When Will Voters Tire Of Watson’s Games?


Obviously Mayor Jim Watson knows more about light rail than the experts hired to put it together.

The mayor has a lot of hidden talents: budget genius, Christmas Miracle-worker, beer-league baseball franchise picker, testy Twitter tweep, Lansdowne trickle-fall deal wonder-kind … the list goes on and on.

Now, wait for it, LRT expert. Don’t forget, on-time and on-budget.


John Manconi, LRT head honcho, won’t guarantee that our wee little short-line train with a budget as big as the sky will be ready by Nov. 2.  That date is particularly politically expedient because it is close enough that Watson can say it will be ready as soon as possible, but not before the Oct. 22 municipal election in case something goes awry.

That way His Worship won’t have to answer the question: “What went wrong again?” until a municipal election is four years away.

On the other hand, His Great Helmsmanship says it will be ready just after all the votes are counted.

“I’m certainly putting pressure on them to ensure we meet that deadline because there’s a financial disincentive for them not meeting the deadline.” How’s that again? You mean like the financial disincentive for missing the May deadline (non-existent despite being advertised otherwise).

Manconi, who gave us the best whopper of the 9,5 years of The Bulldog (“I don’t call it late, I call it an adjustment of the date, for all the right reasons.”) is being careful. And he’s being careful because with the previous quote, Manconi looked like the south end of a north-bound donkey.

Watson, on the other hand, needs to get elected. And seeing that there’s no penalty electorally if LRT is late post Oct. 22,  what’s a little lie now and then? Such as on-time and on-budget?

One would hope that Ottawans will get tired of all this gamesmanship and playing with the truth.

Watson is dealing with the best-educated major city in the country. Sooner or later Ottawa will wake up to this veil of PR and it’s accompanying paper tiger.

People are tired of Watson’s blundering and gamesmanship.

Ottawa needs a serious mayor. That’s not Watson who runs city hall like a glee club.


This is either the mayor’s office or the television show Glee. It’s hard to know.


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10 thoughts on “When Will Voters Tire Of Watson’s Games?

  1. Does Watson seriously think that, on Oct. 21, it won’t be clear whether or not the “on-time, on-budget” LRT is going to be ready to roll on Nov. 2nd? Maybe he doesn’t understand the calendar well enough to know those dates are 12 days, less than two weeks, apart.
    If the train is going to be operating on Nov. 2, doesn’t he know there are corollary activities that will take place such as rescheduling drivers; re-arranging bus schedules and routes; advertising campaigns to inform customers how to get to and from their destinations and so on? Those will not happen between the morning after the election and the currently-promoted start date.
    Just the process of drivers bidding on their post-LRT route selections and then OC Transpo establishing who’s driving which bus or train takes a while. Does he think that nobody is going to reveal it if none of the routes offered to drivers included driving a train on Nov. 2? We’ve been told that there will be fewer drivers in the post-LRT world. Layoff notices have to go out in advance based on the provisions in the collective agreement and I’m pretty sure that the notice period is longer than 12 days.
    Passengers will need some notice so they can figure out how to get from Point A to Point B in advance of walking out the door on Nov. 2. That applies for both casual travel and the daily commute. Most people would want more than two weeks notice to do that. This will involve significant changes since the commuter routes from the eastern and western ‘burbs that now go downtown will stop at Blair or Tunney’s Pasture to dump their passengers out to continue from that point on the train.
    Will Watson be able to explain to residents on Oct. 21 before they go to vote the next day why none of what would be very visible preparations are happening?


  2. You should challenge transit chief John Manconi to a debate about the LRT, surely those nameless high-ranking, prominent people you know can set something up for a journalist of your stature …


    1. Yes the IP Address is still from Montreal.

      Should we set up a Montreal edition of The Bulldog so you can comment on civic affairs in that city?

      Let’s see … lies … you show a City of Ottawa email address but you’re from Montreal. And accordingly, you’re not someone from the mayor’s office.

      I think you have been set up to try to cast doubts on the integrity of The Bulldog. It looks very much like you’re a political operative.

      And your comments start just as the campaign starts. Interesting.

      I would suggest you try to address real issues.

      The Bulldog is really bothering you and your boss.

      And given the lies and methods it does not speak well of the candidate.




  3. Gamesmanship is making sure that City Hall issues bad news press releases on Friday afternoon of a long weekend.

    Managing to get an “adjustment of the date” on the LRT to just past election day is more than a miracle (like at Xmas). It’s more akin to scam and a true consmanship coup.

    Ya gotta give credit where credit is due. His Lairdship is the master of wool-pulling. Ottawans really seem to eat this stuff up and seem to enjoy it; otherwise, he couldn’t keep getting away with it.



  4. Hmmm. Above you raise the question: “What’s a little white lie now and again?” and oftentimes The Bulldog has noted that voter turnout in Ottawa runs at less than 50 per cent. I wonder if there’s a correlation. I think many people have lost interest in municipal politics and this serves Watson very well.


    1. Sisco,
      Last municipal election in Ottawa actually had an eligible voter turnout slightly under 40 per cent.


  5. I may not the first to say it, but I predict a Thanksgiving Miracle, wherein the LRT will be handed over in early October, before the polls open. Just sayin’


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