Winnipeg mayoral candidates make final pitch to voters

The city’s top political job is on the line as Winnipeggers head to the polls Wednesday to vote in the civic election.

Eight candidates are vying to become the next mayor and two have emerged as frontrunners in the campaign.

They spent the day making one last pitch to voters.

Cafes and coffee shops featured prominently on the final day of the campaign for Brian Bowman.

The incumbent candidate for mayor is seeking a second term in office and wrapped up his re-election bid with a tour across each of Winnipeg’s 15 civic wards.

“There’s definitely been an angrier, more negative, divisive campaign from a few of the candidates but we’ve run the campaign that we’ve wanted to,” said Bowman. “It’s really just continuing what we’ve been doing throughout the campaign and that’s just getting out in public, having an opportunity to get our message out directly to voters.”

At an event held at her campaign office, Bowman’s main challenger Jenny Motkaluk thanked him for four years of service to Winnipeg.

“I have never questioned his character,” said Motkaluk. “I have, however, questioned his leadership and that’s why I’m here right now.”

If elected, she promises stronger leadership and a more united Winnipeg.

“I really hope through the course of the campaign I have shown Winnipeggers that the only way we’re going to solve our big problems and achieve our big goals is together,” she said.

The two frontrunners have differing views on a number of key issues including property taxes. Motkaluk has pledged an annual hike of 1.16 per cent without tying the increase to home improvements or reassessments. Bowman, meanwhile, has said he will continue on with a 2.33 per cent annual hike with most of the money going to road repairs.

Longtime Maples resident Keith Dryburgh has made up his mind.

He’s keeping his pick for mayor secret but he will make sure to cast a ballot.

“If you don’t have the vote you really have no say in how your life is going to be affected by things,” said Dryburgh.

The polls open at 8 a.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m.