Only the City of Ottawa could take four days to tell a journalist that no one is available for an interview.
I guess 78,000 page views a week here at the friendly neighbourhood Bulldog aren’t enough to get someone to lift up their phone.
Your agent remembers a regional CEO by the name of Merv Beckstead who would apologize if he didn’t get back to journalists within a couple of hours. But then Beckstead was one of the best public servants at any level of government to grace this city. He took the words ‘public servant’ seriously. But then he was a good public servant.
You can see from the email below why communications and the media at city hall have a rocky relationship. One of the few words the city bureaucracy is concerned about is ‘gamesmanship.’
When you don’t co-operate with the media, it generally comes back to bite you. I know this from about four decades of experience.
Here is the response to The Bulldog’s request to speak with someone of authority to speak on the city not announcing the signing of a $180-million light-rail contract between Rideau Transit Group and Alstom for 30 years of maintenance.
The only way The Bulldog discovered the huge contract that taxpayers paid for was through a release from Alstom which had regulatory reasons for the disclosure. It was not like the City of Ottawa didn’t know about it.
His Worship Jim Watson was quoted in the Alstom release.
Anyway, here is the city response after four days:
No one is available for an interview. The following response is sent on behalf of Steve Cripps, Director, RIO:
All contracts contained within the $2.1 billion project are negotiated and managed through RTG.
Open, caring and inclusive … that’s what the City of Ottawa once called itself. Now the slogan would be closed, uncaring and exclusive. Perhaps Mr. Cripps might be able to provide an argument as to why the residents of the City of Ottawa were not to be informed about how $180 million of their tax dollars were being used.
‘It’s not my job’ isn’t really good enough when the City of Ottawa was fully aware of the deal and the Alstom announcement. Sounds like the city didn’t want the public to know.
Perhaps 1.8-million Ottawa resident eyes aren’t good enough for a release.
Open, caring and inclusive. A good mantra for a public servant.
Wonder what else they aren’t telling us?
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