7 August 2016

Once in a Lifetime

After the City of Winnipeg hired Mayor Sam Katz's friend & business associate, Phil Sheegl, as Director of Planning, Property, & Development in 2008 (promoted to Chief Administrative Officer later that year), Councillor Jenny Gerbasi lobbied for the hiring of an integrity commissioner to deal with conflict-of-interest matters at Winnipeg City Hall.

In 2010, I ran for Winnipeg City Council in an effort to defeat the Katz Administration's plan to entrust our water & sewage treatment to Veolia.  Veolia is a France-based, multinational conglomerate with an abysmal health & safety record & a notorious reputation that includes:  bribery of public officials, illegal political contributions, kickbacks, price-fixing, & fraudulent accounting.  Veolia was eventually successful in their bid to secure a confidential, 30-year contract with the City of Winnipeg.

After Katz was re-elected for a 3rd term in 2010, I decided that a series of sanctions were necessary to "deconstruct" the corrupt Katz Administration once & for all, before Winnipeg City Hall succumbed to organized crime.  Without that avant garde approach, it is my belief that Sam Katz would still be the Mayor of Winnipeg today.  Not since 1956 has an incumbent, Winnipeg mayor lost an electionIncumbent George Sharpe lost to Steven Juba 60 years ago. 
Effective Officers of the Integrity Commissioner must exhibit more intelligence & determination than those who would blatantly circumvent laws & codes of conduct for personal gain at Winnipeg City Hall. 

Our agenda, if selected by Winnipeg City Council, will be to address 4 salient issues:
  • openness & transparency vis-à-vis privacy & confidentiality agreements
  • prevention of conflicts-of-interest
  • implementation of an above-board tendering process
  • lobbyist registration
Hopefully, Winnipeg City Council will appoint me, Gordon Warren, as Winnipeg's 1st Integrity Commissioner before minor indiscretions grow into full-blown scandals & before the 2018 municipal elections.  Let's embrace this "once in a lifetime" opportunity to peacefully restore integrity to Winnipeg City Hall.  
    "I love Winnipeg & the people in it.  This is my home, & I will continue to use my education & experience to work with the ethically challenged people who frequent City Hall until the corruption has been removed & those responsible acknowledge their misbehaviour, make amends for their misdeeds, & get the rehabilitation that they need.
    It is my sincere hope that as people gain a better understanding of who I am, what I am doing, & why, others will come forward to become 'caregivers' for the ethically challenged & make Winnipeg a better place to live."  
Gordon Warren, March 2013
Breaking Good:  Gordon Warren
BA (Psychology, Business Administration), Manitoba
MA (Postmodern Theology), Winnipeg
Twitter:  @GordonWarren77
Email:  gordonwarren77@gmail.com

21 July 2016

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.  Robert Frost

Portage & Main, Canada's most famous intersection & Winnipeg's town square, was walled off to pedestrian traffic in 1979.  Mayor Brian Bowman pledged to reopen Portage & Main to pedestrian traffic if elected in 2014, which he was.  The 40-year agreement between the City of Winnipeg & owners of Winnipeg Square, an underground mall, expires in 2019.

The emerging SkyCity, a 40-storey "vertical village" at Portage & Main, will very likely usher in the reopening of Portage & Main.  As 2019 draws near, Winnipeg City Council & business stakeholders at Portage & Main seem receptive to reopening the intersection to pedestrians, but how it reopens remains to be seen.

True visionaries understand that Portage & Main is a 3-dimensional intersection & will attempt to reopen it with arches, skywalks, & perhaps one day, a sky train (LRT).  Skywalks currently link much of Downtown Winnipeg, which are welcome assets in harsh weather conditions.  Winnipeg is the coldest metropolis on Earth.

Enjoy the video.

Breaking Good:  Gordon Warren (BA, MA)
Twitter:  @GordonWarren77
Email:  gordonwarren77@gmail.com