Shame On Ottawa City Council, Praise To Mayor Larry O'Brien

I received this tonight in my email from two sources. It is that important to Ottawa residents to know which of their City Councilors care about reducing costs in an economic downturn, and which are supporting a tax increase to residents.

What happened last night?

In the morning we were able to identify an additional $1.211 Million in additional savings beyond those options proposed by staff. The Mayor had hoped that these options moved by council demonstrated a new movement to give appropriate scrutiny to the most important work that we as members of Council are charged to do all year.

Unfortunately some members around the table chose to take the easy way out and put forward an omnibus motion that raised taxes by 4.9% rather than give the options that were on the table a full debate.

Through the use of an omnibus motion that had the support of 15 Councillors the taxpayers of Ottawa will be burdened with a 4.9% tax increase regardless of the fact that there were millions of dollars available in spending options that they were not willing to debate.

What options were accepted to achieve the 4.9% increase?

Ironically the options that were approved were the bulk of options the Mayor spoke about on Friday.

They reduced the compensation budget to reflect changing trends in labour settlements. They adjusted fuel costs due to lower gas prices and they adopted the reductions proposed by the Police and Libraries.

Many of these options had been prepared through consultation with Bob Plamandon and staff. The options that were rejected were primarily those presented by staff and reductions in the capital budget for projects that could have been deferred.

We heard a lot about reductions to the arts, festivals and childcare were they touched?

This collation of Councillors protected arts and festival funding while agreeing to their 4.9% increase. Ottawa taxpayers will continue to subsidize the Provincial government share of childcare funding, completely letting them off the hook for short changing parents who need subsidized care.

What about rink grants and ice rentals?

The grants for rinks will go ahead with no changes to the accountability for ensuring that the money is spent in the rinks. The rental rates for sport fields, ice time, pools and community halls will increase as per staff’s recommendation but they rejected the increase to minor rentals.

Well some of this seems to be ok, didn’t the Mayor say he was against some of these cuts?

We never expected all of these options to be approved but we thought the taxpayers of Ottawa deserved to have them debated. During debate perhaps we could have found alternatives to lessen the impacts. Council had a duty to explore every option to reduce the impact on our taxpayers and they failed yesterday.

What can we do?

You need to contact you Councillor especially if they were one of those that chose to ignore the responsibility of office and take the easy way out.

Those Councillors who chose to burden the taxpayers with a 4.9% increase are:

Councillor Georges Bédard Ward 12 – Rideau-Vanier Tel: 613-580-2482 Fax: 613-580-2522
Councillor Michel Bellemare Ward 11 – Beacon Hill-Cyrville Tel: 613-580-2481 Fax: 613-580-2521
Councillor Glenn Brooks Ward 21 Rideau-Goulbourn Tel: 613-580-2491 Fax: 613-580-2531
Councillor Rick Chiarelli Ward 8 – College Tel: 613-580-2478 Fax: 613-580-2518
Councillor Alex Cullen Ward 7 – Bay Tel: 613-580-2477 Fax: 613-580-2517
Councillor Diane Deans Ward 10 – Gloucester-Southgate Tel: 613-580-2480 Fax: 613-580-2520
Councillor Clive Doucet Ward 17 – Capital Tel: 613-580-2487 Fax: 613-580-2527
Councillor Peggy Feltmate Ward 23 – Kanata South Tel: 613-580-2752 Fax: 613-580-2762
Councillor Jan Harder Ward 3 – Barrhaven Tel: 613-580-2473 Fax: 613-580-2513
Councillor Diane Holmes Ward 14 – Somerset Tel: 613-580-2484 Fax: 613-580-2524
Councillor Peter Hume Ward 18 – Alta Vista Tel: 613-580-2488 Fax: 613-580-2528
Councillor Gord Hunter Ward 9 – Knoxdale-Merivale Tel: 613-580-2479 Fax: 613-580-2519
Councillor Christine Leadman Ward 15 – Kitchissippi Tel: 613-580-2485 Fax: 613-580-2525
Councillor Jacques Legendre Ward 13 – Rideau-Rockcliffe Tel: 613-580-2483 Fax: 613-580-2523
Councillor Maria McRae Ward 16 – River Tel: 613-580-2486 Fax: 613-580-2526

Those councillors who chose to stand up for their constituents and debate the budget are:

Councillor Rainer Bloess Ward 2 – Innes Tel: 613-580-2472 Fax: 613-580-2512
Councillor Steve Desroches Ward 22 – Gloucester-South Nepean Tel: 613-580-2751 Fax: 613-580-2761
Councillor Eli El-Chantiry Ward 5 – West Carleton-March Tel: 613-580-2475 Fax: 613-580-2515
Councillor Rob Jellett Ward 19 – Cumberland Tel: 613-580-2489 Fax: 613-580-2697
Councillor Bob Monette Ward 1 – Orléans Tel: 613-580-2471 Fax: 613-580-2511
Councillor Shad QadriWard 6 Stittsville-Kanata West Tel: 613-580-2476 Fax: 613-580-2516
Councillor Doug Thompson Ward 20 – Osgoode Tel: 613-580-2490 Fax: 613-580-2530
Councillor Marianne Wilkinson Ward 4 – Kanata North Tel: 613-580-2474 Fax: 613-580-2514

Stand Your Ground Mayor O'Brien. The People Are Behind You In The Hunt For "Zero Means Zero"

In the past 7 to 14 days, the airwaves in Ottawa have been filled with talk about how the newly elected Mayor, Larry O’Brien, and the city councilors are at odds over how to operate the city.

