Reopening Portage and Main and more important matters including “Studies”, “Reports” and “Stats”


Or not accountable to the public who are compensating them very well to lead effectively and efficiently on their behalf


Oct 14 2017 – Kevin Yaworski – WiseUpWinnipeg

The following involves discussions to “beautify” or a full reopening of Portage and Main to pedestrians and much more important but related matters involving “Studies”, “Reports” and “Stats”. We (the public) must not let the individual issues detract from the trend in much larger, underlying and very concerning issues.

Once we get our public officials to do their job we are compensating them well to do and they fix the larger issues there will be a lot less of the smaller issues and much more money in our pockets and the economy. This will translate to more legitimate tax revenue, less stress and head aches for them and us. Not sure why this is such a hard concept to grasp for them. This model has proven itself repeatedly in other Cities, Provinces and Countries with strong leadership, attention to the greater public interests and fiscal responsibility. Even in MB and Winnipeg with several governments and City Councils in the distant past.

Back to Portage and Main

Some industry experts have estimated over $16M to complete OUR Mayor Bowman’s “vision” or Legacy.

Bowman says he wants to keep his campaign promise to re-open this important and busy intersection using money initially from road renewal fund which they already raided indirectly or are under funding after jacking up frontage levels to avoid more property tax increases. What happened to his more important promise to improve transparency, accountability at City Hall to improve public trust which was dismal after Mayor Katz era? It has only gotten lower which I go into detail for some of this below.

Bowman and now his CAO Doug McNeil want to persist with reopening P & M even when over 90% of respondents in this and other polls say they disagree. Even when the City and Province are trying to get to grips with over $1 Billion and $23 Billion Net Debt, repeated credit downgrades and huge interests payments with more interest rate hikes predicted.

It makes sense to open up less busy streets in busy shopping districts and there is many examples of this around the world but Portage and Main is a very busy intersection and there is little shopping other than the underground shops in the perfectly functional crossings under it now in Winnipeg Square. It is the Wagon Wheel hug in Winnipeg.

Some intersections with high traffic volumes just don’t work with this open concept. Do you think Paris would open the roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe?

It sounds like OUR City CAO Doug McNeil is trying to appease OUR Mayor Bowman with support for P & M reopening after the $30M expired lawsuit debacle under his watch.

CAO recommends Winnipeg spend $3.5M this year to get ball rolling on Portage and Main reopening

No timeframe or total cost of project yet known; consultant pegged simple removal of barricades at $6.1M

Mayor’s inner circle (EPC) approves millions to prepare for possible Portage and Main reopening $3.5M plan approved after amendment to ensure council has final say on opening intersection to pedestrians

Corruption allegations

In threads about this reopening in posts on social media, corruption issues have been raised which a few say are conspiracy theories yet the majority think there is is more to this.

I will go into more details on the trends demonstrated in Winnipeg and MB with public funded studies, reports, stats and contracts.

Here is just some of the important details about this and what needs to be done collectively to address them and restore public trust and confidence.

The current corruption allegations involve much more than one contract or building. Allegations in court documents of breach of trust and other serious crimes against former Mayor Katz his business partner and former CAO Phil Sheegl, Caspian Construction and others involving inflated invoicing for WPS Police HQ, Canada Post Processing plant and possibly others. CBC, CTV ann other media recently reported charges were pending. CTV retracted that they were pending but extensively covered the allegations and court records.

There is also allegations involving other Private Public partner contracts that went way over budget or related unfair land deals for Fire hall land swaps, BRT phase 1 & 2, IGF Construction, Old Stadium site redevelopment deals, IGF Repairs, Waverly underpass and several others.

These all involve past and present public officials, Hydro, Shindigo, Gem and others developers or contractors with political ties. Combined these involve Billions of Dollars of public funds and it has almost always ended with the taxpayers paying the price for the crimes or incompetence.

FIPPA requests plus Ombudsman, APEGM, Law Society and other formal complaints and research have proven many reports or studies comissioned by past and present City Council, Commitees, City Hall, MPIC, WPS, the Prov and other public bodies proven to go to “friends” and or be a total waste.

Some even allowed to be edited by recipients before released including the one for p & m. Councillors are being denied important information that is only made available to Bwman and EPC or less. They like WUW are having to resort to FIPPA and Ombudsman. This is more than concerning.

Worse many studies or reports proven to contain false and misleading information to favor personal or special interests and at the expense of public funds, interest, safety, confidence and trust. The few reports or parts of reports with proper recommendations often ignored.

Here are just a few of the many examples of studies and reports that were shaded in conflict or worse and some proper recommendations ignored:

– Report for WPS / CoW by TIRF (MPIC is a Gold Sponsor) in 2011 to review and in the end expand Photo Enforcement ignored dangerous amber times; resulting increase in collisions including but nit limited to rear end and other engineering deficiencies; relied on incomplete data, false and misleading info and the few proper recommendations ignored.


