Perhaps we should call this segment Whopper Watson.
Here are the major flaws in Mayor Jim Watson’s statement from April 12 seeking sole civic authority for himself and city manager Steve Kanellakos to negotiate the redevelopment of the LeBreton lands with the National Capital Commission and RendezVous LeBreton Group which has Senators owner Eugene Melnyk as a part of it.
To read the statement in full, click here. The quotes are from the document and The Bulldog’s responses are between them:
“The mayor seeks to represent the City in those discussions to ensure that the best interests of the City of Ottawa and its taxpayers are represented during the redevelopment of one of the most noteworthy land areas available for development in Ottawa’s downtown core.”
The city has a long history of fiscal mismanagement under the Watson administration and has not represented the best interests of Ottawa’s taxpayers. During Watson’s term the city has rolled up the largest operating and accumulated deficits in the history of the municipality. As for representing the best interests of the city, The Bulldog would recommend that readers consult the website’s city screw-up page by clicking here.
“The Mayor will also work with the Ottawa Senators organization, West End councillors, businesses and residents to ensure that appropriate options are being developed to help make up for the potential economic loss to Stittsville, Kanata and the West End of Ottawa, should the Canadian Tire Centre be relocated.”
When has the mayor successfully worked with the Senators? On the team’s casino bid? On getting a Major League Soccer franchise and stadium?
Photo above: Controversial LeBreton Flats.
“The mayor asked City staff to prepare a report outlining Council’s vision and setting a mandate for future negotiations …”
Council’s vision? Perhaps that’s to approve every development that comes its way. Its vision includes doing every knee-jerk thing the mayor asks for. Vision? Not likely.
” … delegated authority for both the mayor and city manager to enter into discussions moving forward.”
Why? What’s wrong with the process in place now? The lack of process is what caused the enormous problems with Lansdowne and the public. Do we want to repeat that?
“The report will also identify the potential long-term city-building benefits of the redevelopment, including a more viable transit system, an increase in environmental sustainability and a more prosperous and vibrant core.”
Great. A city report will identify these factors. A grade-school child could do that. This is bureaucratic bafflegab designed to put a pretty facade on a Watson power-grab.
“The City will encourage an open dialogue of the LeBreton Flats redevelopment by offering opportunities for feedback and public consultation.”
The city has repeatedly ignored or disregarded public input. Mooney’s Bay playground immediately comes to mind. A public process was put in place once the playground was approved.
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