Original AboriginalIt seems Mayoral Candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis has evolved on the issue regarding calls for a National Inquiry into the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women phenomena.

“If I’m elected, I’m committed to building a new relationship between City Hall and Winnipeg’s aboriginal citizens,” Wasylycia-Leis said at a recent press conference.

Wasylycia-Leis announced she would create what amounts to a “Task Force” within the first 100 days of being sworn in.  “It will be co-chaired by myself and a senior Aboriginal Leader and will include Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Business, Community and Labor leaders,” she said.

Wasylycia-Leis continued, “The agreement that I propose will focus on four (4) specific areas where we can work together to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in a number of very important areas.”

In her next breath, Wasylycia-Leis went on to identify five (5) areas she noted as follows;

  • Jobs
  • Recreation
  • Services
  • Safety
  • Housing

Difficulties with math aside, Wasylycia-Leis is the first #wpg14 candidate to show any tangible leadership regarding the issue of #MMIW or issues facing Winnipeg’s growing Aboriginal population.  Her announcement is entirely consistent with the direction the Winnipeg Police Service is heading with Chief Devon Clunis’ “Crime prevention throughout social development,” philosophy.

I’m surprised the collective experience of Aboriginal people residing in the City of Winnipeg hasn’t become a more significant campaign issue in the #wpg14 election race.  Astute politicians should have a keen understanding of where we are and where we’re going.

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The issues depicted in the chart undeniably impact other issues we’ve heard about in #wpg14.  Issues like;

  • Downtown Crime
  • Downtown Safety
  • Public Intoxication
  • Panhandling
  • Downtown Perception, Business & Shopping

That leads me to….

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I understand issues regarding infrastructure and rapid transit have to have a degree of importance assigned to them but I must admit I’m perplexed more emphasis hasn’t been placed on the overall health and well-being of our City.  A City profoundly impacted by crime, poverty, addiction, domestic violence and the plight of Aboriginal People.

It’s time for the remaining Mayoral Candidates to show some leadership and demonstrate they understand the depth and scope of the problem.

It’s called vision.



Statistics in charts provided by Statistics Canada NHS 2011.

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