Winnipeg mayoral candidate Shaun Loney says Winnipeg needs a ‘nightlife mayor’

Mayoral candidate Shaun Loney says Winnipeg needs two mayors — a regular, elected mayor to handle political duties and what he calls a “nightlife mayor.”

Loney promised Tuesday to create a new position of nightlife mayor to help revitalize downtown Winnipeg and enhance the arts and cultural industries.

Edmonton, Ottawa, New York City and Austin, Texas, are among cities with similar positions, he said in a statement.

The nightlife mayor would be responsible for streamlining the permits process for events and addressing noise concerns, among other duties, Loney said.

Some of this role is already fulfilled by an existing city position, the manager of film and special events, who earns $126,000 a year to troubleshoot on behalf of the entertainment industry.

The name nightlife mayor recalls Night Mayor, a 2009 short film by former Winnipegger Guy Maddin.

Murray makes library pledge

Mayoral candidate Glen Murray has promised to extend Winnipeg library hours.

“Time to reopen our libraries on weekends,” the former Winnipeg mayor tweeted on Sunday, suggesting in a later tweet he would devote up to $2.2 million to make it happen, using funds from the grounding of the Winnipeg Police Service’s helicopter.

Grounding the helicopter would require the co-operation of both the police and the Winnipeg Police Board, as Winnipeg’s mayor does not have the authority to direct police operations.

CBC News has asked Murray to clarify the costs of his library pledge.

In 2004, during Murray’s final months in office, he mused about closing and consolidating some Winnipeg libraries.

Shone promises Indigenous newcomer help

Mayoral candidate Rick Shone promised Friday to do more to help Indigenous newcomers to the city find housing and work.

Shone, the owner of outdoor retailer the Wilderness Supply, said he wants the city to work with non-profit organizations and Indigenous governments. 

“We need to be a willing partner to any organization that is offering supports … so that transition is successful as possible,” Shone said outside the former downtown Winnipeg Bay building, which has been transferred to the Southern Chiefs’ Organization.

Shone said he devised this pledge with input from Edna Nabess, a Winnipeg artisan. He said the pledge will require the city to devote two full-time employees to the work.

Shone, Murray and Loney are among 12 candidates registered for mayor. The other nine candidates are Idris Adelakun, Rana Bokhari, Chris Clacio, Scott Gillingham, Jenny Motkaluk, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Jessica Peebles, Desmond Thomas and Don Woodstock.

The civic election is on Oct. 26.

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