City Practises Avoidance, Not Governance

 

The results of the city finance committee meeting on Tuesday were pathetic.

A report comes down from the planning department … remember this is the planning department … that tells of plummeting housing starts in a city that has declared a housing crisis. The housing crisis is there but Ottawa City Council has provided PR and virtual signalling but has accomplished nothing. In fact, housing starts are going the wrong way … precipitously.

So since the city declared its housing crisis, the crisis has become worse. This perhaps is an old-fashioned concept but if you are going to declare a housing crisis, you should probably do something about it.

So in a quarterly report, the planning department … get this, the planning department … fires up a very concerning report on the local economy and housing in particular.

Now here is what the planning department plans to do after this report. This from the report:


CONCLUSION
Staff will continue monitoring the economic conditions of the city and report back to the
Finance and Corporate Services Committee on a quarterly basis.

So what is the plan from the planning department whose job it is to plan? They plan to report back to finance committee about the economic and housing situation in Ottawa in the next quarter.

Bad Time For Sens Arena Subsidy: STANKOVIC

In other words, nothing.

We pay our planners, in this midst of what council calls a housing crisis, to tell finance committee that there is a problem and our plan is to write another report. That doesn’t build houses.

And this is our planning department. The people who wanted to give a giant tax break to an airport hotel that went ahead with the project without the giant tax break. The people who have played a role in the failing Lansdowne project, in the failing light-rail project, in the failing giant library project, in tax breaks for a strip mall and a Porsche dealership.

And planning’s plans for the housing crisis? Write another quarterly report. Pathetic.

And as for media relations, in its release on the meeting it doesn’t mention the important but embarrassing housing crisis situation getting worse with no plans to make it better, it brings out the old saw about the Municipal Price Index (a ploy so old to justify getting more money that it has become a cliche) and that Happy Goat Coffee in light-rail stations is the most important piece of information coming out of finance committee. Of Happy Goat Coffee might not be in LRT stations, too.

LANSDOWNE: Ottawa Is Building Yesterday

So media relations misses or ignores the housing crisis getting worse but touts city staff’s ridiculous MPI and something that might happen with Happy Goat Coffee. Good grief.

If this is the best the City of Ottawa can do, the rot on Laurier Avenue is complete.

The people of Ottawa should be sick to death of hearing staffers and councillors talk about what they’re doing. Talk is cheap. Doing something requires at least a modicum of effort but the only effort being put forth is to cover up the fact that planning, finance committee, the mayor and council are doing nothing.

It has been time to clean house at Ottawa City Hall for years. And now the situation there is getting worse.

Almost impossible to believe given what taxpayers have seen. But true … sadly … true.

City hall is doing nothing and covering up that it is doing nothing. But there is hope. Doing nothing is better than completely screwing things up.

And that is the state of the city.

Ken Gray

 

Digital illustration on front by AI generator DALL-e.

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1 Response

  1. sisco farraro says:

    Polls, polls, polls. We hear about polls for everything. The 10 greatest cities in the world, the 10 safest countries in which to live, the cities with the best airports, etc, etc, etc. I’d like to see where Ottawa sits in the worst capital cities in the world. I wonder if we’d make the top 10.

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