Battle Of Ideology Hits Ottawa City Council Over Lansdowne Live Proposal

The City of Ottawa has become a volleyball in the battle between Capitalists and Socialists over the Lansdowne Live proposal.

The left wing councilors have started lining up against the PPP put forward and they have been backed by Dippers Paul Dewar and past NDP leader Ed Broadbent. Even CUPE is running ads against the redevelopment of the decrepit Frank Clair Stadium and the surrounding area.

They say it has to do with transit. They say it has to do with local residents not wanting the traffic. They say we need more green space.

But let’s call a spade a spade. If a PPP (private public partnership) was to go forward, the majority of jobs in the Lansdowne Live end product would be private sector jobs. Jobs that are typically NON Union.

But if we let the city take control and build their own stadium (or museum or park) the jobs that will maintain it will all be … wait for it … Union jobs.

So in a nut shell. A vote for Lansdowne Live will employ people who put money INTO the municipality via taxes. And a vote against Lansdowne Live will take money OUT of the municipality via a) wages and b) typical city union benefits which exceed by miles the benefits the average private sector worker gets.

This should be interesting.

City Of Ottawa Trashing Tax Paying Citizens

Today on CFRA, Rob Snow the afternoon host was looking at the City Of Ottawa’s Planning and Environment Committee plans for changing the way Ottawa taxpayers will be paying for their garbage pickup.

Currently, taxpayers pay $86 a year for weekly trash pick up which includes rotating weeks of blue bin (plastic/metal/glass) and black bin (recyclable paper) service.

However, the City is now rolling out green bin service for organics and they are taking the opportunity to add a service fee for this green bin service as well as moving the cost of the blue/black bin service from all tax payers to the homeowners.

So what does this amount to? Well it amounts to $195 a year for picking up our trash. From $86/year to $195/yr. That’s an increase of 127%.

Now for you aspiring socialist politicians out there…THAT’S how you OfficiallyScrew a taxpayer.

ACTIVISM: If you live in Ottawa, click here to find your city councilor and email them your feelings on this subject.

Ottawa Transit Strike – Mayor's Memo

OS has acquired a copy of the memo from Mayor Larry O’Brien to the rest of City Council. And in reading this, it is quite clear that the Mayor is very much on the side of sanity. I have posted the whole memo below in pieces with commentary.

Earlier today I spoke to the media about the transit strike and I wanted to provide you with an update.

Scheduling is an important part of the discussions with the ATU and I wanted to clarify why we continue to stress how important management control of the schedule is for the future of OC Transpo.

The city’s offer includes wage increases of 3% for 2008 and 2% for 2009 and 2% for 2010. We also offered a productivity bonus of $2,000 per operator to share in the operating efficiencies that will come from changes to the scheduling.

So they have not only offered raises far in excess of the rate of inflation, but they have added $2000 bonus per operator. I was under the impression that the increase in wages amounted to about $2000. This means that the average driver earning $50,000 would be making $53,500 in his first year under the current offer. That’s no chump change!!!

Continuing…

Scheduling changes will also improve the operator’s quality of life; under the current union controlled scheduling system drivers could choose to work up to 22 hours in a 24 hour period without rest.

We do not fall under new federal hours of service legislation, which would prevent this from happening.

That’s why management wants the ability to set schedules that are safe for our drivers, our passengers and the general public.

In a 24-hour period, we want to see a minimum rest period of eight consecutive hours to ensure all drivers are well-rested and guarantee rest and recovery times at the end of each run.

That is why scheduling is so important and was the message that I communicated to the media today.

Unbelievable!! I don’t know about you, but the Mayor and others fighting the union clearly have our safety in mind. It is simply not acceptable that truck drivers have limitations on the number of hours they can drive in a 24 hour period when they are hauling cargo, yet Ottawa bus drivers are able to drive 22 hours in a 24 hour period carrying the most precious of cargo, human lives, and people are not as concerned. Bravo Mayor O’Brien for looking out after the citizens of Ottawa and the visitors who use our public transit to get around our great city.

Continuing…

We remain committed to achieving a negotiated settlement to the strike and our bargaining team is ready to listen to any proposals from the union leadership when they choose to return to the table

So there you have it. The embattled Mayor has it dead on correct with regards to this strike. We cannot let seniority supersede safety. Seniority has it’s place and will be respected under the offer from the city. It just should not be allowed to risk the safety of our ridership.

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

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

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.

and

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 nodump.ca 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…

As A Health Issue, Crack Pipe Kits Should Be Paid For By Province, Not City.

In the past, I have commented on the fact that Ottawa’s Crack Pipe Kit program is a health issue, and as such, should not be paid for my municipal city taxes and that if it is to continue, the provincial government.

In this mornings Ottawa Sun, Nicholas Little of the Aids Committee of Ottawa (ACO) confirms:

“Larry O’Brien, I imagine, sees this as a legality issue, when, in actual fact, it should be treated as a health issue,” said ACO’s Nicholas Little.

“Addiction is a question of health, not of criminality.”

Mr. Nicholas is an advocate for the program but his words still ring true. This IS a health issue. But I disagree with him that it is not an issue of criminality. It is most certainly an issue of criminality. Crack cocaine is illegal. That is, in actuality, the only cut and dry part of all this.

It may not be a huge expense, but if it is to be made, it is up to Dalton McShifty to pay it with the health premium he burdened Ontario residents with shortly after becoming the Premier.

Con"service"ative With A Smile

Friday morning the news hit the airwaves that the planned expansion of Limebank Rd. (scheduled for completion next year) would not happen on time after the NCC refused to go ahead with the planned sale of some land for the widening of the road.

With a couple of Conservative MPs on the job, the plan is back on schedule less than 24 hours after the hiccup appeared. THAT’S Service!!

Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre confirmed at about 2:30 p.m. that the NCC will no longer be blocking the sale of land.

“They (the NCC) are now out of the way,” said Poilievre. “They will no longer be blocking the sale of land needed for the expansion of the Limebank Rd.”

Poilievre said he and federal transport minister Lawrence Cannon, who is also responsible for the NCC, had two emergency meetings today to reverse the decision by the NCC.

Crack Pipe Kits NOT Municipal Jurisdiction

As Ottawa city council works through ways through the budget for 2007, the issue of spending money on free “crack pipe kits” has come up again. And, as expected, the Ottawa medical officer of health, David Salisbury, is defending the program.

However, the police chief is standing by his statements too.

Police Chief Vince Bevan has said that he opposes the program because it promotes illegal drug use.

“The chief’s position is clear on this,” said spokeswoman Isabelle Lemieux.

Am I wrong in assuming that a program designed to minimize the spread of HIV and Hep C should be left to the provincial government? I always thought health care was provincial jurisdiction.

In fact, last fall during the election run, I called in to a radio show hosting the candidates for Cumberland ward (not my ward) and asked how the candidates would vote if the idea of safe injection clinics was brought up. Rob Jellett, the incumbent, was the only one who stated clearly that this fell under provincial jurisdiction. Since safe injection clinics give free needles and are there to help prevent the spread of diseases, one would conclude the free crack pipe kit program is in the same boat.

I think we need more of city council to read Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species.

ADDENDUM

From CFRA:

Ottawa Police are responding to the scolding they received from the city’s Medical Officer of Health.

A frustrated Dr. David Salisbury says the police service has done everything in its power to interfere with the needle exchange and crack pipe programs by confiscating the kits. However, Ottawa Police Superintendent Gilles Larochelle isn’t offering any apologies.

He says in a criminal investigation, police will seize drug paraphenalia(sic) no matter where it came from. He adds they sometimes take away the pipes for “safety reasons”.