Friday, September 8, 2023 – Marty Gold
Not to brag, but sometimes I am more right than I realize.
When I recorded my commentary earlier this week, “Next Gov’t Must Reign In City Corruption”, I was aware of an interview that CJOB had aired with Winnipeg CEO Michael Jack, but had not listened to it.
Remarkably, Jack inadvertently agreed that the Province had to enact legislation to reframe how the City operates.
Sounding shaken and uncertain – and with good reason, as the radio hosts asked some very smart questions asking why Mayor Gillingham’s administration was appealing the decision- Jack claimed that somehow, King’s Bench Justice Shawna McCarthy had made “fundamental legal errors” in her interpretation of the evidence that resulted in a $5M award to Andrew Marquess.
Jack complained that the ruling “left the City with an overly large area of uncertainty in terms of how it needs to conduct its development business going forward… it created an impermissibly large area of uncertainty now for how our planners are going to interact with elected officials in the overall decision-making process.”
“We do quite vehemently disagree with it,” he said, complaining it takes a lot of those (process) principles and shakes it up and leaves us with no further guidance… how anything was supposed to work going forward.”
In other words, ‘whattya mean we can’t operate like racketeers? That’s how we DO things here!’
Jack, a lawyer by trade, blew off concerns that spending even more money on lawyers (10 so far) to keep arguing the case about Marquess and Gem Equities, seemingly because a docket of shame that includes losing 8 times already with a contempt of court ruling and a finding of misfeasance isn’t a hint.
Here are the some of the words Jack dared not utter on CJOB:
“City Councilor John Orlikow”
“Emails” (which detailed Orlikow’s direction to stall the Parker Lands project and the actions of planners to implement them.)
“Documents” (some of which were referenced in emails between planners but mysteriously were not attached for the Court to review.)
And also, “Expropriation”- which is important because one of the reasons the City is facing a potential further $90M award to pay for the land taken to provide an unnecessary retention pond is compounded by – guess what- the years of stalling and inventions of ‘deficiencies’ in the applications prepared by Marquess. (You can hear my interview with Marquess explaining the math at this link.)
There’s one word Michael Jack didn’t mention directly but the hosts did– “legislation”.
Actually, it was “a legislative prescription as to how to conduct your business in the future.”
“You are exactly right” declared Jack.
With Winnipeg being the battleground that will decide which Party may form the next government, attention will now turn to Heather Stefanson, Wab Kinew and Dougald Lamont to make their own declarations- how will they fix the City Charter to ensure taxpayers aren’t going to be fleeced ever again because tax-generating housing developments are punted around behind the scenes by crooked planners to satisfy the whims of a City Councilor.