AG’s Lansdowne Audit: ‘Could’ Means ‘Won’t’ .12.26


… our Office is not in a position to review the revised agreement with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) as it has not been finalized.  This item could be considered for a future sprint.

Auditor General’s release on Lansdowne audit


‘Could’ is the operative word in the whopper above.

‘Could’ in municipalese (the weasel word language of Ottawa City Hall) usually means ‘won’t’.

We learned this in the much-touted, never-done Trillium Line procurement audit. That procurement screamed audit but never got it. It started out on the auditor general’s workplan as a will-do.

Then it slipped down the workplan with each update. Then it became the AG’s office would do it if it had time. Then it fell off the workplan altogether. So ‘could’ in municipalese has as one of its meanings ‘won’t’.

Around Bulldog World Headquarters and among the contributors and readers of The Bulldog … maybe Ottawans as a whole … the AG’s office has lost that most important attribute … trust. Trust is easy to lose and almost impossible to get back.

From the look of previous audits, how much can we trust from the AG’s office? As much as is politically expedient.

Sorry, no trust here. Wish that weren’t true.

Ken Gray


ps At the time of this writing, Ottawan’s have been waiting for the Trillium Line procurement audit for 454 days, 11 hours, 49 minutes and 50 seconds. Update as you will. The story behind this and procurement ticker can be found here.


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