July 3, 2015


Special air quality statement in effect

Latest News

Katz goes on offensive in TV debate

Incumbent Mayor Sam Katz used the first televised debate of the 2010 civic election campaign to accuse challenger Judy Wasylycia-Leis of being hypocritical about government transparency.

 Since late August, Wasylycia-Leis has been demanding the mayor release more details about the city’s wastewater-management contract with Veolia Canada, claiming the 30-year deal is indicative of a culture of secrecy at city hall.

Sam Katz, Rav Gill, Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Brad Gross at Wednesday night debate.

BORIS.MINKEVICH@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

Sam Katz, Rav Gill, Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Brad Gross at Wednesday night debate.

Katz has responded by demanding the former Winnipeg North MP release details of her expenses when she served in Ottawa – and Wasylycia-Leis has dismissed that move as a deflection.

 But tonight, Katz attacked his opponent’s record on government transparency when she served as a member of Howard Pawley’s Manitoba NDP government during the 1980s.

During an all-candidates’ debate at the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre, televised by Shaw Cable, Katz lambasted Wasylycia-Leis for "sitting on" Manitoba’s freedom-of-information legislation for more than two years after the Pawley government passed it in 1985.

That legislation was enacted by Gary Filmon’s Progressive Conservative government in 1988. Ombudsman Manitoba attributes the delay to records-management upgrades.

Wasylycia-Leis dismissed the criticism and altered a phrase made famous by former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to fire back at Katz for refusing to share more details of the Veolia contract.

"You had a choice, my friend," said Wasylycia-Leis, aping Mulroney’s famous "you had an option, sir" zinger from the 1984 federal-election debate with former Liberal leader John Turner.

 Katz maintains the city has not finished writing the Veolia contract, which calls for the environmental consulting firm to design, build and possibly manage $661 million worth of upgrades to two city sewage-treatment plants.

 Some city officials are concerned about the scope of the deal and say it may include hundreds of millions more in contracts. Katz suggested last night he was not aware of that.

The incumbent mayor also accused Wasylycia-Leis of being hypocritical about her "buy local" policy, claiming that his opponent has spent most of her advertising money on a Vancouver-based agency.

The agency in question, Now Communications, has a Winnipeg office as well as other branches in Toronto, Regina and Halifax.

 The debate was also the first to feature Winnipeg’s other two mayoral candidates: real-estate agents Rav Gill and Brad Gross.

Gill promised to eliminate and redevelop the CPR Winnipeg Yards. Gross criticized Katz for selling off the revenue-generating Winnipeg Square Parkade.

 The debate was organized by Winnipeg Realtors. Shaw Cable intends to rebroadcast the 85-minute event.

 

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. 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 January 2015.

Scroll down to load more

Top