Residents in Transcona will be choosing between some familiar faces when they go to vote for a councillor to represent them and voice their concerns at city hall.
Incumbent Shawn Nason was out door-knocking on Saturday to hold onto the job he’s held for the last four years.
But three others are vying for the seat, including Russ Wyatt who was Transcona’s councillor for 16 years.
Wyatt has some opinions on Nason’s leadership over the last four years: “In the last four years, what I’ve been hearing from constituents is that the momentum that we once had as a community in terms of getting things done for Transcona has slowed down dramatically,” he said.
“Throughout the time that I was in office, we were able to successfully fight to get our fair share of infrastructure dollars coming back into Transcona. In the last four years that has slowed completely.”
Wyatt did not run in 2018 and he said he was glad to have the time off to deal with his mental health and overcome his alcohol addiction.
“I like to say today at 52, I feel healthier than I was at 22,” he said.
Part of his vision includes establishing a permanent farmer’s market and moving forward with the East of the Red Rec Plex, a project he says was shelved this last term.
“I also see an opportunity for local crafters and local artists, to encourage that, because right now they don’t have any real venues per se.”
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However, Nason disagrees with Wyatt saying the project was shelved
“That is now part of our recreation masterplan. The prior four years have been sucked up with energy for the Waverly West Recreation Plan, and that has been approved,” he said.
“The next one on the docket is the East of the Red Rec Plex, and I look forward to seeing that come to fruition in this term.”
Nason says he’s proud of what he’s achieved at city hall including building this playground all at a time when the city faced challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, competitors say Nason has not been a good communicator as a councillor. He disagrees.
“I have made myself available through virtual sessions. I’ve held town halls, and I’ve been available at the local shopping mall to Community Booth. I put out monthly newsletters in the local media, papers and publications to the community.” he said.
If elected this year, Nason says teaming up with local organizations to help with homelessness and addiction is top of mind.
For those individuals that are suffering on our street with addiction, getting them help, and getting them out of the cycle of crime and addictions that they’re in are critical things for our community. And that is something that’s more front and centre this time than it was back in 2018.” he said.
However, candidate Steve Lipischak says it is time for a change.
“There’s a lack of communication for years coming from city hall. This is the way it’s done and that’s it. We need to have a change.”
Lipischak is planning on improving infrastructure and transit, and tackling crime and homelessness.
A fourth candidate Wally Welechenko has also thrown his hat into the ring.