City accepts bids from private sector to potentially build on golf courses
The City of Winnipeg has accepted bids from the private sector to possibly build housing and retail structures on seven of 13 city-owned golf courses.
One of them is the Canoe Club. Some residents said they're not keen on the development ideas.
"That wouldn't impress me at all - I like the green, you (got to) have some green space in a place I mean just visually it doesn't look good if it's all buildings," said Diane Green, who lives nearby.
The city's finance chair said the city courses are losing a million dollars annually, including the Canoe Club.
"That million dollars that we're losing on a yearly basis could be put towards…10 police officers on the street, or building a new community club or bridge," said Coun. Scott Fielding.
Lorraine Iverach also lives near the Canoe Club and said more than 50 residents in the area have started a petition to ensure the golf course green space won't be sold and turned into golf courses. She said the city should re-examine how it operates the golf courses.
"They should be looking at how they're running those - have them leased out differently, have different proposals, whatever, but the city should not be selling the land," said Iverach.
A report based on the bids is forthcoming.
The city said the courses could have a mixture of both park space and development depending what ideas come forward and what is deemed the best use for the space.
"(It) doesn't necessarily mean that we're going to accept every idea that comes our way. We're going to evaluate it - there's an evaluation committee, what makes sense from a land-use value," said Coun. Fielding.
He said there will be a public consultation process.
If any of the land is to be re-zoned from parks and recreation to commercial space, it would face a public hearing process and at least two thirds of council would have to approve the change.
In addition to the petition, residents around the Canoe Club said they'll question candidates in the upcoming byelection for the St. Vital ward about the golf course issue to see where they stand on it.
St. Vital has been without a city councillor since Gord Steeves stepped down to run in the fall's provincial election, losing out to the NDP's Theresa Oswald.
- with a report from CTV's Jeff Keele