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City's plan for golf courses passes first hurdle

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The city is planning to sell John Blumberg Golf Course.

MIKE DEAL / FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

The city is planning to sell John Blumberg Golf Course.

The proposal to sell John Blumberg Golf Course and lease four other city sets of links has cleared its first hurdle at city hall.

Council’s alternate service delivery committee, which oversees Winnipeg’s special operating agencies, voted unanimously this afternoon to sell the 81-hectare John Blumberg site in Headingley and lease the Kildonan Park, Crescent Park, Harbour View and Windsor Park golf courses to GolfNorth Properties, a Conestoga, Ont. operator.

Couns. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) and Grant Nordman (St. Charles) voted for the plan, which now moves over to executive policy committee on May 22. It then faces council as a whole, where a two-thirds majority will be required to approve the John Blumberg-sale component of the plan. North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty was absent from the meeting.

The vote took place after two Winnipeggers appeared in delegation to oppose the golf-course proposal. Five other delegations, including Charleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck and Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500 president Mike Davidson, also wanted to speak, but the committee declined to suspend its rules and allow delegates who registered after the deadline.

Nordman actually voted in favour of allowing them to speak, but Wyatt did not, resulting in 1-1 hung vote. Wyatt said the delegates could come to executive policy committee next week or city council on May 29.

Davidson said he was deeply disappointed he was not allowed to speak, especially after the city spent $90,000 on advertising campaign that initially asked citizens to share their thoughts about the golf-course plan.

That campaign, dubbed Responsible Winnipeg, resulted in a firestorm of criticism from council, who called it wasteful and misleading.

Wyatt pledged the city would launch more advertising campaigns in the future.

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