Get Your City Deal In Writing


So what do you get when your organization is the first to reach out to Ottawa 2017 bureau to participate in corporate support of the party?


At least that’s how Hanif Patni sees it. Patni owns Blue Line taxis and thought he was being a nice guy when he offered to Ottawa 2017 to put its logos on cabs to promote the show. Patni said he would make a donation of some kind.

Unfortunately, no one wrote up a contract. Meanwhile the donation must be stuck in the mail.

And that’s when Mayor Jim Watson became involved.

Watson is no friend of the taxi industry and wondered why the logos were on cabs. Now we know. The taxi firm got them at the time of the informal agreement and the drivers slapped them on their vehicles.

But Watson sees it a different way. Blue Line hasn’t given the Ottawa 2017 bureau anything so without money in the $28-million not-monitored corporate and city slush fund, one can’t run the logos.

So good enough. Some of the drivers during the dust-up between the city and the cabbies pulled the logos off their taxis.

But there is a moral to this story.

If you are doing a deal in good faith with the City of Ottawa, get it in writing. A handshake is not good enough.



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11 thoughts on “Get Your City Deal In Writing

  1. Perhaps I’ve missed something but isn’t it a benefit to the City to have Blue Line cabs, who come into direct contact with more tourists in a day than Watson sees in a year, driving around advertising 2017 all over the city?

    It never occurred to me that the City would be charging the cab company for that. I would have expected to hear that the 2017 folks were offering cabbies a short info session on the 2017 events so they could answer tourists’ questions and encourage them to participate. The decal on the cab would be to spark interest from passengers to find out more. The drivers could be acting as informal city ambassadors.

    Is there anything that the 2017 office does that doesn’t have a price tag on it? If Patni wants to make a voluntary contribution towards the 2017 festivities costs, that’s well and good but there should be no cost for putting 2017 ads on the company’s vehicles.

    1. The Voter:

      Most business people would either ask for money if approached to advertise an event or were it for a good cause, offer it for free.

      Some big corporations with large amounts of PR spending might buy the rights to show the logo.



    2. To: The Voter
      That was my first thought also, i.e. the benefit of having decals on taxis. Have not seen any on our buses and now wonder why.

      Wonder what is being spent on and the type of PR outside Ottawa to draw tourists here?

  2. Wow, sticking up for the taxi industry Ken? I’d be careful on that one.
    Watson’s approach with those thugs has been right on the money.

    1. anonymous:

      I don’t know why Watson is picking fights with the taxi industry.

      What he should have done is tried to rise above the conflict and attempt to bring the sides together.

      The mayor called them thugs before they had done any thuggery.

      Now he’s picking a fight for no reason.

      It doesn’t make sense.



      1. Ken,
        It does make sense. He’s jumping ship from an industry where the traditional taxi companies are losing popularity. To be a winner you need to support a winner.

        1. Kosmo:

          Perhaps but why do you pick a fight when you don’t have to? What’s to be gained by giving the cabbies a bad time. They’re having a rough enough time now.



          1. He’s picking a fight he can win. See he’s not as soft as everybody thinks, tough when he has to be … it’s all how the voters of Ottawa perceive him that matters.

          2. He also needs to realize that others in the business community see how he’s treating one of theirs and may not be very interested in doing business with him. There are folks out there who still work from a handshake literally or figuratively. Watson’s behaviour is unnecessary, undignified and undermines trust in the office he holds.

  3. The mayor’s comments are troubling.

    Taxis are obviously not deriving a benefit from the stickers. It’s not like Roots which is selling merchandise branded as Canada 2017.

    This looks like the mayor being petty after many taxis removed the stickers from their vehicles, and now the mayor taking his ball and going home.

  4. If I owned the cab company I would exercise my right to free speech by having a decal made up to put on my cabs.

    Maybe a big lemon with his lairdship’s picture in the middle.


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