Judge orders city to vote on Parker lands development proposal


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A judge has ordered the City of Winnipeg to hold another vote on the long-debated Parker lands proposal.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/10/2020 (856 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A judge has ordered the City of Winnipeg to hold another vote on the long-debated Parker lands proposal.

In a decision released Monday, Justice Candace Grammond ordered the municipal government to again consider the potential development at a Nov. 16 property and development committee meeting.

“The applications will be considered at the following (standing policy committee) meeting… and will proceed from there to the (executive policy committee) and on to city council, without delay,” wrote Grammond.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Parker Lands developer Andrew Marquess of Gem Equities at city hall in 2018.

The judge declined to fine the city $68,600 for contempt of court — something the Parker lands developer’s lawyer had requested.

“I am not convinced that the imposition of a fine upon the respondents is fair and equitable at this time,” she wrote, after noting taxpayers would ultimately pay the price.

The city is required to pay part of the developer’s legal costs, which will be due within 30 days of when a final amount is determined.

In August 2019, the city was found in contempt of a court order because it considered the Parker development proposal through a bylaw process, instead of the policy-based one the judge had ordered council to follow. In May 2020, council postponed its final vote on the development, opting to first seek clarity on the judge’s order that details how it should be considered.

Dave Hill, lawyer for developer Gem Equities, has long accused the city of deliberately delaying the development proposal, which his client has discussed with the civic officials since at least 2014.

By contrast, the city has argued it fairly considered the applications. A public service report called for the proposal to be rejected, alleging it lacks detail, doesn’t meet land-use criteria and could create conflict between industry and residences.

The latest court order requires the city to update the report with information from the developer, and let the developer review and respond to the new version prior to the meeting.

If approved, the Parker lands proposal would add houses, apartments and townhouses to the south city area surrounded by the CNR Rivers railway and the southwest rapid transitway.


Twitter: @joyanne_pursaga

Joyanne Pursaga

Joyanne Pursaga

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.

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