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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2010, 8:27 PM
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Further Amalgamations for Winnipeg

Hello there,

I did not see a thread for this yet, and am new to the forum so I am not too privy as to how detailed (or if it even has) been discussed already,

but,

I would like to just ask if anyone thinks further municipalities will become amalgamated into the city of Winnipeg, such as Transcona did way back when?

I know there was some news a while back about Rosser possibly doing so.

Any thoughts?

St Andrews? Headingly?


What processes need to occur for such a thing to transpire?

How long would it take?

Thoughts/comments?

I'm really loving this forum btw.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2010, 12:03 AM
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If I recall correctly, Headingley was part of Winnipeg in the original Unicity Amalgamation, and then they seceded later on.

I don't think Rosser, or St. Andrews (or even West St. Paul) would be amalgamated into the city in a long time. Unless they start suburban development, it won't happen.

East St. Paul seems more of a likely candidate to be part of Winnipeg, but I don't think the residents would agree with the idea, since they basically "escape" Winnipeg's property taxes.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2010, 3:05 AM
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I can't speak from Winnipeg's experience but Thunder Bay's experience with amalgamation is a good argument against further amalgamation. Adding more rural areas to the city council waters down urban voices, so the inner city gets neglected. You also remove local control over planning. People from Transcona would be making decisions on zoning changes in Headingly. Is that fair to Headingly? Is the opposite fair to Transcona? A regional government for planning purposes is a good thing, but having local issues for such a large area decided by a single body creates a disconnect between the people and their government, and leads to a less effective form of local government based on distrust and corruption.

There are parts of Thunder Bay that I would love to see kicked out of our municipal jurisdiction, since these rural areas on the periphery are just a drag on the city's resources. (And lately, one of those areas has had a pro-secession sentiment anyway.) Does the city of Winnipeg really need to be in charge of a few thousand houses surrounded by a couple hundred square kilometres of farm? At what point do the taxes brought in from those regions represent a profit after the city has to provide them services like police, snow removal and fire protection? (Keep in mind that Winnipeg's employees are probably better paid, and that more would be needed to serve a larger area, taking more money away from the budget for non-salary things.)
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2010, 3:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Jabroni View Post
If I recall correctly, Headingley was part of Winnipeg in the original Unicity Amalgamation, and then they seceded later on.
You are correct sir, and some of the residents miss being part of Winnipeg.

Don't expect to see more amalgamations, but you never know. We're decades away from filling all of the space within City limits anyways.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2010, 7:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Jabroni View Post
If I recall correctly, Headingley was part of Winnipeg in the original Unicity Amalgamation, and then they seceded later on.

I don't think Rosser, or St. Andrews (or even West St. Paul) would be amalgamated into the city in a long time. Unless they start suburban development, it won't happen.

East St. Paul seems more of a likely candidate to be part of Winnipeg, but I don't think the residents would agree with the idea, since they basically "escape" Winnipeg's property taxes.
Don't be so sure about East St. Paul, taxes on residences I know about are not much lower than Winnipeg for little to no services, on the other hand the majority of those living in East St. Paul use City of Winnipeg services as much as everyone else!
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  #6  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2010, 4:32 PM
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Hmmm yeah that's true too.

