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ottawa municipal elections

Parents – be advised…

Parents and students – be warned. The Amalgamated Transit Union is saying that there will be problems next week when everyone returns to classes.

I’d take the warning seriously and plan accordingly.

A document obtained by CTV Ottawa from the Amalgamated Transit Union shows 680 bus trips have been cancelled and not backfilled this week, leaving transit users stuck waiting at the curb.

“There was only one bus at St. Laurent and it was so full and everyone was in it. And I had to wait and I came late to school,” said student Hagar Lakhtar, whose bus didn’t show up Friday morning.

The union says this week’s problem is nothing compared to what they expect to see next week.

Bus drivers say if the city doesn’t take action soon, the number of cancelled trips could double for the busy back-to-school and back-to-work rush.

Here’s hoping that we elect a Council that can work with the ATU to ensure that these hiccups do not happen in the future.


Bay Ward is a craaaaazzy place to run for Council

So, Alex Cullen left his Bay Ward Council seat because he didn’t want to do that anymore. He wanted to be Mayor.

But now he has changed his mind and wants to be re-elected in Bay Ward as the Council member.

BUT, he doesn’t rule out a run at the Dipper federal nomination for Ottawa Centre at some time during his tenure as Bay Ward Councillor – thus necessitating an appointment or a costly by-election some time mid-term.

Wow. The guy has chutzpah – I’ll give him that.

I wonder who else will join the race before the cut-off for nominations on the 10th? Here is the list so far:

Ward 7 – Bay

Name Telephone Fax E-mail
Ike Awgu 613-422-9256
Alex Cullen 613-729-8425
George Guirguis 613-262-0123
G.J. Hagenaars 613-686-3965
Peter Heyck 613-853-4251 613-747-9317
Oni Joseph 613-883-9285
Terry Kilrea 613-291-6186
Shawn Little 613-722-7501
Erik Olesen 613-262-9993
Greg Ross 613-820-8309

Mark Taylor

Bart Simpson





Ottawa 10/25/2010 – Julia Ringma – College Ward 8

I see that Rick Chiarelli has announced he will be seeking re-election in College Ward.

This is too bad as it means that newcomer Julia Ringma has a rougher road ahead of her as she seeks this Council seat. It’s not impossible, but definitely more difficult.

But I truly believe that the events over the past few years (the OC Transpo strike, the thoroughly messed up and convoluted Lansdowne debate, underground tunnels, train garages, etc., etc.) have caused folks in this fine borough to rethink the strategy of re-electing incumbents year after year. So challengers may indeed have a shot at some seats.

Julia is one of those challengers and has some great ideas about the growth and expansion of our City and the importance of our libraries. As a planner, I do appreciate her planning insights (Jane Jacobs rocks!) and as a lover of literature, I applaud her stand on libraries.

While some on Council will always vote for unhindered and sprawling development while bowing at the shrines of Minto and the like and some may not consider our libraries as a core service, Julia would be different.

She is a new face with new ideas. And, like the OCDSB, the Ottawa City Council is also in need of new faces and new ideas.

If you live in College Ward 8, I hope you give her a chance to prove herself on October 25.


Ottawa elections

As much as I love to rail on the Harperites and their version of a Comedy of Errors, I’m going to shift the focus of the political part of this blog (um, OK, so it really is 95% political… as much as I like to write the odd “daddy-blogger” entry here and there) to the Ontario municipal races – especially here in Bytown. I’ll likely keep with the practice of scribbling my Friday Miscellany notes and will vent my anti-DeceptiCon rants in that space.

Why refocus? Because I was/am a student of local government and despair that this level of government – the level that is closest to the people who vote for them – is largely ignored and widely misunderstood. Voter turnouts for municipal elections are in the 40-55% range and this pitiful level of civic engagement shows little sign of improving any time soon.

I think it important to encourage a focus on local issues because these are what touch us directly. Our emergency services, schools, road maintenance and snow clearing, libraries and waste management are all the responsibility of our Council and School Boards. Decisions are taken by our local Council and School Boards on how our communities are planned, the protection of our natural environment, and where and our children are educated. Local decisions made by local people like you and I.

Local government is vital. It is in our backyards. And it is largely ignored. That is unfortunate.

So – just for old times sake, here is a candid shot I took of John Baird during last spring’s session of Parliament. I think he is making a point of order.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a point of order..."