Manitoba

Waverley West councillor back in, 2 Murray supporters out as Winnipeg's new mayor announces inner circle

Mayor Scott Gillingham revealed who is in and who is out of his inner circle with the announcement of his executive policy committee appointments on Tuesday. 

Coun. Janice Lukes returns to executive policy committee; Glen Murray supporters Gilroy, Allard out

A man wearing a suit is standing speaking at a podium, while five other people stand behind him. Three of the people are men, and two are women.
Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham, at podium, announced appointments to his executive policy committee, as well as the chair of Winnipeg' police board, on Wednesday. From left to right are Couns. Brian Mayes, John Orlikow, Markus Chambers, Janice Lukes and Sherri Rollins. Coun. Jeff Browaty will also sit on EPC. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Newly elected Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham revealed who is in and who is out of his inner circle on Wednesday, as he announced his executive policy committee appointments.

Waverley West Coun. Janice Lukes is back on the now five-person executive policy committee after being left out for years by former mayor Brian Bowman. She will serve as chair of the public works committee, previously known as infrastructure renewal and public works.

Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), who was chair of the finance committee, will now head up the renamed finance and economic development committee — a change that eliminates the city's innovation and economic development committee, and reduces the size of EPC by one.

Coun. Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River) stays on as the chair of the police board. That role is not part of the executive policy committee, but he will also serve as acting deputy mayor. Lukes will take on the role of deputy mayor.

Lukes, Browaty and Chambers all endorsed Gillingham during the election.

Other EPC appointments include Brian Mayes (St. Vital), who keeps his job as water and waste chair, and John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) as chair of community services, which was previously called protection, community services and parks.

Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry), who was previously chair of protection and community services, moves over to property and development, previously called planning, property and development.

"I ran for mayor on a commitment to unifying council to build a stronger Winnipeg," said Gillingham, who was elected by a narrow margin over his nearest rival, Glen Murray, and nine other candidates on Oct. 26.

"I thank these councillors for agreeing to take on these leadership roles, but I look forward to working in collaboration with all city councillors as we make progress in dealing with the critical issues that are facing our city right now."

Couns. Matt Allard (St. Boniface) and Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre), who had previously been on EPC under Bowman, were left out. Allard had been public works chair, while Gilroy was head of property and development.

Both endorsed Murray during the mayoral election.

Endorsement may have had impact: Gilroy

In an interview with CBC News, Gilroy said her endorsement of Murray likely had an impact on her exclusion from EPC.

"This is politics, and so I'm pretty sure the new mayor is supporting the people who outwardly supported him," she said.

A smiling Cindy Gilroy stands in front of the council building.
Daniel McIntyre Coun. Cindy Gilroy said her omission from EPC is likely the fallout from her endorsement of new Mayor Scott Gillingham's biggest rival in last week's election. (Cameron Maclean/CBC)

Gillingham did not respond directly when asked about the possibility Gilroy and Allard may been excluded because they endorsed his rival.

"In my meetings with all councillors, in my meetings with the executive policy committee, I said this is not locked in for four years," he said during a news conference outside the mayor's chamber at city hall.

"My goal is to work with every councillor, those on EPC and those not on EPC.… It's the goal of this executive policy team to be working with every councillor as well."

During the election, Gillingham had promised to reduce the size of EPC by one, and to eliminate the governance model of the mayor appointing six EPC members, plus the deputy mayor and acting deputy mayor.

That model, informally referred to as "EPC+2," effectively gave the mayor influence over a majority of the council — which is made up of 15 councillors plus the mayor — through appointments. 

By shrinking the executive committee to five and assigning the deputy roles to Lukes and Chambers, Gillingham said he had kept that promise. 

"I have reduced the executive policy committee. Coun. Chambers is not on EPC. He won't be in the meetings where there's EPC briefings," Gillingham said.

A smiling Matt Allard stands outside the building that houses council chambers.
When asked if his ouster from EPC was related to his support for mayoral runner-up Glen Murray, St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard said, 'You'd have to ask the mayor ...' (Cameron Maclean/CBC)

Allard wouldn't speculate on whether his endorsement of Murray played a role.

"You'd have to ask they mayor what, if any, impact that had on the mayor's decision," Allard said.

"I know that by the very fact that the mayor had wanted to reduce the size of EPC, that means that some members would have to go."

Lukes said she's happy to see Gillingham change the governance model on council.

"I don't think that the previous model did the residents of Winnipeg well," she said during the news conference.

"I think it didn't represent their representatives. Everyone brings value to the table here and it was never tapped into."

Council members will vote on who will serve on each of the city's various standing policy committees at a council meeting on Nov. 9.

Winnipeg's new mayor announces inner circle

3 months ago
Duration 2:31
Winnipeg's new mayor Scott Gillingham revealed who is in and who is out of his inner circle. When asked whether reducing the size of EPC might also reduce his influence on council, Gillingham said his campaign was built on the theme of uniting Winnipeggers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron MacLean is a journalist for CBC Manitoba living in Winnipeg, where he was born and raised. He has more than a decade of experience reporting in the city and across Manitoba, covering a wide range of topics, including courts, politics, housing, arts, health and breaking news. Email story tips to cameron.maclean@cbc.ca.

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