Local news outlets mostly snoozed through it, but tucked away in the 2014 budget passed just before Christmas was a giant gift for Save Our Seine; $30,000 of funding for a full time staff member for 2014. This is a monumental step over twenty years in the making. Since the late 1980’s (and since incorporation in 1990) SOS volunteers have been cleaning up the river to improve habitat and enjoyment of the river for all creatures; two legged, four legged, many legged, winged and beyond! SOS has also dramatically improved the tax revenue on property adjacent to the Seine, all along without any consistent funding source from the City of Winnipeg.
This also marks the achievement of a campaign pledge by Brian Mayes, city Councillor for St. Vital ward, of installing a consistent funding source for an executive director at SOS. In a year plagued by political scandal (in our own city and in others) it is nice to reflect on a politician coming through on their promises, and no small promise it was. Thanks also go to Councillor Dan Vandal who helped support the budget item with Councillor Mayes.
On behalf of SOS and all those who enjoy the Seine, thank you Councillors Mayes and Vandal! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and we look forward to a new year working together!