Winnipeg, Man. (September 16, 2022) - The letter below is my response to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) regarding its Small Business Priorities Request for the 2022 City of Winnipeg Mayoral Election.
Response to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) – September 1, 2022
September 1, 2022
Director, Prairies and Northern Canada
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
Thank you for your letter regarding the priorities of independent businesses for the upcoming Winnipeg election.
Our campaign, Kevin Klein for Mayor, is very aware of the state of independent businesses in Winnipeg and is extremely in touch with the current economic conditions and the global headwinds associated with financial markets, Covid-19, and the various international conflicts in Europe and Asia. This is not a simple time, and even if it was simple Winnipeg would still have challenges in financing its operations and infrastructure deficit.
I will note that I am the only nominated mayoral candidate with extensive experience in the corporate realm outside of government. I have worked as a corporate executive and vice-president, as a small business owner, and as an international consultant in Business to Government (B2G) relations at locations across North America, South America, and Europe.
I understand the perspectives of industry executives, boards of directors, and the many employees who depend on corporate initiatives for their work and financial security.
In addition, I have the benefit of completing a 4 year term as a Councillor which included 4 years of leadership on the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage, and Downtown Development (commonly called PPD), which approved over 200 new developments and several large area plans including over $1 billion in local area investment and associated economic returns for the population, tax base, and local businesses.
I have developed significant insight into the financial abilities of the City, the status of development projects, future plans, and the various limitations in budgeting and taxation. Most importantly, I have identified the governance and administrative roadblocks which are to blame for the infrastructure deficit, and which are preventing increased investment to address the issues.
As Mayor of Winnipeg, I would help eliminate the red tape that is preventing new business owners from entering the city, or adding unnecessary stress to those who are already established.
My plan would see the addition of case managers to city hall who would work directly with small and medium businesses wanting to open in Winnipeg. The deliverables that these workers would be tasked with providing to business owners include:
1. Establishing a 90 day turnaround time for occupancy permits to allow new businesses to open.
2. A 15 day permit process for essential services such as supportive housing, healthcare providers, daycares and restaurants/food services opening in an existing building with similar activities.
3. Priority permits for new essential service buildings to get them up and running as quickly as possible.
4. Supporting entrepreneurs who are establishing small to medium businesses in the City of Winnipeg.
5. Creating linkages to the commercial real estate sector to encourage investment in Winnipeg.
Under this modernized plan, demolition permits for derelict buildings and homes would be provided within 90 days of application for those in the development industry.
People choose to live in cities that are successful. Cities where they can prosper and enjoy a good quality of life. The most important requirement is being a well-managed city that provides quality services. Eliminating the challenges to doing business with the City of Winnipeg will make it more efficient for local businesses to grow. I want to have a city that works for people, not against them.
As an example, I recently had success though a Council motion to extend bus service to a large commercial and industrial area in South Winnipeg where employees at various independent businesses were previously unable to get home from work. Through supporting a more effective transit service, the City can assist the ability for both employees and patrons to sustain the requirements of businesses. This is one example of the way the City can improve quality of service and increase opportunities for businesses.
A safer city with minimal crime is also key to retaining residents and businesses. All through my term as Councillor, I raised many motions to address community safety as an urgent priority. Here are few examples:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJQsX-bSE_s - Addressing crime in Winnipeg
https://www.kevinklein.ca/post/we-cannot-continue-to-ignore-community-safety-in-winnipeg - Transit safety and general policing
When I announced my Mayoral candidacy, “Safe Neighbourhoods” became the prime pillar of my campaign – it’s the reason I’m running. When I announced my run, no other mayoral candidates were discussing safety; all while various stabbings of innocent people were taking place in broad daylight - including Ukrainian refugees visiting the Forks on Canada Day, and an employee walking to work down Osborne street. This is unacceptable. We need a safer city to allow local businesses to succeed.
I strongly encourage members of the CFIB to review the contents of this letter, review my election platform once released in its entirety, and review my stances on a wide range of issues through viewing my website and my YouTube page:
Thank you for engaging in this election, and I look forward to the support from the various members, stakeholders, and employees aligned with the CFIB.
Thank you – Chi-Miigwetch – Merci,
Candidate for Mayor of Winnipeg 2022
Winnipeg City Councillor serving – Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood