Nov 17 2019
WiseUpWinnipeg is a large community organization with many volunteer public advocates, over 14,000 members and growing rapidly.
We have shared many recent and past articles from the WFP, CBC, Global, CTV and others that have criticized the photo and traditional traffic “enforcement” “safety” programs in Winnipeg.
It should be very concerning to the public that the many past and present elected and appointed officials which have been compensated very generously to lead on the public’s behalf have for the most part ignored these articles.
Equally concerning is these officials and most of the main stream media have ignored the following information and facts and others WiseUpWinnipeg has been raising starting in 2003
These and other facts clearly demonstrate a trend against proper public safety, proven national engineering standards, justice and other interests by these public officials and bodies.
This well documented in many FIPPA requests, court transcripts, decisions, docket lists, other court records, formal complaints to WPS, WPS Professional Standards, WPS Chief, City of Wpg, MB Ombudsman, APEGM / EGM, MB LERA, LSM, Chief Justices plus City of Winnipeg Audits, WPS and City of Winnipeg Annual reports, MB PUB and MPI reports and other public records.
1) The traffic “safety” revenue from these programs has been much more than the $11,000,00 per year often quoted by Police and City officials. Up to $70,000,000 has been collected each year and trending up, from Winnipeg drivers and vehicle owners from alleged traffic “violations”. The vast majority of these arguably unfair or unlawful due to being issued in locations with known or created traffic engineering deficiencies. These include missing, removed, obscured or inadequate signage, artifically reduced speed limits and intersection amber light duration. These all against national engineering standards like MUTCDC, ITE and others that have proven to increase public safety and are followed or enforced across Canada and even in MB outside Winnipeg.
2) The Province’s cut of this “safety” revenue is 50% before court costs which they reduced by using articling students for the Crown who have frequently misled the accused and court, lied to or bullied the accused or their representatives and JJP’s that are not trained in law and have a trend of being biased and error prone. They have diverted clerks and other staff from the higher courts and forced to act in ways they felt was not ethical. Very little if any of this revenue has gone to improving safety via engineering, proper driver education or awareness initiatives.
3) The City’s cut is 25% and very little if any of this has gone to improving traffic engineering and education which proven to be the most effective ways to improve safety.
4) WPS’s cut is 25% before paying For Profit Conduent PE partner who’es contract they refuse to release to the public even via FIPPA requests and Ombudsman complaints. Most if not all of this revenue goes to salaries, pensions and benefits of police which accounts for 85% of their $300,000,000 budget (over 27% of the City’s entire budget).
5) A few of the many locations that were being aggressively targeted due to known or created engineering deficiencies were finally corrected after years of activism and protests by WiseUpWinnipeg and saw a 95% reduction in violations.
6) Most times engineering deficiencies exposed in court cases the Crown would stay to avoid precedence and the JJP (or Justice at appeal) would ignore the public interests and allow it. WPS or PE would stop enforcing in those locations and in a few cases they cancelled the alleged offenses in the system but refused to refund those that paid in good faith.
7) The City, MPI and GoM have refused to follow the few valid recommendations in the last review of Photo Enforcement (2011) including investigate the cause of the very high rate of rear end collisions at many intersections in Winnipeg. Instead they used the false and misleading information in the massaged and flawed report to expand photo enforcment. They diverted Millions of dollars in MPI overcharges to Police (for “enhanced” enforcement with officers diverted from community support and other important units or working pensionable OT) and ineffective “studies” that ignored engineering standards and other root issues instead of refunding as required by the legislated monopoly that is MPI.
8) Past and present Ministers of Infrastructure, Councillors & City Chairs of Infrastructure (Lukes & Allard), CSO Michael Jack, one of Bowman’s many policy analysts and other elected and appointed officials at the City and Province have seen the WUW two hour guided presentation of the many dangerous engineering deficiencies being aggressively targeted. They have promised to collaborate then ignored or refused to apply the recommendations that have been requested for years.
9) In many cases the City of Winnipeg has removed hundreds of public paid and engineer recommended speed limit and other traffic signage. The previous NDP and current PC majority LEG’s have amended and created legislation and policies that are arguably against public interests and other tactics by GoM, MPI, the City of Winnipeg and WPS that have reduced safety, further erroded the rights of the accused etc … but have increased violations and revenue.
We have added the following and updated some of the other points to clarify.
10) The City and Province have refused to enforce the Conditions of Authority for PE every year since 2004. Independent academic and engineering reviews correlated data collected by WPS, City Public Works, MPI and MB Justice have proven PE has not improved safety and worse yet has decreased it in most cases. The City, WPS and MPI have continually resisted the disclosure of FIPPA results and comply with Ombudsman decisions that would prove this. Similar findings from truly independent and unbiased studies in other jurisdictions.
11) Former City Engineer and Transportation Manager Luis Escobar lied to or mislead City Council about the safety of City wide 4 second amber time policy even at higher speed intersections and other engineering deficiencies being aggressively targeted by WPS and their For Profit PE partner. An APEGM professional misconduct complaint against Escobar and two other engineers included 24 examples. The panel of engineers agreed with the complaintaint but the CEO of APEGM replaced the non compliant engineers and tried to bury the original report. It was exposed by a whistleblower but the City, Province and media have for the most part ignored this and the harrassment of the whistleblower by APEGM / EGM. City CSO Michael Jack also found to have been in conflict of interest and practicing law while not registered in a professional misconduct complaint with LSM after he gave legal advice to his colleagues Escobar and the two other engineers in the APEGM complaint. He only received a written warning.
12) The City Audit of Photo Enforcement Performance 2005 2006 report identified the serious issues with the procurement, pilot, implementation and operation of the program. Allegations of bribery or breach of trust related to this that are substantiated have not been investigated by RCMP Corporate Crimes division due to in their words, a lack of resources and funding plus no direction from higher up and being busy investigating serious allegations of these same crimes and others by former Mayor Sam Katz, former CAO Phil Sheegle who was suspended, Caspian Construction and others.
13) These revenue before proper engineering, safety and justice schemes with their trend in behavior against public safety involve more than just the City of Winnipeg, WPS, MPI and the MB Government. They have had enormous costs to society, the economy, and legit tax revenue. They have added to the loss of public trust, confidence, respect and trust of Police, the City, Government, MPI, APEGM / EGM, LSM, LERA and the Judicuary / Courts.
The public is facing a biased, well funded and greased system that it is paying for and geting abused by. This arguably equates to taxation as fines, unjust enrichment and other serious crimes.
Once enough of the public are informed of the facts, impacts of ignoring and take the meaningful actions available to them things will start to change.
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