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Who Speaks For The People?

Hume

Hume

Citizen journalist David Reevely pretty much nailed this one with news that former city planning committee chairman Peter Hume has joined forces with former Minto vice-president Jack Stirling to form the consulting firm HP Urban:

The urban-planning business is high-profile but pretty small. There’s not a lot of money in working for community associations that have to pass the hat to cover a planner’s fees; the people who do it are like legal-aid lawyers but with even less business. With very, very few exceptions, you’re either working for a government that regulates things or for a company that’s trying to get that government’s approval.

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What Happened To Hume? Bulldog On CFRA

cfraCFRA journalist Pierre Bourque and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray discuss planning committee chairman Peter Hume’s departure from city hall.

To hear the broadcast, click on the podcast player below:

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Goodbye, Peter Hume

Hume

Hume

Congratulations to Alta Vista Councillor Peter Hume.

After 23 years of public service, Hume will not run in the Oct. 27 municipal election. The planning committee chairman says he needs a better balance between work and family. And being a councillor consists in part with extremely long hours, reasonable pay and not a lot of gratitude. No doubt the family suffered from the call of the ever-present BlackBerry.

But then Hume must have enjoyed the job because he stayed so long. He has done little else in life except participate in municipal affairs.

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Planning In A Municipal Election Year

Hume

Hume

Why if The Bulldog didn’t know better, he would say it is an election year.

So people such as Mayor Jim Watson and planning committee chairman Peter Hume know they might have alienated large portions of the public by having the city treat zoning as a suggestion. Accordingly, not a few people are perturbed because the city allowed a high-rise next door or in the neighbourhood when the zoning shouldn’t have allowed it.

So our city fathers are dealing pro-actively with this perception.

Here is the PR bumpf from the City of Ottawa:

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Little Italy: Planning As Usual

preston

The character of Little Italy is disappearing as the area gentrifies.

Little Italy has a lot in common with Westboro.

In Westboro, the city laid down wide pink sidewalks and allowed out-of-control intensification so that rents just skyrocketed. Mom-and-pop stores with character couldn’t afford the high rents associated with the heavy traffic created by intensification, so they moved or disappeared.

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Hume’s Domtar Lands Misstep: Whopper Watch

Hume

Hume

Ahhh, Ottawa planning committee chairman Peter Hume takes a strong stand on the Domtar lands development.

Hume says the City of Ottawa must play a role in making the Domtar lands project a success. And of course the city has had a long history of success with its capital projects.

Why there is the state that Lansdowne fell into before the redevelopment; the misstep on Les Soeurs de la Visitation convent; the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge; the Hurdman bridge; the Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge and the collapse of the roof of the light-rail tunnel. No doubt the public would like the city to move to the forefront of the Domtar lands project:

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More Secret City Changes

Hume

Hume

Given the City of Ottawa’s horrible history of failed public consultations, it’s not surprising that changing the city’s urban design panel fell far under the public’s radar.

No doubt it was meant to be that way.

Sort of like when the city released its notorious consultation on consultations and then almost immediately walked on the light-rail detour report at a committee without jurisdiction that was to hear a presentation on a segment of the project that had already been approved in the main light-rail vote. Then staff came equipped with a legal opinion saying that transit commissioners and the public could not discuss the plan at the meeting because it had already been approved. And oh yes, the cost of the detours and bus purchases went up $11 million from a short note on the agenda to the meeting.

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Support Builds For Campaign Donor Changes

Hume

Hume

In a surprise move, my former colleagues at the Ottawa Citizen editorial board have taken a strong stand against corporation and union donations to municipal campaigns. Good on them.

That flies in the face of the positions of Mayor Jim Watson and planning committee chairman Peter Hume who support such money going to city candidates. And no wonder. Their campaign statements from 2010 are littered with such gifts. It makes a mockery of Watson’s ethics legislation that has councillors and himself cringing when they are offered $35 bottles of whiskey from constituents but can receive campaign donations from the above-mentioned organizations, their employees and families.

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Peter Hume’s Campaign Donations

Hume

Hume

Toronto has banned donations from developers and unions to civic political campaigns.

Bulldog Ottawa has strongly advocated for a similar ban for the nation’s capital. But no such luck.

Mayor Jim Watson has enacted a lot of governance legislation but much of it is window-dressing instead of addressing the real issues facing city hall.

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City Author Of McGarry Woes

Bulldog Ottawa reader Chris looks at the failed city purchase of the McGarry downtown property and blames it on the city’s own handiwork:

Was reading the article on the McGarry property and it comes across as poetic justice for the City and particularly planning committee chairman Peter Hume.

Even the City of Ottawa cannot compete with the big developers when it comes to dropping the kind of coin that developers have been on properties. Hume sounds ludicrous when he makes a statement that a property has been appraised for a certain value and that is what the city will pay.

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City Releases Infrastructure Plan

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

The City of Ottawa’s draft 2013 Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP), designed to support affordable development growth through projects that protect the environment, was tabled today at Planning Committee.

The plan charts a path for efficient building, operation, and renewal of municipal services such as water plants, sewers, stormwater ponds and wastewater-treatment and stresses affordability for taxpayers, making neighbourhoods more compact and complete, and protecting the natural environment.

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Peter Hume’s Sweet Spot: Whopper Watch

Hume

Hume

This from Ottawa Magazine on the proposed construction of a large condo at 233 Armstrong St.

The magazine is paraphrasing planning committee chairman Peter Hume.

The Alta Vista councillor is taking the planning process to an even more absurd level:

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Ottawa’s Transportation Nightmare

ottawa skyline

You need parking downtown if neighbourhoods there lack proper mass transit and amenities.

