1. Fair Trade City Designation
I am pleased to say that Council has endorsed an application by Fair Trade Winnipeg for the potential designation of Winnipeg as a Fair Trade Town.
The Fair Trade Town program in Canada is part of a global movement that recognizes more than 1,500 communities in 32 countries. There are 22 Fair Trade Towns in Canada including large cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto. The Fair Trade Town designation recognizes municipalities demonstrating a strong commitment to fair trade from its community stakeholders, including local municipal government, businesses and community groups.
As a result of the designation, the City of Winnipeg will amend its polices to include a commitment to serve only Fairtrade certified coffee, tea, and sugar at municipal food services managed by municipal administration.
This is an important step forward for Winnipeg as fair trade purchasing is a tool for poverty alleviation and demonstrating sustainability leadership.
2. Housing Roundtable Motion
Council unanimously approved a motion asking the province to establish a housing roundtable.
As Chair of the Winnipeg Housing Steering Committee working with my colleagues Councillors Orlikow and Gilroy, we put the motion forward to enable greater collaboration and communication on efforts to address the affordable housing crisis.
Here is the action part of the motion that was approved:
Be resolved that the Chief Administrative Officer be directed to send a letter to Jay Rodgers, Deputy Minister of Families, Province of Manitoba, requesting the establishment of a Housing Roundtable to include representatives of the Provincial Civil Service, the
Municipal Public Service, non-profit and for-profit housing developers, and representatives of affordable housing advocates in Winnipeg, and that the purpose of this Housing Roundtable be to share information and ideas on issues and opportunities related to development and provision of affordable housing in Winnipeg.
You can read the full motion
3. Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Council also approved a motion to look into getting more electric vehicle charging stations in place in Winnipeg.
The Standing Committee on Innovation has been tasked with looking into funding opportunities and partnerships and will report back to council.
4. Smoking Ban on Outdoor Patios
There has been a lot of talk recently about Winnipeg joining most of the rest of Canadian cities and banning smoking on patios. Winnipeg was a leader in banning smoking in bars and restaurants many years ago and I believe the time is now to take the next logical step.
In my view, it is a health issue and quality of life issue and no one should have to be exposed to 2nd hand smoke
while dining or while just trying to do their job as an employee.
As Chair of the committee, Councillor Pagtakhan will bring a motion forward to the Committee on Protection, Community Services & Parks to begin the process of establishing a ban on smoking on patios.
I have let my colleagues know and I am letting you know, that I am very supportive of this change. I look forward to seeing it happen, hopefully in time for next years patio season!