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City asked to reconsider audit on over-budget police HQ

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The budget for the new police headquarters on Graham Avenue has ballooned to $210 million from $135 million in four years.

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The budget for the new police headquarters on Graham Avenue has ballooned to $210 million from $135 million in four years.

Political activists on Winnipeg's left and right are jointly calling on the city to conduct an audit of the over-budget police headquarters project.

Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and Dave Sauer of the Winnipeg Labour Council held a joint press conference across the street from the city's new downtown police headquarters to encourage Winnipeggers to lobby council to reconsider a 2013 decision not to audit the construction project, whose budget has ballooned to $210 million from $135 million in four years.

Late last year, council voted 9-7 against a police-headquarters audit, with some councillors opposing an investigation claiming there are no outstanding questions about the project and others claiming the answers to those questions are predictable.

Craig and Sauer said the project is not going away and urged Winnipeggers to pressure at least two more councillors to support an audit.

The two said they each worked in 2012 to help convince council to abandon the sale of Parcel Four, a city-owned parking lot at The Forks, which was slated for development into a hotel and water park. But this the first time they have worked together formally.

Craig has been calling for a police-headquarters audit since the fall. So has the Winnipeg Police Association and the Winnipeg Free Press editorial board.

History

Updated on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 12:36 PM CST: Clarifies working partnership.

12:41 PM: corrects name of labour council

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