The Ghost Of Watson Haunts City Hall


Former mayor Jim Watson is alive and well and living in Ottawa City Hall.

Or at least that’s how it seems.

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe is practising the old Watson deflection with the new guy showing some of the old guy’s acumen in this dark art.

Sutcliffe has been getting killed by the public and the media for his $419-million giveaway at Lansdowne in a high interest rate period and when the city is writing overrun cheques for LRT rapidly.

As well, the mayor has been trying to sneak through a huge change in planning that will give developers an enormous boost in building heights and profits.

So what to do? Well, deflect.

That’s trying to take attention away from big problems by manufacturing fake news.

Accordingly, the city has come out demanding money for its over-taxed paramedic service from the province, thereby making the province look like it doesn’t care about sick people. Except that the province rightly expects the city to pay its fair share of the ambulance bill. But the city is trying to paint the province as the bad guy. It’s not.

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The city’s demand for money was further undercut by the fact that it could find $419 million for the frill that is Lansdowne but not for paramedics. Ouch.

But then the piece de resistance. What do municipal politicians hear more complaints about than any other issue? Roads. Potholes in particular. So our municipal leader is pouring some money into fixing potholes. Great diversion from giving away the entire city to developers.

Ah deflection. Got an issue that stinks such as Lansdowne or raising building heights? Throw a little perfume on it in the form of flat roads and a manufactured paramedic funding question.

It’s just like Watson never left.

Ken Gray



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