Last week, Winnipeg city council announced a proposal to build a hotel and waterpark on Parcel 4, at The Forks. This is after years of looking for a private developer to build a water park in exchange for a $7 million dollar subsidy.
Using public money to support private business is not a good deal for Winnipeg. The city would be better off investing the $7 million in recreation for inner city youth who currently have little or no access to sports facilities or programs. This is especially true when the City claims to not have enough money for recreation – or rapid transit, which the money was originally earmarked for.
The fact that it has taken since 2008 for the City to find a developer willing to build a water park, even with this subsidy, should raise red flags about the idea. And at The Forks? Right next to the Human Rights Museum? Maybe the Winnipeg Sun’s April Fool’s joke this year wasn’t that far off.
Our questions remain:
- Why is this process being rushed through council without adequate time for councilors to consider the issues?
- Why has there been no discussion of how the public would like to see the Parcel 4 site being used, particularly when public money is on the table?
- Why has Mayor Sam Katz not recused himself from the discussions and decisions made thus far, as he is the majority owner of the Goldeyes, which will be affected by decisions made by council about Parcel 4?
The Executive Policy Committee will be voting on this issue on Wednesday, April 18th. Council is expected to vote on it on April 25th. You can attend or present at the meetings: call 311 for more information.