Civic: Engaged Public Creates Change


Mayor Jim Watson, in a news conference Friday with a gaggle of Liberal MPs, MPPs and Ottawa Hospital officials, said the feedback he was getting on the Tunney’s Pasture Civic site was almost all against it.

The public was angry and the politicians quickly responded. Now that group is pushing (and will likely succeed given the big hitters there) for the Civic campus to go at a reconfigured Sir John Carling location southeast of the current hospital along Carling Avenue.

This shows what an aroused public can do. It can create change and create change fast. It makes politicians think and act.

The biggest problem with the City of Ottawa is a lack of public involvement. That’s why residents are perceived by many at city hall at being a nuisance.

The Civic issue shows what an engaged public can do. Politicians and public servants are sensitive to a large aroused vocal public.

The lesson is right here. Get engaged in local affairs. They are critical to your well-being.



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6 thoughts on “Civic: Engaged Public Creates Change

  1. Let’s not forget that Watson stayed in hiding for most of this discussion.

    He waited until others had stuck their necks out and gotten attacked before he emerged. Not insignificant is the visuals of this. Note that the press conference was on his territory and the photo-op is of him pulling the other two levels of government as well as the hospital management into his foyer for the announcement.

    I see the 2018 campaign brochure getting filled up quickly with Watson saving the world as the great problem-solver.

    1. Indeed Watson stayed in hiding until he figured out which way the wind was blowing (he was reportedly sick but dragged himself to the Grey Cup Game and parade). Today Kelly Egan of the Ottawa Citizen and Evan Solomon on CFRA are giving him full credit for resolving the mess.

      Am also thankful we have this forum given the foregoing reports.

      Jim Durrell reeks leadership, spoke up immediately on the problem, and got the ball rolling.
      Bottom line, it is a compromise site, not the first/best choice as is LRT2 route. ‘Not the best’ = Watson.

  2. Thank goodness the public has a venue such as The Bulldog to put forth thoughts and opinions which I am sure are monitored by city hall.

  3. Always trying to steal the credit and get a photo-op, that’s our mayor.

    Minister Joly has already stated that the site at the Old John Carling building will be approved. Now to get shovels in the ground and work out the traffic challenges. That will be a major task.

    Anne Marie

  4. A lack of REAL public involvement. As opposed to the perfunctory ‘consultations’ that are usually presented. The normal city MO: Step 1 — decide on a course of action. Step 2 — offer up three courses of action to the public in incomprehensible planspeak. Step 3 — take action as had been decided in step 1.


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