City hall will ask the province to conduct a public inquiry following the revelation of RCMP allegations that kickbacks were made to former mayor Sam Katz and his long-time friend and the city’s former CAO Phil Sheegl, stemming from the awarding of the contract for the Smith Street police headquarters project.
Mayor Brian Bowman told reporters Thursday he’ll bring a motion to council at the February meeting asking the province for the inquiry, explaining it’s necessary to resolve outstanding questions surrounding the RCMP allegations and to restore the public trust in city hall.
“The new RCMP allegations that we’re just learning today are the most seriously damaging to public trust at city hall to date,” Bowman said during a news conference outside his office. “I am deeply disturbed, distressed and angered by the allegations and I think all Winnipeggers should be… The public needs to know we’re taking this seriously. The public needs to know that we’re doing everything we can to restore trust and faith in city hall.”
Justice Minister and Attorney General Heather Stefanson said in a statement: “While our government understands the concerns raised by the mayor of Winnipeg, it would be premature for the Attorney General of Manitoba to comment on an issue that remains under active criminal investigation. This is vital to ensure the integrity of the process.”