While the concept proposed by Bartley Kives in his Dec. 4 column, Let's give Unicity another go, to have Winnipeg annex the municipal lands surrounding it looks plausible at first glance, it is fraught with potential pitfalls.
If we have, as some believe, been hobbled by a lack of oversight relative to both urban and suburban development, it raises the question as to how a massive land grab by an often-dysfunctional civic government could make things better. And given that many people choose to live outside the city for reasons unrelated to economics, further annexation can be viewed as little more than the expropriation of a lifestyle.
One would have to be naive to think that developers would not perceive the opportunities for further suburban expansion. And how would that possibly work with an already overwhelmed civic infrastructure budget?
Perhaps smaller is better until we can manage that what we presently oversee. We have no business inflicting our dysfunction on others.
Bartley Kives's argument is good, as, yes, the proposed developments at the edge of Winnipeg will draw people (and their pocketbooks) away from Winnipeg and will create more urban sprawl.
However, should Kives's suggestion be followed, the first thing those at city hall would do is approve development at the new edges of Winnipeg. Meaning, Winnipeg will be back in the same sad, sorry, stupid position as before.