Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/9/2018 (627 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Coalition for Portage and Main is calling the City of Winnipeg irresponsible for not releasing a dollar figure indicating what fixing the intersection’s barricades will cost — should they stay up — in advance of the pending referendum.
Coalition spokesman Adam Dooley, who’s involved with the team pushing to make the intersection accessible to foot traffic again, said the city has left citizens in the dark on a key piece of information they need to make an informed choice at the ballot box Oct. 24.
"If there’s one thing I really want to focus on today that is this myth that we keep encountering. And that myth is that people seem to think if they’re going to vote no, then they’re saving taxpayer dollars," Dooley said.
"The truth is exactly the opposite. The city is committed and must spend millions of dollars to fix this intersection, to upgrade it, to fix the crumbling concrete and upgrade the accessibility, regardless of a yes vote or a no vote."
Dooley’s comments came at a news conference on Tuesday, where the new Coalition for Portage and Main campaign storefront was unveiled.
It is located at the former TD Bank location in the underground at 201 Portage Ave. and will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The lack of information on the issue has led to an inaccurate public discourse, according to Dooley, with those opposed to reopening the intersection contending the cost of tearing down the barricades could be rerouted to address more pressing concerns.
"There’s been a terrible lack of information put forth by the city. People assume that the ‘yes side’ means spending money and the ‘no side’ means spending no money, but that’s simply not the case. We’re spending money there either way," Dooley said.
It will cost roughly $6 million to tear down the barricades, plus $5.5 million for additional buses to avoid an impact on Winnipeg Transit services, according to a report commissioned by the city.
On Tuesday, a city spokesman said there has been no condition assessment done on the existing barricades, nor is there an estimate for what fixing or replacing them would cost taxpayers in the future if they should remain standing.
"Let me be clear: I think it’s incredibly irresponsible for the City of Winnipeg to not have that information. The people of Winnipeg deserve that information and the fact that we don’t have it is really disappointing. And I think it’s exceedingly unlikely that we’re going to get that number before the vote," Dooley said.
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.
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.
Updated on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 6:55 AM CDT: Headline fixed.