No Free Trips For The Mayor: WHOPPER WATCH

whopper.watch .12.26

 

“… at no cost whatsoever to taxpayers.”

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe on his trip to London paid for by Ottawa Tourism

 

You can pay me now or taxpayers can pay you later.

Your Worship, the cost to taxpayers is not really the point.


Ottawa Tourism is an industry association and lobby group. It wants things for its members. And some of those things can come from the municipal government.

Surely, you know how this works. People who give campaign donations to the mayor and Ottawa City Council are paying for access or a friendly face in the office. Sometimes people who make campaign donations want things in return. Sometimes they get them. And paying for trips for the mayor is a big ticket.

You know, relationships. They grease the wheels of business. They get business people what they want. And in the case of Sutcliffe, lobby groups want access to his legislative power and his key to the huge kitty that is the tax base of the residents of Ottawa.

Worth noting as an aside is that organizations such as Moody’s rate municipalities’ credit not on their fiscal acumen (in which case the rating would be ZZZ) but on the lucrative and huge AAA bailout ability of the taxpayers of Ottawa. Politicians can screw up pretty much all they want but the taxpayer is there to right the wrong with a boatload of cash.

Sutcliffe defends himself by saying that this has happened before. Then he cites former mayor Jim Watson’s trips to China and Amsterdam (from whence the tulips for the Tulip Festival come … how is the mayor leading one of the great draw of tourists here out of its current difficulties? Ottawa Tourism could ask).

Just because someone else did what you’re doing doesn’t make it right. And you’ll remember that Watson was the star of the provincial light-rail inquiry.

Bears doo-doo in the woods, quite a number of Popes have been Catholic and business people business. That’s what they do. The fault is not theirs.

The fault resides in the mayor who needs to keep a proper distance from people who want things. He should lead (Tulip Festival again) and do the right thing. Going on glad-handing paid trips with lobby groups is neither leadership nor right. But then Sutcliffe knows this already.

And using the stars of the light-rail inquiry as your moral compass might be misplaced trust.

The mayor and council should not be beholden to lobbyists or city staff or any vested interests.

They should be beholden to the people of Ottawa from whence authority for good leadership must come. The mayor serves the people of Ottawa. No one else.

Ken Gray

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3 Responses

  1. Bruce says:

    Ken. Did you enjoy your no cost to the taxpayer trip to Gatineau? or Paris Ontario? I did not get my invite so likely it is in the mail with the reimbursement for my family excursion to Disney World. Going on a JUNKET and running a marathon while there is simply a ruse to get a FREE ride. Pay your OWN WAY Mr Mayor.

  2. Ken Gray says:

    Bruce:

    I’ve been to Paris and London on my train trips back from the University of Western Ontario to Toronto in the 1970s.

    And even then, when I had no money, I paid for the trips.

    No free ride to Paris and London for me.

    cheers

    kgray

  3. Been There says:

    You nailed it Ken. I surprised that so many missed the lobbyist point. But then again greased wheels are so common place in Ottawa they tried it on the LRT.

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