Downtown Winnipeg BIZ joins partners from coast to coast to put downtowns on federal election agenda

Federal Election

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is pleased to be joining downtown associations from across the country to put the success of Canada’s downtowns on candidates’ agendas during the federal election.

“Winnipeg’s downtown is booming, and we know that good public policy plays a key role in allowing downtowns to thrive,” said Downtown Winnipeg BIZ CEO Kate Fenske. “Strong downtowns generate economic and social benefits for the entire city, so it’s important that the success of our downtowns is a priority for Canada’s political parties.”

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has contributed to a national downtown policy framework – One National Voice – developed by the National Network of the International Downtown Association Canada (IDA Canada), which represents business improvement associations and zones from across the country.

The policy framework identifies goals and strategies in five areas including infrastructure, entrepreneurship, community well-being, urban mobility and community vitality. The framework offers specific proposals to government to enhance economic growth, safety and vitality in Canada’s downtowns.

“Downtowns often occupy just 1% or less of a city’s land area but represent as much as 20% of citywide construction value,” said Ken Kelly, Project Manager of IDA Canada. “We know downtowns punch above their weight economically, so federal policies that help downtowns prosper are good for everyone.”

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Board Chair Diana Wiesenthal said working with other business improvement associations can help Winnipeg advance priorities such as increasing the number of people living downtown, greater downtown investment and entrepreneurship, and “complete streets” that create more street-level vibrancy. She noted downtowns in many Canadian cities have similar needs and goals.

“Healthy downtowns are a priority for many Canadians and they have a key role in our economy,” said Wiesenthal. “When downtown associations speak with one voice, we better enable the federal government to focus on programs and policies that support downtowns across the country.”

Fenske and Wiesenthal said the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Exchange District BIZ and West End BIZ have met with local candidates about the IDA Canada policy framework and will continue to advocate for public policies that help drive greater investment, safety and vibrancy downtown.

The IDA national downtown policy framework, One National Voice, is available at https://downtown.org/ida-canada/.

For more information: Tineke Buiskool-Leeuwma, Director of Marketing, Events and Communications, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ | Cell: 204.806.2506 Email: tineke@downtownwinnipegbiz.com