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I don’t know why, and very little about how it happened, but Marty Gold’s Great Canadian Talk Show on Winnipeg’s 92.9 Kick FM [Red River College’s campus station] is not longer.

You can read far more about the demise of the show here, or here. If you believe the whole RRC “kills freedom of speech” spin, you can go here to participate.

I’ve been a quiet fan of the show for some time now, for the sole reason that regardless of one’s feelings about its host, it was information about Winnipeg that you just couldn’t get anywhere else.

In my view, the show’s recent coverage of the civic election was must-listen radio for those interested in civic issues. Each Friday afternoon [my day off] for the last few months now, I would grab a good cup of coffee and go through the archive of the week’s shows

I wrote recently about the 10 things from the civic election campaign I was going to miss.

Number one in the list was how the alternative media had a unifying theme that gave way to a lot of good debate and discussion about the city, its future and the quality of our leadership.

Well, thinking about this again this morning, I realize now what a huge part TGCTS played in fuelling the debate.

In addition to presenting long-form sit downs with the mayoral and councillor candidates, Marty Gold featured the best of local bloggers and other civic-minded guests on a number of occasions and engaged them in discussions that were insightful and interesting.

On a number of occasions, the show broke stories about civic issues that the MSM was forced to play catch up with. If that’s not a marker of good, engaging radio that people would enjoy, I don’t know what would be.

However, one recent moment stands out in my mind, and I’m still thinking about it today in how it may have been a portent for the show’s future.

Former Katz adviser turned policy blogger and author Brian Kelcey was on as a feature guest, and at one point, he offered Gold a small piece of advice.

“Push, don’t point,” he said, in reference to the host’s predilection to name names and call out officials for their various behaviours and perceived wrongdoings — one of the things that made the show special, if not downright jarring on some days.

Push, don’t point.

Like I said, I don’t know why the show was cut.

It could be that the new president of RRC couldn’t understand why her school’s flagship radio show was run by a person who didn’t attend classes there. It could be because the school was threatened with legal action. It could be because a provincial election is on the way. It could be because it was just time for it to be done.

It could be because Gold pointed at the wrong person where he should have pushed.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that as citizens, we’re worse off for its demise.

And I have to find another Friday afternoon tradition.

Mynarksi, polling results by station

The Katz-supporting and well-spoken Jenny Motkaluk is defeated by Ross Eadie just days after a triple shooting in the crime-troubled area.

Interesting that in the Mynarski area hardest hit by crime, Motkaluk took her only polling victory at Children of the Earth School.

I guess the parts of the ward where Eadie really cleaned up are “not a crime disaster” as he famously said of the area not long ago.

Motkaluk also took the seniors vote in the advance polls.

Greg Littlejohn also seems to have run a fairly well-recieved campaign.

Elmwood-East-Kildonan, station by station

We now have our first former NHL’er as city councillor (I believe).

Wow. What a race — this one, more than any others likely peeved the NDP off completely.

Still, I’m glad Giesbrecht had the courage to run. He did rather well under the circumstances, judging by the results.

[Note: please forgive the placement of the ‘Jet’ between Talbot and Nairn – it’s the advance results (which Steen narrowly took) and I had to put it somewhere…]

St. Vital, polling station by station

Will Gord Steeves run for mayor in 2014?

His entrenched support seems to indicate he’d do very well in his own backyard.

One note: Although Steeves ran away with this election, It must be noted that Wolbert’s support near the Glenlawn polling station was on the higher side.

Or, conversely, Steeves support was strangely flat.

Maybe a walk around the area is in order…

Surprise, surprise: A new day dawns.

Vladimir: Well? Shall we go?
Estragon: Yes, let’s go.
[they do not move]

A sincere and hearty congratulations to Mayor Sam Katz on his reelection in Winnipeg.

The people have spoken, and the people are never wrong.

Maybe these meant more then we thought

But judging by the immense social-networking chatter and coverage in both newspapers this morning, all eyes are now on Katz to deliver over the next four years.

I mean, really, check these three articles out if you haven’t yet:

Not 12 hours after his win, and the mayor’s already been put on notice by the WFP and the Sun that his victory is a slight one in their eyes.

