin, Shaughnessy Park, Inkster Gardens, Tyndall Park, Inkster Industrial Park, Weston Shops, and Oak Point Highway.

It’s bordered by Old Kildonan to the north, Mynarski to the east, and St. James and, Daniel McIntyre, and St. Boniface to the south.

According to the latest census data provided on the city’s website, Point Douglas had a population of 45,730 in 2016. That year, the median individual annual income for all residents in the ward was recorded at $32,151.

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