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Watson Glues A Patch On Casino Issue

Now this is weird.

It wasn’t that long ago that Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Premier Kathleen Wynne were on the other side when Mayor Jim Watson wanted a second casino to placate groups (including the Ottawa Senators) that had hoped to bid for a franchise.

Now everybody is singing Kumbaya as the city presents a certificate for the money raised by OLG from slots at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

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Airport Light Rail: The Casino Revisited

Watson

Watson

When we last left Mayor Jim Watson, the Great Helmsman, he was showing some contrition about leaving out Ottawa Airport from his wondrous Phase 2 of the light-rail Jimboree.

You’ll remember that the Phase 2 Jimboree was the one without funding, that will be completed when many of us are dead and that is the keystone to Jimapalooza 2014 (Which, if you haven’t been reading, is Watson’s re-election campaign that started right after Jimapalooza 2010. Where have you been, anyway?)

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20 Big Problems At City Hall: Bulldog On CFRA

cfraCFRA journalist Rob Snow and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray discuss the many problems at Ottawa City Hall right now.

In fact, Gray says he’s never seen city hall running worse than it has now since he first started covering municipal affairs in 1998.

To listen to the podcast of the recent segment on CFRA’s Afternoon Edition, click on the podcast player below:

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Yet More City Blunders

Last week, Bulldog Ottawa added the current baseball mess to a list of city blunders.

Then a Tweep found, what we thought, were all the ones Bulldog Ottawa missed.

But Bulldog Ottawa reader Phil McBride has found even more. His comment is worth better play. Embarrassing and expensive:

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Baseball Another Business Blunder By City

Scratch, Ottawa Lynx Mascot

Scratch, Ottawa Lynx Mascot

The city of Ottawa has had hideous trouble trying to conduct business over the past few years.

The absolute botching of the baseball file is just one of a long string of business faux pas that even financial novices wouldn’t make. The citizens of this municipality rely on their public servants to make the best decisions for them and yet they are repeatedly disappointed.

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The Bus Crash And The Casino: Bulldog On CKJD

ckdjDarcy Lynch at CKDJ here in Ottawa invited me onto the station’s afternoon news program On Point last week to discuss happenings in the Ottawa area.

We talk about the tragic bus-train crash, the casino issue and how bulldogottawa.com and bulldogcanadian.com came into being.

A podcast of the interview follows:

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Why The Casino Is Far Worse For Watson Than Lansdowne

lansdowne gates

Lansdowne is largely yesterday’s issue in Ottawa. Not so the casino which could run into the 2014 election year.

Here’s the good news about Lansdowne for Mayor Jim Watson.

At least it just split the community so about half the populace supported the project. Particularly football fans.

Here’s the bad news about the casino project for His Worship. Almost everyone in town is furious about the way Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk was treated by not even being allowed to compete for a casino at the Canadian Tire Centre.

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Bulldog Debates Casino On CFRA

Thompson

Thompson

Osgoode Councillor Doug Thompson, who successfully fought for the Ottawa casino to be located at Rideau Carleton Raceway, and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray formally debated the casino question on Ron Corbett’s CFRA program Unscripted recently.

Gray says the casino issue has been botched and the project should have been tendered while Thompson is happy it landed in his south-end rural part of town. The debate was very heated.

To listen to all the talkin’, use the podcast player below. Hope you enjoy it:

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Watson Tries To Deflect Casino Issue

Watson

Watson

Mayor Jim Watson, a very good retail politician but a little light on the manufacturing side, looks as though he has decided to do what he does best when he’s in political trouble.

Change the issue.

So Watson trots out public-servant sick days, his latest version of media manipulation that hasn’t been used much since he decided to beat on questionable landlords. Watson always wants to control the message. Image is everything, (substance secondary, or even unnecessary) particularly when you handle the casino issue like a sack of potatoes.

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Sens, Watson Square Off: Bulldog On CFRA

cfraCFRA’s Rob Snow and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray discuss the battle between Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson on Snow’s Afternoon Edition.

Gray maintains that Watson is the big loser in this one.

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Sens, City, A Casino And Public Apathy

Mayor Jim Watson and the Sens Cyril Leeder in happier days.

Sometime next spring Mayor Jim Watson will offer a bet against his opposite number in the city of the team opposing the Ottawa Senators in the NHL playoffs.

No doubt the Ottawa bet will be something like Beavertails and if it is against Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford will no doubt serve up a large confection of crow.

The video above shows Sens head honcho Cyril Leeder accepting a plaque (when does this ever happen?) from the ceremonial mayor. One wonders if such an event occurs next year, if Leeder, a brilliant businessman and very nice person, will even show. Such has the relationship deteriorated between the mayor and the Ottawa Senators. That should never have been allowed to happen.

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The Bulldog Bites Desroches Back

casino

The Ottawa casino issue is a real stinker.

Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches this week decided it was time to defend himself when he was caught uttering a whopper in Whopper Watch on this noble website.

