Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Province must end rivalry

  • Print

The conflict between Winnipeg and East St. Paul over a retail development that would straddle both communities is merely the latest in a series of border conflicts that cannot be resolved without provincial leadership.

The province, however, has been content to ignore the festering problems because it doesn't want to take the political risk of responsibly dealing with the rivalries and territoriality within the Winnipeg Capital Region.

East St. Paul understandably wants to welcome a Walmart, but Winnipeg just as understandably objects to the fact most of the traffic to the store will run through residential streets in North Kildonan.

Offers of tax sharing and new roads paid by the developer are no consolation for a community that doesn't want to become a thoroughfare on the edge of a retail power centre.

Winnipeg city councillors are now saying the city should annex lands that lie within the Perimeter Highway, including the slice that East St. Paul wants to build on. But if the city is allowed to do that, then rural municipalities that surround Winnipeg should also be allowed to annex city property that extends beyond the Perimeter and into their domain.

The existing boundaries of the city of Winnipeg were established in 1972 with the merger of 13 municipalities. The result was a border that meanders aimlessly with no clear sense of the urban zone.

The land-use conflicts would not be a problem if the province had established a regional planning commission with the power to designate how the border lands could be used.

Such a tool would mean a rural municipality couldn't approve a cement factory next to land the city has zoned as residential. Similarly, the city couldn't plan a new subdivision next to agricultural land, unless there was common consent.

The province, however, says it wants everyone to simply get along, which is no longer an adequate response.

A merger of all 16 municipalities into one big city is not necessary at this time, but a strategic realignment with East and West St. Paul, which are virtual suburbs already, is worth considering.

Other cities with large exurban communities have avoided merging by establishing rigorous planning bodies with jurisdiction over land use, water services, roads and transit.

The province has to decide which option it prefers -- merger or a regional planning body -- because the current void in authority will only interrupt organized growth and produce more conflicts.

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 31, 2014 A8

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

Public finally sees inside the Museum for Human Rights

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fight as a male defends his nesting site at the duck pond at St Vital Park Thursday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 08- May 10, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.

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