The City of Winnipeg wants to tighten the rules on conflict of interest for staff.
The Executive Policy Committee on Wednesday heard from a councillor who suggested it's time for staff and politicians to disclose their assets to prevent any conflicts, such as what happened with a city inspector recently and what is currently happening with Mayor Sam Katz.
Sig Steinhilber, a veteran building inspector, was at the centre of a blueprint controversy earlier this year. He is linked to InterPro Building Design — a company registered in his wife's name.
The address for InterPro is the home of Steinhilber, who is also listed as the sole contact on a construction website.
CBC News broke the news in February that at least one home built from designs by Interpro was inspected and approved by Steinhilber.
He was being investigated for conflict but has since decided to retire.
Katz's issue is centered around a 2010 Christmas party he hosted for city councillors at Hu's Asian Bistro. Katz owned the restaurant at the time and paid the $3,000 tab with taxpayers' money. The judge hearing that conflict case said she would make a decision on Friday at 3 p.m.
Wednesday's motion at EPC was introduced by Coun. Ross Eadie, who said the current code of conduct policy only requires staff to disclose conflict of interest issues.
He said declaring assets such as side-businesses might help prevent court cases like the one involving Katz.
"That could be by-law enforcement and permits. It’s building inspectors," said Eadie.
"You can’t be employed in this area and have business in this area. It’s just not going to work."
Katz would not comment on his pending conflict-of-interest case but said he is open to the idea of more disclosure at city hall.
"I’m not sure there would be any harm in that, especially in certain scenarios whereby you list your assets," said Katz.
EPC also voted in favour of having administration look into whether a code-of-conduct committee should be in place to monitor all conflict cases.
A report on both the committee and disclosure is due back in 60 days.