For­mer Sun boss to head po­lice board?

Bow­man nom­i­nates Klein to re­place out­go­ing Asper

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - JOYANNE PURSAGA jpur­saga@post­media.com Twit­ter: @pur­sagaw­pg­sun

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

JOYANNE PURSAGA/WIN­NIPEG SUN

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

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