Lansdowne: Real Audit Or Nerf-Ball Audit? .12.26


“Over the course of the (Lansdowne) project our intention is to share as much information about our audits as possible with members of Council and in turn the residents of Ottawa.  While this is not a common practice for most municipal, provincial and federal Auditor General’s, our hopes is that this practice will enable our Office to continue to provide timely information about the work we conduct and in turn answer many pressing questions.”

Nathalie Gougeon, the city auditor general in an internal memo obtained by The Bulldog


You know often the City of Ottawa tries to make a barnyard smell like Chanel No. 5.

That’s difficult and our municipal government usually fails. Take LRT for example. Lipstick on a pig.

The thing is that you can talk openness all you want. The audit of the Freedom Convoy and the Ottawa Police Service response was open and a great disappointment. To call it a softball audit would be doing softballs a disservice. It was a nerf-ball audit. One of the things that audit revealed was that it was cold outside when the convoy decided to disrupt the core of Ottawa. Of course, it’s cold. That, and a lot of other unpleasant things, are what first responders signed up for.

Take paramedics for example. Sometimes they must pull bodies out of crashed cars that resemble bags of goo. It can be cold while they do this as well.

Maybe the hot-house tomatoes in the AG’s office should get out more.

So there’s openness and then there’s openness. There’s telling the harsh truth, which auditors are paid to do, or getting out the Chanel No. 5. Frankly in the convoy audit, the OPS parking concierge service, some of whose members went rogue, never smelled so good.

So the AG knows, like her political masters know (hello, audit committee and special hello to LRT expert Allan Hubley who represents Kanata South and sits on audit committee), that you can say lot of stuff that means nothing or perfumes the truth. Such as the OPS-convoy audit. Compare it to the federal inquiry.

Gougeon’s term, which started out well, has declined precipitously. Rather than saying that she was not doing an audit on the especially odiferous Trillium Line procurement because … well she didn’t say …, that audit kept slipping down the AG’s work plan until it disappeared. Done in a way that the thin line of journalists at city hall would miss. And they did.

So Ottawans should be asking: “For whom does the AG’s office work?” The people (and especially taxpayers) of this city or the politicians. It takes a very ethical, strong-willed and tough AG to stand up to politicians and staff. But that’s what AGs are paid to do … in theory at least.

By The Bulldog’s very precise calculation, Gougeon has been not auditing the Trillium line procurement, at the time of this writing, for 449 days, nine hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds. Statisticians among Bulldog readers can read the tale of the tape by clicking here.

So will we get a real audit of Lansdowne or one like the police-convoy audit where the crisis could have been averted by buying the police a gross of earmuffs?

.On Lansdowne and the Trillium Line audit, Ottawans should be dubious. We are in Missouri on this.

Show us. Don’t talk about it. Do it. And don’t be wrong.

Show us.

Ken Gray


You’ve Got The Fever: PATTON

AG To Table First Lansdowne Audit On June 10

What About Watson’s Testimony At LRT Inquiry?

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