TagOttawa City Hall

Clean Up The Planning Department

Great Bulldog commenter Ron Benn sent along this note in relation to the post, City Hall Has Gone Native.

The underlying problem within the city’s planning department is quite troubling: the complaint by the developers is that they get conflicting requirements from within the planning department.

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Metro Takes On City Hall

metroSteve Collins has written a thoughtful article in Metro on the lack of a free flow of information at Ottawa City Hall … a long-standing problem.

It is refreshing to see this kind of work in Metro which often was a very successful summary of news but not a deep source of the day’s events. Metro appears to be becoming more serious and given the diminution of journalism over the past three or four years, this is very welcome.

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The developer concierge plan “puts communities on notice that the city has now tilted the planning process entirely in favour of developers.”

– Neil Thompson, Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association

We now have an opportunity to see exactly where power resides at Ottawa City Hall.

It’s transparent that the community doesn’t like giving extra influence to the development industry at city hall.

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“I don’t know what problem this solves.”

– President Michael Powell of the Dalhousie Community Association on the city planning to appoint concierges for the development industry

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“The communities have ambassadors and they’re called councillors.”


– Planning committee chairwoman Jan Harder on the new concierges who will serve developers and speed their applications through Ottawa City Hall.

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Swag: Get Serious Or Go Home

ottawa logoYour agent really doesn’t give a sweet, flying damn about how much councillors paid for swag. Apparently the total is around $200,000.

Swag, by the way, are those little trinkets that are given to residents and the like with the councillor’s name on them. Publicity, you know.

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Was O’Brien A Better Mayor Than Watson? Vote

bulldog pollNow that Phillip Slayton, author of Mayors Gone Bad, appears to be redefining our opinion of past urban leaders, perhaps it’s time to look again at the four years of former mayor Larry O’Brien in comparison to current mayor Jim Watson.

Take a second or two to vote in this Bulldog Poll on who was the better mayor … O’Brien or Watson?

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The City Of Ottawa Gone Rogue

Just as an aside.

Are you as tired as your agent about decisions made at Ottawa City Hall between bureaucratic mandarins, politicians and special interest groups where the public’s view is not even remotely considered?

It is the same old tired story from issue to issue.

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“This is the people’s place. The politicians are just temporary tenants.”

– The Citizen’s Matthew Pearson quoting Mayor Jim Watson


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Welcome Aboard, Joanne Chianello



The Bulldog is intimately familiar with Mayor Jim Watson’s unease with free-flowing debate.

Witness the blacklisting of this new publication.

But Joanne Chianello?

The Citizen columnist is perceived as being Watson’s biggest cheerleader.  But not in her Saturday column. Nice change.

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Watson, Sens Plugs Get Embarrassing

OK, OK, this is enough. First opening Sens Mile, now this.

The way Mayor Jim Watson is trying to cash in on the Senators’ popularity is getting embarrassing. If Watson plays a regular defence shift for the Sens, then The Bulldog will give him credit for their success. Frankly, his skating is not good enough.

Remember Your Worship, it’s not all about you. This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

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The Bulldog’s 10 Worst Ottawa Things

ottawa city hallOttawa City Hall: We could use less spin and better government.


After Tuesday’s best Ottawa things must come the worst:

1. Apathy: If you only care about municipal affairs when it affects your property … well that is not enough. Sometimes only a third of eligible voters can be bothered to go to the polls. City staff and its politicians get away with a lot of odd decisions because they know the public really doesn’t care and that it won’t have any effect at the polling booth. Accordingly city staff in particular has taken to the practice of just going through the motions when it consults with the public. And why not? The public doesn’t care. And if you don’t care, you get what you deserve.

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Dawg Packer Concurs With City PR Post

Bulldog reader Blake Batson concurs with a recent post on playing politics with city press releases.

To read the post to which Batson refers, click here.

Batsons response is below:

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Public, Private Double Standard

Avid Bulldog reader Bruce Webster weighed in with this comment by email:


On this news site you have summarized my comments made through the Dawg most eloquently and clearly.

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City Budget: Truth And Consequences

ottawa city hall

Ottawa City Hall: It’s not difficult to separate the fly doo from the pepper on this budget.


Here are some initial reactions from The Bulldog gleaned from the budget release document below. Whopper Watch is on high.