Of course that is his right and Bulldog Ottawa defends freedom of speech, even the occasional whopper. But his defence is the last refuge of the scoundrel … my comments were taken out of context. No the quote isn’t wrong, it’s just in the wrong context. Yes I said it but I didn’t mean it that way. Come on.

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A Casino Editorial Well Worth Reading

casino

Mayor Jim Watson failed to run a proper RFP for a proposed Ottawa casino.

The Ottawa Sun weighs in the casino fiasco:

If this council had any vision, they would have done their homework, asked residents about a casino and been more receptive to other sites. They would have done studies on economic impact, traffic, housing, etc. But that’s not what Watson wanted.

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The Anti-Watson Casino Argument

Watson

Watson

Bulldog Ottawa has been absolutely alive with comments this week on the casino affair.

Yesterday, we gave you commenter Doug with the pro-Jim Watson position. Today, it’s frequent Bulldog Ottawa commenter Sheridan with the other side. If you didn’t see it in the comments, it’s worth a read:

What is truly alarming is the way Watson has conducted this whole affair. Watson quickly pushed through a vote last October to have a competition. Therefore, interested parties like Melnyk began to formulate a casino bid.

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The Pro-Watson Casino Argument

Watson

Watson

Mayor Jim Watson hasn’t been receiving a lot of support on Bulldog Ottawa for his handling of the casino issue.

But here’s one person who has Watson’s back … Doug. His comment is worth better play on Bulldog Ottawa:

Easy to judge, Bulldog. The Mayor only has one vote and the vote taken by the Finance Committee was not close. Why do you think that the Mayor wears the decision?

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Casino Issue Gets Even More Screwed Up

cityhall

City hall didn’t help its case if the casino issue goes to court.

Just when you thought the casino issue could not become worse, here comes the city to the rescue.

The casino mess, which has been handled even more poorly than the light-rail file (though with fewer grievous consequences for mass transit and debt), has already alienated the business community, shattered public confidence in Ottawa City Hall and made process look like a Keystone Cops short.

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Councillor Says Competition Bad: Whopper Watch

Desroches

Desroches

Did Gloucester-South Nepean’s Steve Desroches bump his head on a roulette wheel during the casino debate?

The usually cogent councillor said a bidding process for a casino would be divisive.

“There’s too much competition in the world right now,” says Desroches. “We need a council that is focused on the priorities of residents.”

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Will Watson Lose The NHL Senators?

Perhaps Mayor Jim Watson doesn’t realize that all those Ottawa Senators fans screaming in the arena or at home watching the game on television are voters.

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Here’s a tag no Ottawa politician wants to wear: “I was the mayor who lost the Ottawa Senators.”

It’s bad enough he’s the mayor who lost a casino for the city with an expansion to the Rideau Carleton Raceway located in downtown Middle Of Nowhere, Ontario.

But what Watson didn’t see coming was a bid for an approved RFP casino from the Ottawa Senators. And in effectively sole-sourcing the casino to RCR, Watson has eliminated the chance of Sens owner Eugene Melnyk covering his $10-million-a-year loss at the Canadian Tire Centre.

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The Casino Mess: Bulldog On CFRA

cfraCFRA’s Rob Snow and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray discuss the public policy chaos that was the debate for a new Ottawa casino.

The Bulldog segment of Snow’s Afternoon Edition is below:

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Did Ottawa Get The Casino Wrong?

Government relations expert and noted politico Walter Robinson asks the question on Twitter that should have been posed at the beginning of long, confused casino debate.

What casino outcome would have been best for Ottawa economically?

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Kanata C Of C Denounces City Casino Process

This is a release from the Kanata Chamber of Commerce:

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Watson Picks The Wrong Casino Horse

casino

The Ottawa-Gatineau area would be hard-pressed to handle three casinos.

 Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is governed by economics – not by Mayor Jim Watson’s political problems.

So if OLG says only one casino is viable for Ottawa, one should probably defer to its expertise in the field. Why build two casinos when one will do the trick. As well, Ottawa-Gatineau already has one magnificent casino. Essentially by opting for two Ottawa gaming palaces, the area would then have three.

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Ottawa To Get One Casino, Province Rules

Watson

Watson

This is a letter from Mayor Jim Watson to Ottawa city councillors and senior city staff:

Dear Council Colleague,

When Council last met on July 17th, I indicated that I would engage with the Province of Ontario to clarify the Province’s and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s position with regards to the proposal that the OLG grandfather the Rideau Carleton Raceway as a gaming facility while creating a second gaming zone for the rest of Ottawa.

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Province’s Casino Letter To Watson

This is a copy of a letter on the province’s position concerning a casino for Ottawa. The letter was provided by the mayor’s office:

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Gambling, The Senators And The NHL

casino

The NHL has been quiet about a planned casino near Canadian Tire Centre.


Ever notice no major professional sports teams locate in Las Vegas.

Doesn’t make sense. It was, until recently, a fast-growing community … one of the fastest in the U.S. Oh sure, it’s a tad hot but that doesn’t stop pro sports from putting teams in Phoenix.

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