Trillium Line Procurement: Tell The Truth: QUOTABLE

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“Don’t treat your audience, internally and externally, like idiots. Just don’t.”

Pundit Warren Kinsella

 

People know when they are being spun. They’re smarter than politicians think. In fact, they’re smarter than most politicians … not that it is that hard.

And in Ottawa, with the smartest people in a major city in Canada and a federal-government-company town to boot, residents can smell compost a mile off.


So Happy Town News and particularly our challenged city staff but also not-a-few simple pols on Laurier Avenue, best you not talk down to the great washed of Ottawa. They’re smarter than you think and probably smarter than you.

So Kinsella in a blog post talks of being a chief spin-Meister for ex-prime minister Jean Chretien, done media crisis management and worked among we ink-stained wretches. He knows of what he speaks. Smart guy.

But then so does your garden-variety scribbler in the media. Tell the truth Ottawa City Hall. Tell the truth now and it’s a one-day story. Don’t tell the truth and you drag it out for weeks. Tell the truth, give the reason (the real reason) and tell people how you will fix it … whatever it is that needs fixing. Oh yeah, and you’re sorry.

Harkening back to Watergate and the late Richard Nixon, it’s not the crime (a petty break-in) but the cover-up that gets you. In politics, the law and journalism (and a whole bunch of other places) that should be the 11th Commandment.

But down at Ottawa City Hall the denizens treat the public like idiots, hold the 10 Big Ones in contempt, treat the media like idiots, spin the most improbable tales, deflect and then cover-up. I’m thinking in particular of the mega-smelly Trillium Line procurement that didn’t turn out smoothly. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there’s a lot of smoke, there’s a raging inferno. And from the outside at least, the Trillium Line procurement looks bad … really bad. Try telling the truth rather than let it slowly fall off the auditor general’s work plan and hope no one sees.

Yoo-hoo, we saw it.

If you’re going to lie and cover-up, you better be really smart. Smart has not been Job 1 for the City of Ottawa in recent years (pathetic is more like it). You will get caught. Maybe not now but sometime. Just look at the procurement ticker on every page of The Bulldog. Hello … we’re watching.

And now that the AG has put that audit in the circular file, sooner or later some bushy-tailed resident or group will file a complaint with the OPP or the RCMP. They oftentimes get their man or woman or somewhere in-between. And sometimes they file criminal charges. If you’ve done something wrong, best you make a plane reservation with a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Canada. Hope you enjoy Antarctica. Penguins apparently make good pets.

A little advice from someone who has been around the block a couple of times.

Tell the truth. It’s easier to keep track of than a lie. And it might keep you out of the grey-bar hotel.

Or don’t get caught (which is highly unlikely particularly if you live in gossip- and leak-central Ottawa City Hall).

And by the way, if you know exactly what went on in the Trillium Line procurement or you know someone who does and would like to chat, feel free to email this puppy at kengray20@gmail.com.

We’re here to help.

Ken Gray

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1 Response

  1. Bruce says:

    The Ottawa mafia? No because at least with the real deal you know why, when and how. You can recognize the “wise guys” and they are not elected nor appointed to positions of citizen trust. There is “no honour amongst thieves” but the Mafioso have a known code of conduct. Omerta. Ottawa has what?

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