Sunday, 27 November 2011

Thank you & good bye!

Well we came up a little short.  But a quick acknowledgement to our new councillor and best wishes to Brian as he serves the community.

I have to thank everyone who did support me; from my campaign team that worked tirelessly to the volunteers  that put up signs, did drops and fought valiantly on election day to drive out the vote.  A special thanks to Alex Forrest and his team of fire fighters.

The last three months were a remarkable journey and I truly appreciated the kindness of the people of St. Vital as my family and I campaigned through good weather and bad.  To all those friends we met along the way, it was wonderful to reconnect.

I also wanted to thank all the people of north St. Vital for the nine years I had the privilege of serving on your school board.   They were great moments of personal accomplishment that I will always remember.

Finally to Bei and Alphonse, nothing is more important than family.  We are embarking on a new opportunity for renewal.  The holiday season is upon us and then it's off to China!

Signing off.

Mike Ducharme

Friday, 25 November 2011

Independence Day

Whew, last day on the trail and spent it on Salme Dr. and Victoria Cres. Great response, running into people I and my family have known for years. Finished it off walking with my Dad, Gerry.

Interesting interview with CBC News today.  They called and wanted to do an on camera and caught up with me on St Mary's Rd, while I was doing a drop in the area. 

It appears that an unfortunate under current of partisanship is raising its head in this campaign.  One thing that I can guarantee my supporters.  I remain completely independent of any party affiliation.  If elected, I will be beholden only to the people of St. Vital. No one on Broadway will hold sway over the priorities of this community if I am your city councillor. Independent means serving you first.

When you go to the polls tomorrow, think of it as an opportunity to vote on your very own Indpendence day.

Cheers everyone, see you at the polls!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Local Presence

It's amazing to think on how this election has carried on.  When I started knocking on doors to find out what issues were out there it was 34+ degrees and one kind lady offered me an apple off her tree because I looked too hot.  What a difference now. The mitts and tuques are out and the new kindness is when someone takes us in to chat and warm-up. 

Thank you so much to the people of St. Vital for your support and consideration in listening to my message and providing feedback on issues of concern to you.

For over 29 years I've had the privilege of serving the community of St. Vital in business and public service.  With your kind support on Saturday I hope to continue.  If all goes well, I will be maintaining a continuing community presence with a ward office located at 755 St. Mary's Rd.  This will offer residents the ability to call or just drop in locally to discuss issues or concerns.

This has been a family tradition extending back to my father's days in public life.  Our continuing local commitment will be a key tool in helping St. Vital grow and prosper.  

Sunday, 20 November 2011

St. Vital Mustangs Awards Dinner

Great evening last night at the St. Vital Mustangs awards dinner.  The Mustangs celebrated their Major and Midget teams.  Both were provincial champions this year.  Last nights celebration even included a couple of Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Joe Lobendahn (a guest speaker) and Dorian Smith.  Here is a picture with the two of them and Mustangs President Simon Mundey.  Go Bombers!

Getting back to the awards banquet it should be noted that the Midgets in particular had an incredible year.  They went 10-0, giving up only 13 points on defence; that was not per game, but only 13 points total all  Congratulations to this amazing team of young men and coach Craig Bachynski and his staff for an outstanding achievement.

We talk a lot about how community programs can make a huge impact in the lives of young people.  The young men and now women that graduate from this organization are models of confidence, discipline and sportsmanship.  Young people who are themselves motivated to give back later. This organization is a tremendous example, essentially self supporting with hard working volunteers and families, the Mustangs exemplify all that is great about St. Vital. 

Just a note on the meal.  It was catered by a St. Vital Business, CJL Specialty Catering.  Lynn Desrosiers has been in this business for over 20 years and runs the best catering kitchen in South Winnipeg.  The meal last night was fantastic!

Thank you Lynn for the meal and congratulations to your boys for their success with the Major team. 

Thank you also to Simon Mundey & Gord Mattes for the invitation and introductions. You gentlemen run an amazing program that carries on a St. Vital Mustang tradition of success for over 65 years.


Friday, 11 November 2011


Many of you have seen Alphonse throughout this election on brochures or even in person at your door.  He is named for my mother's god father, her uncle Alphonse Normandeau.  My Alphonse's great-great uncle was a young warrant officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.

Alphonse is on the upper right, beside him is my grandfather Ralph and on the left is Paul.

Alphonse served on a Halifax Bomber and was killed when the aircraft crashed during a training mission on March 16, 1944.    His brother, Paul, died five months later during a flying bomb raid while on leave in London.  To this day I remember my grandfather's continuing grief over the loss of his brothers. Great uncles, that I never had the chance to know.

Today we reflect on the fact that much of what we have including this by election came at great cost.  Take time today for a moment of silence and remember to wear your poppy.

In memory of Alphonse, Paul & Ralph Normandeau and Louis Ducharme.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Canoe Club Green Space

I'm hearing concerns in the Elm Park neighborhood about the future of the green space around the former Winnipeg Canoe Club and the current golf course.  This issue touched close to home as I grew up at 326 Kingston Cres. and often walked to and from Windsor school through the area using the golf course underpass.  A lot of fond memories of that playful childhood time.

This area has a rich history for the community of Elm Park. At one time the park area extended all the way from Kingston Cres. to St. Mary's Rd. It has been an exhibition area, green space, private club and most recently a public golf course and residential housing area.

Above is a  great picture of the park in its earliest form.

As a city councillor I would oppose plans to convert the remaining green space to condominiums and would work with residents to preserve and protect some of the last parts left of Elm Park.

Thank you to area residents for building the attached link for more information in this important community issue.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Riverside Lions Estates

Busy day yesterday visiting with folks at Riverside Lions Estates.  Really good conversations and with plenty of dialogue about issues that are important to seniors.

Not surprisingly, the condition of sidewalks and snow clearing are serious issues for this community.  I am committing to work with these communities to raise the priority of sidewalk renewal and snow clearing that will reflect not just the volume of foot traffic in these communities but also the mix.

My family has a long history with this community, my father Gerry found the land for the project and we have supported the community in other ways.  Thank you to Stan Puchniak for the introduction and to Pat Dodd and Irene Henschel for their support.

Here's a picture of myself with Pat and Irene in the lobby.  The third bronze head from the left is a much younger Gerry.