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A NEO-CONSERVATIVE REVOLUTION FROM BELOW? WATCH OUT, CANADA

Winnipeg’s Sam Katz, who has been mayor since shortly after Glen Murray resigned in 2004, is worth watching. It’s not clear whether he is a fire-breathing neo-conservative or – as the Winnipeg Free Press’s astute city hall observer, Bartley Kives insists – a moderate, but lately there have been some straws in the wind, and they may herald a new direction in Canadian urban politics, one that could be emulated in other cities.
Mayor Katz (rhymes with “dates”) has set the objective of eliminating the business tax, leaving a $55 million budget hole that must be filled in ways not clearly specified. He is a shrewd, sophisticated political operator, who, so far, has commanded city council votes with apparent ease, and side-steps embarrassing questions with the finesse of a magician making a coin disappear. He is also a skilled practitioner of budget magic, as we will see.
So what does that have to do with a social revolution? Stay tuned.

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