Manitoba

Council committee votes to ask auditor for immediate Sterling Lyon Parkway extension review

Mayor Brian Bowman's executive policy committee voted unanimously Wednesday to ask Winnipeg's city auditor to begin an review of the Sterling Lyon extension project immediately.

Motion by Coun. Marty Morantz asks city auditor to prioritize audit in 2018

Coun. Marty Morantz introduced a motion on Wednesday to ask the city auditor to begin a review of the Sterling Lyon extension project as soon as possible. (John Einarson/CBC)

Mayor Brian Bowman's executive policy committee voted unanimously Wednesday to ask Winnipeg's city auditor to immediately begin a review of the Sterling Lyon extension project.

The motion was put forward by Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge Coun. Marty Morantz.

Morantz's motion says "questions have been raised" about the extensions of the Sterling Lyon and William Clement parkways, and asks the auditor to review the "effectiveness of the current systems and processes in place to support city staff and council for identifying and communicating relevant and material information."

The call for an audit, which Mayor Brian Bowman said he hoped will begin in the coming months, has been expected since December.

Backlash against proposal

The Sterling Lyon project prompted intense backlash this fall when homeowners in a semi-rural neighbourhood south of Wilkes Avenue discovered the proposed route for the extension would require dozens of residential properties and acreages to be expropriated. 

The plan to bulldoze through the neighbourhood was later scrapped.

Morantz said last week a breakdown in communication was likely to blame rather than a particular individual.

The city has been looking at several ways to better align Sterling Lyon with Wilkes Avenue and carry more motor vehicles between the South Tuxedo area and the Perimeter Highway since 2015.

As part of the planning effort, the city contracted consulting firm WSP to study three Sterling Lyon-Wilkes connections: one along Wilkes Avenue, a second a few hundred metres south of Wilkes and a third much farther south.

In September of 2017, WSP proposed the fourth option which angered the Wilkes South property owners.

In October, Winnipeg chief administrative officer Doug McNeil and Morantz said they were surprised to learn the public works department was planning a route that differed from three options presented to the public in January 2016.

Later that month, Morantz called for project manager Scott Suderman to be removed from the Sterling Lyon Parkway extension project at a public works committee meeting.

Suderman resigned in November.

With files from Bartley Kives

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