Starlight – Portage Place Motion

My speech at Council on July 23, 2020:


Madame Chair

I’d like to move layover of this item & both motions till our September council meeting  – to allow proper scrutiny of the motion before us.

I’m must say – watching this entire debacle is  giving me flashbacks – I’m having flashbacks regarding the process that Mr Mayor lead on the impact fee file  –

  • Yesterday Mme Chair – the day before the vote – Mr Mayor seconded a motion – with much new information that differed from the Public Service’s report – with no discussion with ALL members of council – or an opportunity to meet with the public service to discuss
  • Now today – this morning – Mme Chair – the mayor is seconding another motion – with more new information – there seems to be more information – as today’s motion is 3 pages –
  • Many Councilors have had no opportunity to read this motion – Many Councilors have had no  opportunity to ask questions of the public service – Many Councilors had no opportunity  to scrutinize the commitments that are  proposing – using  – I think – $20M of tax payers funding – on a $400 M deal –
  • I don’t know about other councilors – but I did not receive a phone call or a text –from the mover of the motion that landed on my desk this morning – Councillor Gilroy  – or from the seconder – the Mayor or any of his staff

Mme Chair,

  • Mr Mayor was elected to lead this City –  to build a team on Council and to enable Council to make the best decision possible on how to use the taxpayers’ dollars, in the most efficient way possible – to create a higher quality of life for all Winnipeggers.

Mme Chair – with respect,

  • Mr Mayor’s inability to hire a new CAO illustrates highlights how he is not paying attention to the important files of our city.   We should not be scrambling on the floor of council –  with new motion after new motion – new information and more new information – we should have  comprehensive report before us – outlining the metrics we are using to base the use of tax payer dollars on.

When the Chair of Finance tell me – 15 minutes before the Council meeting started today – that this is not the way we should be doing business.

  • I ask you Councilors – lay this over and let’s due the required due diligence on this file – and due property scrutiny on behalf of your residents – to find out what is being proposed.
  • We heard the delegation comments on WHY Starlight is investing in Winnipeg – ‘RARELY an opportunity like this comes up’ – I say – such a rare deal like this  – is worth waiting 60 more days to allow proper scrutiny so all Councilors can understand what exactly are we committing on behalf of taxpayers. I am not concerned that they will walk in 60 days if the opportunity is so rare.

Mme Chair,

  • Mr Mayor needs to think long and hard about his ability to do this job because the hallmark of good leadership is to build a team, to work together, to anticipate the roadblocks and obstacles ahead and steer around them or through them if necessary.
  • This third motion today makes a total mockery – and is quite hypocritical – of the ‘open and transparent’ mantra so commonly preached.
  • I ask all of you – is this the way you think we should be scrutinizing the use of tax payer dollars  – voting on a motion you’ve only just seen in the last 3 hours ? on a $400 M project ?
  • No – we need to allow due diligence to occur –

This is why I am asking for a layover.