I guess the city is still booming in the housing market; I keep hearing there are more people coming in that the housing can keep up with? Any truth to this?
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2010, 6:05 PM
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^^^ Between 7,500 and 10,000 people per year.
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Old Posted Jul 27, 2010, 10:49 PM
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The R.M. of Rosser (inside the Perimeter) will soon be amalgomated into the city of Winnipeg. This is due to Centreport. Expect it to happen in under 10 years.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2010, 1:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinguni View Post
You are correct sir, and some of the residents miss being part of Winnipeg.
Headingley was annexed to Winnipeg a few years after Unicity, I believe, so technically he's not quite correct.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2010, 1:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
I can't speak from Winnipeg's experience but Thunder Bay's experience with amalgamation is a good argument against further amalgamation. Adding more rural areas to the city council waters down urban voices, so the inner city gets neglected. You also remove local control over planning. People from Transcona would be making decisions on zoning changes in Headingly.
This is true, although under Unicity local planning decisions were left to community committees (groups of councillors from the same district). The problem was when they cut City Council back from 50 members to 26 and then 15 -- you really lost the local connection then. I think they should move to a larger council, using provincial riding boundaries. It's silly that there are over 30 Winnipeg MLAs on Broadway and only half that many Councillors at Main and William. Your city councillor, who is supposed to be looking after the myriad little details of local life, represents twice as many people as your MLA ... makes no sense. I think a very good idea for Winnipeg would be to have 30 councillors at lower pay, who were not professional, lifelong councillors but actual working citizens like they mostly used to be. There would be more local representation and more people with more points of view, not to mention more new blood at each election.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2010, 3:32 AM
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I'd support a return to a larger part time city council. Gotta be better than what we have now.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2010, 5:09 AM
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My two cents is that amalgamations to place to contain growth, not reflect it. Unicity (with Headingly) created one big planning district. I'm sure Winnipeg would have preferred to control East/West St Paul as well to limit exurban growth in those communities.

I often wonder whether we would have a more successful community if we were de-amalgamated to our pre-Unicity boundaries, with more local control (and competition between) cities. Some sort of planning district would be required but bigger and bigger cities are not necessarily more efficient. Look at Toronto.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2010, 5:55 AM
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Thunder Bay didn't have community committees so I forget about that aspect. Toronto does the same thing, using each former city hall as a borough hall, and I think Montreal does that too. (Their city hall is practically a Parliament, 65 members.)

We have a hybrid system here with 7 local councillors and 5 at-large councillors, the at-large councillors tend to have more responsibilities. Something like that could work for Winnipeg. Have 31 councillors and 9 at-large councillors with greater responsibilities so you have a local voice and people with experience.

The opposite is something proposed by a councillor here where all wards would be eliminated and we'd basically elect 10 people at large, with the person who receives the most votes being mayor.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2010, 4:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jets4Life View Post
The R.M. of Rosser (inside the Perimeter) will soon be amalgomated into the city of Winnipeg. This is due to Centreport. Expect it to happen in under 10 years.
For certain? Or just because the signs point to that? Could this be a city or provincial decision?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biff View Post
^^^ Between 7,500 and 10,000 people per year.
Well, that certainly explains the strains. Maybe we should focus all those houses on some high rise apts/condos downtown instead (or both)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy6 View Post
This is true, although under Unicity local planning decisions were left to community committees (groups of councillors from the same district). The problem was when they cut City Council back from 50 members to 26 and then 15 -- you really lost the local connection then. I think they should move to a larger council, using provincial riding boundaries. It's silly that there are over 30 Winnipeg MLAs on Broadway and only half that many Councillors at Main and William. Your city councillor, who is supposed to be looking after the myriad little details of local life, represents twice as many people as your MLA ... makes no sense. I think a very good idea for Winnipeg would be to have 30 councillors at lower pay, who were not professional, lifelong councillors but actual working citizens like they mostly used to be. There would be more local representation and more people with more points of view, not to mention more new blood at each election.
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Originally Posted by Kinguni View Post
I'd support a return to a larger part time city council. Gotta be better than what we have now.
I second both these; we should be open to changing the structure and seeing which one works best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
My two cents is that amalgamations to place to contain growth, not reflect it. Unicity (with Headingly) created one big planning district. I'm sure Winnipeg would have preferred to control East/West St Paul as well to limit exurban growth in those communities.

I often wonder whether we would have a more successful community if we were de-amalgamated to our pre-Unicity boundaries, with more local control (and competition between) cities. Some sort of planning district would be required but bigger and bigger cities are not necessarily more efficient. Look at Toronto.

Hmm, certianly worth reflecting over. I like the thought of more competition, but would there be any negatives as well? Or would you see it more as a Greater Vancouver type of deal? Perhaps we could have got a Rapid Transit Line faster...
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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2010, 10:47 PM
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Cities in Canada are creations of the provinces, any decision on amalgamation or secession has to be approved by the legislature in law. They municipalities can decide on their own to amalgamate but the province will have to pass a law to make it so, but the province can also just pass a law to amalgamate communities without consent like Ontario did to Toronto in 1998.
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Old Posted Jul 29, 2010, 5:10 PM
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Ah interesting. I assume that consent law does not apply to Winnipeg however? Even post "Unicity"?
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Old Posted Jul 30, 2010, 12:48 AM
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It is highly doubtful Winnipeg will ever amalgamate with surrounding municiple districts anytime in the future.

