Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Wyatt, Havixbeck accuse each other of grandstanding

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City council finance chairman Russ Wyatt and Charleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck traded accusations of grandstanding this morning over proposed radical cuts to city projects and services.

Last week, Coun. Wyatt (Transcona) proposed $187 million worth of cuts to finance a new reserve fund for road and bridge projects. Mayor Sam Katz said he didn't support the move and other members of council said they were not realistic.

On Thursday morning, Havixbeck urged council's finance committee to suspend its rules to allow representatives from the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500 and transit activist Harry Wolbert to address the committee. Wyatt's proposed cuts include unpaid Fridays for city employees and cancelling the second phase of the Southwest Transitway.

Wyatt and St. Charles Coun. Grant Nordman declined to suspend the rules, defeating Havixbeck in a 2-1 vote. She described the move as a bad one for democracy.

"We're not here for you to grandstand, Coun. Havixbeck," Wyatt said.

Havixbeck said Wyatt engaged in grandstanding when he announced proposed cuts before speaking to other members of council.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

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