Sens owner Eugene Melnyk with Helene Campbell.
This disconcerting theme has been running along at Ottawa City Hall for some time.
The Ottawa Senators and owner Eugene Melnyk can’t buy a break from the folks on Laurier Avenue.
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.
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?)
CFRA 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:
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:
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.
Darcy 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.”