City Hall: Where Democracy Goes To Die



So ends the most disgusting case of non-participatory democracy in the recent history of Ottawa City Hall.

The May 8 planning committee with almost no publicity met to discuss the built form of this community by way of the high-rise report.

The development industry was well-informed about the measures and very well prepared. It had no doubt worked hand-in-glove with the planning department to ensure that both parties were very pleased with the outcome. And the best result for both is big high-rises crammed into neighbourhoods where they are not welcome but where developers and city planning (through development charges) can make big money.

At the meeting, planning chairwoman Jan Harder admonished community associations for not showing up at the committee saying that 102 of them had been told about the report. In fact, one community association was told according to the report itself. Tell a lie big enough so people will believe you.

The public made no presentations and councillors Jeff Leiper and Mathieu Fleury did amazing imitations of people who had not read the report. Congratulations. That’s especially shocking because Kitchissippi (which Leiper represents) is the focus of the city’s intensification measures which are very lucrative for developers and the city. Damn nice bike lanes though.

The measure passed unanimously at committee despite the orchestrated exclusion of the public.

Then the public and councillors were told there would be a meeting to discuss the measures. They were informed 27 hours before the meeting.

Two business days later, the high-rise report passed city council unanimously in four seconds. Carried.

You could have placed potted plants in councillors’ chairs and no one would have noticed the difference.

As for the media, they were nowhere. Shameful.

Never underestimate the power of the development industry in this city. The above example illustrates it. And what would happen to a councillor who opposed this measure? Count on the development industry running a candidate against him or her in the upcoming municipal election. They’ve done it before.

Once three developers representing the industry came to a Citizen editorial meeting when I was a member of that board and asked why builders were so disliked. Look above. You can’t act like that and be liked.

And the mayor and his Team Bobblehead? Time to go. Oct. 22 is coming.

Interestingly the mayor was not at council to preside over the blessing of the high-rise report.

Guess the stink got to him.


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One thought on “City Hall: Where Democracy Goes To Die

  1. Ken, Ken, Ken. 350 members of the press were notified and no one showed up to comment. And if you believe that, I’ve got a nice little bridge I’ll sell you in New Brunswick at a great price.

    Democracy is still alive and well in Ottawa. It will be on display in October for everyone to see, and we’ll have an opportunity to participate.


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