Taxpayers Cover Cost For More Watson PR


Fresh after holding a celebration of filling potholes for the city’s media, Mayor Jim Watson has found a new project for photo-ops and to get his face in front of the cameras as the municipal election approaches.


Here is the first release using the city communications department (and your tax money) to spread the word.

Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the Transportation Committee, and Somerset Councillor Catherine McKenney will celebrate their support of Ottawa’s LGBTQ community when they officially unveil the refreshed Rainbow Crosswalks.

Date: Thursday, August 2
Time: 9 am
Location: Corner of Bank Street and Somerset Street West

The photo opportunity will be followed by a short scrum.


Now here is the release talking about the overwhelming success of painting lines on a road.

Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the Transportation Committee, Somerset Councillor Catherine McKenney, and members of the public celebrated the City’s support of Ottawa’s LGBTQ community when they officially unveiled the refreshed Rainbow Crosswalks at the intersection of Bank Street and Somerset Street West today.

The crosswalks, originally installed in 2016 through a partnership between the City of Ottawa and the Bank Street BIA, are made of a thermoplastic material. They have been refreshed in advance of Capital Pride celebrations in Ottawa taking place in August.

The crosswalks function the same as any other, except these display the rainbow colours of the Pride Flag.


“The revitalized Rainbow Crosswalks are an important symbol that demonstrate the City’s continued efforts to advance equity and inclusion of our diverse population. They reflect the contributions of residents and businesses in the area, and reinforce the message that Ottawa is a city for everyone.”

Mayor Jim Watson

“These crosswalks and what they signify are important to residents and local businesses alike. This is an example of how the City can provide quality infrastructure while enhancing the streetscape to reflect the community it serves.”

Chair Keith Egli

“Over the years, the Rainbow Crosswalks have become an integral part of the neighbourhood. They send a strong message to residents and visitors about Ottawa’s values and support of the LGBTQ community.”

Councillor Catherine McKenney

“In advance of the Capital Pride celebrations taking place later this month, it is the perfect time to revitalize this community landmark. The Rainbow Crosswalks are a daily reminder of the dynamic presence and important contributions of LGBTQ people to the city.”

Toby Whitfield, Chair of Capital Pride


So are we celebrating Gay Pride by repainting the crosswalk lanes that were installed in 2016 or pumping Mayor Jim Watson and a few other councillors with taxpayer money during the 2018 municipal election campaign?

Surely there was cause to celebrate when the lanes were created in 2016 but just repainting the lines? This is a publicity stunt plain and simple to pump the mayor and other councillors.


We know two media organizations covered this dog-and-pony show. Unbelievable.


And notice that once again, what leads in the releases? Why Watson. Your Worship you’ve buried the lede again. The repainting of the lines is the news (if that’s news) not you being there. Unless you’re seeking publicity for the election. How did you pass that three-year communications degree?

It’s time to stop using tax money to publicize incumbent politicians. It’s a waste of our money and gives sitting politicians a big advantage over their challengers.

If the city is writing releases on this drivel, maybe the communications department has too many people.



Furthermore, we’re in an election campaign. Can’t the media find something more newsworthy than a puff piece for the mayor?

Or has the media just stopped caring anymore?


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5 thoughts on “Taxpayers Cover Cost For More Watson PR

  1. I stlll wonder why we celebrate gay Pride for a week and Mother’s and Father’s Day for a few hours.
    Politicians such as Mayor Jim Watson are always ready to push the envelope when it comes to freebies.
    Where is the coverage on Carol Anne Meehan’s campaign. It must be more interesting than repainting crosswalks after only two-year’s wear.
    Cheap paint like cheap asphalt?

  2. “How did you pass that three-year communications degree?”

    I’d say he’s getting pretty good value out of that degree which seems to be helping him get the message of ‘all-Jim-Watson, all-the-time’ out across the various media platforms. The questions should be, first, what the h the media is doing giving him wallpaper coverage and, second, were there any ethics courses within that degree.

    Where’s the city’s conflict of interest policy? I thought there were guidelines that control the use of resources and city-funded activities during the election period. Or don’t those rules apply to Jim? Are city staff not charged with refusing to organize events like this? Does the elections office do any kind of surveillance of the activities of elected officials during the election period?

  3. What rules?

    If the Ontario Government can take taxpayer money to fund its new ONN (Ontario News Now), then I guess his lairdship can promote himself any which way he wants.

  4. Communications degree. Multi-media 101 – items required: camera, person to hold camera, microphone, person to hold microphone, roadway, paint brushes, paint (various colours), slot on television news show, angry drivers waiting on roadway while filming and interview take place.


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