Dear Brian Bowman
Updated: Oct 19, 2018
Hello Mr Bowman,
A few years ago you were elected Mayor of Winnipeg. I guess, to sum up your job as simply as possible; you are employed by approximately 700,000 people, and it is up to you to represent our best interests when we’re too busy to do so.
That’s why I’m wholly confused about your proposal to re-open Portage and Main. The projected cost is $12 million, but we do know that it is common place for Winnipeg infrastructure projects to go way over budget. 3 examples come to mind:
Investor’s Group Stadium Projected: $209 million. Actual: $384 million
CMHR (Human Rights Museum) Projected: $310 million. Actual: $351 million
The Dildo Bridge (Esplanade Riel) Projected: $57 million. Actual Estimates: $64 million
Note: These numbers might be off. I did my best to research the costs, but the information is sketchy at best.
So, if we’re smart and look at history, it stands to reason this plan will cost the City of Winnipeg [conservatively] $15 million dollars. My bet is closer to $20 million.
That confusion I spoke of comes from the root of a simple question, “When the city is cutting cops, services previously offered, raising taxes, and halting projects, how is this a required infrastructure project?”
I use the word required because that’s the state of affairs in our city. You, yourself, Mr. Bowman have complained about flatlining budgets at a provincial and federal level, but then you turn around and commit to this project. What are you doing? We must focus on required projects and leave our legacy driven egos in check.
Politicians often wonder why the public does not trust them. Well, here it is. The reason in black and white. Let me break it down for you:
Despite that, you continued to negotiate without a care in the world.
Your 2017 budget cut fire/paramedic station maintenance and library refurbishments, amongst other services, but yet, here comes Portage and Main re-opening to a city that doesn’t even want it.
You held a town hall meeting on the subject with little notice when most people couldn’t get to it. Why not Saturday at 2pm, and why not just use the internet to get the pulse of the city with a poll?
Transit has said this isn’t a good idea, the EPC says this isn’t a good idea, and the people that elected you say it’s not a good idea.
If the vast majority disagree with you, then most will default to “back room deals” and “corruption” as an explanation for good reason. Basically, somebody will get rich for you to do something about as required as a brand new flavour of Duff Beer for Barney (I know you love your Simpsons).
I can’t imagine any Mayor acting in the best interest of the people ignoring issues in the North End, civic services, policing, transit, downtown, education, and essential services in favour of a vanity project. I can’t imagine it because the two concepts are diametrically opposed.
You have led me to the only conclusion I can come up with; Mr. Bowman, you just don’t give a shit about the people you represent. Governance is about doing what is best for those that reside within your boundaries in a way that doesn’t hurt those living outside your boundaries. This plan throws good governance out the window.
You were elected because most (not me) thought you were a breath of fresh air. Turns out, you’re polluting our lungs one decision at a time, just as you accused Katz of doing.
We don’t need Portage and Main re-opened. It’s just not a thing. So stop this madness now or you will join Frederick Warriner in obscurity as a Mayor that history misses with the blink of an eye.