RCMP given wider access to inside workings of Winnipeg City Hall

The Mounties have been granted an even closer look into city affairs.

Councillors expand access previously OK'd

RCMP raided the offices of Caspian Construction in December 2014 as part of a fraud investigation into the Winnipeg police downtown headquarters project. (Sean Kavanagh/CBC)

The Mounties have been granted an even closer look into city affairs.

Winnipeg city councillors voted Wednesday to expand the RCMP's access to confidential information into the city's dealings after a number of audits uncovered enough evidence to spark a criminal probe.

Police will now be able to obtain information that outside lawyers hired by the city may have concerning a number of controversial projects and transactions.

City council previously approved giving the RCMP access to confidential information when it waived solicitor-client privilege with city lawyers.

Mayor Brian Bowman says it's an example of "unprecedented openness and transparency at city hall."

"I campaigned on greater openness and transparency as well as accountability. The RCMP are conducting a very important investigation and we want to do everything in our power to provide them with the information they need to do their important work."

Bowman told reporters he's not aware of the Mounties looking for specific information, but that it was a broad request that may fall under solicitor-client privilege. The motion passed by council extends the range of inquiry to include lawyers outside the city's own legal department.

The RCMP are looking at a range of files that include the new police headquarters project, the fire paramedic station expansion program and an audit into city real estate transactions.


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