Hello, friends! Here are my responses for the questions from Positively Pinawa for the 2022 Election. Thanks to all of the citizens who posed questions and to Paul G. for organizing it.
What are we doing about a Recreation Director? We need someone to get recreational activities organized and delivered.Holly Stanley Parcey
Thank you, Holly, for the question. Recreation is so important to the people of Pinawa. According to Participation, Pinawa is the Most Active Community in Manitoba (Thanks, Families for Community Growth), and that is something to be celebrated. As an individual, I am an active member of many clubs that offer recreation opportunities, including volunteering as a youth coach for the Whiteshell Ski Club and helping the new Tennis and Pickleball Courts with marketing. I was able to help the Library with a grant for the Storywalk (which everyone should go check out!). I helped with getting the kid’s soccer program going again this year (Big thanks to my fellow Lion’s for supporting that program). I believe that all Pinawanians should have affordable and safe access to healthy, educational, and fun recreational programming.
The previous Council had left the Winnipeg River Recreation District. During my time in Council I have been working to develop a policy committee that would develop a plan for Parks, Recreation, and Culture. I felt it was important to have voices from the community at the table and so I proposed to the council the inclusion of Community Advisors, representing Arts, Parks, Sport, and Youth. There was an unusual amount of staff turnover this past year and so the hiring of a Recreation Director was deferred until the administration was settled in and could evaluate their own capacity to handle the portfolio in-house. The committee is up and running now and has put forth a recommendation to hire a Recreation Director in January 2023.
I believe that cooperation between our various clubs, local businesses, and non-profit organizations is key and that leadership is needed to facilitate that. My vision of Pinawa is one where a modern, sustainable, and robust Parks, Recreation, and Culture ecosystem supports the mind, bodies, and spirits of the people.
AECL is apparently in charge of road repairs at PSS and arena! I want to know why council has not done anything to have this done. It’s dangerous and totally a bad impression for anyone visiting our community hoping to move here with their family!Lisa Thomas
I agree with you Lisa the parking lot is horrible. This is an example of why maintaining relations with AECL is so important and that ALL of council needs to participate in that relationship building. If elected, I will support constructive and positive dialogue with AECL to ensure that Pinawa gets a fair deal for its citizens on this issue and others.
If you are elected or re-elected to council the last commercial build in Pinawa was the Motor Inn in the 60s, Do you plan to search out investors to invest in new builds and employment opportunitiesMike Berry
Hi Mike, thanks for the question. Of course I want to see new investment in Pinawa. Many businesses here have complained about the LGD being difficult to work with, and this is a concern that must be addressed. We need to create a business friendly eco-system to make Pinawa investment ready, and that means engaging with our local businesses. We also need a strong Chamber of Commerce, and an independent Community Development Corporation (PCDC). I support reducing or eliminating the home based business tax, and support incentivizing the construction of commercial space, the lack of which is a huge barrier for prospective entrepreneurs. I will advocate for the creation of dedicated space to support a local town market, including pop up shops, so that our people can engage in commerce.
Pinawa has many seniors who have made important contributions to the to town. However, life can be difficult here for them. How would you improve life for them here?Margaretha Zach
Seniors are a valuable part of our population and it is the duty of the government to support a safe and healthy environment for them, and all other people.
Seniors deserve safe streets. Some vehicles in town are driving too fast! One of my first acts in council was to advocate for the crosswalk at Vanier and Cameron and the three way stop at Massey and McDiarmid as traffic calming and safety measures. In the 2022 budget public consultation, I supported the allocation of $10000 to finally do some much needed improvements and additions to sidewalks in Pinawa. Unfortunately, due several other cost overruns and spending on projects such as the electrical upgrade for food trucks at the beach, which was never in our financial or strategic plan nor discussed in Council prior to its construction, the sidewalk budget was regrettably reduced to $0. I will continue to advocate for more spending for sidewalks including winter maintenance because we don’t want people getting hurt from slips, trips, and falls. People should be able to comfortably and safely walk to the store.
It is also important that our hospital and ambulance service is available for the people. Seniors want to know that these services will be there if and when they need them. Although, this is the jurisdiction of the province, the local government can and should lobby the Manitoba Government for these services, and as Councillor I would support this. In terms of Recreation it is important that we have appropriate and accessible and fun recreation for people of all ages, including seniors.
Another issue for seniors is housing. As people age, their needs and lifestyles change. I believe that people should be able to age in place, that is, not have to move away from town to find a suitable place to live. In Pinawa nearly all of our residential development has been single family detached homes. We need a variety of housing options for people such as apartments, condos, and townhouses for seniors who may wish to downsize. I support expansion of our existing Senior’s housing places such as the Ironwood. My parents and some of my other relatives want to retire in Pinawa, and I want to work towards building a great and healthy community for them, and all the people of Pinawa.
Thank you for your question.
How does childcare fit into future development plans for the community? How prepared is council to help improve access to childcare to support community development?Sheldon Papetti
As a parent of young children myself, I understand the importance of access to childcare for families. Remember back to when during the pandemic the daycare was forced to close, the difficulty it would create for working moms and dads? The government has said that it is a priority to attract young families to Pinawa, yet, has failed to address that our one daycare, which is run by a group of amazing, dedicated, (and underpaid) people, cannot meet the existing demand, let alone what we will need in the future. This is a serious barrier to economic growth. Working parents need access to daycare! Supporting the expansion of quality daycare must be a priority for our local government, and I would like to see that expansion happen within this next term of office.
