Menard Calls Lansdowne Plan ‘Disappointing’

Capital Councillor Shawn Menard has created a reasonable and cogent analysis of the Lansdowne 2.0 plan.

It should be required reading for people who care about this city:

… we’re abandoning the notion of a competitive bidding process, sole-sourcing the project to an architectural firm that the city did not even select in the first place. 

And despite the fact that sole-sourcing a major project never leads to the best outcome, we’re hoping this time it will mean that a procurement method that finished a distant sixth in scoring can be elevated to a semi-distant fourth, in relation to all the other procurement methods we could have chosen. This report comes without any input or consultation of the public who will be paying for it.

So disappointing is the word, but maybe not the right word. Maybe it’s too charitable.

Perhaps city manager Wendy Stephanson should take a peek at this to discover why she can’t get good candidates to apply for seniors positions.


To read the full Menard analysis, click here.

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7 Responses

  1. Ron Benn says:

    Disappointing is too charitable a term for a process that, as Councillor Menard points out, moves a process from sixth place to fourth. But then again, at city hall mediocre is what they strive for. Pushing to get beyond fourth place on a project that, when combined with the underwhelming Lansdowne 1.0 will soon hit three quarters of a billion dollars, is apparently just asking too much. Not just of staff, but for those tasked with oversight of staff.

  2. Merrill Smith says:

    We could use a few more Shawn Menards. No wonder many councillors don’t like him.

  3. John Langstone says:

    My notes are that the no votes at council last week were; Devine, King, Troster, Menard, Kavanagh, Bradley. At audit committee, only Menard and King voted no. These appear to be the only councilors paying attention to outside analysis and community comments. We will all pay for this. Did councilors not ever dream a bit about what they might do with around $17 million per ward in capital spending they are giving away to the Lansdowne project? Foregone community centres and such? Lansdowne affects everyone.

  4. Theresa says:

    To all Bulldog Readers,
    If you are an Ottawa resident who shares Councillor Menard’s objections to the Landsdowne Report, instead of just belly-aching, please email your City Councillor right now and share his objections with them, and push for them to vote against the Report. I’ve just done that myself. Be part of the solution!

  5. Ron Benn says:

    Merrill, one of the problems with Councillor Menard is that he only expresses his righteous indignation at the manipulations by staff and the Mayors’ (plural to include Sutcliffe and Watson) office when the initiative is contrary to his preferred outcome. This recurring inconsistency is one of a number of reasons why Councillor Menard has so few supporters on council. And that is why he has such limited effectiveness in making progress on moving important issues to tangible action.

  6. John Langstone says:

    With some reservation, I’m picking up on Ron Benn’s comment. The issue I’ve followed most closely with Shawn has been Lansdowne, and and from where I sit he has worked tirelessly on this for his community – and with respect to the financials – for all taxpayers. The oversight he has shown on this project seems to me to be what many articles in The Bulldog are asking for. Dealing with this council has to be a challenge. Remember these are the people who felt the Katasa donation for Capital Ward was tainted, until they voted to take part of it for themselves. And here the mayor took a campaign donation from a Katasa person with a Quebec address.

  7. Ron Benn says:

    John, I agree with your assessment that Councillor Menard has done an excellent job in providing a clear analysis of the financial consequences of Lansdowne 2.0. He is to be congratulated for calling out staff and many of his fellow councillors for manipulating the data to support their decisions. The crafting of his message was clear and easy to understand.

    My point was and remains that manipulating the data is never a good thing, no matter whether it supports or refutes a proposal. The problem is that Councillor Menard only objects to data manipulation when it is contrary to his position. When council is being manipulated in the direction that he wants, he refrains from objecting. Hypocrisy is never a good look.

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