Woodstocks promises to only have 7 members on EPC if elected
With every election for the Mayor in Winnipeg, there have always been talks or calls for changing, abolishing, or electing the Executive Policy Committee (EPC), the Mayor’s Cabinet, or inner circle. To assume this election would be any different would be shocking. On Wednesday, outgoing City Councillor Gillingham and Mayoral hopeful is the latest candidate to throw out the proverbial political hook of overhauling EPC.
It’s not uncommon for candidates to promise something on the campaign trail and do a 180 once elected. It could be seen as puzzling why candidates continue to paint themselves in a corner on a policy promise that is hard to implement once in office, considering the power of the EPC.
Scott Gillingham released his platform outlining how he would change the powerful Executive Policy Committee (EPC) if elected the city’s next Mayor in October. Gillingham’s main objective is to give city councillors a more significant role within the council.
“I worked within Winnipeg’s current system as a City Councillor, but in my experience, the so-called EPC+2 model held us back from opportunities to build public support for new ideas,” Gillingham said.
Don Woodstock, another candidate running for Mayor, responded to Gillingham’s press release by asking some legitimate questions about the shift in his position.
“If you believe now that the EPC was wrong does it mean all the decisions that were made during this process – should be reversed? Said Woodstock. He suggested the policies passed by a corrupted EPC should be under a microscope. He also said, “Bowman trained him well,” as he is just another politician that does one thing but says another, referring to Gillingham.
Gillingham wants to immediately shrink the EPC by one chairperson and drop the Deputy and Acting Mayor if elected. He also wants non-EPC councillors to take a greater role by requiring the council to have at least two new informal meetings each year where they can develop a strategic plan and set budget goals as a group.
EPC is made up of the Mayor and six councillors who act as civic committee chairpersons. The EPC+2 concept includes two additional members: Deputy Mayor and the acting Deputy Mayor. As a result, the 16-member council now has nine members, giving them the majority. By law, Winnipeg’s EPC steers the council, drafting a budget, overseeing committees, and setting policies for consideration by the council.
The main question people are asking Gillingham is why now? He was appointed the role of Finance chair by Mayor Brian Bowman and has been in that position for six years. After receiving the extra pay for those years, and the additional benefits, Gillingham suddenly believes that Mayor Bowman’s way of governing is wrong. Why the sudden change of heart?