Police board still without chair, down 2nd member when it meets this week
Mayor says next chair could reduce demands on volunteers, provides no answers on taxi regulation costs
The Winnipeg Police Board will still be down two bodies when it meets again on Friday.
Mayor Brian Bowman says he has yet to appoint a replacement for former police board chair Jeff Browaty and former finance subcommittee chair Derek Johannson.
Browaty, the councillor for North Kildonan, resigned in February after he lost the confidence of the board's Indigenous advisers. Johannson resigned last week amid concerns about the time demands placed on the board's volunteers.
The mayor said the next board chair could reduce those demands.
"I do think there's an opportunity for the next chair to perhaps rationalize the number of meetings and the frequency, and that's something they have the ability to do," Bowman said Tuesday in an interview.
"It is a lot of work, no doubt, and it is an important board for our community."
The police board is supposed to have a minimum of seven members, with two appointed by the province. Both vacancies right now are city appointees.
Mayor still has no answers on taxi bill
Winnipeg's mayor also said he still doesn't know whether the provincial government intends to download the cost of regulating taxis on the city.
The province tabled a bill in March to dissolve the provincial Taxicab Board and hand the city the task of regulating taxis and other vehicles for hire, including perhaps Uber and Lyft cars.
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What was unclear at the time is whether the province will provide Winnipeg with any cash to handle the job.
The Taxicab Board budget is $750,000 this fiscal year.
Bowman said Tuesday he still doesn't have answers, but he's not concerned because the NDP intends to use procedure to delay passage of the bill.
"We're hearing it may be delayed in the legislature until the fall. We'll be watching that debate. In the interim, I'll want to have conversations with the province about the cost," Bowman said.
The mayor also said last month he intended to speak to the province about the taxicab regulation tab.