Winnipeg's chief administrative officer now has the power to approve sponsorship deals that involve commercial services in all public spaces except for parks.

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This article was published 30/5/2012 (3435 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg's chief administrative officer now has the power to approve sponsorship deals that involve commercial services in all public spaces except for parks.

 City council voted Wednesday to change Winnipeg's corporate-sponsorship program to allow the CAO to approve sponsorship deals that allow unspecified commercial transactions on sidewalks, skywalks, streets and other public spaces.

 The plan was supposed to involve parks as well, but that was dropped on the floor of council when Point Douglas Coun. Mike Pagtakhan pointed out the report recommended changes to the parks bylaw.

 Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz agreed with Pagtakhan's amendment and council approved the plan without a recorded vote of which councillors were for or against the plan.

 During the debate, Couns. Pagtakhan (Point Douglas, Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre), Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge), Ross Eadie (Mynarski), Brian Mayes (St. Vital) and John Orlikow (River Heights) all expressed concerns with the lack of council oversight.

 Katz and council sponsorship chair Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood) defended the plan, claiming the sponsorship program has been successful and has not provoked complaints about overcommercialization.

 During the debate, when concerns about the parks component were raised, Katz consulted several times with Winnipeg chief operations officer Deepak Joshi, who is acting in place of chief administrative officer Phil Sheegl.