- The residents of Assiniboia, St. James, greater Winnipeg area and Manitoba are concerned with the intention expressed by the Provincial Government requesting the City of Winnipeg to transfer land so that the Vimy Arena site could be converted to commercial use to accommodate a Manitoba Housing project.
- The Vimy Arena site is in the middle of a residential area near many schools, churches, community clubs and senior homes and neither the Provincial Government nor the City of Winnipeg considered better suited locations in rural, semi-rural or industrial locations such as St. Boniface industrial park, or the 20,000 acres at Centre Port or existing properties such as the Shriners Hospital or the old children’s hospital on Wellington Crescent.
- The Provincial Government is exempt from any zoning requirements that would have existed if the land was owned by the City of Winnipeg. This exemption bypasses community input and due diligence and ignores better uses for the land which would be consistent with a residential area.
- The provincial licensing system is akin to that as of a dentist’s office and is clearly insufficient for the planned use of the site by the Provincial Government.
- The provincial ownership and declared intention for the property changes the fundamental nature of the community. Including park and recreation uses, concerns of the residents of St.James and others regarding safety, property values, and their way of life are not being properly addressed.
- The people of St. James are largely hard working, blue collar, middle class citizens who are family oriented toward children and seniors, and do not have the financial resources of other neighborhoods.
- This type of facility would never be considered for the Wellington Crescent area, popular Assiniboine Park nor for Heubach Park even though it shares the same zoning designation as the Vimy Arena site.
- The Provincial Government is setting a dangerous precedent with this “process” that could put other neighbourhoods at risk for future unwanted development without proper consultation.
- The Provincial Government needs to be inclusive in the decision making process and improve its programs to prevent drug abuse and better supervise the provision of drug prescriptions that could lead to addictive behaviour.
- The Provincial Government should be urged to take the necessary steps to ensure the preservation of public land along Sturgeon Creek for the purposes of park land and recreational activities for public use (including being an important component of the Sturgeon Creek Greenway Trail and the Sturgeon Creek ecosystem) under the current designation of PR2 for the 255 Hamilton Avenue location at the Vimy Arena site and to maintain the land to continue to be designated for Parks and Recreation Active Neighbourhood Community.
- The community has been misled in the true intention of Manitoba Housing as land is being transferred for a 50 bed facility even though the project is clearly outside of Manitoba Housing’s responsibility.
- The Provincial Government severely underfunds addiction issues in Manitoba as there are many facilities with “empty” beds that do not have appropriate funding.
- The Provincial Government needs to come up with a plan for addiction rather than the haphazard ad-hoc “willy nilly” approach that has been presented.