September 25, 2018 For Immediate Release

Improving Deficient Customer Service Culture at City Hall

Plan includes ending City bully tactics & a proposed 311 “Makeover”: Motkaluk

Today – Mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk announced a plan to improve the deficient and unbecoming customer service culture at City Hall that appears to have devolved into a comfortable bureaucracy that is all too content to hide behind a 311 “firewall” and not speak to Winnipeggers. As well, numerous reports from home and business owners of disturbing bully tactics and lack of advance consultation are surfacing which points to a tone-deaf civic leadership that is either unaware or worse yet, unapologetic for the irreparable harm their decisions are having on people’s lives and livelihoods. “Leadership at City Hall isn’t getting the message…our rapport and relationship with our own citizens is being shattered by terrible customer service, poor responsiveness and a culture of apathy,” says Jenny Motkaluk.

In addition, 311 wait times have become alarmingly high – often well over 30 or 40 minutes with the only outcome being the generation of a service ticket with no direct connection to the appropriate department.

“Whatever happened to the good old days of calling with a concern or service request and actually speaking to someone that can help you,” asks Jenny Motkaluk. “Sadly, City Hall has forgotten who their customer is and who they work for, and that buck stops at the Mayor’s office.”

As Mayor, Jenny would propose modifying the 311 system to route service requests directly to the appropriate department whereby a call would be answered live by department staff vs. the current system that generates a service request ticket and submits it to the department to act on. The resulting “switchboard” efficiency would reduce or eliminate the currently unacceptable 311 wait times. The centralized convenience of calling 311 for all inquiries and requests would be maintained but departments would become more accountable to answer and act on caller requests which will likely resolve many matters immediately. Callers will undoubtedly appreciate a more attentive experience.

Another problem is that proactive stakeholder consultation, whether with affected homeowners or businesses is largely not being conducted by departmental staff. Some matters have seen the City employ aggressive bully tactics especially on infrastructure projects.

Both tactics have culminated in an “our way or the highway” perception of how City Hall operates which appears to be a top-down culture set by the Mayor.

Exchange District businesses in Winnipeg’s downtown are reporting a concerning lack of advance consultation on newly installed bike lanes which, they say, are resulting in severe declines in patronage and sales due to a lack of parking availability.

As well, homeowners on Ravelston Ave. West in Transcona are present today to relate their shocking story about being hit with exorbitant sewer and water charges without sufficient notice or good faith consultation from the City of Winnipeg. Their ordeal is gripping and indicative of the aforementioned bully tactics.

“I will put Winnipeggers back on the top of the customer service pyramid including a commitment to seek the input of all stakeholders BEFORE policies are created and final decisions made”, adds Motkaluk. “No more bogus after-the-fact outreach purely for optics, no more bully tactics and no more hiding behind 311 operators. The culture that I will promote as Mayor will be a City Hall that answers to its constituents and gets it right the first time.”

“The toxic status quo culture at City Hall is not acceptable, Winnipeggers deserve better.” -30-

Jenny’s Vision of the Customer Service Model that she would adhere to as Mayor:

Also presenting at this announcement event will be Kimberley Halaschuk along with other concerned homeowners from Ravelston Ave. West in Transcona regarding their City “sewer slam” experience.

And, Mr. Keith Pearce, regarding his experience in trying to reach Winnipeg Police River Patrol when set adrift in his boat on the Red River after a mechanical breakdown.


For more information, please contact:

David MacKay, Communications Director Jenny for Mayor Campaign
Cell: 204-955-3714