This is disgusting.
It’s the perfect example of why Mayor Jim Watson and his Team Bobblehead should not be re-elected on Oct. 22.
Everyone knows that the height of high-rises is the most controversial planning issue. And of course heights are vital to developers so they can turn really big profits into gargantuan profits.
And of course we should not forget that developers, through their employees, friends and families are considerable contributors to election campaigns of the mayor and the majority of councillors. In addition, the planning department is funded through development charges so the higher the building, the more money for planning.
Conflicts of interest abound.
So is Ottawa City Hall sensitive to the issue of high-rise height? Damn right it is. They know an unholy alliance when they see one. The mayor, councillors, the planning department and developers all acting as one well-oiled machine.
How do we know this? The press release for the report and the meeting on the report was released 27 hours before the gathering to discuss the issue is to take place.
And guess what? The public is invited to the briefing (with virtually no chance of knowing about it) and no word if the public can participate. There will be a question period. For whom? Councillors and their staff, maybe the media? God forbid there be some actual intelligent discussion and maybe even dissent is the taped-mouth congeniality of the administration of Mayor Jim Watson. Who in the public can get to a meeting when they are only informed about it 27 hours prior to the meeting and the gathering occurs at the awkward work time of 4 p.m.
Still everybody gets what they want … except the citizens and taxpayers of Ottawa. The politicians get their campaign donations, the planning department gets its development charges and developers get their highly profitable heights.
Everything neat and tidy.
Worse than that, it will be discussed at the May 23 meeting of Ottawa City Council. Will it be approved then? That gives the public seven days to prepare for a meeting in which, by the rules, they cannot participate. I wouldn’t put anything past these guys.
Should be lots of elevators in those high-rises.
Elevators as in the old sports chant when the home team gets cheated by the referee:
“Elevator, elevator, the public just got the shaft.”
The press release and the report are below:
The City will host a briefing for Members of Council, their staff and the media to provide information about revised urban design guidelines and proposed draft zoning provisions for high-rise buildings.
Date: Thursday, May 17, 2018
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Champlain Room, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
This is an opportunity to learn more about the proposed guidelines, which will be on the agenda at the May 23 meeting of City Council. The briefing will be open to the public and will include a presentation by City staff, followed by a question period.
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