The Sammie Award for best actor in a civic scandal goes to ... Brian Bowman
...we're going to honour the best performances deserving a Sammie, the city of Winnipeg award for scandal, shame, conspiracy, cover-up, audits and police investigations.
The nominations are in.
For the best portrayal of disgraced Mayor Sam Katz in a civic scandal: Know Nothing Mayor Brian Bowman.
We've seen this movie before, haven't we?
The mayor's friend gets a secret real-estate deal worth millions. Councillors who should be watchdogs are told they have no time to get answers; the deal has to be rubber-stamped immediately or we'll get sued-slash-we'll lose federal funding. The mayor is, ahem, "unhappy", but...well, what can he do? And anyway, it's a great deal for the city.
Yep. Seen it.
Bowman put on his unhappy face at this week's special executive policy committee meeting and tried to act tough. Grrrr. I'm unhappy, he said.
He was unhappy that CentreVenture had made a secret deal with True North to build a fancy hotel next to the Convention Centre. By doing so they stabbed in the back a company hired by the Convention Centre to expand the facility and build a new hotel as part of their contract.
A CentreVenture spokesman said that in the past they had fed the other company leads on possible partners in building the proposed hotel. But not this time. This time they negotiated with True North themselves and kept their deal secret.
By doing so they snookered the other company into paying them $3.7 million as a penalty for not building the hotel they promised. They needed the money to pay down the $6.6 million they spent to buy and demolish an old hotel adjacent to the Convention Centre where the new one will rise. Hee hee. Sucker!
Bowman said he was unhappy. As a lawyer, what CentreVenture did didn't seem right. Or legal. But what's done is done. And he had to look tough. So he ordered CentreVenture -- yes, ordered -- to hold a public competition for development ideas that would include a hotel for the Convention Centre.
For, you see, it's all for show.
Bowman, wearing his I'm tough and unhappy face, wants the public to believe he's leveled the playing field, so to speak. He's opened the competition to everyone who is interested. Fairsey squaresy.
And the winner of the Sammie is ...