Global News projects John Orlikow as River Heights-Fort Garry councillor

John Orlikow.
John Orlikow. Twitter / John Orlikow

Global News has projected incumbent councillor John Orlikow’s re-election in the race for the River Heights-Fort Garry ward.

On Wednesday, area residents decided to re-elect their longtime representative over challengers Brant Field or Gary Lenko.

Unofficial vote counts as of 11:30 p.m. showed Orlikow with 12,237 votes, well ahead of second-place finisher Field’s 3,406 votes, and Lenko with 1,090.

Orlikow, Winnipeg’s deputy mayor, was first elected in the ward in a 2009 by-election, after the previous incumbent councillor, Brenda Leipsic, died of cancer in 2008.

Leipsic was preceded by Donald Benham, who replaced councillor Garth Steek in 2004. Steek’s tenure on council coincided with current mayoral candidate Glen Murray’s time as mayor of Winnipeg.

Orlikow, who had declared his candidacy for mayor in early 2022, later reversed that decision and chose to focus on defending his council seat.

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Before almost a decade-and-a-half on council, Orlikow served on the boards of numerous community organizations, as well as a 10-year stint as a trustee with the Winnipeg School Division.

Orlikow’s re-election platform included continuing to advance projects that are meaningful to the community, citing his past success with infrastructure renewals, construction of recreational facilities, increased neighbourhood security, and representing the city’s efforts in the Million Tree Challenge.

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Here’s a look at the candidates who were unsuccessful in their bid for the council seat:

Brant Field practised law in both Winnipeg and Alberta for six years, including a stint offering free legal services to socially and economically disadvantaged members of the community, before moving into the construction industry in a project management role.

Field’s platform included prioritizing core services that residents use on a daily basis, including roads and other infrastructure, and city services, including emergency and protective services.

His campaign also focused on protecting and restoring the tree canopy, as well as protecting rivers from sewage.

Candidate Gary Lenko previously ran in the ward in 2018, finishing third.

A business owner who describes himself as an innovator and a problem-solved who promotes equality, Lenko’s campaign called for a review of the police budget, using the city’s annual tax increase exclusively for street and sidewalk repair, affordable housing, and an increase to transit safety and ridership.

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Click to play video: 'Final few days of Winnipeg’s election campaign'
Final few days of Winnipeg’s election campaign

The River Heights-Fort Garry ward includes a wide area of southwestern Winnipeg, and includes — in additional to the nominal neighbourhoods of River Heights and parts of Fort Garry —communities like Crescentwood, Beaumont, Grant Park, Maybank, Rockwood, J.B. Mitchell, Mathers, Sir John Franklin, Wellington Crescent, Lindenwoods, the Pembina strip, Buffalo, Chevrier, Parker, Linden Ridge, Brockville, and the West Fort Garry Industrial area.

The ward is bordered by Waverley West to the south, Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood to the west, Daniel McIntyre to the north, and Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry to the east.

Click to play video: 'Record number of advance voters cast ballots ahead of Wednesday’s civic election'
Record number of advance voters cast ballots ahead of Wednesday’s civic election

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