The Future City: A Selection of Views on the Reorganization of Government in Greater Winnipeg
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The Future City: A Selection of Views on the Reorganization of Government in Greater Winnipeg, ed. Lloyd. Axworthy. Winnipeg: Institute of Urban Studies, University of Winnipeg, .
This is a collection of short essays on the potential workings and outcomes of the Unicity scheme then proposed by the Manitoba provincial government, and attempts to give careful consideration and critique of the scheme. Essays are written by researchers and academics from the University of Winnipeg, members of the local media and the private sector. The paper argues that amalgamation into a regional government will have both positive and negative effects. Generally, the provision of equitable levels of services and effective planning for the entire region are viewed positively, while the potential for Unicity to become too unwieldy and too under-representative of marginalized communities is seen as a cause for concern. An additional criticism that arises from these essays, is that partisan politics will become more firmly rooted at the municipal level in Winnipeg, on account of Unicity’s proposed parliamentary-style city council. The test of Unicity, therefore, is the degree to which the proposed community committees and ward representation are able to flourish. The editor concludes by saying that the Unicity has the potential to be a framework for a new, more democratic style of politics through greater citizen engagement. This end must be actively pursued, he writes, otherwise the new framework will be governed by the same old politics that characterized Greater Winnipeg in recent years.