July 4, 2020

Winnipeg
18° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Winnipeg Free Press

ABOVE THE FOLD

Subscribe

Last waltz for members of 2014 city council

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/9/2018 (652 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Group photographs and goodbye speeches dominated the start of Thursday’s city council meeting, the last for members elected in 2014.

While the outcome of the Winnipeg mayoral and ward races is uncertain, four councillors know they won’t be coming back: Jenny Gerbasi, Mike Pagtakhan, Marty Morantz and Russ Wyatt.

Gerbasi has represented Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry since 1998, and has decided 20 years on council is enough. She hasn’t disclosed her future plans.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as a member of Winnipeg city council for these last 20 years," Gerbasi told council. "It has been an incredible journey that I am grateful to have experienced."

After a tumultuous year, Coun. Russ Wyatt won't be returning to council.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

After a tumultuous year, Coun. Russ Wyatt won't be returning to council.

Pagtakhan, first elected in 2002, also hasn’t disclosed what he’ll do next.

Morantz, however, has pinned his hopes on winning the federal Conservative nomination in Charleswood for the 2019 election. He is a one-term councillor, elected in 2014.

Wyatt’s future is uncertain. Representing Transcona since 2002, Wyatt is facing a sexual-assault charge from a January incident.

This year, he also admitted to being a recovering drug and alcohol addict, and took a leave from council to spend some time in a rehab facility. He also came out in June as bisexual. He’s not running again, explaining it would hamper his recovery efforts.

Coun. Mike Pagtakhan isn't seeking re-election.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Coun. Mike Pagtakhan isn't seeking re-election.

In addition to those four, it’s also certain one of two incumbent councillors won’t be returning, and possibly neither of them: Scott Gillingham and Shawn Dobson. They’re running against each other in the new ward of St. James, after Dobson’s old St. Charles ward disappeared through a boundary review.

Dobson and Gillingham were first-time councillors, and they’re also being challenged by a civic employee, 22-year-old Kurt Morton, who could send them both packing.

After 20 years, Coun Jenny Gerbasi attended her last council meeting Thursday.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

After 20 years, Coun Jenny Gerbasi attended her last council meeting Thursday.

Issues dealt with at Thursday's meeting included:

 

  • Council will ask the provincial and federal governments to join it in the creation of a task force to develop strategies for the prevention and treatment of methamphetamine addiction. If the other governments don’t agree to participate, city hall will go alone.
  • Council will ask the Manitoba government to include civic employees and members of civic boards and commissions in the provincial whistleblower legislation.
  • Council signed off on the accelerated regional road program, which will result in the federal government contributing $100 million over the next five years for regional road repairs.
  • An attempt to put members of council on a paid leave when they are facing criminal charges was deferred for an administrative report, after concerns were raised the original motion was too broad.
  • Council approved a proposal to allow free bus rides for veterans and active service members, and their companions, and reservists and cadets to attend Remembrance Day services in 2018 and going forward. It’s expected to cost about $21,340 annually.
  • Council approved extending the universal bus pass program to students at Red River College, and renewing the program at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba, for a four-year term beginning September 2020.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press will close this commenting platform at noon on July 14.

We want to thank those who have shared their views over the years as part of this reader engagement initiative.

In the coming weeks, the Free Press will announce new opportunities for readers to share their thoughts and to engage with our staff and each other.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.