News / Winnipeg

Jeff Browaty, Brian Mayes say they’ll vote for police headquarters audit

Two councilors – and members of EPC – say they have changed their minds and will be voting for an audit into the cost overruns at the new police headquarters.

Couns. Jeff Browaty and Brian Mayes announced together on Tuesday they had changed their minds after hearing from constituents about the issue.

Mayes said while he had been getting calls and emails from his St. Vital constituents to urge him to vote for an audit, he said it was a recent dinner with old friends that got him to change his mind.

“To be frank, they said to me, hey, you’re doing a good job but there’s one vote that concerns us,” said Mayes.

Browaty said they will also be asking for a quantitative survey – basically, hiring an independent construction professional to make sure the city got its money’s worth for the building and renovations.

“The public still doesn’t feel comfortable with the processes that happened (with the tendering of the project)… so this should help clarify things,” said Browaty.

Couns. Jenny Gerbasi and Paula Havixbeck asked for an audit at the November city council meeting, but their motion was defeated 9-7.

With Browaty and Mayes’ vote, a new motion put forward would pass 9-7 at the next council meeting, should everyone vote the same way.

The police headquarters have come under fire for being vastly overbudget. The original budget came in at $135 million, but has ballooned to more than $200 million.

Browaty said he’s not sure who will make the motion at the Jan. 29 council meeting. Should enough councilors vote to suspend the rules to deal with the issue then, it will go ahead, otherwise, it will be brought forth properly at the Feb. 26 meeting.

Monday, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the Winnipeg Labour Council jointly called for citizens to contact their councilors about the issue.

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