The blaring headlines outlined an expensive rebuke the City of Winnipeg received, after a property developer was misled and deceived during a lengthy approval process:
Judge awards developer $5M after ruling 2 city planners deliberately stymied development of Parker lands
In Episode 37, we go deeper into the scandal and discuss what King’s Bench Justice Shauna McCarthy read, saw and heard, which witnesses were credible and which were’t believed. Hear the alibis she rejected about why the Fulton Grove neighborhood that Andrew Marquess wanted to build was slow-walked and stalled.
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We report on the emails to and from the planners and other City officials, with the details (that would cost him millions) of BIG secrets kept from Marquess; numerous last minute ‘just one more thing’ arbitrary height limits; procedural tricks; and a laundry list of Secondary Plan shortcomings that McCarthy dismissed as a “fabrication”.
The evidence the judge cited from the emails and testimony of the 2 planners was weighed against an important principal she enunciated:
 A citizen applying for a permit, or approval of a
development plan, is entitled to rely upon the fact that the public service, and the specialized employees such as municipal planners, are acting within their statutory authority and applying legislation and by-laws enacted by elected officials in a fair and consistent manner and not for improper reasons.”
You can read the decision for yourself:
The subhead on that CBC report, however, is even more concerning than the headline, as it wasn’t simply two planners going rogue:
Officials acted at behest of River Heights Coun. John Orlikow, judge states in decision
That wasn’t fake news:
“Of particular concern is that on a few occasions concerns were raised by individuals in the public service about conduct that was deemed inappropriate, and notwithstanding that, the conduct of some parties continued.
The evidence is also clear, in my view, that the impetus and motivation for this deliberate interference with the plaintiffs’ applications were primarily the wishes and demands of the area councillor, and the desire of some public servants to accommodate those wishes.”
Marty reviews Orlikow’s denials that he had anything to do with Marquess losing millions of dollars while being strung along into revising a planning document over a dozen times.
Orlikow says he had no part in delay of development
Hoping that the mandatory summer break will cool off the heat from the courtroom debacle, at last week’s meeting City Council didn’t lift a finger to hold the planners engaged in “misfeasance in public office” against Gem Equities, or the lawyers who somehow neglected to submit key documents to the court, accountable for the $5M fiasco.
But, they also didn’t want to consider the problem of their colleague from River Heights- Fort Garry. Why would they? After all, Orlikow has claimed the court’s findings about his conduct and intentions were fake news.
“When asked about the findings linked to Orlikow, (Transcona Coun. Russ) Wyatt said any response to that should be left up to voters.”
Not so fast there, Russ.
Any taxpayer of Winnipeg who listens to the details in Episode 37 of
Orlikow’s unprecedented multi-facted meddling in a developer-led plan, attempt to manipulate property values to control expropriation costs, and direction to stall the Parker Lands process until after an election will come to a different conclusion.
As Marty states, unless the burden of the costs is borne only by residents of Orlikow’s ward, it’s not their responsibility- it is up to Council to test Orlikow’s denials.
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