Mayor Brian Bowman had that look. The look of not being sure – not knowing.
A proposal came forward today to raise water and sewer rates by $69 this year and another $92 next year. It will cover the cost of sewage treatment at the North End facility off Main Street. We need to mitigate the amount of untreated sewage flowing into our rivers and ultimately Lake Winnipeg.
The mayor was in our 680 CJOB studio answering questions about the proposed budget. It raises your property taxes by about $100 and promises to spend more of that money on infrastructure. Bowman wasn’t clear about the water and sewer report – not at all. At least he was honest about it. Should Bowman have known about the plan? Absolutely.
There has been a disconnect between city councilors and the administration at city hall on several issues. Politicians are often blind-sided by issues and reports. They don’t have the staff to monitor all the issues ahead of time. The Mayor has hired communications assistants to help digest and disseminate information. It’s in his budget.
The Real Issues
The larger budget questions raised by Bowman need to be answered by you in the upcoming April 19th provincial election. What kind of city do you want? Bowman needs money from the provincial and federal governments to help pay for wider, rebuilt roads and rapid transit extending from the suburbs to a revitalized downtown.
Community centres with indoor ice for hockey, swimming pools and gymnasiums need tax dollars allocated from the premier or prime minister. There’s a proposal for such a facility integrated into a new school in Bridgwater Forest. It’s on the edge of the Fort Whyte and St. Norbert provincial ridings. Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister represents Fort Whyte.
Vetting the Candidates
In politics, you need to rip the bandage off quickly, not slowly. Manitoba Liberal leader Rana Bokhari wisely dumped Southdale candidate Jamie Hall. He used derogatory terms to describe women in a series of tweets. Hall defended the language but Bokhari had no choice. The issue is if there are other candidates with bad history. Bokhari hedged on whether their vetting process is thorough enough to pick up any other ticking time bombs. Stay tuned…