David Asper's Winnipeg Police Board appointment met with opposition
Published Wednesday, April 19, 2017 8:38AM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, April 19, 2017 5:51PM CST
A well-known figure is set to become the next chair of the Winnipeg Police Board.
Business mogul and former Blue Bomber board member David Asper was recommended by Mayor Brian Bowman to helm the board.
"David Asper's board governance experience is probably one of the more extensive in our community,” Bowman said.
Asper responded to the recommendation on Facebook.
"I'm very honoured by Mayor Bowman's recommendation that I serve as the next chair of the Winnipeg Police Board,” Asper wrote.
Bowman needed a replacement following the resignation of Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan). The board's indigenous council pushed to have Browaty removed, after the councillor criticized a plan mandating cultural sensitivity training for all city workers.
Bowman also appointed another new Winnipeg Police Board member to fill a second hole -- Brian Scharfstein, the owner of Canadian Footwear.
"I have a passion, a commitment to the community, to contribute, to give back," Scharfstein said after the appointment.
The mayor's inner circle endorsed the candidates, but it appears there will be a challenge when this heads to city council for final approval
Police board member Ross Eadie said rules dictate the chair be a councillor, not a citizen like Asper. Eadie added the board is not diverse enough.
"He (Bowman) always goes to people who are in this wealthy capitalist community,” Eadie said.
Eadie also questioned why an indigenous leader from the community wasn't picked for either position.
"Is this mayor really making sure that the Winnipeg Police Board is governed in a way that reflects all of the people who live in the City of Winnipeg?” Eadie asked.
Meanwhile, Bowman said he chose the best candidates for a thankless job that involves long hours and low pay.
"I think that regardless of one's background in Winnipeg, they have the ability to effect positive change, whether they're indigenous or not,” Bowman said.
The police board’s indigenous council told CTV News it is disappointed the mayor didn't appoint an indigenous person to the board, but said it will support the two new members.