Handi-Transit Time for Change

Handi-Transit is critical to many people in our community and as a city it is our duty to provide sustainable, affordable, safe and accessible transportation systems for individuals with disabilities who are unable to use the regular fixed-route transit system.

I have been going door-to-door for several months since announcing my candidacy for City Council because I want to make a positive difference for the citizens in the Fort Rouge – East Fort Garry.  I have consistently heard concerns about service issues with Handi-Transit.

I will work hard to implement the following changes to Handi-Transit:

  • Allow 311 Services to take phone call complaints regarding service quality
  • Remove the policy of automatic “No Show” fines and auto charging for missed rides
  • Improve training requirements for drivers in regards to disability awareness.
  • Grant permanent rider status and change the 3 year reassessment timeline to 7-10 years.
  • Increase the geographical service boundaries to just beyond the city perimeter to enable riders to make common destinations. Example sledge hockey at the Iceplex
  • Expand eligibility criteria to recognize the changes in our aging population and to comply with the Accessibility for Manitobans Act
  • Allow Handi-Transit vehicles to use transit lanes in the same way that Taxi Cabs do
  • Create a mechanism for filing and tracking complaints against drivers which leads to action in order to hold Handi-Transit accountable for poor service

The Manitoba Ombudsman is preparing a report on the service and issues facing Handi-Transit.  I support releasing this report to the community and publicly acknowledging that the system requires major work.  Dependent upon the findings of the report, one of the recommendations may be the consideration of bringing the driver system back in house so that it is employed and serviced by the City of Winnipeg.  I would respect the recommendations outlined in the Manitoba Ombudsman report in order to achieve a Handi-Transit system that is able to provide sustainable, affordable, safe and accessible transportation for individuals with disabilities who are unable to use the regular transit system.

If comparing Handi-Transit systems across Canada, Winnipeg’s Handi-Transit would rate last or next to last.  People deserve dignity and a system that helps them stay connected to their community through their employment, education, health appointments and special occasions with family such as Thanksgiving meals or weddings.

For further information please contact candidate Michael Thompson at 204-272-9555 or Shelley Ireland, Media Relations at 204-272-9555 ext 3.

Winnipeg Municipal Golf Courses

Golf courses are a great way to get back to nature, to exercise, and to have fun. Walking on green space such as a golf course, I also appreciate the value of access to fresh air and quality outdoor recreation in our city.

Michael Thompson
Michael Thompson at the City of Winnipeg Municipal Men’s golf tournament.

Here in Manitoba we are very fortunate to be the home of some phenomenal golf courses. After playing courses in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick, I would say that we have extremely reasonable and inclusive golf courses for every type of golfer and price range. As an Ironman curler, as you would expect, I am no fair weather golfer. If you dress for the weather and pace yourself you can do anything!

One of my favorite golf courses in the area is Windsor golf course. Windsor carries many memories for me as it is where I first played golf with my high school friends. Since then I have been a frequent attendee at the course whether suiting up to play at six in the morning or bringing my nephews to golf lessons. Over the years changes have been made to the course to add more contours. Like many golf courses in the city, in the winter Windsor becomes a place to cross country ski. In my opinion this course is one of the best golf courses in the city.

In addition to the regular golf leagues offered at golf courses in the area there is also an annual municipal tournament for men and women. I look forward to this tournament every year for a variety of reasons. The tournament allows me to connect with not only my friends who are golfers but to meet new and like –minded individuals. The City of Winnipeg golf course also has a software app that allows you to make reservations. Though this is a well designed and useful app I would like to see changes so you can make a payment for your reservation over the app as well.

If elected Councillor for Fort Rouge/East Fort Garry, I would protect our active municipal golf courses; Windsor, Kildonan Park, Crescent Drive and Harbour View. I believe these courses are important to the communities and we should continue to maintain and improve their quality for generations to come. One day I hope to walk down the 10th fairway with my son at Windsor and say, “nice drive son”.