Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mayor's remarks spark confusion

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MAYOR Sam Katz is raising questions about the reasons why Couns. Dan Vandal and Scott Fielding recently resigned from executive policy committee.

This has puzzled the two councillors.

When Katz introduced the new members of EPC Monday, he welcomed back Justin Swandel, describing him as the only councillor who resigned from EPC "on his own initiative" -- Swandel quit EPC a year ago, claiming it was broken.

Fielding and Vandal quit within days of each other at the end of October: Fielding on the 25th, unhappy with the unfolding scandals at city hall and a looming property-tax increase for 2014 he said he couldn't support; Vandal gave his notice on the 27th, saying he wants to concentrate on ward issues as he prepares a bid to run for the Liberals in the next federal election.

Katz initially refused to explain what he meant by his comments.

But late Monday, the mayor said he only meant that Vandal and Fielding have other political plans, whereas Swandel remained a councillor with no other ambitions.

"I can't explain what the mayor meant by his statement," Vandal said. "There is absolutely no other reasons at all as to why I left EPC... I want to spend more time on community issues."

Fielding said he couldn't explain Katz's comments either, adding he put out a news release Oct. 25 stating why he was unhappy with EPC and why he was leaving.

Fielding denied Katz pushed him out because of their differences.

Katz's comments Monday also contradict the statements he gave when Fielding and Vandal quit EPC: Katz congratulated Vandal for the way he resigned.

"Dan was very upfront and I'm very impressed with" Vandal's reasons for leaving, Katz said Oct. 28. "He was going to voluntarily step down" from EPC.

 

-- Santin

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 5, 2013 0

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