Harder’s Contempt For Ottawans: Part 2

0
rick.chiarelli.ad


Second of three parts:

 

Except they weren’t. At least one wasn’t. Harder made the mistake of forgetting that Centrepointe Community Association mover and shaker Ron Benn writes a weekly column for The Bulldog.

So he went back through his association’s email and nothing was there on the topic. I rely on Ron to be right when he sends in his column. An editor must have trust in the material that comes from contributors because if they’re making it up, you’ll find out … just after it is published. Ron hasn’t let me down yet and I don’t expect him to in the future.

So I think he is right about no communication from the city on the report and I’m skeptical that of the many, many community associations in town, all of them ignored contributing to the zoning and height report. But that’s what Harder says. If I have to choose between the veracity of Benn or Harder … well you know how that turns out.

As well, Harder gave only 24-hours notice of the only public consultation on the topic. A few days later it was to go to committee and council. The public was effectively shut out of the conversation and adding input to the legislation.

Disconcerting as well is the underhanded way Harder dealt with the giant 900 Albert project, the biggest commercial and residential development in Ottawa history. The main tower is more than 60 storeys (twice the height of the current tallest building in the city). The public would normally be interested in such a huge development.

But not if you don’t know about it.

The 900 Albert project was announced on June 29, the last business day before the Canada Day weekend. This is the highest holiday period on the calendar and ideal for trying to put one over on the public. And that’s what Harder was doing. If you want to hide something, announce it on June 30. That’s what the city tried to do when it wanted to decrease snow-plowing standards a few years ago.

During Harder’s time, we have seen a light-rail project cost more than twice as much as it should and there are no plans to get the line to Barrhaven and Kanata past 2031. The planning committee chairwoman can’t get light rail to her own ward. Pathetic.

So while the public is celebrating Canadian democracy, the human rights it affords, free expression and the rule of law, Harder, the mayor and city staff are busy at city hall trying to undermine them.

No public consultation was scheduled so that city staff could ignore input from the public as it routinely does.

Between the announcement of the 900 Albert proposal and the rubber-stamping of it at planning committee were but five business days for a distracted public to get involved. The day after planning committee, the proposals was rammed through at city council.

During the tenure of Harder on planning committee, we have seen the above missteps plus the detestable concierge program where the major developers get a staffer assigned to whiz them through the planning process. We have seen the unfolding of the Lansdowne project where despite the city spending more than $200 million renovating the site plus leasing away some of the most valuable land in Ottawa at nominal charges, it receives about $1 million in revenue which must go into a trust fund to upgrade municipal facilities on the grounds.

No one with the best interests of the community in mind would sign such a deal. In two centuries, the city won’t get its money back … first because it goes into a repair trust fund and second because in two centuries, the Lansdowne project will be dust. Meanwhile the city must ask the tenant if it can use the site.

During Harder’s time, we have seen a light-rail project cost more than twice as much as it should and there are no plans to get the line to Barrhaven and Kanata past 2031. The planning committee chairwoman can’t get light rail to her own ward. Pathetic.

Worse than pathetic is that Watson and Harder announced they will be undertaking an environmental assessment for rail to Barrhaven and Kanata so that Barrhaven can be treated in the same way as Kanata … like crap.

 

To continue, go to the next post.

To go to Part 3, click here.

 

• To comment on this post, use the reply box at the bottom of this page.

• Start your own debate or comment on another pressing issue, by going to The Bulldog Forum.

• To Get More Than 30 Great Features On The Bulldog From Lifestyle To Technology And Much More, Go To The Full Bulldog Index. Click Here.

 



 

• Return to The Bulldog (Ottawa), The Bulldog ForumBulldog Canadian or Bulldog Politics.

 








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *