Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bad blueprint

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The City of Winnipeg administration has washed its hands of the matter of doctored engineers' certification of blueprints for three houses, finding the homes in question are properly designed. The rest of the controversy -- well, that is for the professional engineers society to figure out, it says.

The fraud that saw an engineer's stamp altered on blueprints used for houses they weren't intended for is a matter for professional interest -- Manitoba's Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists has the duty to police the use of the seal that indicates a qualified engineer's approval.

As worrisome, however, was the allegation that a city building inspector was implicated in the fraud and was in a conflict of interest because he worked for his wife's building-design firm, whose blueprint was used.

The city will say only that after its review of the matter, the integrity of the three homes in question has been upheld and an engineer has certified the projects.

Now, it says, it is a private personnel matter. Winnipeggers need to know no more.

The city is essentially telling the public it has no interest in the findings of its review, but Winnipeggers at least should be told whether there was wrongdoing or whether conflict guidelines were broken.

Coun. Jeff Browaty, chairman of the property committee, wants a fuller report, but in camera. After that, he should change the blueprint and share the answers to the many pointed questions with the rest of the city.

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 March 14, 2013 A14

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