Manitoba

Winnipeg councillor peppers BRT critic over 'hijacked' route

A testy exchange between a Winnipeg councillor and a vocal opponent of the city's planned rapid transit route through the Parker Lands lit up city hall Tuesday.
A testy exchange between a Winnipeg councillor and a vocal opponent of the city's planned rapid transit route through the Parker Lands lit up city hall Tuesday. 1:38

A testy exchange between a Winnipeg councillor and a vocal opponent of the city's planned rapid transit route through the Parker Lands lit up city hall Tuesday.

St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes threw down the gaunlet when unsuccessful mayoral candidate David Sanders repeated his opposition to the Parker Lands route at Tuesday's Executive Policy Committee meeting.

Mayes took issue with Sanders' assertion at the last council meeting that councillors "hijacked a $490 million project" to "benefit [developer] Gem Equities and [property developer] Shindico." 

"I suggested that ...," started Sanders.

"No, you didn't make a suggestion, sir," interrupted Mayes. "You stated as fact that the route was hijacked. You didn't suggest. You stated as fact that the route was hijacked. Go back and read your document that you presented to us at the last council meeting. So I'm going to ask you a third time, what evidence do you have? Your words. We were complicit in a hijacking. Why don't you tell us who the hijackers were?  You can't be sued. [It] can't be defamatory if it's a true statement," said Mayes.

"Okay," Sanders replied. "In my view, because he's a signatory to it, the former CAO, Phil Sheegl."

"OK," said Mayes.

Former Chief Administrative Officer Phil Sheegl resigned days before a scathing fire hall land deal audit was released which blamed his lack of skill and poor oversight in a number of deals. 

Watch the exchange in the attached video. 

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