St. Vital Ward
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About the Candidate
Incumbent since 2011.
WINDOG awards 'super dog-friendly' status to Brian Mayes, even though he does not support dedicated tax-based funding for dog parks.
Mayes has demonstrated his support for dog parks by awarding Maple Grove Park Dog Owners Association over $50,000 in grants for park improvements including fencing, parking lot improvements and in-ground waste bins over the past few years. He does support 'single-use' dog parks.
What Mayes says about off-leash dog parks. (Reprinted from The Lance.)
“I had never been a dog owner until December, 2016 when my family acquired the remarkable Snowdon (not named for the spy), a Portuguese water dog. Much to my surprise, I have become a dog person.
My wife had been taking our dog for his daily trip to the dog park throughout all of last year. At the start of July however, I had to take over “for a few days”. Instead, the daily, early morning trip to the dog park became one of the highlights of my summer (and hopefully a highlight for Snowdown as well). I had certainly been to the dog park before we got our dog, usually for the Dog Owners Association barbeques. I had also used some ward funding to help with the purchase and installation of the four “in ground” garbage containers.
However, going every day gave me a new perspective on the value of the dog park to the community. The dog park turns out to be a busy place – but I have never felt crowded given the sheer size of the facility (second biggest in Winnipeg) and the large forest with its trails. I got to know many people and got to know many dogs. I used to question why the city would fund parks like this, but I now see that this is a recreational amenity both for the owners, and for their dogs. It’s a valuable part of living in St. Vital.
A final note – decades ago when we studied “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” with the very capable Peter Cowie at Dakota – there was much discussion of a passage near the end of the book which involved a dog rolling around in the grass. I got the symbolism about “joy” on some level, but only now many years later seeing our dog and other dogs rolling around in the grass at Maple Grove, did I really get the image and the sense of joy that the dogs are experiencing. And so I hope to keep walking with Snowdon as the City Council calendar restarts, and if you see me on my phone in the park, please tell me to put it away and enjoy the moment."
Platform: Mayes priorities are to continue the City’s record investment in road repairs, continue investing in fire, police and ambulance services, expand Handi Transit to cover all geographic areas of Winnipeg; invest in sewer infrastructure to assist Lake Winnipeg, improve transit for St. Vital with a focus on St Mary’s and St Anne's, and improve St Vital green spaces including Seine River trails.
Mayes has doubts about the Eastern BRT Corridor and says it should not be the next priority. He advocates for the Northern Corridor as the next stage for BRT because it is the shortest and cheapest of the five potential BRT and has the greatest potential peak hour ridership.
Mayes has said that at this stage he would not support reopening Portage and Main. Speaking to Council on the motion for a referendum, he cited a 2017 report that warns of “significant traffic delays” saying, “Those who claim this is all just pandering to car drivers from the suburbs better rework and revisit the facts. This would have a serious impact on transit.”
Mayes also noted that three future rapid transit lines envisage going through Portage and Main. He suggested a “No” vote will give the City time to think about other options, prepare a comprehensive transit plan, and consider other ways to proceed.
Mayes was elected to City Council in 2011. He currently chairs the Water & Waste, and Riverbank Management and the Environment committees, serves on the Executive Policy Committee, Finance Committee and is the Liaison for School Boards & Youth Opportunity. He also serves as the Council rep to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and chairs the Food Policy Council. He has represented the City on the boards of Assiniboine Park Conservancy, Heritage Winnipeg, and Old St. Vital BIZ.
Among the 2014-18 accomplishments listed on Mayes’ website, many are ward-specific.
• Installing new lighted pedestrian crossings at dangerous intersections
• Championing the creation of a 50/50 cost-sharing program between the City of Winnipeg and residents for paving gravel lanes.
• Improving community recreation facilities, including:
o Dakota Community Centre Fieldhouse addition - $20 million to with $7m City of Winnipeg funding
o St. Vital Outdoor Pool - $3m in renovations
o St. Vital Library - $2 million plus upgrade
o St. Vital Arena - $400k in mechanical upgrades
o Greendell Community Centre - $300,000 mechanical upgrade
o St. Vital Park - toboggan slide, entry, washrooms and Peace Pole
• Approving grants to community groups to support recreation infrastructure and environmental initiatives.
• Approving many grants to support diversity, seniors, veterans, and the disabled.
Mayes graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Public Administration, and from the University of Toronto with a master’s degree in Industrial Relations and Bachelor of Law. He resided in Toronto before returning to Manitoba in 2000 to begin his career as a lawyer. He worked first in Brandon, operating his own law firm and serving as School Trustee.
Mayes has served on the boards on many organizations including: Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (oversees assets of Credit Union system), Workers Compensation Board, Old St. Vital Biz, Brandon University, and 2017 Canada Summer Games.
Mayes has served as a pension trustee for the Manitoba Association of School Trustees, a Deputy Chief Commissioner with the Residential Tenancies Commission and was appointed by fellow lawyers as a member of the Law Society of Manitoba's complaints investigation committee.
An active community volunteer, Mayes has coached soccer and basketball at local community centres.
I would support setting aside funds for off leash dog parks, but I would not support a particular dedicated “ tax” just for dog parks. I think we need to collect revenue and make hard decisions about many areas like ambulances and transit in a time of provincial cut backs. I don’t think we should set up a long list of dedicated taxes for specific areas - though given the primacy of road repair I do support the dedicated taxes for that area.
Yes. There seems to be real confusion over this with City staff. I use Maple Grove Dog Park. No one wants to see frisbee players or rugby players coming over to use the dog park area, just as dog owners do not stroll across the Mustangs football field. I woukd like to see off leash areas expanded where feasible and Little Mountain seems a good candidate for this.