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Municipal Board Hearing for Gateway and Raleigh Road Closure - update

Posted: February 18, 2016


Last week, several media outlets reported on a matter involving East St. Paul.  This communication is intended to clarify the issue, correct some of the comments which were made, and provide relevant background information. 
 
In March 2014, the Rural Municipality of East St. Paul (ESP) referred to the Municipal Board a disagreement between it and the City of Winnipeg over the City’s proposal to close Gateway Road and Raleigh Street at the shared ESP and City municipal border.   When municipalities do not agree on matters relating to inter-municipal infrastructure such as roads, the dispute may be referred to the Municipal Board (Board) for resolution.  ESP brought forward the proposed road closures to the Board for one reason only – to protect the existing and future transportation corridor along Raleigh Street and Gateway Road.   
 
The City of Winnipeg said it had taken steps to close Gateway Road and Raleigh Street to stop a proposal made in 2013 to build a commercial development on land in ESP inside the Perimeter.   
 
ESP’s application to the Board was separate and distinct from the proposed development.  The basis for ESP’s application was the protection of the existing and future transportation link, not any proposed development.   
 
ESP’s master transportation plan shows Gateway Road and Raleigh Street as important transportation links within ESP and between ESP and Winnipeg.  The importance of this linkage is further highlighted by the joint work being undertaken by ESP and the Provincial Highways department to construct a through-pass crossing at the Perimeter Highway at Gateway Road and Raleigh Street as part of the Province’s ongoing upgrade work to the Perimeter and PTH No. 59. Click HERE for details on this ongoing project.  

The Board hearings occurred in September and October of 2014.The Board’s decision was rendered on January 6, 2015.  In its decision, the Board indicated that the portions of Gateway Road and Raleigh Street proposed to be closed are needed.  Further, the Board concluded that these roads are an important transportation link for vehicles and non-vehicle transportation, part of a larger transportation network to be maintained as an existing and future transportation link between ESP and Winnipeg.  The Board went on to say that it didn’t believe it had the authority to order the City of Winnipeg to keep the roads open, so it encouraged the City to keep them open.  

By way of update, in November 2014, over one year ago, the developer of the proposed commercial development withdrew the proposal to develop the property.  

Following receipt of the Board’s decision, in April 2015, Winnipeg Council passed a resolution to not support the accommodation of general traffic entering or leaving Winnipeg via the through-pass being constructed at Highway 101 and Raleigh Street.    

In ESP’s view the Board was mistaken in believing that it did not have the authority to order the roads to remain open, after finding that the roads are needed.  Given the importance of Gateway Road and Raleigh Street as transportation links, ESP had no choice but to ask the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal the Board’s decision to not order that the roads remain open.  Under Provincial legislation, permission is needed from the Court to appeal a Board decision.   

On February 1, 2016, the Court of Appeal granted ESP leave to appeal the Board’s decision.  ESP hopes the appeal will ultimately result in a decision that the roads must remain open.  The court hearing date has not yet been scheduled. 

The R.M. of ESP will continue to communicate and try and work with the City of Winnipeg in an effort to resolve this issue collegially, in a manner that respects the needs of the public, ESP, and Winnipeg. 

 

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