The feel-good city release on the budget follows The Bulldog’s initial take on it:

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User-Unfriendly Audio Minutes: Whopper Watch

service ottawa

The City of Ottawa doesn’t provide written minutes of meetings.

What Mayor Jim Watson means with this quote below is that when the municipality puts city council and standing committee meetings on audio and video, residents must run through hours of recordings to find debates or quotes on events that interest them.

Now and then a city hall source will call to say The Bulldog should run this quote or that quote because it’s very relevant to a pressing issue. But The Bulldog simply can’t spend that kind of time to find one quote. Other journalists can’t as well.

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City Hall: Closed, Uncaring, Exclusive



Why don’t we have written minutes of meetings such as we had pre-2011, the Citizen’s Joanne Chianello asks?

Strangely enough, your friendly neighbourhood Bulldog asked that same question when written minutes were halted, to be replaced by audio and video.

Ahhh Grasshopper, you have so much to learn.

But now with the wisdom of time and hindsight, we see the mindset of our current leader King James of Watson and realize that he talks openness (“Why we’ve had fewer in camera meetings than any other municipality …”), he means something else. Like council meetings with no debate. Debate can be embarrassing.

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cityvoteHere is a compendium of Bulldog stories covering the Ottawa municipal election on Oct. 27.

It’s Ottawa’s most comprehensive coverage of the upcoming municipal election.

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Here’s The Citizen’s Election Survey


The Ottawa Citizen’s candidate survey has been circulating around city hall.

Here is a document that will leave municipal candidates with furrowed brows and anguished moments wondering how the electoral public will respond to filling in the blanks on this survey.

Yes, it’s the Ottawa Citizen survey of candidates in the upcoming municipal election and so now dear readers you can see the questions that contribute to the newspaper’s story, in whatever that form is.

Find anything interesting? Don’t be afraid to use the comment box below.

A Microsoft Word document of the Citizen survey is below. To see the document, just click on the highlighted words in the next line:

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A Civic Ship Of Fools

This is an email to The Bulldog from frequent contributor Earle Rheaume:

Seldom have I witnessed such mismanagement of people, capital, time and resources as I have through this team of so called professionals at Ottawa City Hall.

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You Like The Bulldog: Poll

bulldogWho knew we had such readership satisfaction?

We polled readers, after a scathing comment from Andrew, if they like The Bulldog or not.

Overwhelming they do. Perhaps that’s why they’re reading The Bulldog.

About 80 per cent of respondents said they liked the The Bulldog while about 20 per cent didn’t like it at all.

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Give Us City Hall Leadership


Mayor Jim Watson’s term has been marked by many administrative errors.

Frequent Bulldog commenter and community activist Ron Benn serves up this very interesting comment on the breakdown in municipal administration:

Mayor Jim Watson’s most notable achievement in the 3 or years years that he has occupied the mayor’s chair is that he brought harmony to council.

No more long drawn out public ramblings by discontented councillors, no councillors sniping at each other in public. To paraphrase his comments of a year ago, we don’t have a gong show like in Toronto. The negative side of this outcome is that there are no meaningful discussions at committee and council meetings.

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You Fund City Hall Swag: Bulldog On CFRA

cfraCFRA’s Rob Snow and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray look at the ridiculous waste of councillor “swag” at city hall and they discuss the hopeless prospects for a Can-Am baseball team in the city.

In fact, the Can-Am League is not even operating as an independent entity this season. Instead it is a division of the low independent-tier American Association. What that means for Ottawa, well who knows? The city isn’t discussing that.

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No News? Why Here’s A Top 10 List



The summer news doldrums have started a bit early this year.

Ottawa City Hall has the pulse rate of a rock. Why could it be because a municipal election is approaching? No news is good news when you want to get re-elected.

So here at The Bulldog we bring you the top 10 reasons why there’s no news coming out of Ottawa City Hall:

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Why All The Secrets At City Hall?

Frequent Bulldog contributor Ron Benn talks about city hall secrecy:

When the policy to disclose is not followed, it is fair to pose the question of why?

One event is just that, one event. Two events may be the start of a trend, but it still too early to draw fair conclusions. By the time you hit five events over a short period of time, it is fair to conclude that there is a problem. So, how many events have there been?

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