Friday, June 5, 2009

Manitoba's Bill 35: "A slap in the face"? "Don't go there"

Manitoba's Bill 35 - the Municipal Conflict of Interest and Campaign Financing Act.

"In a bid to stimulate confidence in municipal politics, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Ashton unveiled legislation Tuesday that seeks to ban union and corporate contributions to municipal election campaigns."

As some have noted, this really isn't a bad idea at all. After all, it will "improve transparency and accountability in municipal government.".

Today we read that the most vociferous critic of the legislation, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, is now back-peddling on his earlier condemnation of the proposed law by calling it an "innocuous document". So then, if this is how the Mayor Katz really feels towards Bill 35, why did His Petulance throw such a royal hissy fit earlier this week when the "laudable, necessary reforms" were announced?

'For the province to jump into this, when ... we're looking for revenue…[I told them] this will cause a real ruckus at City Hall; don't go there.'—Sam Katz, Winnipeg mayor -

"I told them point-blank this was a slap in the face to city council..." the mayor said. - Winnipeg Free Press

Huh, "a slap in the face"? "Don't go there"? Where does Mayor Katz, get off sounding like such a loser? Such a victim? Surely, something is amiss? Or maybe, just maybe, it is the following aspect of the new law that really rubs him the wrong way, the one that will require:
... all municipalities to establish a code of conduct and conflict-of-interest rules for municipal employees. The rules must include prohibiting employees from: using information not available to the public and obtained through their job to further their private interests; or; using their position to try to influence a decision that would further their private interests.
Maybe this is what Katz sees as a true "slap in the face"? Maybe he sees this clause as a threat; as a barrier that will undermine his ability to conduct his business as usual. Maybe, that's why his shrill voice was warning the Province "don't go there"? After all, in this city, it's always about him first - the people second.

But don't worry Mayor Katz, you keep telling 'em! You go girlfriend! Whine and then back-peddle all you want. Say whatever you wish. Just be aware that most Winnipeg voters see nothing wrong with the new bill. Further, we cannot help but be suspicious of anyone, especially OUR MAYOR, whose knee-jerk reaction to the proposed legislation would leave us with less accountability and less transparency at his City Hall!

FYI - In a totally unrelated aside:
Subject: Re: Origin of "don't go there"?
"In the mid-to-late '70s, ... "Don't go there" was in common use among gay yuppies then. Sometimes it was extended into "You don't wanna go there, girlfriend." I don't recall encountering the phrase in the mainstream until the '90s, ... By this time I suspect that the hip gay guys in Chicago wouldn't have been caught dead saying such a thing."

No comments:

Post a Comment