East Winnipeg councillors ready for new term

Advertisement

Advertise with us

Winnipeg’s newly elected mayor, Scott Gillingham, has shaken up the committees at city hall and a couple of familiar east Winnipeg councillors remain in the mix.

Gillingham made good on an election promise to reduce the size of the executive policy committee (EPC), often the last committee a motion will see before being voted on by council as a whole. Previously comprising six councillors and the mayor as committee chairperson, Gillingham has cut that number by one councillor.

Since executive policy committee members each chair standing policy committees, which handle issues at a more focused level, often before reaching EPC, the new mayor has merged the standing policy committees on finance and the committee on innovation and economic development.

Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) will serve on the EPC and chair the newly formed standing policy committee on finance and economic development.

“I’m excited for it,” Browaty said. “I think it’s important that the mayor and EPC and council in general work together more closely.”

Browaty said previous mayor Brian Bowman’s controversial tactic, dubbed “EPC plus two,” in which the deputy mayor and acting deputy mayor attended some EPC meetings, was counterproductive for co-operation.

Adding the extra two to the seven EPC members essentially gave “an assured majority most of the time” once the vote reached the final 16-person council.

Some have called for EPC to be eliminated altogether, as many other Canadian cities do not have an equivalent step in their city halls.

Browaty, who took over as chair of the finance committee in April, continues that role with the increased scope of the newly expanded committee.

He said the city had been in “maintenance mode” during his first months in the role, as the economy reeled from pandemic fallout.

“ There’s a real genuine effort being made to reach out to everybody…

Browaty said it’s now time to look at expanding revenue streams through an expanded tax base and through accessing provincial and federal funding.

Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) will continue to serve on the EPC and as the chairperson of the standing policy committee on water, waste and environment, roles he occupied in the last term, as well.

Mayes commended Gillingham for being easy to work and communicate with, which Browaty seconded.

Mayes said he believes the new mayor is trying to wipe the slate clean at city hall, in order to kickstart greater collaboration in city hall.

“There will be showdowns on certain votes. That’s inevitable. But there’s a real genuine effort being made to reach out to everybody and give the elected people a sense that they’re part of something,” Mayes said.

As water, waste and environment chair, Mayes said the big project from the previous term was acquiring funding for the North End Sewage Treatment Plant. All three levels of government have dedicated funding for major upgrades to the facility.

“Now phase one and phase two are going, and it’ll be a big thing to oversee that going forward,” Mayes said.

Mayes said there are at least two other major items lined up for this term.

“One is, what are we going to do about compost? The other is the city-wide garbage and recycling contracts come up every seven years, and that’ll fall in this rotation,” he said.

Mayes said the city is still waiting for results to be published regarding a two-year composting pilot project that ended Sept. 30 before the city can decide on the next steps.

Cody Sellar

Cody Sellar
Community Journalist

Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review West. He is a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, sleuth, sloth, reader of books and lover of terse biographies. Email him at cody.sellar@canstarnews.com or call him at 204-697-7206.

Report Error Submit a Tip

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Free Press Community Review: East

LOAD MORE FREE PRESS COMMUNITY REVIEW: EAST