– 64 page detailed report in 2014 from the respected Fraser Institute found WPS the most overstaffed and inefficient service in Canada with the data indicating 300 more officers than the City needed or could afford. It looked at demographics, population size, crime rates and much more. This report ignored and the service only got more inefficient and over budget and serious crime increased while it decreased everywhere else in Canada other than TB. Where the streets safer with up to 150k photo and 55k officer enforcement alleged offenses issued per year? The accurate and complete safety improvement stats say it didn’t and actually got worse. Transport Canada stats show MB has some of the safest roads in Canada and this even before this aggressive targeting of known and dangerous engineering deficiencies in signage, red light amber time, limits and more.

– Recent detailed report on the Justice Systems in all the Provinces and Territories found Manitoba the worse next to Yukon. What did the NDP do and PC’s allow to continue? Take more charter and other legal rights away in an attempt to reduce delays all the while ignoring the root issues related to the $afety and Parking revenue and related agendas of CoW, WPS, MPIC and GoM. More on this below.

– Active transit study granted to wife of City Transportation Mgr Luis Escobar

– APEGM professional misconduct complaint against Luis Escobar and two other City Engineers regarding dangerously but profitable short 4 sec amber time policy regardless of speed and other engineering and safety factors. Original finding was against Escobar but it covered up until whisleblower on panel leaks report to media. Law Society complaint found CoW COO Michael Jack involved in conflict of interest and giving thecengineers legal advice without a licence. In the end Jack just got written up (slap on the wrist). Escobar facing the stand in WUW supported court action for dangerous amber has resigned and Crown wants to stay. Stay tuned!

– BRT Phase 1 : Unfair land deals with Gem and … exposed but nothing done.

– BRT Phase 2: Hydro started spending $ Millions relocating transmition lines months before Council “voted” on the over valued land deal.

– The original CoW Growth fee report was kept behind closed doors despite Bowmans promise to stop this common practice and a new study ordered. (I guess it didn’t say what Bowman and supporters wanted). New report again reviewed behind closed doors and then reseased to the public along with rehearsed commentary much of which was false and misleading. Council “voted” it in despite treats of legal action. They collecting the large fee while the matter is still before the courts.

We can go on and on and much has been covered in the media or posted about these and the others.

The trend is clear of behavior that is against public interest and the collective impacts and costs are immense.

Here is more details of what needs to be done and how this relates to the core focus of WUW.

At a minimum more formal investigations are needed by the RCMP Corp Crimes Division. Contact OUR Federal Justice Minister to call for more funding to this part RCMP and why. Ask your MP for their support in this and why.

Those involved that are not convicted but responsible need to be terminated without severence for incompetence.

What else can we do collectively to make a meaningful difference?

Contact OUR Minister of Justice Heather Stefanson to ask what she is directing the Crown to do with the 2 years worth of information the RCMP has collected.

Some suggestions to ask her in your own words:

1) What she and the Crown (under her) are going to do to in these and the red light / amber time trial and related matters before the courts to promote confidence in the administration of Justice as is required in MB Justice policies and as per their responsibilities by their oaths they swore and related? Reminder her the Crown has a duty to call on sections of the Criminal code where appropriate to collect money obtained through Breach of Trust or other serious crimes including seizing property.

2) Why there is a continued trend of lack of disclosure of officer notes, missing operator observation logs, diagrams etc…?

3) Why FIPPA request show even many professional bus drivers are getting alleged speeding offenses in arguably artificially reduced zones and then have their right to contest taken away by CBA or face suspension without pay which maybe a violation of MB labour laws and charter rights.

4) Why appeals or Judicial Review needed for PE in DCZ, Red Lights, KYZ and other alleged simple traffic offences being argued as unlawful?

5) Why there is an unreasonably high and upward trend in alleged simple traffic violations, rate of contesting, delays, charter challenges, fines amounts … (all much higher vs. else here in Canada). Why even ACJ Krahn in MBPC said this was concerning and causing a lack of confidence in the System in Winnipeg in Dec 2016. Justices Harvie and Devine also had similar concerns.

6) Why Court Clerk in MB SCC had to blow the whistle and resign after being forced like others to call the accused to try to get them to change plea and pay or offer 15 min meeting with Crown who do same? CBC, CTV and other covered this.

7) Why many of the accused have reported feeling lied to, mislead or bullied by the Crown in these meetings or before or during trial? Why so many feel they treated unfairly by JJP’s in SCC and even some Justices in MBPC and QB. If needed case names and transcripts available that demonstrate this behavior and worse.

8) Why many still feel delays to go to trial for simple traffic matters are unreasonable? Even the highest Court in MB (Appeals Court) has decided to weigh in on this for a simple traffic matter (R v. Grant Appeal).

