Global News has projected former city councillor Shawn Dobson’s election in the race for the St. James ward.
Dobson was first elected to the St. Charles ward — now making up a portion of the St. James and Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood areas — in 2014.
Unofficial voting numbers as of 11:30 p.m. showed Dobson garnering 4,880 votes Wednesday. His closest competitor, Kelly Ryback brought in 3,693 votes, according to the unofficial count.
In addition to his time on council, Dobson has worked as a journeyman carpenter and has spent years with the St. James-Assiniboia School Division’s transportation department.
Dobson’s platform calls for fiscal responsibility and transparency at City Hall, as well as crime prevention, fixing potholes and clearing winter sidewalks, and preventing sewer overflows.
The St. James ward in west Winnipeg was in a similar position this election to neighbouring Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood: a wide-open field because the incumbent councillor is running for mayor.
Scott Gillingham, who had represented the area on council since 2014, left his council seat to run for mayor, leaving it open to a large number of candidates.
Global News is projecting Gillingham was successful in his bid to be Winnipeg’s next mayor.
Prior to Gillingham taking on the role, the region — then known as St. James-Brooklands, with slightly different boundaries — was represented by Scott Fielding, who went on to run provincially and become the MLA for Kirkfield Park. Fielding was preceded by longtime councillor Jae Eadie.
Here’s a look at the candidates who were unsuccessful in their bid for the council seat:
Candidate Daevid Ramey, who manages communications for IKEA Canada, is actively involved in the community, as president of the Bourkevale Community Centre, and a member of boards and parent councils at local schools.
His platform focused on accessible and affordable programs and services, as well as the renewal of local infrastructure and parks, and accessible transit and bike routes.
Kelly Ryback grew up in St. James, and in addition to roles as a corporate call centre manager and a proponent of the campaign to save John Blumberg Golf Course, he may be best known as the original performer of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ mascot, Buzz.
Ryback’s platform was based around what he calls the “7 Ps”: pavement, parks, pipes, police, paramedic/fire protection, poverty, and performance. He said that if elected, he wanted to get a greater return on tax dollars and get more done with existing resources.
Another candidate who grew up in St. James, Eddie Ayoub, is best known for his long association with Art City, a not-for-profit community art studio dedicated to providing safe, high-quality arts programming to Winnipeggers of all ages, free of charge.
Ayoub has also served on a number of community boards and committees, and received a Canada 150 medal from the federal government for his decades of work toward making Winnipeg a better place.
Ayoub’s platform intended to continue that focus on community, with free after-school programs, seniors’ engagement, a youth job bank, and cultural activities. Ayoub also supports a number of environmental policies as well as active transportation.
Tim Diack, a Winnipeg police officer and former business owner, is yet another St. James candidate who has spent most of his life in the ward.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given his career, Diack said crime is the major issue he would tackle if elected, with a further focus on transit safety, fixing the city’s 311 service, addressing homelessness, and pledging police assistance to small businesses.
Diack also called for more transparency and accountability at City Hall, and community investment..
The St. James ward covers a wide range of neighbourhoods, from busy shopping and business districts like Polo Park, to quiet residential areas like Deer Lodge, Bruce Park and West Wolseley. The St. James Industrial and Murray Industrial Park regions are also included.
Winnipeg’s airport is also part of the ward, as are the communities of Kensington, King Edward, Birchwood, Booth, Buchanan, Crestview, Heritage Park, Jameswood, Sturgeon Creek, Silver Heights, Woodhaven, and Saskatchewan North.