Shock, fury over ex­pro­pri­a­tion plan

Pro­posed ex­ten­sion of Sterling Lyon Park­way out­rages south Charleswood res­i­dents

Winnipeg Free Press - - FRONT PAGE - ALDO SANTIN

ACONSULTING firm is be­ing blamed for alarm­ing south Charleswood res­i­dents that their homes had been tar­geted for ex­pro­pri­a­tion and de­mo­li­tion to make way for a mas­sive ex­ten­sion of the Sterling Lyon Park­way.

The res­i­dents said they were caught by sur­prise when in­formed ear­lier this month about the pro­posed east-west cor­ri­dor, as it was a route that had never been dis­closed by the city or pro­posed as a pos­si­ble op­tion.

Res­i­dent David Ames said the pub­lic should be con­cerned about the tac­tics em­ployed by city staff and the con­sult­ing firm.

“The story is not that there are ex­pen­sive homes that were go­ing to be ex­pro­pri­ated and de­mol­ished, it’s that this was done with­out con­sult­ing the com­mu­nity and (with­out) over­sight,” said Ames, who is now pres­i­dent of the re­cently formed res­i­dents group, the South Wilkes Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion.

“What they’ve been do­ing in se­crecy is dis­gust­ing,” he said.

City staff along with MMM/WSP Global, held stake­holder meet­ings and pub­lic in­for­ma­tion ses­sions in early 2015. Three op­tions were pre­sented to res­i­dents at an open house in Jan­uary 2016: widen­ing Wilkes Av­enue from Shaftes­bury Boule­vard east­ward, and two more southerly routes that in­volved an ex­ten­sion of Sterling Lyon Park­way as the east-west cor­ri­dor.

The south Charleswood res­i­dents over­whelm­ingly en­dorsed the Wilkes route and then for­got about the is­sue.

Staff in the pub­lic works depart­ment and MMM/WSP Global went to work on the fi­nal de­sign for the east-west cor­ri­dor. In­stead of fi­nal­iz­ing de­tails for the Wilkes op­tion, or ei­ther of the two other op­tions, they de­vel­oped a fourth route — a south­west ex­ten­sion of Sterling Lyon that cuts a wide swath through sev­eral ru­ral-like res­i­den­tial ar­eas. It af­fects 96 homes along McCreary, Loudon and Lib­erty streets, Charleswood Road and a num­ber of other streets, which would have to be par­tially or com­pletely taken for the project and con­nected at an in­ter­sec­tion with the ex­tended Cle­ment Park­way, which would be moved fur­ther south, ac­cord­ing to this de­sign.

Ames said res­i­dents were called to four meet­ings at the be­gin­ning of this month with Scott Su­d­er­man, a trans­porta­tion fa­cil­i­ties plan­ning en­gi­neer in the pub­lic works depart­ment, and staff from MMM/WSP Global, who in­formed them about the new route. Ames said it was pre­sented as the only choice. They were told it would be pre­sented to coun­cil for ap­proval in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary and that con­struc­tion would be­gin as early as 2021.

The early Oc­to­ber meet­ings in­cluded staff from the city’s real es­tate of­fice, Ames said, who told the res­i­dents they could agree to sell their prop­er­ties to city hall or wait to have their homes ex­pro­pri­ated.

“Peo­ple were shocked and fu­ri­ous,” Ames said. “They were go­ing to lose their homes. This was a done deal. Su­d­er­man and MMM/WSP Global said this is their rec­om­men­da­tion to coun­cil and they’re not look­ing at any other op­tion and haven’t looked at any other op­tion for a long time.”

Ames said the value of the af­fected prop­er­ties im­me­di­ately dropped 40 to 60 per cent.

Court was told Paul didn’t mean to kill Uta, and the man­slaugh­ter charge was never up­graded to sec­ond-de­gree mur­der. His mother told po­lice Paul had told her he pur­posely didn’t stab Uta in the up­per chest be­cause he didn’t want him to die. He was on bail at the time and had a court or­der ban­ning him from car­ry­ing weapons, but Paul later told his pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer he had the knife for his own pro­tec­tion and only wanted the vic­tim’s phone.

De­fence lawyer Ian McNaught told the judge Paul had been di­ag­nosed with al­co­hol­re­lated neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­der, a con­di­tion on the fe­tal-al­co­hol spec­trum, and was known to act im­pul­sively. His sub­stance abuse over the years cre­ated a “Jekyll-and-Hyde sce­nario where the per­son who’s on drugs is very dif­fer­ent than the sober in­di­vid­ual who we ul­ti­mately or usu­ally see be­fore the court. As I say, I don’t think this vi­o­lence is Mr. Paul’s de­fault po­si­tion,” McNaught said.

The Crown had asked for 16 years, with a con­cur­rent three­year sen­tence for the ear­lier ag­gra­vated as­sault on Uta. With credit for time he’s al­ready served, Paul has 12 years and nine months left be­hind bars.

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