Committee shuts down public delegations wanting input into future of city-owned golf courses
Published Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:32PM CST
Dozens of Winnipeggers came out to speak to a city committee Tuesday about the future of city-owned golf courses, but were shut down.
The motion to hear from Winnipeggers on the golf-course issue was on the agenda but delegations were turned away.
"I'm calling a point of order that this matter be struck from the agenda because it shouldn't have been put on the agenda in the first place," said Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona).
Committee members told the delegation that Tuesday's meeting was not the time and place to discuss the issue.
"I'm really incensed that democracy has been hijacked by a committee. We had nearly 6,000 signatures presenting a view and we were denied the opportunity to present the view," said Ron Mazur from the group OURS-Winnipeg.
"I don't want them to turn Kildonan Golf Course into a condo park," said Ed Mitchell.
The City of Winnipeg began accepting bids last fall from the private sector for possible developments on city-run golf courses.
An audit last year showed seven city-owned golf courses are losing a combined $1 million each year.
The city wants to sell or lease the courses and is reviewing a number of proposals from the private sector, which could include building housing or commercial developments.
Citizens who came to the committee meeting said the public should have had input into that process from the start of it.
"The whole point is that the people should be heard first about what our vision of the green spaces are," said Mazur.
The city said a review has to be done before the public can weigh in and that's why the delegations were turned away Tuesday.
"I do apologize to all of the folks in the gallery who came out today, but this is clearly out of order," said Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) on Tuesday.
Some people said delegations should have been informed before the meeting.
"I can't believe that somebody didn't pick this up before now - bringing all these people out here," said Arlene Draffin Jones from the Council of Women of Winnipeg.
There's currently no timeframe on the city's review of golf-course proposals, which were submitted last fall.
The city owns 13 courses, but the seven that could see changes are Harbour View, John Blumberg, Kildonan Park, Tuxedo and Windsor Park, the Canoe Club and Crescent Drive.
- with a report from CTV's Jeff Keele