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-electioncampaign that started right after Jimapalooza 2010. Where have you been, anyway?)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.