9) Why many cases documented where the Crown has stayed alleged simple traffic or parking offences when the accused is well prepared even when it argued it is a matter of public interest. It appears they don’t want to have the facts put on the record. This is not promoting confidence in the administration of Justice as required. Case law in QC of the Justice denying the Crowns attempt to stay when it in the best interest of the accused and public to have the matter heard. Then an unfavorable decision against the Crown which they did not appeal so it has set a precedence which is helping reform the system.

10) How is this and similar behavior with the Crown and Court plus on the road by many operators or officers promoting confidence in the administration of Justice, public safety, trust and respect in the Courts, Police, Government and themselves?

11) What do they plan to do about all this and if they need there is much more available to verify this. WUW has offered to meet to discuss with many of the past and present officials to share what has been collected and observed. In almost all cases the offer ignored and the few that accepted resulted in offers to take action or collaborate (PC’s before last election, Counc. Lukes, COO Micael Jack, one of Mayor Bowmans many policy analysts) but then just ignored. Similar to how the Bipole 3 advocacy group was promised too and then ignored (thrown under the bus).

What else can be done:

We suggest you ask your MLA and City Councillor to submit private members bills or motions and call for Policies, Bylaws and Legislation created or amended to require more transparency and accountability and harsher consequences for deliberate wrong doing or turning a blind eye to matters of public interest and safety.

Here are examples related to WUW requests and reforms that most have been asked for, for years. Similar can be looked at for other areas of the Government where public interests are being ignored and much of it overlaps.


1) Compliance with MUTCDC and other engineering standards that are required by law in ON and elsewhere, used in MB except Winnipeg to ensure public safety and prevent enforcement in deficient locations until corrected.

2) Amendments to the SCA and The Municipal By-Law and Enforcement Act MBEA so they do not allow breach of Charter protected rights.

OUR past NDP majority government made these legislated changes with out due diligence and proper public consultations including public advocacy groups.

The apparent intention of these was to try and reduce charter right violations and stay of proceedings from delays to go to trial in a reasonable time but many see it as an attempt to prevent lost revenue from alleged simple traffic and parking offences.

They both removed the right to face and question your accuser for summary convictions but this new section in SCA not implemented yet for traffic mattes but the City and WPS keep asking for it. If implemented it will be challenged in Court as a violation of Charter protected rights and be an embarrassment to the PC Majority government.

With the passing of MBEA, contesting of parking alleged offences are no longer heard at MB SCC by a JJP with the G4S Tech Inc. / WPA parking agent there to question and are heard by a Provincially “appointed” screening officers. You can appeal this but there is an additional cost that deters many. Many cases documented of this new process already being used unfairly for parking matters and the City asking for all bylaw matters to be handled this way even though this process under Judicial Review.

This review a result of the new contesting process and a KYZ snow clearing ticket appealed in Court of Queens Bench as being a violation of the HTA (no signage warning drivers) and the City stopped contesting during an appeal to avoid a unfavorable decision. WUW exposed via FIPPA that City Council and City Hall including City lawyer and then COO Michael Jack, Counc. Janice Lukes, several bureaucrats and others were advised it was unlawful.

They ignored and allowed G4S / WPA to continue to enforce until the Court actions and FIPPA exposed the abuse. They refuse to refund those who paid in good faith and have started issued alleged offences again under some conditions which are still arguably unlawful. The majority of the other alleged parking offenses are issued in locations with missing, inadequate or confusing signage as exposed by WUW and CBC Market Place. Stay tuned!

3) Enforcement of the sections of the FIPPA, Ombudsman, HTA, MPI Act, APEGM Act, LERA, CDN Charter, Professional Standards, Codes of Ethics, Oaths of Office, Sworn Oaths and others that are being ignored with double standards that allow unfair and unlawful practices to increase the number of alleged simple traffic and parking offences to be issued and for increasing number of convictions, fees and fines and related which are arguably unlawful taxation as fines (The trend is clear in lower court decisions, behavior documented in transcripts, FIPPA, Ombudsman and other complaints plus other public records plus several Canada Supreme Count decisions to rely on for this).

3) Enforcement of the sections of the FIPPA, Ombudsman, HTA, MPI Act, APEGM Act, LERA, CDN Charter, Professional Standards, Codes of Ethics, Oaths of Office, Sworn Oaths and others that are being ignored with double standards that allow unfair and unlawful practices to increase the number of alleged simple traffic and parking offences to be issued and for increasing number of convictions, fees and fines and related which are arguably unlawful taxation as fines (The trend is clear in lower court decisions, behavior documented in transcripts, FIPPA, Ombudsman and other complaints plus other public records plus several Canada Supreme Count decisions to rely on for this).

