Tag Archives: developers

What does Winnipeg need in a mayor? II

In my previous post, I made an exception to my usual rule that my commentary will be research-based, and offered some comments on homelessness and crime –— both spheres within which I claim no expertise beyond that of a concerned citizen. In this post, I return to a topic within my expertise: urban growth and development. Continue reading


Canadian city councils are programmed to be weak. Unlike provincial legislatures or the House of Commons, city councils are not well-placed to write legislation that enables meaningful change, let alone implement it so that change actually takes place. In many cases they are not even well-positioned to exercise meaningful control over their own public servants. Nor do they exercise much clout over the all-important development industry. Generally, the only way our city governments are capable of being seriously influential at all is if there is a strong mayor. In that sense, our cities, like banana republics, face a bleak choice between autocracy and a weak state.

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