Get Real, City Council. Get Real: BENN




A Frail Grasp on the Big Picture. Business as Usual. Two songs by the Eagles that describe Ottawa’s city council to a tee.

Of all the things that Ottawa needs to get under control, half a football stadium in need of some repair isn’t No. 1. Not even in the top 10.  Yet council is focusing its attention on just that.

Not on how to cover OC Transpo’s eight-digit operating deficit. Nor on OC Transpo management’s “plan” to make its service remotely relevant to significantly more riders. What about the concept of bringing the existing Confederation Line service back up to two-car train sets sometime before the next municipal election?

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When it comes to next year’s operating budget, how to balance the next one with something other than raiding the already depleted operating reserves and plugging the ever-widening hole in the middle with fictional grants from senior governments. How to replenish the capital budget to fund key elements of the aging infrastructure in many of the central Ottawa neighbourhoods. The same neighbourhoods that are slated for intensification.  Adding more load to a failing system is a recipe for disaster, yet half a football stadium and adding to the inventory of city-owned retail space is a higher priority?

How is refurbishing half a football stadium while adding to the inventory of city owned retail space (yes I am repeating that because council doesn’t want you to see it) a higher priority than meeting the minimum requirements for ambulance response times?

What about bringing their existing decrepit social housing units up to something above ready-to-be-condemned status? Taking tangible steps towards addressing the shortage of affordable housing for families? Not virtue signals. Not demands for more money from senior levels of government. Actual physical shovels in the ground steps.

Fixing, as contrasted with the standard semi-annual patching of the surfaces of the roadways that motorists and cyclists find themselves having to practice their slalom techniques on. The constant sideways movements of vehicles and cyclists is a hazard. Not just to the paint on the vehicle but to the individuals in motion.

Ensuring that during the winter months the sidewalks are plowed down to the hard surface. To enable pedestrians to use those sidewalks as they walk to and from the bus stop that so very few can be bothered to use.

Those are but a few of the elements of the big picture that council is failing to grasp. Not to worry though. Spending tax dollars on low-priority frills to subsidize developers is business as usual.

Ron Benn, a finance executive, has been a member of the Centrepointe Community Association for the better part of three decades.





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2 Responses

  1. Kosmo says:

    Mr. Benn,

    It’s been loosely reported councillors were walking through City Hall humming in unison “Let it Be”

  2. Ron Benn says:

    That they are humming in unison will be viewed by Sutcliffe as a major accomplishment, Kosmo.

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