Former Sun boss to head police board?
Bowman nominates Klein to replace outgoing Asper
Rookie Charleswood-tuxedo Coun. Kevin Klein is poised to become the next chair of the Winnipeg Police Board.
Mayor Brian Bowman announced Friday that Klein, a former publisher of the Winnipeg Sun, is his nominee to replace outgoing board chair David Asper.
Asper’s term was set to expire in December.
Bowman said Klein was selected for his focus on improving public safety and his past experience as a police board member in Cobourg, Ont.
“His commitment to public safety is real and he’s got a wealth of experience,” said Bowman.
The mayor said the selection would also allow an Indigenous person to serve as the city’s police board chair for the first time, since Klein is Métis.
Bowman said Klein’s appointment is still subject to background checks and must be ratified by council next week.
Klein, who described himself as fiscally conservative during his election campaign, said it’s too soon to decide exactly where he’d fall on the hotly debated size of the Winnipeg Police Service budget.
“I need to be briefed on it to see what we’re looking at before I can comment,” said Klein.
The Winnipeg Police Association, the city’s police union, has argued the budget is increasing too slowly to meet the demands of rising service calls. Bowman has said it must be kept around the rate of inflation to remain sustainable.
The proposed incoming board chair said his key current goal is to follow in the footsteps of the current chair.
“I hope to achieve the same success that David Asper brought. I think he brought a calmness to the board, he brought a level of security to the board,” said Klein.
Asper, who has served as chair since April 2017, made substantial changes to the board. That included reducing the number of public meetings it holds each year, from a minimum of nine to a minimum of four, and adding more community consultations.
Meanwhile, returning Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie, who served on the police board before the election, is no longer expected to be among its members.
Eadie confirmed a councillor voting process selected newly elected St. Norbert-seine River Coun. Markus Chambers to become a board member instead, though that decision also awaits council ratification.
“I was somewhat upset and very sad that I won’t be able to sit on the police board with my colleagues,” said Eadie.
“His commitment to public safety is real and he’s got a wealth of experience.” Brian Bowman
Outgoing police board chairman David Asper, left, and Kevin Klein, the nominee to take over the role, speak to the media at City Hall yesterday. Inset, Mayor Brian Bowman nominated Klein for the role. KEVIN KING/WINNIPEG SUN FILES