Municipal election: Ward 12 profile
Traffic, crime, recreation to be key issues
Sections of Ward 12 will serve as a litmus test for how the city plans recreational facilities, transportation and residential development for new subdivisions with burgeoning populations.
Ward 12 is an L-shaped area in the city’s far southeast and includes the neighbourhoods of Ellerslie, Summerside and The Meadows. The ward is largely suburban: More than 60 per cent of homes are owned, with nearly 64 per cent of the housing stock consisting of singledetached houses. Nearly 85 per cent of the population uses a motor vehicle as their main mode of transportation from home to work.
While communities such as Ellerslie and Summerside have experienced rapid growth, there are still sections of the ward, such as Decoteau in the far southeast, which are still undeveloped.
Shane Bergdahl, president of the Mill Woods Presidents’ Council, said the city’s southeast is served by the Mill Woods Recreation Centre and the new Meadows Recreation Centre, but he expects there will be a deficit of recreational facilities as more people move here.
“It’s a lovely facility that’s just been built, but there’s nothing further south. I don’t know what the long-range plans are,” he said.
“They don’t have the population to sustain (another community centre) yet, but the way it’s growing, in 10 years it could be a whole different scenario.”
The southeast extension of the Valley Line LRT will benefit residents, Bergdahl said, especially those living in The Meadows who work downtown. But he said it will be a while before those benefits are seen and he expects traffic congestion to continue to be a problem in the area.
“When you get down to the residential areas, we’re really feeling the pinch in Wards 11 and 12 because of the traffic density,” Bergdahl said.
“And from what I’ve seen over the years, I do not feel confident in the way the city measures traffic on roads and figures out what the impact is going to be,” he added, contending that while the city measures a road’s capacity for vehicles in the long-term, they do not take into consideration how the road fares during rush hour.
Property crime has been a recurring issue in the ward, particularly in neighbourhoods adjacent to undeveloped lands.
“There’s a lot of open areas, fields, et cetera, so there’s been vehicle crimes and other stuff,” Bergdahl said.
Running in Ward 12 are incumbent Moe Banga, a former police detective who won the seat in a 2016 byelection, Nigel Logan, a marketer and fundraiser, Mike Russnak, a businessman and volunteer, Jo-Anne Wright, a volunteer and finance professional, and Walter Youb, a sales executive.
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