The Unicity Act of 1972, was a provincial act and was put in place to replace the problematic Greater Winnipeg Act which preceeded it. It attempted to share certain resources as a way to make the city run better and spread the costs of the aging inner city outward, as well as allow for better city planning. The end result was not embraced by many as taxes in the "suburbs" climbed sigificantly. Headingly returned to its independant status in the early 80's.

The province has short curcuited many of the issues which lead of the Unicity act a number of years ago, by creating the Capital Planning comittee, which is used as a way to develop the region in unison instead of fragmented planning divided by lines on a map. This is not to say the city (the province needs to agree) won't absorb portions of rural land arround it to allow for expansion of things like Centre Port.
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Last edited by newflyer; Aug 8, 2010 at 5:52 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 30, 2010, 11:08 AM
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There's pretty much a %0 chance that Winnipeg will be amalgamating with any of the local municipalities within the duration of our lifetimes .

Once Unicity was enacted , as Newflyer pointed out , we'd solved most of the problem areas we had at the time . Amalgamation in the region just doesn't make any sense .
For one thing , it places a greater burden on all taxpayers as certain services have to be extended into what were otherwise rural areas. If , on the other hand , those services aren't extended , the people living in the "rural city" get uneasy . That's why Headingley seceded .

The other factor is that it's the province that okays this sort of thing and at this point in time there's no chance that anybody in the adjacent communities actually wants to join up with the city . In other words , it's a surefire way to get your political ass handed to you on a plate . No politician is going to force any RM to join with the city just because ... well , yeah , actually , why would they do that ?

If the city wants to have a certain measure of control over exurban development , it's just a lot smarter to get the province to set up a more powerful department to plan and actually enforce provincial development guidelines .
Rosser , for example , is never going to be annexed into the city of Winnipeg . We might take a small sliver of the RM but even that's unlikely . There's really no good reason to do it . Nothing that can't be solved in other more effective ways anyway .
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Old Posted Jul 30, 2010, 11:56 AM
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Ah interesting. I assume that consent law does not apply to Winnipeg however? Even post "Unicity"?
It probably does apply. If Ontario could merge 6 of its largest cities into Toronto without as much as a vote on what they would call the community (which is all Thunder Bay got in 1969 before our amalgamation was forced), I would be surprised if there was an exception for Winnipeg. In Quebec about 10 years ago, they basically redrew every single municipality. Manitoba could easily do the same thing if they wanted. The only thing that could stop it would probably be political backlash. After Toronto was created in 1998, the PCs lost any hope of ever winning a seat there again.
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Old Posted Aug 8, 2010, 6:07 PM
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It probably does apply. If Ontario could merge 6 of its largest cities into Toronto without as much as a vote on what they would call the community (which is all Thunder Bay got in 1969 before our amalgamation was forced), I would be surprised if there was an exception for Winnipeg. In Quebec about 10 years ago, they basically redrew every single municipality. Manitoba could easily do the same thing if they wanted. The only thing that could stop it would probably be political backlash. After Toronto was created in 1998, the PCs lost any hope of ever winning a seat there again.
The bottomline is the bad memories of the 1972 amalgamation does not sit well with many people who were around then. The municipalities around the city are more than aware of what went down in 72 and want nothing to do with it, but like I said 72 was actually an improvement of what was a completely disfunctional Great Winnipeg Act, which was implimented years previous to Unicity. This also does not bring into account the individual characteristics of each municipality, which get somewhat homoginized once they are governed by a city central government.

Today the Winnipeg Capital Region is planned as a coordinated effort and many of the issues which came up in the mid to late 60's don't exsist today. In addition there are MANY examples of muliple cities,towns and municipalities co-exsisting very well together. Vancouver and Minneapolis are a prime examples which come to mind.

For further information on the capital region and its planning committee:
http://www.wmcrp.com/
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