Hard to say what fantasyland senior planner Alain Miguelez lives in over at Ottawa City Hall.

Miguelez says creating new parking is bad design and bad urban planning downtown … maybe anywhere. But the fact of the matter is that our elected officials and city staff (and yes even the high-minded planning department) have let Ottawa down when it comes to modern mass transit.

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Highrises, Politics And God

god

God, seen here working his P3 magic with Moses, will need to part the Ottawa River to convince voters to vote for Kitchissippi’s Katherine Hobbs.


As we approach the early stages of the electioneering season, our city politicians appear to be getting religion. Not a lot of religion, but a bit of the wee faith.

Or maybe it’s just a cynical political ploy. Gee, I wonder which one it is.

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Peter Hume: King Of The One-Liners

Well that Jon Willing over at the Ottawa Sun certainly has an eye for the quote.

“In the world of municipal politics, there is nothing worse than crap in people’s basements,” Alta Vista Councillor Peter Hume said this week.

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Peter Hume’s Planning Surprise: Whopper Watch

Hume

Hume

Alta Vista councillor and planning committee chairman Peter Hume is concerned about residents’ attitudes about city planning. And thus he utters a whopper:

“I’m quite distressed to hear that people think the planning department is in the pocket of the developer.”

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Hume’s Lost On Baseball

Hume

Hume

Bulldog Ottawa was never much surer about the post on Tuesday that said planning committee chairman Peter Hume should move on after seeing his comments on minor pro baseball.

Don’t let the screen door hit your butt as you leave.

For if you want to know the kind of thinking and decision-making that is going into the mammothly delayed Double-A Eastern League franchise for Ottawa, just check out what Hume is saying about the proposed deal. Alta Vista ward voters should take note.

Hume says redeveloping the parking lot at Ottawa Stadium should wait until 2023.

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Hume Should Move On From Planning

Hume

Hume

Alta Vista Councillor Peter Hume was once a breath of fresh air on the city’s planning committee.

But now Hume has been there too long. Once he was developing innovative ideas such as turning old shopping centres into mixed-use communities. Now he seems to go along with most any development that has been plopped in front of him. One hopes he has not become too close to the development community.

Under his supervision, zoning for tall buildings has become a suggestion and height restrictions are routinely busted through to maximize property-tax revenue and developer profit. Ottawa has both intensification and sprawl … a developers’ heaven. The current freeze on the urban boundary is but a Band-Aid when one looks at the historic development of the south urban community, Kanata and Orleans.

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Ottawa: Welcome To Everywhere, U.S.A

condos

Here is the city we are building in Ottawa. How do you like it? Now name the city these condos are located? Tampa, Detroit, Houston, Dallas? We’re building Everywhere U.S.A. in Ottawa. Everything looks the same.


This is a very sad day in the history of Ottawa.

It’s now official. We’re building Everywhere U.S.A. Or Toronto. Because with the approval on the 45-storey Claridge Homes tower, planning chairman Peter Hume, his committee, city council, city staff and Mayor Jim Watson have declared war on their own city.

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Walton Consultant’s Presentation To City: Document

Walton International’s consultants, MMM Group, made a presentation to planning committee on Tuesday evening.

The City of Ottawa kindly forwarded their offering to Bulldog Ottawa at our request.

The presentation is below:

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Peter Hume Out Of The Loop

Hume

Hume

What is the most controversial committee at Ottawa City Hall?

Perhaps transportation committee where the mammoth light-rail project is being orchestrated. After sending residents of the old west-end a rather high-handed note about the Byron light-rail option, chairwoman Marianne Wilkinson was gone.

Second most controversial? Probably planning committee where community after community leaves meetings disappointed with changes to their neighbourhoods. So is planning committee ripe for a change?

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City Reaches Greenspace Linkages Pact

This is a release from the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital:

At the launch of the official plan review event held last January 29th, City of Ottawa Planning Committee Chair Peter Hume committed the City to implementing into the Official Plan the results of natural linkage studies now available or under way.

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OK Kiddies, Here’s The Planning Meeting

boards

The display at Ottawa City Hall on Tuesday really didn’t tell the residents who attended very much.


welcomeSo I’m quite embarrassed.

Having exhorted Ottawans to attend the massive planning meeting at Ottawa City Hall on Tuesday, the gathering was a gigantic flop.

About 150 people showed, braving an impending ice storm, to be absolutely bored to death by a series of presentations that gave them almost no new information. In the world of presentations, you really must have something unique to show the audience if the message is to get across.

But what was this message? A nice man from the Region of Peel told us we need to become more active and that the suburbs don’t foster this. OK, but didn’t we know this already?

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Hume Strong Arms The Developers: Whopper Watch

Hume

Hume

Treating zoning like it’s a suggestion was an innovation that came about with Alta Vista Councillor Peter Hume becoming planning committee chairman.

Now Hume is making it sound like he is now getting tough with developers. Right.

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Address The Real Issues At City Hall

ottawa city hall - heritage

The heritage wing of Ottawa City Hall: let’s discuss the big questions in municipal affairs.


Citizen columnist Joanne Chianello led off her latest missive about Councillor Mark Taylor receiving a $750 contribution from the taxi union after he was named the taxi industry regulator.

That’s an interesting point but what about the councillors on the planning committee that governs tens of millions of dollars of construction in the city receiving thousands of campaign dollars of contributions from the development industry and businesses related to development? Why is Chianello focusing on one tree in a pretty hoary wood?

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