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Winnipeg city planning should be removed from politicians’ hands

In the recent buzz around City Hall, City Councillor Markus Chambers has found himself at the centre of a controversy, highlighted by an 18-page report from the ethics commissioner. The report concludes that Chambers should apologize for voting on a development in which his friend, advisor, and campaign volunteer was the property owner.

The inherent conflict of interest in such situations is all too common. When I served as a city councillor, I consistently advocated for removing city councillors from the decision-making process on all developments. I proposed the establishment of a Planning Commission composed of local professionals with expertise in building, community planning, and infrastructure needs. This commission would make evidence-based decisions free from political influence.

Elected officials are perpetually in conflict when making these decisions. Developers are among the most significant contributors to election campaigns, particularly at the municipal level. It is a well-known tactic for developers to donate to multiple candidates, ensuring they support whoever gains power. This is the nature of politics, and I do not blame developers or political hopefuls for participating in this system.

Read more at the Winnipeg Sun, click here.


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