Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Court upholds Katz's acquittal in conflict-of-interest case

  • Print
Mayor Sam Katz


Mayor Sam Katz Photo Store

The Court of Appeal has upheld Sam Katz’s acquittal of conflict-of-interest charges.

In a ruling released Friday but only made publicly available this morning, the court said there was no evidence that Katz had ordered a December 2010 office Christmas party to be held at a restaurant he owned at the time.

The court’s decision stunned restaurant manager Joe Chan, who filed the appeal and brought the original charge against Katz.

Chan said he’s considering filing an appeal with the Supreme Court.

"They (judges) are just looking for excuses to let (Katz) go," Chan said. "I’m totally disappointed with this decision."

Chan alleged that Katz had violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and should be removed from office.

The charge was originally thrown out in April at Queen’s Bench, when Justice Brenda Keyser said the law didn’t apply to politicians and social gatherings.

The Appeal court disagreed but concluded that Keyser had the discretion to refuse to apply the only penalty – remove Katz from office.

"I consider the matter closed and am focused on addressing City of Winnipeg priorities," Katz said in a statement released late this afternoon.

'Looking for ways to avoid... an election': lawyer

Lawyer David Matas, who represented Chan, said he found the Appeal Court ruling to be contradictory, adding that could be grounds for an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Appeal Court concluded that the conflict law had to be interpreted liberally.

"The Act is public interest legislation which must be given a broad and liberal interpretation in accordance with the modern rule of statutory interpretation," the Appeal court stated. "It is not limited to meetings of council or of committees."

Matas said it appears the Appeal Court judges did not believe the dollar amount of the Christmas meal -- $3,000 – warranted the expense of removing Katz from office and holding a by-election.

"What (the Appeal Court) is saying is ‘the law means this but the judge has the discretion to ignore the law,’ which I don’t think is right," Matas said.

"They’re looking for ways around avoiding calling an election, which are not very persuasive because the legislation just requires it."

In upholding the acquittal, the Court of Appeal said there was no evidence that Katz directed his staff to hold the Christmas party at his restaurant – only that it was a decision made by his office manager.

Chan said he doesn’t understand how the Appeal Court judges concluded there was no evidence that Katz was not involved in staging the dinner at his restaurant.

"What more evidence do they need – it’s his restaurant," Chan said, adding Katz had meals at the restaurant at other times as well.



Updated on Monday, October 7, 2013 at 1:18 PM CDT: Adds comment from Chan .

3:22 PM: Adds comment from Matas.

4:47 PM: Adds comment from Katz.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets defencemen ready to face adversity

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos


Do you think it's a good idea for Theresa Oswald to enter NDP leadership race?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google