Water Park file political fiasco foreshadows Golf Course file fiasco

April 27, 2012

April 26, 2012 - The article regarding concerns in how the Water Park file was managed, attached below, outlines a political problem at City Hall. 

I have and do not have concerns in how the City of Winnipeg administration conducts itself. The administration follows the direction of Council.

Disconnect between selling private versus selling public land is the political problem.  This disconnect manifested itself through the outrage many Winnipeggers had regarding the selling of a historic piece of public land at the Forks without been given: the opportunity to know details of the project, no prior community visioning for the site and no alternative options provided. It continues to be my position that Council should not start selling public land until the public is consulted first, ideas are generated and options are discussed. This disconnect is represented by the process which Council determines.  The Water Park was one file however a similar situation is likely to occur when proposals come forward to sell public golf courses/green spaces for development. Developers and golf operators have been requested to provide ideas on how to develop or operate public golf courses before Council has approved the selling of the public land. Only developers and golf operators were provided the opportunity to provide their ideas however the same opportunity is not provided to residents. Likely, development proposals for golf courses will be presented, the community will be engaged afterwards and a Council vote will occur.  This is same process used for the Water Park file except in the case of selling golf courses there never was a public tender. There is no reason a similar Water Park outcome of public anger and lost opportunity will not result when the process is the same. This Water Park file was a political fiasco but not administrative.  I can only hope that Council learns and improves the process for the future.