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Allard pushes for Marion Street improvements at budget meeting

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/3/2015 (1562 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard continued his aggressive campaign for Marion Street upgrades Tuesday morning.

Allard accused Mayor Brian Bowman and his executive policy committee members of playing politics with the city's capital projects.

"Sound planning is being cut by politics," Allard said during a special EPC meeting on the budget.

Allard's presentation was one of several by councillors and community groups lobbying Bowman and his EPC for funding for special projects.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/3/2015 (1562 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard continued his aggressive campaign for Marion Street upgrades Tuesday morning.

Allard accused Mayor Brian Bowman and his executive policy committee members of playing politics with the city's capital projects.

Michael Jack (left) and Mayor Brian Bowman at city hall Tuesday.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Michael Jack (left) and Mayor Brian Bowman at city hall Tuesday.

"Sound planning is being cut by politics," Allard said during a special EPC meeting on the budget.

Allard's presentation was one of several by councillors and community groups lobbying Bowman and his EPC for funding for special projects.

Council votes on the budget Monday morning.

Groups and councillors are hoping their presentations today will sway EPC to support their projects.

A trio from the Winnipeg Art Gallery pressed Bowman to contribute $4.925 million towards the WAG's $60-million Inuit art centre project.

Bowman was the former WAG chair and he advocated for greater arts funding during the election campaign.

Allard said he was never consulted when EPC removed the Marion Street project from this year's list of capital projects.

Finance chairman Coun. Marty Morantz said the Marion project – which will ultimately include widening and a rail line underpass – won’t happen unless there is additional funding from Ottawa and the province.

Morantz (Charleswood-Tuxedo) said city hall needs to develop a better way to prepare its budgets but until that happens, the work is the responsibility of EPC members and there is no guarantee of consultation with other councillors.

"The model we have is the one we inherited, which is EPC makes the budget, brings it to council," Morantz said. "If there are ways to improve it, to bring other councillors in and get their ideas and perspectives, then I’m certainly willing to listen to those ideas."

The $5.2 million that had been set aside this year for the Marion project – for engineering work – was moved into a general fund for four projects that the city hopes to secure matching funds from Ottawa and the province.

While Marion is one of those four projects, there is no guarantee all four will be funded.

Allard said the behind-the-scene moves was a betrayal of the "new era of collaboration" that Bowman said had been ushered into city hall with his election victory.

In contrast to the WAG's big ask, Heritage Winnipeg requested a $15,000 increase in its budget.

Before a morning break, Coun. Jenny Gerbasi lobbied for $9 million for separated bike lanes in the downtown area, saying that would have a dramatic impact on downtown commuter cycling.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Aldo Santin

Aldo Santin
Reporter

Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.

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History

Updated on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 10:30 AM CDT: Adds new photo

11:08 AM: Updates with full writethru

1:25 PM: Updates with response from Morantz

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