February 15, 2017
Released: 9:40 a.m.
Winnipeg, MB – a motion calling upon the Province of Manitoba to commit to a formal commission of inquiry was introduced today at Executive Policy Committee by Mayor Brian Bowman.
The motion calls on the province to commit to conducting a commission of inquiry under The Manitoba Evidence Act to consider any and all matters for the purposes of reviewing all mechanisms regulating conflict of interest and disclosure as it relates to City of Winnipeg elected members of Council and its senior public service members.
It also calls for a broad systemic examination of all processes and procedures affecting the conduct of business between elected officials and senior public service members employed by the City and parties with whom the City may conduct business.
“It is critical to the public interest that factual matters not attainable using existing powers available to the City be identified and disclosed through a public inquiry,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “The City is limited and restricted in its ability to conduct broad, systemic reviews, and a public inquiry is the single, most effective tool available to determine facts that can then assist us in strengthening and improving city processes and procedures at the City of Winnipeg.”
“The allegations that have recently become public are very damaging to public trust in City Hall, and we need to restore that public trust and a public inquiry will help us achieve that,” said Mayor Bowman.
The motion notes the City of Winnipeg is restricted in its powers granted through several acts including The City of Winnipeg Charter, The Municipal Council Conflict of Interest Act, the Code of Conduct for the Members of the Council of the City of Winnipeg, and the City of Winnipeg Employee Code of Conduct.
The City of Winnipeg Charter also does not provide the City of Winnipeg the power to conduct a broad, comprehensive, and systemic review.
A commission of inquiry is an investigation into an issue, event, or series of events by which the findings of facts and statements frequently go well beyond and are completely separate from matters that may be subject to police and other investigations. Inquiries also have the power to compel testimony that can bring to light issues and facts that may have previously remained dormant.
“The ongoing RCMP investigation, as well as the many different audits already undertaken, does not broadly examine decision-making and other actions that led to and affected a number of significant civic projects of public interest,” said Mayor Bowman. “Many questions remain regarding the disclosure of results of such decision-making and activities, and a public inquiry can help determine these answers and help us improve our processes here at City Hall,” said Mayor Bowman.