Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the Day

It's the logical outcome

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Your Oct. 25 editorial Council starts to step up avoids coming to grips with the much bigger issue of how political power works in Winnipeg.

Can we really be surprised at the dealings that are coming to light at city hall? Is it not the logical outcome given the evolution of the political structure of Winnipeg?

Decision-making once included citizen involvement through community-based advisory groups. The dismantling of those and other means of oversight into policy and decision-making means power is now centred in the mayor's office.

In place of checks and balances on that power, the governing of Winnipeg is now vested in an executive structure around the mayor and executive policy committee. Couple this with a city council known more for its genuflection to developers' interests than attention to sound public policy and it is no surprise that an attitude of "hear no evil, see no evil" has emerged.

Those few good councillors who have dared to speak their minds, both now and in the past, deserve full credit for defending the public interest. While the audit is a good thing, we must ensure that city politics is reformed to prevent this from happening in the future.

GLENN MICHALCHUK

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 29, 2012 A12

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