Winnipeg mayor orders CentreVenture to show it follows audit recommendations

The newly named CEO of the arm's-length agency tasked with revitalizing Winnipeg's downtown has her marching orders.

Brian Bowman wants to ensure things done properly after scathing audits of city real estate deals

The mayor, Brian Bowman, has asked CentreVenture, the city's agency tasked with revitalizing the downtown, to show it follows proper procedures after audits of the city's real estate transactions uncovered problems such as the city's handling of the new police headquarters. (CBC)

The newly named CEO of the arm's-length agency tasked with revitalizing Winnipeg's downtown has her marching orders.

Mayor Brian Bowman said Thursday he wants Angela Mathieson, CentreVenture's new boss, to give his executive policy committee a report on how it does business, after audits last year revealed a number of problems in the way the city handled land transactions. 

"We've seen the audits take place here over the last year, real estate in particular," Bowman said. "What I'm wanting to do is to ensure that the lessons to be learned from the audits are applied appropriately and with organizations that are in the business of land transactions. So it's entirely appropriate to use the opportunity of the new CEO to review [CentreVenture's] mandate, review the governance and processes in light of the audit to ensure that we do our part on behalf of Winnipeggers to make sure things are done accordingly."

Angela Mathieson was named CentreVenture's new CEO last month. (
Bowman said he knew of no particular problems with the way CentreVenture handled any transactions, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have concerns. 

"I have concerns that the results and the implementation of those audit recommendations may not be done to my satisfaction so the auditor is going to be reporting on that and my main concern is making sure that those recommendations contained in the audit are applied properly and quickly including to organizations that do work on our behalf," he said. "Now is the perfect time with a new CEO to have that discussion with how we can ensure the checks and balances are there but also [how the agency is] positioned for success downtown. Because CentreVenture is going to be a key player in making sure our downtown continues to thrive and that's my focus."

Bowman said he expects CentreVenture to report to EPC within 30 days.


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