Questions Asked of Candidates
1. How have disability issues affected you and your family?
2. What do you see as being the greatest accessibility challenges within your constituency and what will you do to address these challenges?
Green Party of Manitoba Candidate - Kelly Whelan-Enns
No response received
Manitoba Liberal Party Candidate - Bryan Van Wilgenburg
Answer 1. My mother suffers from chronic pain and is unable to continue to work because of it. I have other family and friends who have expressed frustration that they aren't able to be gainfully employed, and make a living wage. Most who I speak to do not want to be supported, but want to be given the opportunity to support themselves, and participate in the community. As a union steward I have experience with getting colleagues the resources they need so they can keep working through "duty to accommodate" legislation.
Answer 2. The greatest accessibility issue in St. Vital is transportation. Those that are disabled are often not able to drive. Instead they rely on walking, wheelchairs, motorized wheelchairs, public transit, Handi-Transit etc. A lack of safe, available transportation leads to isolation, and people not accessing the services they require. This isolation can enhance disabilities, or lead to mental health issues. Everyone deserves the opportunity to participate in the community, and the community, and the economy benefit from their participation. St.Vital suffers from a lack of urban density. Urban density leads to greater revenues from property taxes to support public transit, Handi-Transit and safe wheelchair and walking paths that are cleared of snow in the winter. I will support legislation that increases the availability of safe transportation to bring those that are disabled to the services they require, and help them work, shop, and engage in the community.
New Democratic Party Candidate - Jamie Moses
Answer 1. Through family members and my work as a board member of the Open Access Resource Centre, I’ve gained firsthand knowledge of the challenges that people with disabilities face every day. My wife’s grandfather was a polio survivor and lived in a wheelchair. He was one of the early advocates for curb cuts and other measures to make streets accessible for people with mobility issues. His struggle to make our sidewalks and streets accessible reminds me that I often take for granted many of the challenges that people with disabilities face in doing everyday tasks, like going to the grocery store. I also serve on the board of the Open Access Resource Centre, which provides speech devices to Manitobans with communication difficulties. Serving on the board of the Open Access Resource Centre has been a rewarding experience that has made me more aware of the challenges people with communication difficulties face.
Answer 2. As I’ve been out knocking on doors and meeting people in St. Vital, I would say that the number one issue that has been raised with me is the need for better transportation services for people with disabilities. We need to ensure that all Manitobans have access to affordable, accessible transportation. The NDP is committed to working with municipalities to ensure that adequate resources are in place to support accessible and affordable transit. If elected, we plan to invest $10-billion in core infrastructure over the next 6 years. Our plan will build and renew municipal roads and streets to make them more accessible for people with disabilities.
Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba Candidate - Colleen Mayer
Answer 1. My immediately family has not been directly affected by disability issues however in my larger family my very dear friend, Tracy, has Downs Syndrome. We grew up together in a small town where the resources available to her were good but limited. Tracy is very bright and capable woman and I have always felt that she has the ability to contribute to her community more however due to the lack of resources she may have been able to be more independent.
Answer 2. Throughout this campaign I have had the privilege of speaking with many residents, as well as group home staff and individuals who work with persons with disabilities. I have read the Disability Matters Vote 2016 Priority Issues document and agree that these issues should be priorities for all Manitobans. Listening to the stories from the community has given me a broader understanding of the concerns. All of these issues are on my mind first and foremost and should I have the opportunity to represent St. Vital at the legislature, I will be sure to take the many stories and concerns with me and work with my colleagues to ensure that all “Manitobans with disabilities have the human right to fully participate in all aspects of public live”.