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Winnipeg appealing Parker Lands court decision

The City of Winnipeg is appealing the controversial Parker Lands case, claiming the judge made errors.

In July, a judge awarded developer Andrew Marquess $5 million, ruling the city and two of its planners were liable for misfeasance in public office. The judge concluded the two officials deliberately delayed the Fulton Grove housing project at the behest of Coun. John Orlikow, causing financial harm to Marquess.

The city is now appealing the decision arguing the judge made errors with respect to city bylaws and development procedures, and that some of the delays were caused by the plaintiff.

“The Learned Judge erred in misapprehending the evidence relating to City’s development process as a whole, which caused her to err in law with respect to her findings of both liability and damages,” stated the appeal.

City CAO Michael Jack said the ruling leaves the city with a number of uncertainties.

“This decision would impact the city’s ability to handle development applications, particularly as it pertains to our public servants, planners, how staff are expected to interact with the elected officials,” Jack said.

Orlikow was not named as a defendant. He has denied that he tried to stall the project, and is currently on leave from city hall.

The city is also alleging the $5 million penalty was “ inordinately and unjustifiably high..”

Marquess was seeking $17 million. His lawyer Dave Hill pointed out the difference.

“Our perspective is it’s less than one third of what we asked for,” Hill said.

Hill said he hopes the appeal isn’t a tactic by the city to delay payment, but he said he’s skeptical

“Well the judgment’s for $5 million, plus costs, plus pre judgment interest, it’s due,” he said.

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