Posts Tagged ‘mayor’

Photo from CTV Winnipeg

Eliminator-RC recently moved their business into a new storefront on Higgins.  This move took both money and hard work, not just from owners Mike and Laurrie Gobeil, but from their family, friends, and contacts in various trades.  Like many other investments, the initial cost of setting up the new location is more than someone would pay for an empty building.  That’s because the investment is based on future revenues, and not on the “market value” of the property.  And this revenue comes from good products, good service, and a good location.  Now the City of Winnipeg intends to take away the location and force the Gobeils to start over with less money than they need to set up a new store.  And on top of that, there is no compensation from the city for the stress and loss of business that expropriation will bring.

This is all in the name of progress, to move Waterfront Drive over so that a pier can be built for the new Disraeli.  But like many other decisions made in this city, there are good alternatives that are not being considered.   Expropriation is unnecessary.

Bridge piers don't always need to block roads.

Yes, the current bridge design requires a pier to be placed where Waterfront Drive currently lies.  However, this does not automatically mean that Waterfront Drive needs to be placed where Eliminator-RC currently stands.  Even if the bridge pier is not redesigned to allow the road to flow underneath (which is more difficult technically and would likely increase costs and delay construction), it is possible to temporarily reroute Waterfront through MacDonald Ave and Gomez Street until the new bridge is complete.  At that time, Waterfront can be shifted to the West instead of the East.  That shift may also be temporary, as the development plans for Point Douglas with regards to both the Provincial Park plan and the Higgins Realignment / Louise Bridge Reconstruction may call for Waterfront to follow the river eastwards.  This will obviously depend on whether or not the industries in the path of such a redirection move to new locations as part of the long-term plans for the Point.

So why hasn’t city looked at these alternatives?  I don’t know the answer to that, just as I don’t know why the city did not look at a temporary span to double the capacity of the Louise Bridge during Disraeli Construction, or why the city needed to tear down a community centre a year before its replacement facility was built.  If I were to guess, I’d say the city doesn’t look at alternatives because the mayor and councillors don’t think they need to.  Mike and Laurrie aren’t going to be able to stop the city unless they can convince the province to get involved.  Barring that, their best hope may be a mayor who is willing to say as part of his or her election platform that they will do what is necessary to prevent the destruction of a longtime Point Douglas business.

Are there any mayoral candidates who are willing to stand up for a local business and its loyal customers?  Or simply to stand up for common sense?

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