St. Boniface Green hopeful vows daycare spaces in seniors’ complexes
Seniors’ complexes should play host to daycare centres, according to the Green party candidate in the St. Boniface byelection.
Françoise Therrien Vrignon said creating daycares within seniors’ complexes in the ward is one of four key items she’d lobby for, if elected as the riding’s next MLA.
“We have two very large segments of population in St. Boniface that are not very well planned for,” said Vrignon. “When you have a daycare in old folks’ homes, it breaks elder isolation.”
Vrignon said the idea would cut administrative and building maintenance costs, versus constructing separate buildings to offer French-language daycare spaces. She said she knows of a wait list with 800 French-speaking children seeking such spots.
Vrignon said the shared space would allow affected seniors’ complexes to become community hubs where language and culture are shared.
The idea is already in place in some Seattle and Toronto seniors’ complexes.
Her campaign also includes a push for a new electoral system (such as proportional representation), a green economy hub, and the relocation of St. Boniface rail lines.
Vrignon said when toxic materials are moved on rail lines, they come near residential backyards, adding risk to potential derailments.
“If we don’t move them, we have to also look at it in the sense that we’re sitting on a ticking time bomb here,” she said.
Relocating Winnipeg rail lines has often been criticized as cost-prohibitive in the past, with some estimates pegging the price to do so in the billions of dollars. But Vrignon said a partnership between governments could make it feasible.
“If our (federal government) can afford to buy a pipeline, it can afford to relocate its rails,” she said.
St. Boniface voters will elect their next MLA on July 17. Liberal Dougald Lamont, Progressive Conservative Mamadou Ka and NDP candidate Blandine Tona are also running in the byelection. Four pledges Green Party St. Boniface candidate Françoise Therrien Vrignon would lobby for, if elected:
Get the trains out of St. Boniface: Relocate St. B rail lines to prevent the spill of dangerous materials and clear room for bus routes, green spaces, bike paths and/or a green belt. Vrignon believes this should be negotiated between the provincial, federal and municipal governments.
Reform the electoral system: Vrignon said the current first-past-the-post system is more likely to elect majority governments, who then implement policy without collaborating with other parties. She said switching to another system, such as a form of proportional representation, would be more likely to produce minority governments who are forced to work together.
Transform St. Boniface into a green economy hub: By investing carbon taxes in green economic projects, she expects to attract new businesses and create jobs. Vrignon also proposes to champion a bill that would give government more authority to fine businesses who violate environmental licences.
Create daycares in seniors’ complexes: Vrignon says this would be a cost-effective way to prevent seniors’ isolation and invest in early childhood education. She said this should begin with a pilot project supported by the province.