Open Letter To Premier Pallister

Mr. Premier,

I am calling on you to take action and take action fast.

Winnipeg’s economic engine is in a state of chaos. As a Councillor, and as part of a group of Councillors who do not control the majority of votes, I am asking you to accelerate your review and involvement in the  Property, Planning and Development department.

The chaos that is occurring in the Property Planning and Development department is having a tremendously negative impact on investment in our City.

The market uncertainty is pushing development further and further out of our City and Province.

Under the current Mayoral leadership, the City is experiencing:

  • weak or no oversight of inspectors resulting in backlog of approvals and general dysfunction in planning department
  • no meaningful engagement with development community on impact fees resulting in a 3+ year legal battle with tremendous costs to City
  • no update to 15+ yr old development agreement parameters – resulting in ongoing development based on old model
  • no infill policy yet – resulting in obscure calls for heritage conservation districts-halting development

ALL of these factors are creating ‘market uncertainty’ for investors and when investors have uncertainty – they don’t invest.

The Property, Planning and Development department is one of the FEW economic development engines of the City where we can generate income.

Winnipeg is growing. Of all times to have the economic development engine working – it’s now! But instead it’s in a state of chaos!

The Province of Manitoba has the legislative authority to ensure municipalities are functioning. You need to act on these authorities.

While one should always be cautious of another level of government’s involvement – I can see no other route to cleaning up this mess occurring in the Property, Planning and Development department.

The City is governed under the strong mayor model. It takes 9 votes to move an agenda forward.

Until the Mayor and his Executive Policy decide to make some serious changes to the Property Planning and Development department – the City will continue to bleed economic development opportunities.

Mr Premier, I am calling on you to act and assist the City out of this mess. It is costing ALL taxpayers and we are losing economic opportunities.


Janice Lukes
City Councillor
Waverley West