Today Alf Chaiton of Tweedsmuir Consulting looks at the city auditor’s report, Lansdowne and the performance of Mayor Jim Watson with The Bulldog’s Ken Gray.
Vintage Jim Watson. Here’s the mayor doing the shuffle on the Lansdowne profit problem.
It appears he speaks for all the taxpaying public of Ottawa with this quote:
“I think given the history of the start of Lansdowne, of all the different court cases, the public just wants us to get on with it and operate Lansdowne and make it a success and a people place it has become, as opposed to getting dragged out at court and arbitrated settlements.”
What does Mayor Jim Watson too often want to do?
Get on with it.
Watson refused to push the reset button on a bad light-rail project and look what we got. Billions spent on an ineffective line. Let’s get on with it.
On Lansdowne, Watson tells us we should just get on with it.
The only person ahead of Gloucester-Southgate Councillor Diane Deans on having the auditor general look at the Lansdowne mess was the AG himself.
Ken Hughes says he wants to look at the Lansdowne management though exactly what he means by the term is open to interpretation.
So someone should probe this. The city expected to get back $23.6 million on the Lansdowne deal and now that paltry sum is in jeopardy because of extra costs on the site.
The auditor general looked at the city’s snow operations.
The auditor general was certainly correct about problems in tech services.
The Bulldog was told the auditor general’s report would be available on ottawa.ca by late morning Thursday … just an estimate.
By around 2 p.m., your agent thought he’d better go back to computer school because he couldn’t find the report. So then two people told The Bulldog it would be ready around 3 p.m. …. no not then either.
This is a release from the City of Ottawa.
Particularly interesting is the line near the bottom of the release on the unnecessary paving of the Mackenzie Bridge which The Bulldog boldfaced. An arbitration was held in a dispute related to the project and the results can’t be released to the public.
But one wonders at whose behest: the city’s or the other party to the mediation.
The release is below:
Andrew Zenner, a financial expert and Bulldog reader, takes on the Lansdowne financial report and finds it wanting:
Interestingly, when the city put up $140 million (or so) to rebuild the stadium, the city and OSEG claimed that this really wasn’t equity because the city was borrowing the bulk of the money.
So Ottawa can take 2,000 refugees. What is the mayor doing about this issue beyond grabbing another headline.
Mayor Jim Watson continues to amaze.
He might not be able to administer a city, but he is the best politician in town at grubbing for a headline.
Witness the Ottawa Sun flare on Wednesday with the giant words spread across the front screaming: “OTTAWA CAN TAKE 2,000 REFUGEES: MAYOR.”
“We have a responsibility — to ourselves and to the world — to show that inclusive diversity is a strength and a force that can vanquish intolerance, radicalism and hate.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on bringing Syrian refugees to Canada
Critics of the plan to allow Syrian refugees into the country (and if polls are to be believed, the majority of Canadians) point to the cost of getting the new Canadians on their feet or the chances of importing a terrorist in with group. Perhaps a few of the Syrians will be radicalized over time.
This is a release from the City of Ottawa:
Ottawa City Council has approved the name Adàwe crossing for the new pedestrian bridge that, following its opening on December 4, will link Donald Street and Somerset Street East. This new link will provide pedestrians and cyclists with easy access to the communities, amenities and employment located on either side of the Rideau River.
We’ve banned handguns in Canada. Do we have to ban bear spray next?
Two 17-year-olds have been charged with almost everything under the sun after assaulting a robbery victim on an OC Transpo bus with bear spray.
Their use of the spray sent six people to hospital including a two-year-old. Yes … a two-year-old.
Police caught them, thank goodness, but the damage had been done.
It’s good to hear Rideau-Goulbourn Councillor Scott Moffatt speaking up on an important issue.
Moffatt can be one of the leaders on Ottawa City Council if he chooses to.
Moffatt rightly said that rural transit taxes should not rise until until the O-Train reaches Riverside South.
Ottawa has recently experienced its 41st shooting incident this year.
A west-end house is sporting a bullet hole in a window in an area known for gang violence.
Recently The Bulldog called on Mayor Jim Watson to develop a new guns-and-gangs policy because the measures he undertook last year don’t appear to be working. His Worship was concerned about guns and gangs last year. Gun incidents are running at about the same rate as last year … about one a week.
If only the city could manage as well at the Redblacks.
The rumour mill for the past few days had it that the city’s revenues were likely to be less than expected from the vaunted “waterfall” agreement the municipality signed with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. And so they are as shown by a memo from city manager Kent Kirkpatrick to the mayor and council obtained by The Bulldog in the previous post.
But then, realistically, one could see this coming years ago when the city and OSEG bound themselves to a P3 deal on Lansdowne.
Once your agent knew a fellow who told the same joke over hundreds of times, thinking it was still funny.
Finally a friend said to him: “It was funny the first thousand times, but not now.”
The same could be said for the tired old joke where mayors bet something inconsequential over the outcome of a sports event.
While Mayor Jim Watson is having fun betting the mayor of Edmonton on the outcome of the Grey Cup, handgun owners are making a joke of Watson’s initiative of cutting guns-and-gangs activity.
Last weekend, Ottawa had its 40th shooting of the year, roughly at the same rate as 2014 when Watson decided to take charge of the issue with Ottawa police to beef up manpower directed at shootings.