I am seeking re-election to the City Council of Portage la Prairie.
Having served one term on council, I have accomplished many of the goals set out in my last election platform, those being (all topics from my last election platform):
- Public Safety: While being an outspoken advocate for the Portage Fire Fighters, a NEW Fire Service Agreement has been reached between the city and RM of Portage la Prairie, ensuring a lasting relationship that will maintain the staffing levels of Portage Emergency Services.
- Public Safety: During this term, after a long process, the Province has agreed to grant municipalities the authority to set speed zones adjacent to schools. This is now in place in our community.
- Economic Growth: This council has been involved in developing PRED (Portage Regional Economic Development), following a consultation process from many stakeholders.
- Debt Management: During this council’s term, property tax increases have been on a sliding scale and have been minimal in the past two years. Sound financial planning has been done and the debt left by the PCU Centre has diminished.
- Sense of Community: I have been involved directly with the North End Parks Committee and we have done a great deal of work towards park creation and development. A new park adjacent to North Memorial School is being developed. 9th Street NW park and Prosvita Park have both seen improvements. I personally have assisted in maintaining an ice surface at Prosvita Park for the neighborhood to enjoy.
- City Improvement: This council has developed an accommodation tax, and those funds are going to be put directly into downtown improvement. The city has also supported the Portage Community Revitalization Corporation which has now has in place a Graffiti Removal Program.
- I am a long time resident of Portage la Prairie having lived in all areas of our city at one time or another over the past 35 years. My two daughters attend public school within our city.
- I currently work at Agassiz Youth Centre and I have been employed there since 1998. At one time I owned and operated Lifetime Health Club, which is now known as Portage Fitness Co-Op. I sold that business in 2004.
- As usual, I would love to hear about the issues that YOU think are important.
PLATFORM 2014 – UNFINISHED BUSINESS AND THE FUTURE:
- Transparency of local government: Going forward I will fight to get rid of scheduled “in camera” meetings. These should be held “ad hoc”, minimizing opportunity for other items to be discussed, that should be publicly debated. I will also push for open budget deliberations.
- Crescent Lake Development: I believe that the gem of our community is the lake and that we have an opportunity in developing it, to truly being tourism and economic opportunities to our city. The ability to catch a fish or go to a beach within our city is not outside the realm of possibility.
- Continued support for the creation and development of parks and affordable / accessible recreation within the city.
- The safety of our children is paramount and I will fight to keep the position of RCMP School Liaison despite losing Provincial funding for this.
More about Ryan:
- I have been on the executive at all levels for the sport of Armwrestling. I am currently Referee In-Chief of the Manitoba Armwrestling Association and the Vice-President of the Canadian Armwrestling Federation. I work with countries around the world to build the sport within their country. I have organized and hosted 2 Canadian National Armwrestling Championships; in 2004 (Portage la Prairie) and in 2010 (Winnipeg). I held the 2011 Manitoba Provincial Armwrestling Championship in Portage la Prairie, which were the first and only time they have been held outside of Winnipeg.
- I have set on the executive of the Manitoba Association of Strength Athletics helping the organization get started in 2002.
- I have been the Chief Steward of Corrections Local 12, Area 4 of the Manitoba Government Employees Union.
- I would like to hear from you about issues you feel are important to Portage la Prairie. Please feel free to contact me.
- (204) 856-3914
The Benefits of Park Development
City parks have many benefits for those fortunate enough to have access to them. There are truly a myriad of benefits and the North End Parks Committee is hard at work with development and creation of parks that will benefit the entire city.
Physical Benefits: Parks provide the user the opportunity for exercise in the form of play. With activities like Crossfit becoming more popular, you see more and more adults using playground equipment for their exercise routines. Children get out in the fresh air and may opt to put down the electronic devices for some outdoor time.
Sense of Community: Parks offer children and adults the opportunity to interact and build relationships with one another. As adults become more familiar with one another the sense of community builds within them and quality of life increases. Kids have a place to go and activities to keep them occupied. Parks offer a sense of place, self-identity, and belonging as an antidote to alienation, vandalism, and violence. In the community consultation process there were comments from the Junior High aged students that they just wanted a place to go with their friends that was free of “drama”. In some cases a well designed park in certain areas of the city can attract residents from all areas of the city and bridge the gap in the perceived socio-economic divide of a city.
Economic Benefit: Good facilities will attract tourism. Case in point, currently some of our schools still bus students to the spray park in Macgregor. When people come to our community it results in money being spent in our community be it food, fuel, hotels, etc. Areas of the city with accessible facilities are attractive to those looking to relocate here. Property value can be impacted by having parks located close by.
Crime Reduction: With a strong sense of community comes a desire to look out for one another. When planning improvements to the parks in the north end of Portage, community consultations were held; this included the opinions of the children of that area. Seeing their ideas come to light creates a sense of pride. When children have something to do they are drawn away from potentially illegal activities. In my line of work I once asked a young offender what a city could do to keep young people from committing crime and without hesitation he replied to me “give us something to do”. Parks help fulfill that need.
These are just a few of the reasons I am passionate about park development and why I have supported plans to create parks and recreation that are accessible and affordable for all of Portage la Prairie’s residents.
Chair – Public Safety Committee