Trillium Line Procurement: Friends Protecting Friends

Ottawa City Hall is very good at excuses. It has had many opportunities to practise them.

Your agent ran into a former political type at a supermarket recently who is still active in the city hall realm.

This person said that the current argument (excuse) for not conducting an audit of the Trillium Line procurement is that city hall has been through enough already with the provincial LRT inquiry so that more investigation will only sully the city  reputation further. How could the city’s reputation get much worse?

Anyway, so the excuse goes, another probe of light rail will only drag down the city’s image further so what’s to be gained from it?

What’s to be gained by it? It goes something like this.

The city has been raising an amazing amount of money from its traffic cameras recently. Lessons are being taught drivers in the most effective of ways. So now that this prosecution of bad driving has gone on for awhile, the city should shut off the traffic cameras because it will only further embarrass drivers and ruin their reputations.


Intensification ‘Not At Any Cost’: Citizens Federation

Drivers won’t speed anymore because they’ve been taught and learned their lesson.

Not likely.

No one was even punished for the lying, covering-up and incompetence uncovered by the provincial LRT inquiry. The major players in the inquiry have now left city hall. But what of the people who aided and abetted the ridiculousness and waste that took place on the Confederation Line. Like speeding drivers, these people have all learned their lessons and don’t deserve anymore inquiry. So too the city staffers who helped offenders in their untoward actions administering the light-rail fiasco.

When the city stops fining drivers for speeding because they have all learned their lessons for their sins, so too should an investigation of the Trillium Line procurement be stopped.

Frankly, I don’t give a damn about the reputation of the City of Ottawa. The people on Laurier Avenue made their beds so sleep in them. Just as I don’t give a damn about drivers caught speeding. I’m glad they got caught. It makes for a safer Ottawa. So keep the cameras. And keep investigating staffers and pols involved in the Trillium Line procurement. Let’s see if they learned their lesson. And if they didn’t do anything wrong, no harm no foul.

And I will be glad when (or if) people are caught in supposed misdeeds in the Trillium Line procurement. I do give a damn about the fact that the company that won the bid failed the technical standards twice, that the city group monitoring the procurement said the winning company should not get the contract and that the winning company will soon be three years late delivering the Trillium Line. That’s terrible. That’s taxpayer money and lots of it. We deserve to know how our tax money is being spent … and wasted.

City executives don’t want a probe of the Trillium Line procurement because they are afraid of the outcome. Or they already know the outcome. Those would be the same executives who didn’t get caught in the provincial inquiry. Naive councillors and staffers might buy that argument but they would be wrong.

The people stopping this procurement audit are trying to protect their friends and colleagues at city hall. And themselves.

They avoided being caught in the provincial inquiry last time and they don’t want to be exposed for possible (and yet unproven) misdeeds by a second probe.

The city reputation argument is just a ruse. Anyone with an ounce of brains in their head knows that.

And if a probe of the Trillium Line procurement does not occur, maybe it’s time for members of the public to file a complaint to law enforcement authorities.

Who might do that? Perhaps Horizon Ottawa has an axe to grind on that score? Or the people who lost at Lansdowne?

Ken Gray

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4 Responses

  1. Robert Roberts says:

    As I said in earlier post, it seems that I am living in a. Small southern US town run by a close group of “good ole boys & girls”. Things happen or don’t happen all without explanation. Citizens protests fall on deaf ears.

  2. Ron Benn says:

    While not a perfect analog, it is noteworthy that the Alberta government recently fired the mayor and three of the councillors for the town of Chestermere. Why? Because they were obstructing the efforts of the three remaining councillors to examine the overreach by elected officials into administrative duties, among several other instances of “irregular, improper and improvident” conduct.

  3. Ken Gray says:

    Ron:

    Thank you for this.

    We have seen the activities of staff and others as shown by the provincial inquiry.

    Accordingly I have no confidence in the competence and ethics of the people at city hall.

    There has been nothing happen since the election that would change my opinion nor, I’m sure, most of the Ottawa public that things have become better. This is reinforced by the very quiet and slow disappearance of the procurement audit with absolutely no explanation and changing a vital part of the official plan with no public consultation.

    The procurement action prompted this publication to call for a commissioner and board to run the city until the next election.

    We cannot wait a generation for the culture to change at city hall. People should not trust this city hall and that must change immediately and can only change with outside intervention.

    cheers

    kgray

  4. The Voter says:

    That has to be one of the most bizarre justifications I’ve heard in a long time. Even by Ottawa City Hall standards, it’s a stretch.

    Picture yourself telling your child that, because he had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar yesterday, you wouldn’t be looking into the disappearance of the cake you’d made for tonight’s dessert. Especially when the whole family had observed his humiliation around the cookie incident including the harshly-worded reprimand you gave him that included no consequences.

    Maybe if the people at Ottawa City Hall want to preserve their reputations intact, they should refrain from doing things that would tarnish said reputations. It seems such a simple concept.

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