What Watson Won’t Say: Top 10 List

TOP 10 LISTMayor Jim Watson is probably the most prominent politician in Ottawa.

Nobody does PR better. In fact that’s probably why he is featured so often in The Bulldog … nobody else is talking. We apologize Your Worship but if you kept a lower profile, you wouldn’t be getting so many pixels in The Bulldog.

So while we’re on talking, let’s conduct a little experiment. We know what Watson says but it would be interesting to consider what he would never say.

Thus the topic of today’s Top 10 list:

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Send Lansdowne To Arbitrator: Reader

Lansdowne Park as it was envisaged in 2012.

Bulldog  commenter Sheridan says we will see who on council is willing to stand up for the public on Lansdowne and send this problem to an arbitrator:

Remember that mayoral candidate Jim Watson promised no more sole-sourcing, and then went on to support Plasco (until it went bankrupt) as well as the RCR on the casino deal. Time to shine some light on these sole-sourcing deals.

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Lansdowne, Watson And The AG: Digital Dog


Today Alf Chaiton of Tweedsmuir Consulting looks at the city auditor’s report, Lansdowne and the performance of Mayor Jim Watson with The Bulldog’s Ken Gray.

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No More City Backroom Deals



Vintage Jim Watson. Here’s the mayor doing the shuffle on the Lansdowne profit problem.

It appears he speaks for all the taxpaying public of Ottawa with this quote:

“I think given the history of the start of Lansdowne, of all the different court cases, the public just wants us to get on with it and operate Lansdowne and make it a success and a people place it has become, as opposed to getting dragged out at court and arbitrated settlements.”

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Lansdowne: City Shoots Itself In The Foot

Andrew Zenner, a financial expert and Bulldog reader, takes on the Lansdowne financial report and finds it wanting:

Interestingly, when the city put up $140 million (or so) to rebuild the stadium, the city and OSEG claimed that this really wasn’t equity because the city was borrowing the bulk of the money.

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Lansdowne: City Flops Again


If only the city could manage as well at the Redblacks.

The rumour mill for the past few days had it that the city’s revenues were likely to be less than expected from the vaunted “waterfall” agreement the municipality signed with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. And so they are as shown by a memo from city manager Kent Kirkpatrick to the mayor and council obtained by The Bulldog in the previous post.

But then, realistically, one could see this coming years ago when the city and OSEG bound themselves to a P3 deal on Lansdowne.

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City Sees Reduced Revenues From Lansdowne



This is a document obtained by The Bulldog:

M E M O / N O T E D E S E R V I C E

To / Destinataire

Mayor and Members of Council

From / Expéditeur

Kent Kirkpatrick

City Manager

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Glebe Parking Garage Opens

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

Glebe businesses and residents will receive a special Halloween Treat: the new Glebe Parking Garage is now open for business.

Glebe shoppers and visitors are able to park on the first three levels of the garage while remaining work takes place to complete the fourth floor.

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City PR Starting To Get CTC

The Autumn in the City press releases from the municipality keep coming off the presses.

You’ll remember the first such release neglected events at the Canadian Tire Centre but didn’t miss one of the spectacles at the city-partnered Lansdowne complex. Probably just an oversight. The CTC competes with Lansdowne for Ottawa entertainment dollars.

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Eek! Parking At Lansdowne

The quiet song above by Chris de Burgh is in contrast to the difficulties concert-goer Elina Olsen had trying to find a parking space at Lansdowne to see the show.

Many critics of Lansdowne during its planning stages said it would be a nightmare to get to the development.

Already busy streets, limited parking and no mass transit line nearby.

Here is one woman’s experience:

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What’s The Revenue From Lansdowne Waterfall?

Frequent Bulldog contributor Sheridan raises a very, very interesting question.

How much money has the Lansdowne waterfall generated for the city.

Here’s Sheridan:

It is rather precious to see Mayor Jim Watson go around bragging about how projects are on time and on budget. Really?

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The Mayor And Ethics: Major Whopper


“If all of a sudden, midway through the biggest city building project in the city’s history, if we change direction and companies, we set back the schedule and we wouldn’t save the dollars as we’ve been told by our professional staff and we wouldn’t see the continuation of efficiency with the project.”

Mayor Jim Watson on why $60-million light-rail contract is being sole-sourced

But Your Worship, didn’t you promise not to sole-source contracts during the 2010 election campaign?

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City Plans Go Disastrously Wrong: Reader



Bulldog contributor Sheridan weighs in on the planning screwups at Ottawa City Hall:

During the 2010 Ottawa mayoral election, Clive Doucet presented an extensive plan for a downtown surface LRT route which would have extended along Carling.

It was less expensive (no tunnel or expensive stations), could be constructed more quickly, and was the most “sustainable” route (according to his research).

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Lansdowne Just A Real-Estate Play: Reader



Sheridan is back in the harness with his outstanding comments.

This one deserved better play so it is here. He looks at the long line of city missteps … particular in the field of P3.

Over to you, Sheridan:

This is another P3 that takes money away from a different city project; the last one being the Lansdowne P3 which captured the money that had been targeted for a new main-branch Ottawa Public Library in 2009.

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Lansdowne Splash Pad Another City Screw-up

ottawa city hall

The difficulties with the splash pad at Lansdowne is just another City of Ottawa problem. They are becoming all too common.

Nothing says welcome like a children’s splash pad with security guards and signs that say stay off the art work … which is in the splash pad at Lansdowne Park.

This looks like a combination of extravagance (the two installations of Vancouverite Jill Anholt’s work at Lansdowne cost $4 million), incompetence (why put a sculpture which might have safety concerns in the middle of a splash pad) and bad planning (see the two previous points).

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Lansdowne: What’s Up With The Tickets?

Here’s what we saw before Lansdowne was constructed.

This week Michael Vickers sent along an email to The Bulldog concerned about the parking situation at Lansdowne.

Your agent asked him about why the interest?

Here is his excellent response:

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Lansdowne: It’s Uhhh … Unusual

Your agent visited the new Lansdowne last week and it was … different.

I hardly know where to start. Perhaps the stadium which is half-good.

The old part of the stadium, the one facing the shopping plaza, has never been very pretty. It didn’t get much prettier with the renovation. And the ice rink beneath the stands is one of the oddest venues anywhere … big seating on one side, very little on the other which would make sense if you are constructing an arena under football stands which they were.

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When Does Public Get Wise To Watson?



This is a comment from the great Bulldog contributor Sheridan.

He is responding to the post: Surprise! Parking Problems At Lansdowne:

“So all of this has come to pass.”

But let us be clear that this was not through ignorance. Indeed, if anyone knew that traffic/parking would be an issue at Lansdowne, it was Mayor Jim Watson, who used to be a councillor for the Capital ward, as well as being a former Mayor of Ottawa (pre-amalgamation).

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