WINNIPEG – City councillor Jeff Browaty wishes he had a do-over with the Winnipeg Police Board.
The Indigenous Council of the Police Board issued a report asking Brian Bowman to kick Browaty off the board because he questioned whether educational training for city staff about the residential school system was worth the cost.
Browaty says public statements and phone calls were less helpful to the situation than face-to-face meetings would have been.
“I feel really bad that it came to this point. My comments on the floor of council in December were really about the cost and best value for taxpayer dollars. I do feel bad about how it all transpired.”
He also wishes the mayor would have waited for him to return from a trip to the US to discuss the issue in private.
“I was disappointed that the mayor’s office felt that the statement had to be released publicly immediately. I felt he had the opportunity to receive the recommendation, speak to me, and consider it. But again, the mayor’s instructions to the police board was to release it immediately.”
Mayor Bowman says he did not instruct them, but that the board insisted on going ahead with it.
“Ultimately, the decision to make the letter public was made by the authors of the letter. What I told them is that I had previously accepted Councillor Browaty’s apology and supported his continuation. Members then asked me to remove him, so I asked members of the board that if they were speaking for the whole board, that the board should raise their concerns in public and be publicly accountable for their request for me to remove him from the board.”
As for a replacement for Browaty, Bowman says that process has not begun, and made no indication that they were in any rush to do so.