TEWIN AFFAIR: Councillors, Get A Lawyer: GRAY

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Get a lawyer.

City councillors … get a lawyer.

Pool your resources from your office budgets … yes you Capital Councillor Shawn Menard and your buddies … cancel a few hotdog barbecues this summer from your kitty to woo your constituents and spend that money to get to the bottom of the Tewin Affair. Taggart has agreed to pay the full-time salaries of three people to work for the city to make decisions on the very project of the people who are paying the new staffers’ salaries.

The problem is not Taggart … it’s getting the most for its investment. No, the fault is at the city which is supposed to be protecting you.

Conflict of interest. Who approved such a thing? What exactly did they approve? Who knew about this and when? Why? And what was the procedure for getting this approved? Who were the players in this? And then look at the legal ramifications.

Get a damn lawyer. Get a damn lawyer now.

Not a city lawyer because that department will skate and waffle and weave to defend the action as is its want. Get an independent lawyer. Find out what options are available outside of planning committee, city council, city staff, the auditor general’s office, the mayor and the city’s integrity machine … you won’t get answers there. They’ve proven it year over year over year. Sweep it under the carpet. Make it go away. At worst, say tsk tsk and don’t do that again … but there won’t be real consequences. A few stern words, but no big fines or legal consequences. Take your nice pension and run. Sound familiar?

Get the meanest, smartest, craftiest SOB lawyer you can find. You know … a lawyer who shoots first, then lectures the victim. You know, that kind of lawyer. They’re not that hard to find.

Don’t go through staff. They’ll make it go away. They’ll make excuses. They will let it fade off into the distance.

Don’t go through council. A majority of the members get much of their campaign money from developers. They wouldn’t say compost if they had a mouthful. Furthermore, if they don’t play ball with the developers, the developers will run a well-funded campaign-nobody against them. And most of our councillors have the best job they will ever get so they want to keep their cushy little situations.

Don’t go through the integrity apparatus. They might be concerned but there are no consequence to put action into their words. Furthermore, don’t go through the auditor general’s office. She won’t audit the Trillium Line procurement that has a fair number of unanswered questions.

Now for resignations. Let’s see. Both planning committee vice-chairman Glen Gower and Mayor Mark Sutcliffe are former journalists. Journalists are held to a higher standard than politicians, but then, who isn’t? “I didn’t know” won’t fly. Use that on a city editor whose department just got beaten big-time on a story.

“I’m sorry but I didn’t know.”


Oversight and all.

Planning chairman Jeff Leiper should resign. And someone should help him get to the front door.

The mayor? Well he should have resigned when his LRT-fix-it plan derailed. He was elected to fix the train. But this is worth a resignation, too. And what did he know?

City manage Wendy Stephanson should resign because she is responsible for her staff. Your staff screws up, the honourable thing is to resign. So resign.

Of course, honour and city hall are two very different things.

Interim (of course) planning general manager Vivi Chi should resign for all the obvious reasons.

Anyone involved in planning this planning fiasco should resign and be investigated legally. If nothing else, it would help clean house in that filthy mansion. Weren’t the findings of the scathing LRT inquiry enough? Apparently not.

And where is the Ford government on this? Municipalities are creatures of the province and the creature we have lurking here in eastern Ontario is a monster. Time to slay the monster Premier Doug Ford. If you don’t, you’re absolving yourself from your responsibility, not something we’d like to see from a self-proclaimed man of the people.

And just in case you weren’t sure, the state of Ottawa City Hall is abysmal. City hall doesn’t protect the interests of the people. This episode certainly proves that as though it needed proving at all. It protects the special interest groups, the privileged and itself. Nice cozy operation they’ve got going there on Laurier Avenue.

You can’t blame Taggart-Tewin for this. Those folks are paid to get as much as they can get. They’re hard-wired that way. Stopping developers from getting what they want would be like trying to train a tiger not to attack. Developers develop. Tigers attack.

No. You blame city hall. Its members are supposed to protect you. They don’t. They protect themselves and their buddies, not you. But they sure do play the public for patsies. Take the tax money and screw it up or give it away.

City hall has gone rogue.

It’s time for councillors of goodwill to hire the biggest, baddest independent lawyer they can.

And clean up the ethical cesspool that is Ottawa City Hall.

To read a profile of Bulldog editor Ken Gray, click here.

4 Responses

  1. Nicholas says:

    Why is The Bulldog the only news outlet in Ottawa, that I can find anyway, that is covering this? Not even a whisper on other sources. Seems strange.

  2. Ken Gray says:

    N — the CBC has kinda touched on it but it looks like we have this one to ourselves. Neat, eh?



  3. Andrew says:

    As it is against the rules to have paid developer staff working on their projects in City offices, as city staff, (PLANNING ACT Section 2 (n) to (q)), we should demand the province take over.

  4. Dan Stankovic says:

    Civil servants don’t get payouts if they resign on their own. They will wait to be declared redundant or re-org’d out. We’re stuck with them for now.

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