Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CMHR, RRC President Forsyth learning hard lessons in accountability; Is Parking Authority next (Updated after mtg) ?

It's been a rough week for the upstanding responsible 'leaders' and 'visionaries' of our downtown.

On Sunday, to the shock of many, the Winnipeg Free Press - fed by an actual caring student journalist - told the public how, yet again, Red River College president Stephanie Forsyth had some splainin' to do to the Provincial Ombudsman because of those pesky privacy laws and some detoured-from-the-shredder security reports.

One of our listeners wasn't so willing to let Madame Micro-manager pass the buck to just the lowly contracted cleaning staff :

The security workers working that night that put those files in the designated recycling area should be fired for not doing there job and locking them up. The cleaner should also be fired because they clearly don't understand the concept of having a shredding station and knowing paper is there to get shredded for a reason.. Whoever was responsible for shredding those papers should be investigated as well. If they were dumping their work of on the cleaners and not shredding stuff themselves they should be fired too.

Then on Tuesday, the pet project of Millionaires - still silent about being built on a sacred burial ground - admitted to the Winnipeg Sun that after years of living high off the hog and showing no regard for whose money was being spent - the taxpayers of Canada - suddenly annual spending was constricted by 50%, hiring was only 1/3 of the planned staffing expansion, they might not be able to afford the entire $310 million for the monstrosity on the Red, and oh yes, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is ANOTHER YEAR behind schedule.

On Wednesday morning, I will be appearing at the City of Winnipeg Executive Policy Committee meeting. To my surprise, a caller advised me that a report from the Parking Authority about a downtown parking plan is wedged into their crowded agenda.

It is written in almost incomprehensible bureaucratese, such as "Develop a range of customer input mechanisms". (HUH?)

None of which, it appears, included the term "public consultation" or "town hall".

No wonder, considering not a single human unaffiliated with a civic department or agency was consulted as part this plan set before "the Mayor's cabinet".

I will be reminding the EPC members who amongst them agreed with my presentation last March, and are quoted in Hansard agreeing with me, that the public should have a say in parking planning; deserve some fair recourse for complaints; and that public consultation meant the public as in "humans", not just the designated organizational "stakeholders" the parking czardom is cozy with.

HINT: it's a majority of the votes.

Will their words of assurance from March have meaning, or will voter cynicism about politicians be once again validated ?

Given that aside from my late-in-the-day registration to speak, NOT A SINGLE DELEGATION was scheduled to address the dozens of issues EPC is deliberating on, it appears civic engagement in River City is at an all-time low.

Little wonder, when those who have stated their case at council have been personally attacked -- on the record -- not for the validity of their arguments, but for having dared to speak out in opposition and participate in something that got those same councilors into their jobs in the first place - democracy and free speech.

We'll let you know how it turned out on the next podcast, which will be recorded at our special Facebook group gathering to which all are invited Wednesday night, 7 PM, at the Kings' Head tavern.

Here is the Twitter-ready version of the presentation - thanks to James Turner of the Winnipeg Sun:

James Turner
at EPC meeting to present on his views of the downtown parking plan.

James Turner
Says report is 'dense' in terms of how it's written. Talking public consultation.

James Turner
'The public had to be consulted' but stakeholders didn't include 'people' Gold says.

James Turner
'I have waited since March ... For a public notice", Gold says.

James Turner
Not a single record of WPA consulting public on downtown parking, he says. The plan affects Women's shelter

James Turner
'Would somebody please ask (the WPA) to start speaking english?' Gold says.
2 hours ago

James Turner
'How come the public is never mentioned as a key stakeholder group?' Gold asks.

James Turner
WPA references Los Angeles etc. In report: 'none of which have blizzards,' Gold says.

James Turner
'Couns. Must take some actions with regard to the Parking Authority.'

James Turner
Katz thanks Gold for his comments, no questions