Motkaluk pledges to run council more collaboratively, says Bowman's city hall is close to 'autocracy'

Winnipeg mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk accused incumbent Brian Bowman of running a city council that is "perilously close" to an "autocracy" and vowed to instill a more collaborative style of governance if she's elected mayor in three weeks.

Calls EPC a 'Yes Brian club' and vows to invite all councillors to strategic planning session if she's elected

Mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk was joined by incumbent North Kildonan council candidate Jeff Browaty at an announcement at The Forks on Wednesday. Motkaluk pledged to collaborate with councillors if elected. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Winnipeg mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk accused incumbent Brian Bowman of making city council run "perilously close" to an "autocracy" and vowed to instill a more collaborative style of governance if she's elected mayor in three weeks.

Motkaluk said Wednesday Bowman treats executive policy committee as the "Yes Brian club" and pledged to listen to all 15 councillors if she becomes mayor. 

"Our current mayor has gradually, over the past four years, built himself a tidy little fiefdom and his 'my way or the highway' mantra keeps his cadre well in hand," she said at The Forks.

Se was flanked by North Kildonan council candidate Jeff Browaty. The incumbent councillor was kicked off EPC — along with Waverley West councillor-elect Janice Lukes — after he opposed Bowman's push to establish growth fees in Winnipeg.

Motkaluk said if she's elected mayor, all members of council will be invited to a strategic planning session.

Former mayor Sam Katz held a session like this but Bowman has not, said Browaty, claiming the incumbent mayor does not regularly attend council seminars.

Motkaluk said her work as a business-development consultant has provided her with the skills to work with people of various backgrounds.

"We very often can arrive at consensus on the things that really matter," she said.

Bowman's campaign responded by stating councillors who sit on executive policy committee must have the ability to serve the entire city and not just their wards.

"It is challenging to balance ward-specific priorities with city priorities, but to be an effective EPC member you have to be committed to building a unified city rather than just focusing on regional divisions and differences," Bowman campaign manager Kelly McCrae said in a statement.

Machiraju calls for Motkaluk to withdraw

Mayoral candidate Venkat Machiraju issued a press release Wednesday, alleging Motkaluk has a "[severe] conflict of interest" and demanding she withdraw from the mayoral race.

In the statement, Machiraju claims Motkaluk cannot be mayor because one of her brothers is a director of Bayview Construction, a firm that was awarded $19.1 million worth of road-construction contracts from the City of Winnipeg.

In the statement, Machiraju misspelled Motkaluk's name in three different ways and calls her brother John by a different name, Joel.

Motkaluk said she is not withdrawing.

Diack wants better panic buttons on buses

Mayoral candidate Tim Diack also made a pledge Wednesday, promising to spend $640,000 to improve panic buttons on buses. He said the existing buttons do not alert police quickly enough.

Diack also pledged to replace diesel transit buses with electric buses as existing vehicles are decommissioned, at a cost of $200,000 per bus.

Clarifications

  • A previous version of this story, citing a Tim Diack press release, said he wanted to install panic buttons for customers. Diack clarified he wants to improve existing panic buttons for drivers.
    Oct 03, 2018 4:17 PM CT