2018 Janice Lukes

Waverley West Ward

Janice Lukes

Candidate Waverley West

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About the Candidate

Incumbent since 2014 – South Winnipeg - St. Norbert.

While Janice Lukes jokes about being a “cat person”, there is no question that she is one of Winnipeg’s most dog-friendly City Councillors. She was the first to express her support for WINDOG’s request for dedicated funding for off-leash areas. In July she told City Council, “When it comes to budget time consultations, I will be looking to see what can be done about a dedicated fund or percentage.”

Well-known and respected for her commitment to public consultation, Lukes reached out to King’s Park dog owners in April 2017 and convened a meeting to discuss how to improve their off-leash area.

Platform: Lukes’s priorities are developing and implementing a council-based strategic plan of priorities; conducting a governance review with meaningful public consultation; aligning economic development agendas; optimizing operational improvements; crime prevention, poverty and homelessness; transit; creating a regional recreation campus; and putting an end to illegal rooming houses.

Lukes believe city council should set forth a strategic plan of its priorities at the beginning of every term. She says the plan should identify specific recommendations, actions and priorities. It would be a public statement on what city council’s focus for the term would be.

Lukes is critical of city council’s current “strong mayor” governance model. She says a city should be run with equal representation of all members of council – not just that of the mayor and nine councillors. She says "a governance model where a mayor can avoid speaking to opposing councillors - other than on the floor of council – is simply absurd." City council has committed funding for a governance review and Lukes promises work to ensure broad public consultation.

Lukes is committed to ensuring that council is fully cognizant of the economic development goals of agencies like Economic Development Winnipeg and the Chamber of Commerce, and the provincial government. She says this needs to happen so all the players are working from the same playbook and making decisions to support common economic development goals. When council sets civic agendas and makes decisions – it’s important that its actions align to support economic priorities.

Lukes strongly believes the administrative operations need a complete overhaul. She says the dysfunctional, silo-based approach to tracking, reporting and sharing information is costing taxpayers millions. She points to 311, the City’s front line for service delivery and asks, “How can improving this not be a priority?” She wants the public service to develop a ‘how can we help you’ approach. To change corporate culture and improve systems, Lukes says the City needs strong leadership, which needs to come from the mayor to the CAO. She wants optimizing operational improvements to be a priority.

Lukes acknowledges that crime prevention, poverty and homelessness are complex, interconnected issues that require many partners and approaches. She wants broader council participation and pledges to work to see more discussion and innovation in identifying how the City can play a role in making positive change.

Lukes will be monitoring the results of the City’s $500M infrastructure investment in bus rapid transit. She says, “If we don’t see the best possible transit service…I question why we would invest a penny more on other routes. She wants land along the transit way to be zoned for maximum residential development and proper land use plans in place. Lukes points to the complete lack of public consultation on opening Portage and Main and says she will work to ensure all Winnipeggers will have an opportunity to offer input on Winnipeg Transit Master Plan recommendations.

Lukes was self-employed for over twenty-five years. Prior to being elected, she was an infrastructure fund development consultant. Lukes is a long-time advocate for active transportation; she was a member of the Rapid Transit Phase One Advisory Committee and chaired the provincial government’s first report on moving active transportation forward.

Lukes has been recognized for her outstanding commitment to community with many awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award, the Manitoba School Board Association’s President’s Council Award and the Manitoba Premier’s Volunteer Service Award. Since taking office, Lukes has served as acting deputy mayor, chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure and Public Works, and co-chair of the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region

Q1: If elected, will you put forward and/or support a motion in Council to create a dedicated tax-supported capital fund for the creation of new dog parks and the upgrading of existing ones to comply with standards in the City of Winnipeg’s new Off-Leash Area Master Plan? Why or why not?

have been trying for years BEFORE I was elected and now since being elected to secure a dedicated % of funding for active transportation - as a % of the roads budget - but have not ever been successful. We have an Active Transportation Strategy (Master Plan) that we are trying to adhere to and comply with but are nowhere near dedicating the amount set out annually in the plan. While we have these great Master Plans for many City services we are having a very hard time providing core services because we have so much 'old infrastructure' that must receive the basic level of maintenance or it will be closed/shut down. The Winnipeg Arts Council is working to ensure a percentage of infrastructure funding is dedicated to art - they've been advocating for this for years - and now SOME larger projects are including art (transit / roadways) - it is virtually impossible to secure dedicated annual funding in a City with so much old infrastructure. I strongly support having an ANNUAL capital funding budget line for new dog parks – AND will strongly advocate for the creation of new dog parks to be include in the Developer Parameters Agreement (I know its not in there at all – when you think of a development like Waverley West – there should be ONE dog park in the neighbourhood -!! That should have been worked into the original Development Agreement. FYI - Each Councilor receives an annual Parks Budget that they can use for any park upgrades. I would advocate for Councillors to use a % of this annual funding to upgrade existing dog parks in their ward. I will also commit to tackling the sponsorship program again and work to secure a similar arrangement for WINDOG that was received by Buhler Park from Sponsorship Winnipeg

Q2: If elected, will you put forward and/or support a motion to designate off-leash areas as “single-use” parks where only those activities associated with off-leash dogs are permitted? Why or why not?

Yes – off leash dog parks should absolutely be single use.