Several weeks ago, veteran Winnipeg City Councillor Bill Clement passed away and frankly I was a bit shocked, partly because I know of almost a dozen good people in Winnipeg who have passed on suddenly and unexpected in the past few months.
I wasn’t close with Mr. Clement but for a long time I’ve held in him in high regard for his hard work while I worked at City Hall, mere doors down from his office, and most of all, for his willingness to communicate with me, despite any disagreements in viewpoints we may have had. I certainly didn’t always agree with him; I believe his views on policing and fiscal areas were our common grounds. But of all of the 15 City Councillor on council, there were only three City Councillors who I feel went beyond the call of their duty. Mr. Clement was certainly one of them.
Mr. Clement was the only City Councillor who always responded to me personally, some times even calling me, within 24 hours of any inquiry despite me not being a resident or voter in his riding. Communication skills are the most important skill a politician or businessperson should retain, and Mr. Clement never disappointed. He also was the most fiscally trained City Councillor, something I repeatedly celebrated in my news reporting during the early 2000s, rarely employing an assistant.
Since my last communication with him in the winter about a policing issue, I meant to thank him via email for all of this but my email outbox attests I never got around to it.
Mr. Clement was the City Councillor for 27 years, a partner is his family business Aqua Pleasure Pools, he truly was a people person, gruff but a straight shooter and most of all, was not petty to mere political differences.
You will be missed Sir.