4)More steps be taken to prevent or deter unethical or worse behavior by Police Officers and Photo Radar Operators (Special Constables):

  • Senior officers have been granted transfers to traffic unit near the end of their careers and work extra overtime which is currently pensionable. Their pensions are based on the best 5 years. Many are making more than the Chief with OT and can retire with $100k for life. Project Drive exposed with FIPPA where Officers diverted or asked to volunteer for OT on traffic duty and $1M collected but over $1M in pensionable OT paid.
  • Similar with FIPPA exposing MPIC, WPS, CoW and CAA Pilot Safety Project where MPIC diverted $500k from overcharges to WPS (instead of refunding as required) for better signage and “enhanced” enforcement in locations with known short amber time, data showing no signage, parked with marked and unmarked vehicles unlawfully and unsafely on crosswalks, bus stops, meridians, beside exit or merge lanes etc… Senior WPS John Burchill saying the funds being used “to counter city reducing budge All the whilesenior crime rates (violent and property were amount the highest in Canada and have actually increased since.
  • This is not sustainable and is only giving incentive for officers to target the known and often dangerously deficient locations with missing, obscured or inadequate signage, dangerously short amber time especially at higher speed intersections, reduced speed limits with inadequate signage even against certified engineers recommendations and the national standards they follow.
  • Disclose contract details with ACS / Xerox fixed and mobile photo enforcement and prevent incentives to issue more alleged offenses.
  • Many examples of operators and officers targeting reduced speed locations much more often when no kids or workers present. Many examples of them parking unsafely and unlawfully, illegal u-turns down a one way street and others which are all against several sections of the HTA which can’t be ignored unless attending an active emergency, by Police or EMS, have sirens and lights on unless it reasonable not to (e.g. silent attending of the scene of a serious crime). To ignore the HTA for setup and returning to setup for simple traffic enforcement is not reasonable.
  • WPS responds in 15 mins on more than one occasion to lawful protests by WUW members with $low Down signs were photo enforcement setup in deficient locations yet calls for break and enters and other serious crimes take up to 36 hrs to be investigated and often inadequately.
  • These an related behavior with double standards cause lack of trust and respect in Police which increases the risk to officers and the public in heated situations.

5) The same level of legal competence by JJP’s and Crown and respected rights of the accused in MBSCC that is seen in MBPC as it used to be before $afety and bylaw revenue over these rights became the priority (with the introduction of Photo Radar in 2003 and other unfair or unlawful enforcement). Consequences of ignoring these rights and for perjury by Crown witnesses and other crimes that have been documented in transcripts but ignored.

This and related unfair, unethical or unlawful behavior all equates to unlawful taxation as fines or fees or unlawful taxation and involves over $100M per year or over $.5 Billion with velocity of money taken from drivers and the economy.

There is also even more impacts from less focus on serious crime (violent and property) than is required to bring the rate in line with the Canadian average instead of the bottom.

We also suggest contacting Ministers of Justice, MIT, Crown Corps and Finance plus your MLA to:

Require at least:

1) Conditions of Authority Agreement for Photo Enforcement (fixed and mobile) to be enforced or terminated at City’s expense as per the agreement.


I.e. Start supplying annual complete, accurate and independently verified data and stats that correlate data from ACS / Xerox (for mobile and fixed PE), WPS, MPIC, PWD and other relevant sources. If there is no reduction in violations and safety improvement the program should be terminated as per the agreement.

See City Audit of PE performance 2005 2006 and … where it made clear City procurement processes not following during initial photo enforcement contract negotiations and it amounted to sole source contract with ACS. It also said false and misleading information was provided initially and in annual reports.

2) MPIC and those involved in Parliament and GoM justify all parts of the “Road to Zero” initiative /plans with Facts. Including expanding automated enforcement (aka fixed, mobile, trashcan, school bus, stop sign & … photo enforcement, reducing speed limits on more regional roads against engineering standards and recommendations, narrowing roads, more officer enforcement and more legislation to enable this and related.

– Ask where is the requirement in this initiative for accurate and complete safety improvement stats as per (1) above and for traditional officer enforcement?

– Why was past amendments to legislation for MBEA, SCA, Photo Radar, Expanding PR, DCZ, Reduced Speed School Zones done with little due diligence or public consultations including from Public Advocacy groups and other important state holders. Why was it usually only MPIC, CoW and MPIC?

Collectively we can make a difference. Be part of the solutions and not the problems.

About Kevin Yaworski

I use my blog to write about things that I think are a matter of public interest or that I think others will be interested in
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2 Responses to Reopening Portage and Main and more important matters including “Studies”, “Reports” and “Stats”

  1. Pingback: Province of Manitoba, City of Winnipeg and MPIC supporting Toward Zero / Vision Zero Strategy – What this really means | Whats Up

  2. Pingback: Portage and Main Debate | Whats Up

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