@bkives had a really fascinating (to me, anyways) piece on Katz’s transformation from a self-described non-politician to a savvy one fully enamored with political life.

But dark clouds loom for Katz on the horizon, Dan Lett suggests:

Despite assertions that he is the mayor of infrastructure and public safety, both have continued to suffer during his six years in office. The infrastructure deficit — the total amount of work needed on our roads, bridges and sewers for which there is no funding — continues to grow. City facilities like arenas and community centres are falling apart at the seams. And despite having weathered the recession better than almost any other province in the country, social dysfunction and crime in Manitoba continue to rage. It’s a win, but the problems facing this city constitute solid proof that Katz’s main planks — hiring more cops and snuggling up to the Winnipeg Police Association — are not a panacea for reducing crime.

We’ll have to see where he gets to in the next two years, and he’s earned that right at the ballot box.

But I have a feeling that, unlike in years past, there’s going to be more scrutiny on City Hall and the Mayor’s office than usual.

Remember the following, because this is what Katz ran on:

Katz pledges 77 additional Winnipeg Police Service positions to take action on violent crime

The Mayor outlined his proposal which would see:

  • an additional 20 officers dedicated to combating gangs, in a unit modeled after the highly successful auto theft strategy,
  • 20 new officers for foot patrol in high risk areas,
  • an additional 18 officers to add another full shift to cruiser cars to provide for quicker response times
  • and an additional 19 positions to be added to the 911 call centre to ensure help is there when you need it. [Sept 7, 2010]

Katz Dedicates $1 million to Community Centre Renovation Fund

Winnipeg, September 17th , 2010 –Mayor Sam Katz today announced he will create a $1 million Community Centre Renovation Fund dedicated to renovation projects for city-owned board-run community centres. Funding will come from dedicating 15 % of total City land sale proceeds, amounting to approximately $1.2 million/year.

Katz Pledges $1 million to Keep Youth on the Path to Success

Winnipeg, October 5th, 2010 – Mayor Sam Katz today announced that he will commit an additional $1 million to add operating hours, new programming and security to Inner-city and North End community organizations. It will also go to fund the hugely successful JustTV, developed by the Broadway Neighborhood Centre (BNC).

Surface Parking Lots

Winnipeg October 13th, 2010 –To promote the cleanup of downtown and make it safer, Mayor Sam Katz today announced a Downtown Surface Parking Lot incentive aimed at encouraging redevelopment in the downtown.

The program would work the following way:

A surface parking lot assessed at $200,000 and would be paying $2,000 in municipal property tax. If that same parking lot was redeveloped into a commercial property assessed at $2,000,000, the municipal property tax for the new commercial property would be $20,000.

Under this incentive taxes would be frozen at its initial rate for 5 years, with phased in increases over the next 3 years.

Recycling Depots

Winnipeg, October 14th, 2010 – Mayor Sam Katz today announced he will implement Recycling Depots to reduce waste in our land fills and increase recycling. A one year pilot project in collaboration with Versatech Industries Inc. would see five depots located throughout the city in every community committee area, provide employment for individuals living with intellectual disabilities, and promote greener recycling practices while providing community organizations the ability to fund raise while making our city cleaner and greener.

Katz Pledges Support for More Successful Downtown Celebrations

Winnipeg – October 20th, 2010 –Mayor Sam Katz today announced he will more than double the existing city-wide street closure budget as well as commit in-kind services up to $57,000 to expand the hugely successful “Lights on Broadway” from one day to up to four Saturdays, and provide annual support for the popular downtown festival, “Ciclovia.” This announcement continues to build on the Mayor’s efforts to ensure we do everything we can to encourage Winnipeggers’ to come downtown.

Wisely, Katz didn’t commit to a revenue strategy, and the voters didn’t care.

Wisely, he refused to say just how he’s going to get a share of the PST and still keep property taxes frozen, and voters didn’t care.

The promise of 58 more police officers weren’t costed out for the public, and the voters didn’t care. (We’ll now never — ever — really know if this comes true or not, BTW)

He largely deflected criticism over transparency (some of it totally unfair) and voters didn’t care.





