Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Orlikow slams Sharma speaker selection

Calls fellow councillors 'yes men'

  • Print

The vote for Devi Sharma as council speaker was supposed to be unanimous this morning but three councillors stood up and voted ‘No.’

Coun. John Orlikow said Sharma’s election had been "whipped" by Mayor Sam Katz, who pressured members of his executive policy committee and others to vote for the inexperienced councillor from Old Kildonan rather than council veteran Dan Vandal.

"What I am against is (Katz) whipping people to vote in a certain way," Orlikow said, adding that was how the city hired Katz’s friend Phil Sheegl as CAO.

"That’s what got us into this trouble," Orlikow said following this morning’s council meeting. "Councillors said they were told they had to vote for (Sheegl).

"If at that moment people had convictions, said that is wrong, ‘I won’t be a Yes man.’ "

Recent protocol among councillors is the vote for speaker is held during a private meeting with all supporting the winner at the public re-organizational meeting.

A source said Sharma lobbied heavily for the position and she easily out-voted Vandal during the vote held Monday over the noon hour.

Orlikow was joined by councillors Jenny Gerbasi and Ross Eadie in voting against an omnibus motion that appointed Sharma speaker, Thomas Steen deputy speaker and filled out membership on the standing committees and various boards and agencies.

Orlikow said based solely on their qualifications, Vandal was the better candidate: He’s a council veteran, experienced as a chair, familiar with the rules of council, bilingual, and won’t be running again.

Orlikow said Sharma is a nice person but lacks experience: she’s never chaired a committee and has only been on council for three years.

"Which is the better candidate to be speaker, nothing personal, just who do I think is better," Orlikow said. "To me, the obvious choice (was Vandal).

"That  (obvious) choice wasn’t made because (Katz) said to his members ‘you will vote for,’ " Sharma. "They’re all going, ‘yes sir, yes sir,’ and that’s how we got into this position."

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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

    No

  • 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 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.

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 April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Reimagining Winnipeg as the big city of the future

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • July 1, 2012 - 120701  -   Canada Day fireworks at The Forks from the Norwood Bridge Sunday, July 1, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
  • June 24, 2012 - 120624  -  Amusement riders on the last day of The Ex Sunday June 24, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Canada's involvement in the fight against Islamic State?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google