City’s Position On Sinkhole Report Is Wrong, Lawyer Says



A topnotch legal mind contacted me on the weekend to discuss the city’s position on releasing the Rideau sinkhole report.

The city’s conclusion is that the report should not be released because such a decision would compromise the 31 or about 35 or whatever number of lawsuits the city says it has against it resulting from the Rideau sinkhole.

It will release the report after the unknown number of lawsuits are completed … maybe five or 10 years after my death.

Your agent called this a bunch of bunk which was designed to protect civil servants and politicians so that the highly embarrassing and internationally covered sinkhole issue would go away.

The legal mind on the weekend backed this up by saying that both parties in a suit must share all evidence and documents.

Neither the tobacco industry nor the NFL wanted to show the deleterious effects of smoking and concussions respectively. But they did.


Because they were ordered to do so.

Accordingly the city’s position is a falsehood and it’s action a cover-up.

Now the pressure is on councillors. No doubt they will be asked to sign a document not to reveal the contents of the sinkhole report. Then they can see the report.

So The Bulldog puts this to the 23 Ottawa councillors and the mayor.

Whose interests do you represent? Your own or your constituents? Do you represent the trumped-up cover-up of public information or the concerns of the people of Ottawa? We already know the positions of councillors Mathieu Fleury and Jeff Leiper.

The public good demands the sinkhole report be released. The legal argument presented by the city is an embarrassment and designed to keep the facts of the report private. It has little or no basis in law.

So councillors? Do you represent your good or the public good?

The sinkhole report should be public and if you feel the same, my email address is

The Bulldog wants to publish the report or its major conclusions. Whatever this publication can get.

It is unbecoming of Mayor Jim Watson, city manager Steve Kanellakos and city clerk/solicitor Rick O’Connor to put themselves and the voters, taxpayers and residents of Ottawa in this position.

This is not transparent government, a critical part of a democracy.



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7 thoughts on “City’s Position On Sinkhole Report Is Wrong, Lawyer Says

  1. There is a lawyer on council now representing College Ward. I wonder what he thinks of all of this. We have several lawyers floating around with previous council experience, one of whom used to represent parts of Fleury’s ward and, as I recall, has some expertise in municipal law. It would be interesting to have a group of them publicly explain to the current council why the document isn’t privileged and should be released.

  2. An old axiom comes to mind, one that Mayor Watson uses regularly. A problem deferred is a problem resolved (for now).

  3. There’s no legitimate reason to hold it back, they’re delaying the inevitable, and losing any little credibility left in city council in the process.

  4. As I posted already – it is a matter of may versus must.

    Council has decided to take the secrecy route because they may do so,
    It is up to the public to bring pressure to bear and get council to reverse course and open the meetings.

    Call and email and tweet and even send old fashioned letters to your ward’s councillor and cc the mayor.

    Keep up the pressure and maybe, just maybe they will see that the route they have picked may lead towards political suicide.

  5. I want to see the full report that I and other citizens have paid for.

    As The Bulldog and many others have stated many times, there is no reason why the contents cannot be revealed, other than the fact that our elected Council, mayor and employees we pay for, do not want us to see it. Now, a lawyer has confirmed this.

    With regards to there being a “lawyer” on council … is there? Is he a member of the bar? Has he ever actually practiced law? He has been in municipal politics from 1988.

  6. The lawyer on council is actually Keith Egli who represents Merivale-Knoxdale. From his official City of Ottawa website bio:

    Born in Montreal in 1962, Keith Egli attended the University of Ottawa for both his BA and LLB degrees. As a lawyer for 20 years, Keith had filled a number of roles. He was a partner with the law firm of Radnoff Pearl. He acted as a labour relations officer for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board during its post amalgamation phase and negotiated collective agreements on its behalf with a number of different union groups. He taught both at the Bar Admissions course and Carleton University. Just prior to coming on as a city councillor, Keith was mediating disputes and heading up the civil litigation department of Langevin Morris Smith.

    Based on this, he was practising up until recently so he should be aware of the laws around discovery.

    1. Andrew:

      It will be interesting to see how Egli deals with the waiver (if there is one) because I’ve been told a lawyer ethically can’t sign one of the kind usually proffered up by the city.

      We shall see.



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