In the first rendition of a comment from the office of Mayor Jim Watson, His Worship is quoted in the Citizen as saying he could not speak to the Abdi issue because it was before the Special Investigations Unit.
In fact the SIU had come to a conclusion Monday. Charges were laid.
In a second version of the same Citizen story, the mayor’s office said he could not speak to the question because it was before the courts.
Clearly what Watson didn’t want to do was comment. He didn’t want to comment so badly he couldn’t get his excuses straight.
This is a mayor who was roundly criticized because he didn’t break from his last summer’s vacation to speak to the Abdi death until the public began to wonder where he was. One would think Watson would learn from that.
At least the chairman of the Ottawa Police Services Board Eli El-Chantiry had the good sense to issue a comment as charges were laid against an Ottawa police officer in the Abdi case.
Despite El-Chantiry speaking and the mayor’s criticized late comments on the Abdi case last summer, Watson does want to talk. In an issue that requires leadership, Watson again shows none. This is a time when the leader of our community needs to address the people in a period of mistrust, anger and racial tension.
As El-Chantiry showed, a leader can address the question without putting himself or herself in contempt of court.
It’s almost as though one should feel sorry for Watson because he is so inept in these situations. You’ll remember that he talked mostly about himself in a subsequent story when he had to convey condolences to those near to the six people who died in the OC Transpo-Via Rail crash north of Barrhaven. That was not about you, Your Worship.
This is pathetic. Ottawans elect leaders to lead, not to hide in their offices when the going gets tough. God knows if there were a ribbon to cut in this horribly sad tale, Watson would be there.
Watson is all about Watson. The community comes second. When good news appears, Watson is there. When bad news appears, Watson turtles. Apparently no political capital is to be made addressing bad news.
Watson has now failed twice in the Abdi situation alone. That’s quite a record. There are others in other situations.
Once again, it is painfully obvious that Watson is not up to leading this community. The Abdi case matters in this city but Watson is nowhere.
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