Mayoral candidate Gillingham seeks EPC reform


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Scott Gillingham may be running for mayor but he wants to see city councillors take on a greater role in Winnipeg.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/07/2022 (244 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Scott Gillingham may be running for mayor but he wants to see city councillors take on a greater role in Winnipeg.

On Wednesday, Gillingham released a platform outlining how he would make changes to the powerful executive policy committee, if he is voted into the mayor’s chair in October.

“I’ve always been a collaborator,” said the St. James councillor (2014-22). “I believe in collaboration and the collective vision of others.

“Everyone around the table brings wisdom. Everyone has been elected. We need all the voices around the table.”

Currently, EPC is made up of the mayor, six civic committee chairpersons, deputy mayor and acting deputy mayor.

That makeup is referred to by critics as EPC+2, and is viewed by some as a way for a mayor (because there are only 15 city councillors) to get a majority of votes on his side on issues by appointing them to plum roles with extra pay, while others sit on the outside.

Gillingham wants to immediately shrink the EPC by one chairperson (amalgamating the finance committee with innovation) and also drop the deputy mayor and acting deputy mayor from the roster.

At the same time, Gillingham wants non-EPC councillors to take on a greater role by requiring council to have at least two new informal meetings each year, where they would all develop and update a strategic plan and set budget goals as a group.

He noted both Mayor Brian Bowman (who is not seeking a third term) and former mayor Glen Murray (1998-2004, currently running again) promised in past election campaigns to change EPC but, once voted in, neither did.

“I welcome the collaboration,” Gillingham said. “The theme of my campaign is uniting to make a stronger Winnipeg. The future is not a one-person show.”

Gillingham also outlined plans to cut two positions in the mayor’s office and create two new ones which would do research and policy work for council.

“To me, being specific is the best tool I have to show voters I’m committed to real change,” he said. “I will release a draft bylaw on reform before election day to remove any doubt that these reforms are legal, practical and imminent.”

A spokesman for Bowman said he was unavailable until Thursday; Murray could not be reached for comment.

Gillingham and Murray are two of 12 registered candidates in the 2022 mayoral race.

Idris Adelakun, Rana Bokhari, Chris Clacio, Shaun Loney, Jenny Motkaluk, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Jessica Peebles, Rick Shone, Desmond Thomas and Don Woodstock are also on the pre-nomination list. Winnipeggers vote for mayor and council Oct. 26.

On Wednesday, Shone promised to build one new spray pad per year, if elected.

“If this summer is any indication, we can expect hotter and hotter temperatures with Winnipeggers looking to beat the heat in safe and fun ways,” Shone said in a statement.

He said developers would be required to put spray pads into new residential developments so it wouldn’t affect on city coffers.

“Spray pads are easier and cheaper to construct and operate than pools,” Shone said.

“By collaborating with private-sector developers, we can provide these outdoor spaces and give investor a sense of pride in their developments while ensuring all Winnipeggers have equitable access to summer leisure activities.”

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.


Updated on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 6:49 PM CDT: Rick Shone statement added

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