My Comments On The WinnipegREALTORS Mayoral Debate

I watched part of the WinnipegREALTORS® Mayoral debate – and realized I have a responsibility to make this information public. I did discuss on CJOB a fewweeks ago – but feel it’s important enough to put in writing – AND it is an important piece of information to consider when deciding on a LEADER for Winnipeg for the next four years.

The Mayor has not once reached out to me to have a meeting on anything following my removal from the Mayors Executive Policy Committee TWO YEARS AGO (2016) – nothing. No meetings on ward related issues. No meetings on City related issues. Nothing. Zero meetings in two years with the Mayor. Councillor of the largest ward in the City – no outreach from the Mayor at all.

– Immediately following my removal from his EPC- I initiated monthly meetings with him, but after about the third meeting, I realized there was no desire to discuss issues in detail in the ½ hour time slot I was given – as I was always referred to ‘discuss with administration’.

People find this astounding when I tell them this. I still find it astounding that he would not reach out in two years.

And quite frankly – there were many issues in South Winnipeg that I thought a Mayor would be interested in discussing with the area Councillor (me):

– Hearing first hand from the elected representative of South Winnipeg – St Norbert on issues in the largest ward in the City (70,0000+ residents) and one that generates significant tax revenue

– Understanding what was occurring on the infestation of illegal rooming houses

– Concerns about the process of removing the growth cap on permits in Bridgwater Trails with the potential to halt millions in residential development revenue and delay the development of Elementary and High Schools

– Concerns about the recreation deficiency in the southwest quadrant of Winnipeg

– Hearing about the challenges of developer / City handoffs – as Waverley West is the largest development in the City

– Hearing about the details involved in securing a $30 Million Fitness Centre (though I hear the Mayor will make an appearance at the ribbon cutting)

– Hearing about the details involved in securing a $70 Million first of its kind in Winnipeg – Student Housing Complex

We have 16 yr old boys – I was explaining to them the other day how absolutely astounding it was that the Mayor had not spoken with me in two years. I made the comparison that it would be ‘somewhat’ like the Coach of the Jets not talking to some of the players for two years.

I recognize we all bring forward issues and we may not always agree on everything in these roles.

– BUT when you are the MAYOR of a City – and you are constantly preaching about being ‘collaborative’ – yet don’t speak to one of your Council members for two years? come on. This isn’t leadership –worse yet – this isn’t even being honest to the citizens when you speak of being collaborative.

“We are going to have a much more inclusive council than we’ve ever seen before,” he said. – Brian Bowman at City Council Inauguration Meeting, November 4, 2014 (Winnipeg Free Press)

The governance model that we operate under is severely flawed if a Mayor can go two years without speaking to a Council member. Nine votes is all it takes to move a Mayor’s agenda forward. Nine votes – and no need to talk to other Councillors.

Leadership? Collaboration? A masquerade. Appalling.