In addition, I believe that we need to challenge the provincial government to look at the way it funds daycares, as Early Childhood Educators are underpaid for the essential work that they do. Without adequate provincial funding, it is nearly impossible for daycares to pay their staff well, maintain infrastructure, and be affordable to parents.
Thank you for your question and for being a champion of early childhood education!
Pinawa seems to have difficulty retaining the public works yard foreman position. What do you think the problem is? And how do you plan to do to attract and retain the next position.Steven Tresidder
Yes, this is a problem. I wasn’t around for all of the previous public works managers so I can’t speak to those. I do, however, have insight into the most recent one, and my observations trouble me.
I believe that it is imperative that Council demonstrate respect for the professional capacities of municipal employees without undue influence from any individual member or faction of council. Council must not involve themselves in matters of Administration, which fall within the jurisdiction of the Resident Administrator. Council can only act only through resolution or by-law.
As a Service Manager for VIA Rail Canada, and the Employee Chair of On-Train Health and Safety, and as a Councillor, I believe in fostering a safe and respectful workplace. I believe in listening to and empowering workers and employees. We should invest in professional development so that our staff is always learning and growing, as this creates engagement and motivation. I also believe that our organization will function much better if we more closely follow our codes, policies, and procedures. Council members involved in Human Resources should have training and development in this subject. Should I be elected, I will advocate for all of these things in order to create a healthy and productive work environment that will provide the best service possible for the people of Pinawa.
That is how we will retain talent in our organization.
Thanks for raising this important question.
Many residents currently leave town, to purchase more affordable groceries & houseware items. Is there a plan to bring in a more affordable outlet, to keep residents spending money here, rather than having to leave & spend elsewhere. Pinawa is no longer considered a remote location. How will you address the need for more current amenities, that will align with today’s date & growing population.Teresa Jane
Thanks for the question, Teresa. As a man whose family owns a small store in Dugald, and who worked as a kid at an even smaller corner store in my hometown of Cooks Creek, I can tell you how important it is to support your local stores and businesses. I don’t always tube float, but when I do, I rent from the local outfitters. I do almost all of my shopping at the Solo Mart, partially to support my local store which is contributor to our community, but partially because I hate going to the city! Gas is expensive and it’s a 2.5 hour round trip. That’s 2.5 hours I could spend sailing, rowing, biking, visiting friends, being with family, playing tennis, going to the art gallery, gardening, swimming, fishing, walking the ironwood, skiing, or any of the myriad of wonderful things that are available in our town! The price tag at the checkout might be a bit higher when you’re in a more remote location, but when you factor in the hidden costs of fuel, time, economic leakage from your community, the CO2 emissions, and the hideousness of fighting in city traffic, I truly believe it is well worth it to stay in Pinawa and spend your dollars here as much as possible. This also creates demand, which will be more enticing to future entrepreneurs. I certainly would love to see another restaurant and bar in town, and I would be a customer!
I would encourage everyone reading this to consider the way that we consume goods and services, and to commit to choosing local businesses more often.
A project that I was most proud of spearheading this year was gaining participation into the Canadian Circular Cities and Regions Initiative. Circular economies are sometimes otherwise known as regenerative economies. Because of this project, our administration and economic development office is now networking with cities such as Squamish BC, Kelowna BC, Peel ON, and more. As this exciting project advances, we will gain new knowledge of how to facilitate more resilient economies that keeps more money in Pinawa, generating prosperity. The Canadian Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI) has been recognized as a national leader in sustainability excellence, receiving a Canada’s 2023 Clean50 award.
One way that I want to stimulate local enterprise which is quick and feasible, is to create the infrastructure for a nice town market. Pop up shops are a great way for small entrepreneurs to offer their products and services and requires only a small investment. This will support opportunities for local people to generate wealth from Tourism. My vision for Pinawa is one where citizens have access to a thriving local economy that they can participate in.
For personal reasons and loving members of our community is there a plan for a PCH in Pinawa?Lisa Thomas
I believe Pinawa is the ideal location for an affordable and quality Personal Care Home. Ideally, we want people to be able to live independantly as long as possible, and the government has a role in creating an enviroment supports that. I believe that we need to take steps to increase our stock of apartments, townhouses, and condos, to provide more living options for seniors. I also support allowing granny suites as another option for people. Every person’s life is different, but I believe that a healthy community will have a variety of housing and care options available for those people to choose the best situation for themselves and their family.
Thank you for the question, Lisa.
Are you going to issue a bar license to the motel or not? So that potential buyers can think about putting an offer!Navigator Sahi
Sorry Friend, Liquor licenses come from the Liquor Commission, not the town. It would be sweet to have another bar in town, though!
Thank you everyone for your questions. Please vote for me on October 26th. Be well.
5 thoughts on “Questions from Positively Pinawa”
Thank you Michael for your thoughtful responses and your commitment to making our community better. You have our support, and we wish good luck on October 26!
Great responses Michael. You definitely have my vote! Mary
Sent from my iPad
Thank you so much!
Thanks for caring so much Michael!