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U Multicultural Exclusive: Mayor Unveils Visionary Improvements for Winnipeg’s Future

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This year, Winnipeg is celebrating its 150th anniversary. To look back, reminisce, and look forward to the future of Winnipeg, Karla Atanacio is joined by the Mayor of Winnipeg, Scott Gillingham.

After a year and a half of being elected to office, Scott Gillingham, a former pastor who lived in the southern Manitoba town of Carman, where Gillingham was born, tells us where the city is heading regarding diversity, housing, recovery, and reconciliation.

One of Gillingham’s priorities is to build better connections between the City of Winnipeg and its rich mix of communities by introducing a Multifaith and Culture Liaison Circle. The Circle will liaise with the Mayor’s Office to develop and promote partnerships to address societal issues such as homelessness, hunger, and inequity; offer insight on outreach and delivery of City programs; and identify potential education opportunities for City staff and citizens.

Emphasis on housing due to the growth of immigration requires the cooperation of the federal and provincial governments, the city of Winnipeg, as well as non-profit organizations and builders. The federal government has put $120 million into Winnipeg to get more housing built. During his annual State of the City speech in the Manitoba capital, Gillingham challenged all city departments to ensure 8,000 new housing units, homes, condos or apartments get approved by Nov 30, 2024.

One of the Mayor’s priorities is the revitalization of Winnipeg’s downtown, which includes safety. There were 24 new police officers hired this year to be foot patrol downtown. Additionally, there was an increase in investment in Downtown community safety partnerships and 24/7 safe places with 4 locations to provide shelter to those who need it.

Gillingham also wishes to focus on economic reconciliation. The former Kapyong barracks, which now belongs to the Treaty 1 Corporation, is planned to become housing and commercial space, and the Mayor is committed to completing the project.

According to Gillingham, leading a city and leading a congregation have many similarities. Politics must be about service to people, working with people, and trying to do all we can collectively to improve the lives of the people

– Lourdes Federis, U Multicultural

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