Sharma discusses goals, priorities for 2022
Moving into the new year, Coun. Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan) laid out some of
her goals for 2022.
“We have a lot of things to deal with,” Sharma said. “Northwest Winnipeg
continues to grow. It’s one of the fastest growing areas of the city.
Obviously, with growth comes new amenities that are needed and the regular
issues we deal with across the city.”
First off, Sharma acknowledged the pandemic has made a “massive change” in
the lives of all Winnipeggers, and it has also affected the operation of
the city itself.
In light of that, Sharma said working closely with community organizations
will continue to be important in 2022, as people have relied on community
supports to keep themselves afloat during the pandemic.
Sharma said she’ll be supporting improvements to the city’s active
transportation, including the Northwest Hydro Corridor Greenway, which will
run parallel to McPhillips Street. Phase 1 will be approximately 2.4
kilometres from Leila Avenue to Church Avenue. Construction on that project
is set to get underway this year, Sharma said.
One issue Sharma said she feels strongly about is regulating the growing of
medical cannabis in residential areas.
“The growing of cannabis in neighbourhoods, there’s a lot of negative
impacts that come along with that,” Sharma said.
Since cannabis was legalized, Sharma said there’s been a significant uptick
in reports of home growers, some that Sharma said are growing “hundreds of
Neighbours have complained of strong odours coming from these residences,
she said. Besides that, the operations can cause long-term damage to the
houses and attract criminal activity, Sharma said. She’s calling for
growers to be licensed in the future.
Sharma said the city needs to take the steps to deal with these side-effect
issues of cannabis’ relatively fresh legalization.
“Winnipeg would be the first major Canadian municipality to actively take
steps toward addressing these issues,” she said.
Additionally, Sharma mentioned road renewals as a perennial priority in
Winnipeg. She said for major projects, she expects to see part of Leila
Avenue renewed, as well as the finishing of Keewatin Street north of
However, Sharma acknowledged the upcoming budget makes new projects
That budget was put forward by Mayor Brian Bowman, who said he will not be
running 2022’s municipal election. Sharma said she’s ready to work with
whoever assumes the mayoral title.
“I’m excited about new leadership. I think it brings new ideas, a new
individual around the table,” she said. “I’m someone that’s a relationship
builder. I pride myself on good relations with each member of council,
including the mayor, and that’s how I intend on working in the future. I
think that’s what gives good results, is co-operation.”
Sharma said public safety is also a high priority for the year. She
expressed her support for the Northwest Watchers community watch group and
said a new group will be forming at North Point.
“It’s additional eyes and ears in neighbourhoods,” she said. “It’s getting
to know one another, and it’s that culture of safety, in my view, that’s
always been important since I was a child.”
Sharma has been the councillor for Old Kildonan since 2010.