Brian Mayes Talks Gillingham, Housing and Goulet St.

Episode 38 features an interview with Brian Mayes, the Winnipeg council representative for St. Vital since a byelection November 2011.

In Part 1, he discusses his ward and his view on the first year of Mayor Scott Gillingham’s term- “a very honest man” who knows how City Hall works, but they did have some heated dialogue about the federal strings-attached housing funding.

5.25 – “Change is hard is a pretty hollow, shallow argument”, Mayes remarks, citing how city staff claims they don’t get complaints about infill applications while council members get swamped.

“I think we got out-negotiated’ by the Trudeau government, says Mayes, because the City was never going to get $192 million in funding. Gillingham still pitched it as a reason for councilors to support zoning process changes.

Mayes calls that deal “a loss of democracy here” as residents won’t be able to file opposition to many projects anymore.

“The City put out an FAQ thing saying “does this mean there could be 4plexes everywhere?” and the answer “No!!”- clearly that’s the exact federal wording… now you’ll have the infighting of various councilors who voted for it trying to shape the thing so none of it affects them.”

Mayes explains how defining the “800 meters to a bus corridor” could result in people trying to move bus routes and affect the exclusion of River Park South, and how “clumsy oversight” meant the Parker Lands project- “purpose built” for a Rapid Transit line – doesn’t qualify under Trudeau’s new rules for funding.

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14:51 Part 2- Speaking of clumsy oversight, the Goulet bike lane road rebuild is a dysfunctional mess affecting a Truck Route his residents rely on. As reported on, Mayes is going to speak with another council critic of the rushed project that has degraded a major route for a bike lane that isn’t even open.

“You’ve been good at policing some of these projects.”

25.00 Mayes gets reminded by Marty Gold he was one of 7 current councilors who voted for the requirements for fairness to all stakeholders set out in the City Auditor’s review of the Assiniboine bike lane debacle.

“Things are often obtuse at City Hall,” Mayes notes. “I can ask… some of these routes have implications along multiple wards”.

27.34: Mayes returns to the housing fund debate:

“I do worry about the long term impacts” and that “many of the fears were realized” during previous infill debates.

Reviving the Al Golden caution “the devil is in the details,” a brief discussion of Golden’s work on Council in St. Vital ward years before Mayes assumed the seat, and Mayes’ tireless work to get running tracks added to City recreation assets- West End, you’re next! – is part of the conclusion of the interview.

35:40 – Marty provides a closing commentary, mentioning a retro sports scandal he helped investigate about 30 years ago.

The shocking negligence and improper financial practices eventually resulted in the ouster of a provincial commission chair. Read it here:

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