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April, 2016:

Muzzling elected officials…

… is a worrisome development and one that has been codified by the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB).

Trustee Blackburn is outspoken, no doubt. And sometimes, like all of us, she likely says things that she wishes she could take back. But Donna alone is responsible for what she says and how she says it and if her bosses (the voters of her zone in Barrhaven) do not agree, they will turf her out in 2018.

She is a fine representative of her constituents and works harder than any other Trustee I have seen. Some may not like her style or her politics, and that is fair, but it does not warrant what is, in essence, the passing of a motion of censure.

Go get ’em, Donna!

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National Volunteer Week, 2016

Anyone who knows me is well aware of the importance I place on volunteering one’s time freely and gladly for the benefit of the wider community.

Without volunteers, there would be little help for those down on their luck and living on the streets, pets in need of homes, or seniors who want some companionship or require someone to deliver their food.

Kids’ sports programs? Hockey? Soccer? Baseball? Forget it. 99% volunteer-run.

Parent Councils wouldn’t exist and without them, no movie nights, new play equipment, used book drives or school bake sales.

Community Associations – those groups of volunteers that organise community garage sales, offer programs and events, do those baked bean suppers or who arrange for Santa to give out some presents at the local community hall – b-bye to all those.

Spring garbage clean-ups? Nope, those riverbanks and highway ditches will just have to live with the tossed out cans, bottles and tires.

United Way canvassers? Ciao.

Adios to all those who collect furniture and food for refugees, money for the Kids Help Phone or put together a soccer tournament at work to benefit something-or-other.

Goodbye Rotarians, Lions and Kinsmen. All you do will be missed.

The point I am trying to make is this:

Think, even for a moment, of all the ways that the work that volunteers do touch you and your family and friends. Then imagine if they all bailed.

Thank a volunteer today. Better yet, become one! It doesn’t need to be a huge effort. Do it and you will feel good about yourself and will become one of these irreplaceable threads in the fabric of your community.

Happy Volunteer Week!!!!

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The anti Uber argument…

… reminds me of the old story of the electric light and the candlestick makers…

NO! The candlestick makers said. We invested. We thought our industry would last forever! The electric light makers don’t have to go by the same rules!

IT ISN’T FAIR!!!

It is sad and unfortunate that the candlestick makers are going to have to change their business models and that some will suffer.

It truly is.

But the world has changed. Consumers want light at the flick of a switch and for-hire rides when they want one and on their terms.

Should the free for all that Uber has enjoyed so far carry on?

Nope.

Should cities like Ottawa find a way to accept times have changed and consumers demand a level of service above what the taxi industry has been offering?

Absolutely.

Ottawa City Council must accept reality and create the environment where Uber can compete with the taxis. And if the taxis don’t like it, they should find something else to do aside from the candlestick business.

 

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