But herein lies the problem. Every sitting councilor who ran again, won their seat. Yet there was a change at the top in the Mayor’s seat.

What does this mean? Well not much, unless you take two points into consideration.

a) Ottawa had a record number of voters turn out in the last election to bring in a new Mayor because citizens want change.


b) Many citizens who do not typically vote municipally will more often than not vote in the incumbent because they do not pay enough attention to know anyone else’s name or position.

What kind of record numbers you ask? Click the image below for a larger version.

With Ottawa forming two new ridings, it is not easy to map every Ward to a new version, but many do map pretty clearly. To account for increased elector numbers, the figures below are based on voter percentage increases.

Ward 1 Orleans has ~76% increase in voter turnout
Ward 2 Innes has ~39% increase in voter turnout
Wards 3, 6 and 21 (now broken into Wards 3, 6, 21, and 22) had ~54% increase in voter turnout
Ward 4 Kanata (now broken into Wards 4 and 23) had ~52% increase in voter turnout
Ward 5 West Carleton has ~38% increase in voter turnout
Ward 7 Bay has ~50% increase in voter turnout
Ward 8 Baseline (now College) has ~84% increase in voter turnout
Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale has ~69% increase in voter turnout
Ward 10 Gloucester-Southgate has ~63% increase in voter turnout
Ward 11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville has ~60% increase in voter turnout
Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier has ~66% increase in voter turnout
Ward 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe has ~75% increase in voter turnout
Ward 14 Somerset has a whopping 101% increase in voter turnout
Ward 15 Kitchissippi has ~46% increase in voter turnout
Ward 16 River has ~73% increase in voter turnout
Ward 17 Capital has a whopping 94% increase in voter turnout
Ward 18 Alta Vista has ~80% increase in voter turnout
Ward 19 Cumberland has ~74% increase in voter turnout
Ward 20 Osgoode has a whopping 87% increase in voter turnout

And as a whole the city had an astounding 62% increase as the voter turnout went from 185107 voters in 2003 to 300129 in 2006.

When this many more people turnout to vote, it is clearly a sign that the city wants change and that they expect their councilors to stand behind O’Brien and make the changes necessary to hold the line on taxes (or perhaps even cut them).

Time To Get Back In The Game

I have sat by too long watching as bleeding hearts rip our nation to shreds for the sake of personal gain.

*Axe hit*

I have listened to far too many lefties spread propaganda about issues that favour their own agendas of make work programs

*Axe hit*

I have watched too many City of Ottawa vehicles get first class treatment at the high end carwash in this city on my tax dollar.

*Axe hit*

I have listened to No Balls McShifty attempt to buy my Provincial vote this coming Ontario election with my own money after doing nothing with the extra money he took from me after he got elected last time around.

*Axe hit*

I think I have been officiallyscrewed too many times and I am losing my sense of being a hard working Canadian.

Heeeeeeereeeeeeee’s Mulder……

The Shining

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

We all hate garbage. Some of us just want to deal with it better than others. But the hard work by some to change the views on how we handle our trash is paying off.

The corporation (Waste Management Inc.) wouldn’t budge. They worked every angle possible to move their plan of expanding the Carp Mountain (a garbage dump) forward. Then the city of Ottawa had it’s election.

And the new sheriff in town declared war on dump expansion.

A scant 6 months later, the plasma gasification pilot project is under way and the corporation feels competitors (like Plasco Energy Corp) nipping at their heals and Waste Management is now realizing that their lack of effort to be modern may end up costing them millions, if not billions, of dollars.

In a letter to council yesterday, the last holdout in the turnabout, Waste Management, has informed local politicians it’s withdrawing a proposal for the Carp dump and is coming back with something entirely new, with an emphasis on an energy-from-waste facility, more recycling and less of an emphasis on expanding the dump.

Sue Sherring’s article also points out the city councilors who deserve some credit.

Councillors, including the likes of West Carleton’s Eli El-Chantiry, Kanata’s Peggy Feltmate and Stittsville-Kanata West’s Shad Qadry have also played a role, and with their help, the taxpaying public found a way to voice discontent.

But there is one other person Sherring fails to recognize who may have played one of the most instrumental roles in all of this. Stittsville businessman Gilles Chasles, the man behind and one of the biggest advocates fighting the expansion of the dump.

I can just see Hannibal from the A-Team lighting up his cigar right now…

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Chateau LaurierThe headline reads…

Big-city mayors seek common solutions

The the article goes on to say…

Mayors from 22 big cities across Canada met Friday at the Chateau Laurier Hotel to discuss how best to handle the problems facing Canadian cities.

Now for those of you living in the 21 big cities that are NOT Ottawa, you may not pick this out, but for those of us who live in Ottawa, noticing that they want a “common” solution while staying at the ritziest hotel in Ottawa seems a bit odd.

Just to give you an idea, the Chateau Laurier is a minimum of $189/night and for an Executive Suite we are talking over $500/night. Don’t bother asking about the Presidential Suite. Even a politician wouldn’t have the balls to book that one.

We in Ottawa are also lucky enough to not have to pay the travel expense and I would guess that our Mayor Larry O’Brien probably woke up in his own bed the day of the meeting and probably went back home to his own bed after the meeting.

I hope one of the problems that they discussed was the overspending on travel by city politicians.