Wolfville, Winnipeg, they both start with W. There’s something in that Gzowski said. We think there may be a lot of similarities. Consider these observations from a Winnipeg resident:
Winnipeg planners to taxpayers: Our Plan, You Pay.
Already it sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
If you wanted to stop mowing city boulevards so they could return to wild forest and grassland and Winnipeg could eventually boast of having the largest population of prairie dogs, you were welcomed by city planners.
Too many mosquitoes? Flood the city with bats to eat them. Brilliant, trilled the planners.If you believed the future of Winnipeg lay in turning the clock back to the 19th century, before the internal combustion engine was invented and cars replaced horses, you were embraced and pushed to an exalted position at the front of the line.
But if you felt that city taxpayers should have the final say about how the city should grow, develop and look 25 years from now, you were reviled, scorned, insulted and treated like a leper.
The concerned citizens with ideas contrary to the ideologues were probably called uneducated, inappropriate and unfair, criticised for not being town builders, and called out for smirking in the gallery.
OurWinnipeg is the latest of the series of phony public non-consultation processes conducted by Mayor Sam Katz and his supporters. …
Wolfville Uncovered. Branding! Everyone’s doing it. They learn this stuff at those conferences they attend at our expense.
* There was the one, ahem, “consulting” people about a bike path through their North End neighbourhood, where residents got notice of the meeting one day, two days, three days, four days AFTER the meeting took place.
* And, of course, the, uh, “public consultation” over which of three designs for the Disraeli Bridge was most preferred. The public selected one, which was immediately scrapped while the city planners held secret meetings with a special interest group, which led to a decision to build two bridges at a cost higher than the most expensive bridge rejected by the public at the “public consultations.”
Only the details differ.
* The city planning department claims they heard from 42.000 people over the past year about how they want Winnipeg to evolve over the next 25 years. They say they synthesized those 42,000 opinions into four or five fancy booklets stuffed with what they claim is the direction those 42,000 voices want the city to take.
Riiiiiight! Remember that idiotic survey a while back? More gloss.
* The short-lived Police Advisory Board asked citizens in the highest-crime areas of Winnipeg what they wanted to see from their police force. More police on the streets, said the people. Close the crack houses. Protect our children from gangs. Chase away the street prostitutes.
In Wolfville’s case a committee years ago recommended the town keep its own police force but it was ignored so we ended up with an RCMP contract that we have no control over and goes up every year.
* Every year Winnipeg motorists beg the city to fix the potholes that make driving a nightmare. The planning department heard them say “oh boy, potholes are great tools to drive cars off the road. People should ride bicycles.” …Why are we spending $20 million on trendy bicycle paths to be used by a tiny handful of commuters, when, we’re told, we need to spend billions on fixing streets, sidewalks, and backlanes.
Yup. It seems people will insist on driving cars. Maybe our political masters will eventually just ban them, like pesticides.
* Shouldn’t Winnipeg homeowners who pay the taxes that run the city have the major say in how the city grows, a planner was asked.
He turned various shades of purple.
Taxpayers? Making decisions? Preposterous. “Is that the city you want?” he bellowed.
That’s exactly the city we want.
We echo that. That’s the kind of town we want. But everywhere taxpayers are being ignored and shut out of the decision-making process while a pretence of consultation masks the ugly reality. That’s what they call progressive. We call it undemocratic tyranny.