Mike Patton Is Back



Mike Patton has returned to The Bulldog.

Patton, the director of provincial affairs at Canadian Centre for Policy Studies at the
Arthur Meighen Institute for Public Affairs, was once an assistant to College Councillor Rick Chiarelli at Ottawa City Hall.

Accordingly Patton has developed a keen interest in municipal affairs. And in the past Patton has appeared in various incarnations over the years at city hall, not the least of which was communications director for former mayor Larry O’Brien … a thankless job to be sure. And also a losing run in River ward and as a Progressive Conservative MPP.

Photo above: Commentator Mike Patton in one of his quiet, reserved moments.

Patton is doing video comments these days and has promised to send them to The Bulldog.

So here is the first installment of what we hope will be many.

Take it away Mike:



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12 thoughts on “Mike Patton Is Back

  1. Surely the most famous local iteration of Mike Patton was when he worked as communications director for former mayor Larry O’Brien – you know, the Sean Spicer/Anthony Scaramucci role. He never did anything quite as ‘out there’ in his time with Rick.
    And, just think, if the election in River ward had gone differently in 2014, it could well have been Mike wearing the Mooney’s Bay playground fiasco instead of Riley Brockington. He also ran unsuccessfully for MPP in Ottawa West/Nepean which is when he really endeared himself to your friend, Mayor Jim Watson. More recently, he was the campaign manager for Tory leadership candidate Brad Trost.
    Mike’s fingers have been in a lot of pies over the years, visibly and otherwise, which will no doubt influence his Bulldog contributions. He does tend to be somewhat partisan.

    1. Voter, we all bring a bit of baggage with us to The Bulldog. The trick, as you no doubt are well aware, is to apply a filter when reading/listening to comments.

  2. Mike Patton’s cynicism about City Hall politics bespeaks his view of the political process. “Just sayin’ …” falls short of indicating what would serve the political process better (you know, how elected representatives engage their electors in the decisions of/by their government). So, WWMD, instead?

    1. I’d also like to hear how elected representatives engage themselves and their colleagues in the decisions of/by their government. It’s hard to engage citizens when you aren’t putting both oars in the water yourself.

    2. Alex, here is part of the solution regarding re-zoning issues.

      1. Re-zoning should be treated as an exception, and a rare one at that, rather than as a recurring event. For example, the property on Richmond Road where the Kristy’s Restaurant was re-zoned upwards a few years ago. The owners are back in front of the planning department with a higher, denser request. Does that sound like a rare exception or a common theme?

      If the city were serious and honest in its approach to zoning, its elected officials would hold an adult conversation with the residents of Ottawa. Note that an adult conversation involves sharing facts, and opinions. It involves listening to and caring about what the residents have to say. It cannot be summarized in a seven-second video bite for the local news. So, aside from a few quotes to the effect of “We cannot keep expanding the outer boundary”, while approving that next big subdivision outside the Greenbelt, and “We need to develop higher, more intensive residential and commercial properties along the LRT”, what have we actually heard, in the context of an adult conversation from Laurier Avenue?

      The outcome of this adult conversation would be a set of coherent, cohesive plans, including but not limited to zoning and transit, official through community level, that allows the residents of this city to base their decisions on. We often hear that the purchase of a home is the largest financial decision a person makes in their lifetime. Some of residents go through the homework of understanding the zoning limitations of the neighbourhood they are contemplating moving into. Why bother when neither city staff nor our elected officials feel compelled to respect the rules that they wrote and passed?

      2. When a re-zoning application comes in front of staff, the ward councillor should immediately reach out to her/his community and let them know what is being discussed. The usual approach is for the developer to work out all of the details with staff, to the point where both parties agree that the proposed development meets their needs. It is only at that point that the councillor chooses, or chooses not to reach out to the community, to arrange a consultation. That is far too late in the process. The outcome is but a formality away.

      As it relates to Mike Patton’s topic du jour, planning staff, Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Mayor Jim Watson, and dare I say planning chairperson Jan Harder and most if not all members of the planning committee were already aware and of the Salvation Army’s proposal, before it was made public. We know Watson is on side with the Salvation Army proposal. As usual, Harder is mute on the subject. The only time we hear from Her Chairpersonness is when a snide remark is uttered in retort to a valid point made in front of her committee. Fleury’s public indignation flies in the face of the facts, as laid out by the Salvation Army, allegations of spin notwithstanding. If Fluery were truly against this proposal, he would have notified the Vanier community a year or two ago (i.e. when the Salvation Army first approached the city), and helped them mount a suitable defence.

      So, is Mike Patton mocking elected officials? Clearly he is. Is his mockery well deserved? I will leave that up to The Bulldog’s readers, but my vote is yes.

  3. I have no idea who Mike Patton is but I think he’s trying his hand at political commentary using a time honoured comedic sctick.
    He might not be a George Carlin but I found his two bits to be at least as humorous as Rick Mercer’s stuff.

  4. Actually, I thought Mike’s shining moment was dressing up as a chicken, attending the Paul Martin/Dalton McGuinty announcement of transit funding in 2004. I believe he was attending on behalf of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. A moment not likely to be forgotten.


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