Kirkfield Park Campaign
Dennis’ campaign focuses on five main areas to tackle many of the issues our community faces today.
Click on each area to find out how Dennis’ solutions offer a unique approach.
We need to treat the Climate Emergency as the EMERGENCY that it truly is!
Start by developing a Climate Emergency Response Center, that would bring policy makers, scientists, and the general public together to prevent and adapt to changes in climate and our environment.
- Establish a Climate Change Citizens Assembly to regularly hear from Manitobans
- Incentives for Manitobans to bicycle, walk and use public transportation
- Make our province the national, if not international, green energy hub with focus on made-in-Manitoba solar and wind energy systems and devices
- Free public transit throughout MB
- Province-wide composting program, including curb-side pick-up and free bins for backyard composting
- Home gardening incentives
- Point-of-purchase rebates and tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs)
- Feasibility study for built-in-Manitoba low-end commuter-class electric vehicles
- Training programs for EV technicians, including conversion of gas-fueled vehicles to EVs
- Increase support to environmental NGOs
Basic Income (BI) is a key approach to addressing so many of the challenges we face as a society: poverty, homelessness, addiction, crime and adverse outcomes in education and health.
Yet few elected leaders are talking about Basic Income and few Manitobans realize that our province was a trailblazer in the 1970s with the MINCOME field project, based in Dauphin and to a lesser extent in Winnipeg.
Basic Income would provide a reliable, accessible income support to help Manitobans make ends meet, escape poverty, and adapt to crises like the climate emergency. Addressing poverty, a key contributor to substance abuse and crime, would improve the lives and safety of affected individuals, families, and our community as a whole.
Basic Income would help more Manitobans lead healthier lives, improving their physical and mental health. In turn, this would lessen the strain on our healthcare system.
Most of all, Basic Income would enable so many Manitobans to finally live in dignity, without the constant scrutiny and stigma associated with existing social assistance programs.
We could and should again be a leader in our country – and indeed internationally – by introducing a Basic Income program. We have world-recognized Basic Income experts right here in Winnipeg.
Health and HealthCare
There are so many things we could be doing to make Manitoba one of the healthiest provinces in Canada. Instead of one of the least healthy.
First and foremost, we have to build our foundation on “health” and less on “healthcare”, with a focus on upstream & preventative approaches, instead of reactive & restorative ones. We MUST address the social determinants of health, beginning with poverty, by implementing a Basic Income program in our province. This alone would bring an unprecedented improvement in the health of Manitobans, with the added benefit of lessening the strain on our healthcare system.
- Establish a Health Citizens Assembly to regularly hear from Manitobans, including healthcare professionals
- Hire more Physician Assistants, Public Health Dietitians, Physical Activity Educators, Mental Health & Addictions Counselors
- Develop a Climate Emergency Response Center (see Climate Emergency) to address health impacts of climate change
- Expand smoking cessation & support programs
- Develop province-wide greenhouse network to reduce food insecurity, especially in Northern MB
- More physical activity opportunities in K-12 schools (mandatory up to Grade 12)
- Incentivize plant-based food production & processing in the province
- Increase taxes on tobacco, alcohol and sugary/salty/fatty foods
- Launch health communications campaign via conventional & social media
- Means-tested free tuition for stay-in-MB healthcare professionals training
- More detailed accountability, including compensation disclosure for physician, drug and diagnostics/laboratory services
Supporting Public Libraries
Manitoba’s public libraries need much greater support from our provincial government. Currently Winnipeg libraries receive about $2M/year from the province, roughly 6-7% of the annual library budget. This should increase to at least 15-20%.
In the Kirkfield Park riding, the Westwood branch is particularly vulnerable to inevitable civic budget cuts. With increased funding from the provincial government, library branches like the Westwood branch, can continue to survive and thrive. We need to recognize Manitoba’s public libraries as an important part of our education and cultural foundation.
There is much we need to do to ensure that our democratic process works for all Manitobans, and not just a privileged few.
We can start by launching Citizen Assemblies, modeled after those in use in Europe and elsewhere in North America. Comprised of a rotating cross-section of Manitobans, these would greatly enhance the opportunity for fellow citizens to participate in decision-making. Citizen Assemblies on the Climate Emergency, on Basic Income and on Health & Healthcare should be considered.
- Reduce the maximum allowed annual provincial political contributions, from the current $5,000/yr per donor to $500/yr (see Note #1 below).
- Implement a ranked ballot, instead of the so-called “First Past the Post” system, as a first step to eventually introducing Proportional Representation in Manitoba (see Note #2).
- Eliminate MLA advertising between elections (e.g. bus benches, banners in community centres, ads in newspapers)
- Lower the voting age to 16y, to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process
- Introduce MLA term limits, to a maximum of 3 consecutive terms
- Ban the use of political campaign lawn signs
(1) Elections Manitoba publishes annual financial reports required of all political parties – https://electionsmanitoba.ca/en/Finance/Annual_Reporting
(2) According to the Manitoba Historical Society, Manitoba used Proportional Representation for almost 40y (1920-1957) but PR was ended for the 1958 election.
Stay tuned for more on Democratic Reform in the days ahead!