City Creates Transit Advisory Body

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with an update on the establishment of a Transit Advisory Working Group.

Further to Council’s direction in the last Governance Review, and in consultation with the Clerk’s  Office, Transit Services launched an open process to select members for a new Advisory Working  Group to provide an ongoing public perspective and advice on transit operations. A public  recruitment campaign, launched in December 2023, received 390 applications in both English and  French. Transit Services staff carefully reviewed each application based on the following factors:

• Completeness of the application

• Experience with Ottawa’s transit system, including Para Transpo


• Diversity of perspectives

• Experience with City of Ottawa boards or public advisory groups

• Technical, policy and/or transit-related professional expertise

• Meeting Council’s direction that the final group consist of a majority of individuals who  identify as female, transgender or non-binary

In our review of each application, we looked for individuals who most clearly expressed why they  were interested in applying and what experience and expertise they felt they could contribute to the  discussions. Our goal was to produce a list of candidates who brought together the widest variety of  perspectives, while respecting Council’s directions as to the makeup of the group. A shortlist of  candidates participated in short information interviews and the final list was reviewed by or with the  Chairs of the Transit Commission and the Light Rail Sub-Committee.

All of the candidates selected are avid transit users and enthusiasts and the group includes a  diversity of perspectives including, Para Transpo users, students, public servants, members of equity  seeking groups, engineers and technical experts and individuals with past public board experience.  All candidates have been notified and successful candidates have been confirmed in their new role.  There are seven (7) members of our inaugural Transit Advisory Working Group.

• Ami Gagné

• Caroline Lu

• Connie Shingoose

• Jordan Papazoglou

• Nathan-Cyril Manlangit

Two of the members asked that their names not be shared publicly. We look forward to working with  this group over the coming year and are confident that the technical advice, feedback and overall  guidance that will be shared by this group will equally benefit our management team and our

operations.

The work of the Transit Advisory Working Group will compliment Transit Services’ ongoing  discussions with community stakeholders, the Accessibility Advisory Committee, and OC Transpo’s  Para Transpo Working Group. Staff remain committed to ensuring that we are gathering a wide  variety of feedback, in order to offer Ottawa, the best transit service possible.

Should you have any questions or comments, please contact me.

Original signed by,

Renée Amilcar

cc: Senior Leadership Team

Transit Services Departmental Leadership Team

Director, Public Information and Media Relations

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6 Responses

  1. MM says:

    What’s their scope and Terms of Reference?

    OCTranspo already has “ongoing public perspective and advice on transit operations”. It’s called social media.

  2. Ron Benn says:

    Recruiting a diverse group of people to provide insight into OC Transpo operations is not a bad idea. That all are “avid transit users” means that the group is not actually diverse. A truly diverse group would include people who do not use transit. If for no other reason than to understand why they don’t use transit.

  3. Bruce says:

    “meeting council direction that the majority of the final group of individuals be composed of” immediately skews the whole process. There should be representation from these groups would have been a better directive!
    The real question is will the transpo commission actually listen and implement recommendations or will the consultations be disregarded and the group disbanded as others have been for “cost saving measures”?

  4. The Voter says:

    Sometimes when people miss typos in their work, it’s because the typo says what they really meant. I offer you:

    “The work of the Transit Advisory Working Group will compliment Transit Services’ ongoing discussions with community stakeholders, the Accessibility Advisory Committee, and OC Transpo’s Para Transpo Working Group. Staff remain committed to ensuring that we are gathering a wide variety of feedback, in order to offer Ottawa, the best transit service possible.”

    The advisory group will “compliment” OC Transpo …”! Does anyone else think the intended word was “complement” OC Transpo’s other methods of info gathering meaning they will add to the existing set-up rather than “compliment” which means they will praise OC Transpo? Through that Freudian slip, they may have revealed the purpose they see for the group.

    Is it perhaps because the feedback they are now gathering is so negative that they have set up this group to ensure “that we are gathering a wide variety of feedback”? If nobody else is going to balance the public response to the fiasco that, on so many levels, is OC Transpo, then they’ll set up a group that will give them compliments. Which they can then spin to counter their existing public image.

    How many sets of eyes saw that press release before it went out and none of them caught that?

  5. Ken Gray says:

    Voter:

    I doubt the compliment typo means anything except bad grammar. It’s an easy mistake to make.

    About the group, we know that Transpo and the city try to manipulate public opinion to the benefit of staff and politicians. That’s why I’m doubtful of a group of people chosen by Transpo. Furthermore, there are already more effective ways of getting public input.

    So I think it is the old story of perception. If the public perceives there’s no problem, then there’s no problem.

    I am offended in the extreme to see our tax money used to protect the incompetent people at city hall.

    We’ve seen what the LRT report said and we know that people who were aware of all this are still in senior positions. If this council won’t clean this up, if our mayor won’t clean this up, it’s time for a new council and a new mayor or, the best solution, get the province to appoint a commissioner and a board to run the city until this mess is cleaned up.

    These people are not the people we want to work for us because they are not working for us. They’re working for themselves.

    It must stop.

    cheers

    kgray

  6. MV says:

    I and several people I know, who are interested in urban affairs, all applied. As far as I recall there was nothing in the application that pertained to an applicant’s particular qualifications.

    I presume they already knew most of who they wanted in the advisory committee, and if there were ones that came from the general public call, they vetted them based on their online footprint.

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