Mayor wants cooling-off period for departing council members
Brian Bowman wants provincial help in preventing former mayors, councillors from lobbying the city
Mayor Brian Bowman is pushing for a cooling-off period for departing Winnipeg elected officials.
At next week's council meeting, the mayor plans to introduce a notice of motion that would ask the province to amend the city charter.
The amendment would restrict departing mayors and councillors from lobbying the city or working in certain types of jobs for an unspecified period of time.
The mayor said Friday a provision already restricts departing provincial cabinet members, deputy ministers and other senior provincial officers from engaging in lobbying activities for a year after they cease to work for Manitoba.
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"There have been a number of councillors, as you know, who've gone on to [other] work and we've seen [them] at city hall. Certainly former councillor Justin Swandel has presented to [executive policy committee] and has advocated on behalf of a company," Bowman said following an appearance at Red River College's downtown culinary school.
Swandel served as the councillor for St. Norbert from 2005 until 2014. He went on to work for Terracon Developments.
"I think we could do better to tighten up the rules going forward," Bowman said.
"It's something I think would go a long way to ensuring that information which is gathered and knowledge which is gained while someone is at city hall, as an elected member of Winnipeg's city council, whether it's mayor or councillors, is then not used in a way that I think would prejudice other businesses and other companies for private interests."
Swandel could not immediately be reached for comment.
The mayor also said statement he wants to amend the city's code of conduct to require councillors to disclose all gifts, no matter how small. Right now, they only have to disclose gifts over $250.
The mayor said he believes there should be an exemption for protocol and was not sure whether it makes sense for councillors to disclose every cup of coffee or piece of pastry they're offered on the job.