The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Brian Bowman as Mayor. Day One -- Promise Number One. Broken.

Brian Bowman has set a new record for the shortest time spent by a mayor before breaking a major election promise.

Even disgraced Mayor Sam Katz waited a few months before revealing to voters that they had been suckered by his stance while campaigning against Judy Wasylycia-Leis against raising propery taxes.

Bowman on Tuesday hadn't even been sitting in the Mayor's chair long enough to warm it up before he announced that his vaunted promise to let city council elect the members of the powerful executive policy committee was null and void.

And, like a weasley lawyer, he came prepared with an excuse for why he couldn't do the very thing he had been telling voters for months that he would do.  He blamed somebody else. Actually, he blamed pretty much everybody else except himself.

He blamed the law. It had to be amended by the provincial government, and he would get right on that. He blamed the city administration which broke the news to him that a council election was forbidden.  And he blamed his advisors for giving him bad advice.

What he failed to do was say what the City of Winnipeg Charter actually reads:

Mayor's appointments
59(1) At the first meeting of council after a general election, the mayor must appoint
(a) a deputy mayor;
(b) an acting deputy mayor;
(c) the chairpersons for the standing committees of council, if such committees are established by council; and
(d) members of the executive policy committee of council under clause 61(1)(c), if any.
Executive policy committee established
61(1) There shall be an executive policy committee of council composed of
(a) the mayor, who is the chairperson of the committee;
(b) the chairpersons of the standing committees of council, if any such committees are established; and
(c) any other members of council appointed by the mayor.

Hmmm. Nothing that would ban the mayor from holding a vote to gauge the will of council over who should sit on EPC before he appointed the members.

So much for 'change' and 'can do' spirit at City Hall.  Instead of showing bold leadership, Bowman showed the limited mindset of a lawyer who is looking for reasons why he can't do what he promised.

Worse, is how easily the city administration made him their puppet.  This is the same administration that's rejected all criticism over the egregious mismanagement, if not actual corruption, behind the series of city construction projects that plagued Katz's last years in office. Bowman showed how easily he can be controlled.

Bowman's first act as mayor was to prove his ignorance of how the city works. 

If he continues on this path, he will quickly grow frustrated, like all Gen Xers who don't get their way.  Then he'll quit because 'this isn't fun anymore.'

Memo to Robert Falcon Oullette:  keep your election signs. You may be dusting them off for a byelection in a few years.

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