City councillor Jenny Gerbasi is facing opposition from both sides of the political spectrum in this year’s municipal election, with Ian Rabb throwing his hat in the ring from the right side, and NDP member Shane Nestruck challenging from the left.
“I have a proven record of working hard with constituents,” said Gerbasi, who has been representing Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry since 1998.
Gerbasi said her level of experience has given her an understanding of “how to get things done” in the city and in the neighbourhood.
“I have worked closely with the communities in my ward, so I have the ability to get things done. I know the people.”
When asked where she’d like to see Winnipeg in the next five to 10 years, Gerbasi replied: “I’d like to see us seen in a more positive light on a national scale, as a leader in being a progressive, green kind of city. [ . . . ] I’d like to see us back to being a leader on the national stage with revitalization of downtown.”
Nestruck, a resident of the Lord Roberts neighbourhood, said he entered the race for councillor because he is “tired, frustrated, and disgusted” by the way the City of Winnipeg is currently run.
“I’m 63 year old [ . . . ] but I still have some fire in my belly” said Nestruck.
“[I’m in the running] for the young people. I really have difficulty with people telling me young people don’t vote. It’s their city!”
Nestruck felt that it was time Winnipeg saw a shift in power.
“We have a chance if we elect the right councillors, and if we elect at least one councillor who is determined to change the city. Change does not come from rhetoric; change does not come from lovely ideas. Change comes from power shift.”
Both Gerbasi and Nestruck list improving Winnipeg’s rapid and active transportation and increased transparency in city council as top issues in their campaign.
Nestruck has been involved in bicycle advocacy since 1979, first in Montreal and now in Winnipeg.
However, Gerbasi felt that she has “championed” active and public transportation during her councillorship.
“I think young people care about that,” said Gerbasi.
In addition to transportation, Gerbasi also felt that affordable housing was a critical issue to students in the civic election.
“Young people need to have affordable rental accommodations when they are going to university. But everybody, whatever their age, I think is concerned with having healthier, safer neighbourhoods,” said Gerbasi.
Ian Rabb was unavailable for comment, at press time.
Rabb is the general manager of Winpark Dorchester Properties, and founder of Two Ten Recovery Inc., which provides accommodation for recovering addicts.
“Fort Rouge is such a vibrant community that it has saddened me to watch it become stagnant over the last few years. [ . . . ] There is so much more that can be done for this community with a committed voice at city hall,” said Rabb in a press release issued by his campaign.
Citizens can find a list of candidates and information on how to vote in the Winnipeg municipal election at www.winnipeg.ca