The game of Monopoly taught a whole generation that scheming and greed were rewarded with riches. Monopoly, a game of land speculation, uses cardboard resources, plastic houses and play money, but anyone playing can easily read the rules on the box.. But in the game of Winnipeg Land-Swap, as played by the present regime at City Hall, the land is publicly owned, the money is the taxpayers, and the rules are made behind closed doors. and the losers are the citizens of Winnipeg. Even those councillors who are not fortunate or obsequious enough to be asked to join EPC, are left in the dark, not only about the rules but also that the game is in progress.
This week the fiasco of the River Heights fire hall ‘swap’, totally unknown to even the councillor in the area underlines the questionable methods the present regime accepts as both democratic and legal.
To citizens in other parts of town this Winnipeg Land-Swap method of obscuring the wheeling & dealing at City Hall, eliminating the inconvenience of public consultation, and perhaps even hiding the money trail, is all too obvious. In the Parker Ave. area and in Lord Roberts, the land swap under the guise of TOD has resulted in massive loss of extremely valuable green space and a growing cynicism in the citizenry about the machinations at city hall and who they are working for.
However, the chorus of questions about the similarities between Monopoly and the Winnipeg Land Swap Game and whether scheming and greed play a major role are yet to be answered.
Is it possible to trust a government that operates behind closed doors, excluding some elected representatives from essential information?