Commanda Bridge: Was Leiper Asleep At The Switch?


Where was the lead lobbyist for the powerful cycling pressure group before the Commanda Bridge was closed?

Where was Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper when the decision was made to shut the bridge during the cold-weather months? Was he out cycling?

Where was Leiper when the bridge was being designed and constructed? It took about 30 minutes of research by The Bulldog to discover why the bridge was being closed. The wooden planks and the iron on the bridge are likely to corrode within two to five years if there are repeatedly salted in the winter. Did Leiper take more than 30 minutes to research this and if so, how did he get it so wrong? Or did he understand the construction issues at all? Now he demanding these problems be fixed? Do we rebuild the bridge? Or do we salt it and watch it rot?

Ottawans know how dear cycling is to the councillor. How does he propose to clear the snow off the very long bridge without damaging the railings on each side of the thin thoroughfare? How does he keep people safe when the snow rises on the bridge and it becomes icy? What happens to people who fall into the river in January? When happens to people when they fall on the ice below the bridge?

Did Leiper even remotely explore the problems that salt causes on the structure? Did he consult with staff? Or was he practising his vaunted noversiight again?

If Leiper cannot push through a project that he should care about and is unable to see incredibly obvious problems on the Commanda Bridge for cycling in winter, what kind of noversight is Leiper giving projects that don’t include cycling? If he can get cycling wrong, what else is he getting wrong? Lansdowne?

So Leiper wants staff to find a solution to the winter closing? Try this on for size councillor. There isn’t one. Or try this on. What is your solution? Maybe you should be doing the hard work to solve the problem because it looks as though staff can’t do it? Where were you in the planning stages of this fouled project?

Did you think to ask if the bridge would be open in the winter? If so, when … if at all?

And was this the same kind of noversight he gave light rail as he has been in office since before the beginning of the project? Perhaps it is time for voters to do an inventory of the councillors still in office who precipitated the LRT debacle. Start with Leiper and work from there.

Did he examine what looks to be pretty high costs for the bridge? Remember $23 million gets you a pedestrian and cycling bridge across the river outside the cold weather months. Light rail would have cost $40 million for mass transportation across the bridge 12 months of the year.

The people of Kitchissippi and the cycling community need better representation than Leiper is giving them.

Time to take a close look at the work of Jeff Leiper. Maybe it’s time for the councillor to look for work outside of Ottawa City Hall because he’s not very good at the job he has now.

Ken Gray


I couldn’t find anything previous about Leiper’s opposition to closing the bridge in the winter before the above statement on Nov. 21.

I did find this below however.

Ken Gray


First ride(s) on the Commanda

Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper’s joy ride on the Commanda Bridge.



Commanda Bridge: Another Failed Big City Project

City Closes Commanda Bridge For Winter

FCA Condemns Fast-Tracking Of Building Height Limits

Councillor Leiper Fails At Serious Thought: BENN .your .bulldog


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4 Responses

  1. Bruce says:

    What was Jeffys employment before the cushy no work but big pay job at council? After his demonstrated ineptitude who would hire him. Developers or the NCC? Next election there may be a glut of forced to retire councilors looking to OSEG and friends for overpaid underworked positions. Certainly do not want people like Jeffy in decision making jobs!

  2. Merrill Smith says:

    Doesn’t the NCC have large circular brushes that they use on the canal when it manages to freeze? Maybe they can be borrowed.

  3. Ken Gray says:


    It’s not really the snow that is the major problem … though it is a problem.

    The difficulty is salt.



  4. Mark Hamilton says:

    The fact that the pathways(NCC) to access the bridge on either side of the bridge aren’t plowed in the winter makes things a little more complicated . I applaud Mr Leipers’ efforts.

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