What I’ll miss about Winnipeg’s 2010 election

Winnipeg Cat, Oct. 27, 2010

1] A concurrent and unifying theme in Winnipeg’s alternative media: Over the past few months, there’s been an esprit de corps among Winnipeg bloggers, social-networkers and (dare I say it) select members of the mainstream media. While many seem to have their own leanings in terms of the issues, I’m going to miss the diversity of opinion and criticism surrounding the mayoral and candidates (non)campaigns.

2] #wpgvotes on Twitter: I guess tomorrow it would be safe to start #mbvotes, given the provincial campaign machinery will now be grinding forward (federal byelection excepted) — especially, I hope, for the Progressive Conservatives. They have a lot of policy work to do to garner people’s votes and imaginations in 2011, I think. Anyhow, #wpgvotes was a good time. See ya in 2014, if anyones still using Twitter.

3] Daily doses of sarcasm from @bkives in the pages of the Winnipeg Free Press and elsewhere.

4] Commentary like today’s Winnipeg Cat. Enough said. But, my own contribution appeared the other day, a proud moment for me…

5] Former police department mucky-mucks weighing in on the platforms. Funny how both Cassels and Zacharias are opposed to Katz. Interesting stuff, if one properly considers the source. I found Cassels’s comments and endorsement interesting — if not somewhat jarring or unfair — given that the landscape of crime in the city has so drastically changed since he was chief.

6] Someone, please buy Brian Kelcey a drink as a reward for all the intelligent banter!

7] Having to spell Wasylycia-Leis at 20 times a day for the last month. Even if she’s mayor after tonight, That ratio should drop considerably.

8] Probably my most favorite thing about this election — and it’s my bias, I admit — has been hearing the content of the crime debate. Winnipeg has a problem. I’m just not so sure we’ve heard that the leadership knows (or will admit) what the problem actually is. Disheartening, but at least it frames one’s expectations. Lingering question raised by Menno on Tuesday: Why hasn’t Katz — or better yet,  Scott Fielding — trumpeted the CCTV project?

9] #kickskids

10] Public candidates forums. I love watching them and attending them.

Perverse, I know.

Now go and vote, if you haven’t already.

And may the WPS quickly catch the North End’s Saturday Shooter.


Voting day, and something different

Today was voting day for me.

Wanted to be one of the record number who turned out early this year to do it.

Not gonna share who got my ink dots, but glad I did it.

The woman behind me in line was telling the volunteer that she didn’t vote in ’06, but really wanted to make sure she did this year. She didn’t elaborate why.

I started thinking about what I actually knew about the mayoral candidates and their platforms on my way to City Hall today. Then I got worried because I’ve been writing stories consistently for a month about Sam, Judy et al. and this is what I could remember.

Stream of consciousness for accuracy


more police but no pricetag there’ll be a helicopter soon police association endorsement like those guys contract is up soon i think parking lots downtown do i care about surface parking damn parking boxes don’t always work didn’t sam say he didn’t like spending money on parties ciclovia numbers are inflated i think poll numbers say it close but what does that mean the streets in this city suck they’re really awful recruits graduating today haircut he wears that purple blazer but it suits him veolia is overblown how else will we find billion for sewer selinger isn’t likely to give up revenue now that hes gotta pay for all those new prosecutors has sam ever listened to a police scanner after midnight on a saturday is the ambulance issue overblown why doesn’t wrha fix the problem


don’t know much about her apparently soft on crime how will police react if she wins can she work with police how much is hidden vision is great but does she know how city hall works seems very charismatic talks with hands a lot transparency is a problem tired from spelling her name powerline come on really specifics i’d like more of them but maybe change would be good how long is four years really will the city ever get better property tax raise i can live with but parkade plan and wpa seems lowballed at least she shows up to things pensions

Then I went in and voted. Then I got that haircut.

Then I took some photos to relax.

First: Construction is well underway on the so-called ‘half-signal’ at Wardlaw and Osborne:

Next, it seems South Osborne is getting a paint job – and is a fixture of the community — Woo’s Cafe — no longer?

Then, feeling that chill in the air coming from the north, I went to shoot what may be some of the final fall colours of the year.