We open Episode 28 with an update on our fundraising drive as we go into the home stretch – $2000 to go! – then have listener feedback and a Peter Warren razzberry for the slow-moving CBC Manitoba.

– An email about downtown safety from a listener who is one of the 10% that thinks they are still safe at night in a dangerous downtown Winnipeg… but adds “Who wants to be in a situation where you’re confronted by several youth wielding machetes, bear spray and/or brass knuckles? At that point it isn’t a street fight, it’s life or death combat.”

He added a few comments about the weak police chief and the Children’s Advocate, “who blames society for these kids’ violence while at the same time depicts them as victims of society.”

Two weeks late, ⁠⁠CBC discovers Bell MTS Is forcing exodus from Brandon⁠⁠!

We explain what little the high paid “professional journalists” added in the 18 extra days they had to cover the story ⁠⁠since we broke the news to the public⁠⁠, and what key details they missed. Why didn’t CBC mention the extensive contracting out overseas while rural jobs are chopped? We’ll have more about the Bell MTS layoffs in an upcoming episode.

19:22 Part 2- After a personal note from former CBC mainstay Judy Waytiuk, we took a closer look at the emerging opposition to the proposed Portage and Main concourse closure- ⁠⁠as we predicted⁠⁠.

“In the concourse there is an iconic, 415 foot long sculpted concrete wall by Bruce Head (her late husband.) City engineers will almost certainly find it cannot be saved and moved; it is an integral part of the load-bearing structural wall that runs all the way around the concourse interior.”

And that’s not all. The veteran journalist examined the “fuzzy numbers” used by Mayor Scott Gillingham to justify the ‘savings’ an underground closure brings and asked a smart question:

“If, as the mayor suggested after some outcry, mostly from this furious widow, somebody figures out how the artwork could be moved elsewhere, what would that cost? Carve out 415 feet of 12 foot tall concrete pieces, hoist them up, cart them off someplace, and … well, I’m no engineer, but that sounds like a huge multi-million dollar feat to try to pull off. The whole close the concourse/move the art thing, would very likely match or even exceed the cost of repairs.

As she explains, at no point did any of the reports City Hall is relying on even contemplate closing the concourse, or removing the 52 concrete panels which Waytiuk maintains are also part of the load-bearing intersection support. And speaking of support:

“Out there in the media, I may look like what CBC news insultingly referred⁠⁠ to the other day as “one woman”. I’m not just “one woman”.

32:08 Part 3- “Building owners stunned by Portage and Main underground closure proposal”, wrote the Free Press.

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Manitoba warned councilors to “carefully consider the ramifications” of shuttering underground access.

Tom Thiessen of BOMA noted how the misinformation campaign around the projected $73M cost as only $29M is pegged to repair of the waterproofing membrane and the rest are costs the City would likely incur anyways for above-ground work. Most importantly, he skewered the administration for not setting aside money for repairs in the Brian Bowman days. Why plan ahead?

Thiessen also raised ⁠⁠the effect on property valuations⁠⁠ for nearby stakeholders if indoor passage across the corners is removed.

With the MMF claiming that their heritage centre at the Bank of Montreal building will host 1 million visitors, Marty Gold wonders how it makes sense to add that kind of volume to the corners while blocking access to a weather-protected concourse.

Coming up: Globe-trotting NDP Minister Nahanni Fontaine plays her role; more on Bell MTS layoffs; your feedback