Board to again host civic election mayoralty forum

The Winnipeg Real Estate Board and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce have announced they are co-hosting a 2006 mayoralty forum.

The forum, sponsored by the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, will be held in the Hotel Fort Garry’s Crystal Ballroom on Thursday, October 12, less than two weeks before the October 25 civic election.

“The forum will give the candidates an opportunity to outline their vision for the city of Winnipeg and how they intend to achieve it,” said chamber president and CEO Dave Angus.

“It will also give voters insight into where each candidate stands on important issues like taxation, spending, infrastructure, housing development and downtown Winnipeg.”

The lunch-hour event marks a return by the WREB as sponsors of a mayoralty forum.

During the 2004 civic byelection, which saw Sam Katz elected mayor, the WREB took a break. Starting in 1992, the board had hosted successive mayoralty forums until taking a hiatus in 2002.

“The Winnipeg Real Estate Board is committed to a city that can attract and retain investment,” said WREB president Walter Boni, when announcing the return of the board in helping to host a mayoralty forum.

“We will be looking for mayoralty positions on important issues that will create conditions for job creation and a more favourable tax environment.”

All four mayoralty candidates — Sam Katz, Kaj Hasselriis, Marianne Cerilli and Ron Pollack — have all been invited to take part in the forum.

The candidates will be asked questions on pressing issues facing the city by a media panel. Following the panel’s questions, each candidate will be given an opportunity to ask the other candidates a question.

To make sure that the forum receives the fullest public exposure, Shaw TV has agreed to tape the event for broadcast at a later date.

The slate of four candidates for the upcoming civic election is small in relation to when the WREB hosted its first mayoralty forum which was witnessed by over 1,200 people at the Walker Theatre. In 1992, there were 17 candidates filling the stage at the Walker. Susan Thompson ended up winning the 1992 civic election.

Thompson won again in 1995, facing a slate of six other candidates. 

In the next election in 1998, Glen Murray won over six others and won again in 2002 when there were just four candidates in total vying for mayor.

Following Murray’s resignation, to pursue a seat in the 2004 federal election, Mayor Katz took over the mayor’s chair in a byelection, defeating eight other candidates.