The Most Thankless Job In Ottawa Municipal Government

Maybe you can make something out of this. It’s possible but not probable.

Many people leave advisory committees at the City of Ottawa with a profound feeling of uselessness.

For the previous term of council, staff didn’t listen much to the transit commission.

City council had a majority of Bobbleheads who were too busy getting their pictures taken with the mayor so public policy was often ignored. And that included the transit commission.

The people with the power at Ottawa City Hall in the previous term were former executives Jim Watson, Steve Kanellakos and John Manconi.

From the provincial light-rail inquiry, we know how that trio operated.

So now the city wants you to volunteer for the new Transit Advisory Working Group. Don’t expect to belong to much more than a debating society. The important decisions on transit will not be made by this group. Some of the names of elected officials and staffers have changed but the game remains the same.

That said, maybe you can do some good work here. But don’t get your hopes up.

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:


Are you passionate about public transit and want to help improve Ottawa’s transit system? If so, we would love to hear from you!

OC Transpo is recruiting members for a new Transit Advisory Working Group. This ad hoc advisory body will provide volunteer opportunities for residents to advise OC Transpo’s leadership on a wide variety of matters relating to the operation of public transit, including Para Transpo, conventional bus service and the O-Train. This could include topics like:

– Ways to improve service to customers.
– Planned or potential changes to how we deliver service.
– Consulting on new technologies or innovations being considered.
– Improving the safety and security of the transit network.
– Improving communications to customers and the public.

In addition to these topics, members may also be asked to participate and provide advice on targeted and specific transit-related matters.

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We are looking for members who represent a wide variety of lived experience and perspectives. Our goal is to have representation from Para Transpo customers as well as having at least 50 percent plus one of the members made up of individuals self-identifying as women, non-binary, transgender, and/or gender non-conforming persons. We invite everyone interested to apply.

Applications will be reviewed by Transit Service’s General Manager and the Chairs of the City’s Transit Commission and Light Rail Sub-Committee. Following the recruitment period, successful candidates will be notified and receive additional information.

Meetings will generally be held in the evenings and may be held both onsite and virtually. The Working Group will meet as required with at least 3 to 4 meetings held annually and will be chaired by senior members of the Transit Services Department.

Looks like window dressing … sort of like the audit committee.



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3 Responses

  1. John Langstone says:

    Sadly, this is probably just a way for the City to say it embraced community consultation, then ignoring it, and wasting a lot of well meaning citizens’ time. I wonder sometimes if it is a planned program to fatigue activists into dropping of engagement with municipal issues. As an example of this sort of thing, the city just changed a hard fought minor corridor height limit in the Official Plan without any consultation. The City seems to always finds a way to snuff the efforts engaged citizens.

  2. Richard says:

    Are they going to provide free parking for members of the “Transit Advisory Working Group.”?? It only makes sense given people need to drive because public transportation in Ottawa is neither convenient nor reliable enough to make sure they are on time for in person meetings.

    You need to entice people to participate in what is nothing more than a disguised focus group designed to help the coalition of contempt on city council figure out how to put a positive face on a system that remains broke.

  3. Ken Gray says:


    Good line on the parking.

    thx and cheers


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