Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 06/24/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
The relationship between the City of Winnipeg and the province has been tense for decades as both governments quarrelled over issues of jurisdiction and funding, but their ability to resolve disputes has rarely been as weak as it is today.
The two sides do not even appear to be on talking terms, as evidenced by a recent series of announcements on funding for roads and infrastructure. The province hasn't invited the city to its press conferences involving civic projects, while Mayor Sam Katz has increasingly attacked Premier Greg Selinger for ignoring the city's needs.
This is not an uncommon occurrence among major cities in Canada today.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, for example, has engaged Alberta's government in a series of verbal jousts over civic powers and new ways of raising revenue. A provincial official called Mr. Nenshi a "politicking peacock," while the mayor accused the province of treating the city like a country bumpkin.
The relationship was so bad, in fact, the two sides agreed to a memorandum of understanding last year to, among other things, show "mutual respect" while working out their differences. So far, it hasn't made much of a difference.
Politicians will be politicians, but the risk in dysfunctional relationships is that vital issues could be set back.
In Winnipeg, progress has stalled on the second leg of the southwest transit corridor because the city and the province aren't able to sit down and work out some of the funding glitches.
Mayor Katz said last month the project might not move forward because the province was refusing to provide a letter of support to the federal government for funding. The two sides also disagree on the funding arrangements, but the difference is only about $20 million, a relatively minor sum for a $350-million project. As the dispute spilled into the open, a cabinet minister told the mayor to stop "shouting his mouth off." Mr. Katz responded by calling the premier "pathetic."
The importance of rapid transit has increased with the opening of the new stadium at the University of Manitoba, but it could be delayed for many years if the city and province can't develop a working relationship.
The mayor and the premier don't have to like one another, but they have a duty to work together for the common good.
Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 24, 2013 A8
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Families struck by tragedies consoled at massive vigil
US officials: Video shows American's beheading
Aboriginal girl's death renews calls for inquiry
Alberta investigates 122 cases of E. coli
Blast in China coal mine kills 2, traps 25 miners
Official: 4 of 6 child hostages freed in Harvey
New Bomber uniforms unveiled
Man admits to stabbing girlfriend to death, then leaving five-year-old son alone with body
City's real estate division trying to rush new land sale: Havixbeck
Gaza cease-fire efforts collapse in heavy fighting
Canada pondering pot options: justice minister
Ads accuse federal government of mismanaging money for flood evacuees
Lake Manitoba residents criticize government's water policy and push for outlet channel
Inmate charged in child-killer's death
Governor won't seek removal of county prosecutor
Brian Pallister criticizes government after debt rating downgrade
Safety board report blames Ottawa, railway
Jets captain Ladd 'accidentally' favourites tweet by fan critical of GM Cheveldayoff
Evening vigil planned for Fontaine, Hall
Longtime 'SNL' announcer Don Pardo dies at 96
Settlement reached in Moore-Bertuzzi suit
Will Scotland leave and how will this all work?
Greens to choose new leader in November
Conservatives defend CRA's charity audits
Thousands of intense earthquakes rock Iceland
Tragic end for homeless hero
Families relive loss of loved ones after teen's body found in river
Foggy start, but sun expected later today
New bill balances privacy and national security with a lean toward privacy
Toddler missing for a day found in bush
Argentina car crash kills 3 relatives of pope
Ground zero for Bombers
Liberia president declares Ebola curfew
San Gold to merge with Kerr Mines
Germany: Looted painting belongs to Jewish family
His 101st birthday present? Another day at work
Actress no longer green with envy now that she's donned the black hat of Wicked's Elphaba
Killing for God: In the Great War, religion was both a crutch and a sword
Ukrainian forces press attacks on rebel-held areas