Councillor Kevin Klein
Inside City Hall

We have all heard elected officials state, “we are growing to a city of a million,” Is that true?

According to newly published data, it is not valid. The population of Winnipeg dropped below the published population of our city for 2020.

We also often hear from City Hall, “The only way to grow our city is through immigration.” and “The housing market is booming because people are coming here.” So, the question is, during the pandemic, is immigration the reason why our population dropped?

No, it is not.

International migration rates to Winnipeg remain strong. Even with the pandemic, the rates of new arrivals to the city are well above average. Lots of internationals are coming to Winnipeg. So, the issue is not a perceived reduction in immigration numbers because of COVID-19.

The fact is that people are leaving Winnipeg and Manitoba for other provinces. So, the truth is obvious, the decreasing population is because people are moving to other cities and provinces.

Statistics Canada data indicate that over 20,000 people left the province last year for other provinces. Most of those people left Winnipeg, some to nearby RM’s but most to other provinces.

The real opportunity is to discover why people are leaving (20,000 a year?) and then start addressing the reasons.

So, why are people moving out of Winnipeg? Is it because the city has increasing violent crime rates and is considered unsafe?

Is it because people are left to wait for ambulance care for over an hour at times?

Is it because residents who have been victims of crime may have to wait hours or days for a police response because the service is busy with violent crimes?

Is it because city services had been declining? Potentially, it’s due to our infrastructure deteriorating. But, could it be due to the lack of safety when using transit? 

Are people leaving Winnipeg because of the lack of jobs available outside the minimum wage, road construction, and house building industries?

Is it because City Council forces densification onto residents where they don’t want it? Maybe it’s because residents disagree with how their neighbourhoods are changing at the will of the City Council and developers?

Could people be leaving because of the lack available and the affordability of community services for young people? Or is it the lack of arenas, indoor sports facilities, conveniently situated green space? Maybe they are moving away because we don’t offer a vibrant and safe downtown?

What do we do to keep people here and attract more from across the country? 

We get to work.

I believe people want to live in cities that offer great services, safe neighborhoods for everyone, activities both indoor and outdoor. They want to live in cities that provide opportunities for everyone.

They want to live in cities with safe, efficient, and effective transit services.

We need a mayor and city council who know how to build an environment where people can thrive.

We need a mayor and council who knows how to get things done and respectfully care for our vulnerable residents.

We need a mayor and city council who know how to create a prosperous business environment that supports entrepreneurs and diversity. 

I want a city council that residents are proud of, support, trust, and feel confident in its leadership abilities to build a better future for us all. 

Safe neighbourhoods for everyone, well-designed communities people want to live in, community services for all our young people, green space, amenities, well-paying jobs, and good city services are the only way to grow Winnipeg. 

I am confident we will successfully grow our community once we get to work building a Winnipeg where everyone wants to live.

Kevin Klein is the city councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood.