Posts Tagged ‘Ottawa’

Leadership – it’s vital

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

After watching the municipal campaigns in Ottawa unfold thus far, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the defining issue is leadership.

Pro green bin or not (I pity the fools!), love Phase 2 of the LRT or scrap it, raise taxes, lower them or keep them the same, what really sets out one candidate from another are the leadership skills that each one brings to the table.

To give a glimpse of what we will see tonight in the already-recorded Alta Vista debate, the Citizen summed up the highlights. A piece of the text caught my eye:

That is not leadership,” he (Jean Cloutier) said. “I have been working in the community for 20 years.”

Bingo. Game, set and match. Candidates like Mr. Cloutier have taken the leadership reins in the community and have guided good policies, initiatives and programs. They have set an example in the community by leading and have inspired others (like yours truly) to do likewise.

Other candidates, as sincere as they are, as knowledgable as they may be, simply cannot wear the leadership mantle that candidates like Mr. Cloutier can lay claim to.

There are other candidates in other Wards – incumbents and newbies – who have demonstrated the same commitment to be leaders. Riley Brockington in River Ward, Martin Canning in Somerset, Fleury in Rideau-Vanier and Hobbs in Kitchissippi are all leaders in their own right.

For Alta Vista to continue to have strong leadership in the community and at the Council table, Mr. Cloutier can be the only choice.

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So I’m officially not running for anything…

Friday, September 12th, 2014

… this time around.

I was, however, very tempted to run down to City Hall around noon to register as a school Board Trustee candidate in my zone; where there was no one contesting the lone candidate who filed his papers. But whammo! someone named Talis-Ilmars Brauns has filed and will provide some opposition to Mr. Ellis. Great to see!

Even though I am not running, I will live vicariously through and help out:

Jean Cloutier: who will be a fine representative for Alta Vista on Council. Jean and I have worked together at the Canterbury Community Association for about 4 years… top shelf fellow! Hard-working. And he knows our community inside and out.

Riley Brockington: who is a colleague and a former OCDSB Trustee who gave me lots of advice and motivation in 2010. He will serve well in River Ward.

Martin Canning: former Environmental Advisory Committee Chair. He is running a very enviro and community-focussed campaign in Somerset. He has a great team and he’s also a top shelf guy.

Plus, I wish my brother, Jim Marshall, all the best in his quest for a seat at the Council table in my old home town of Parry Sound. My bro is a man who exemplifies integrity and hard work. The folks in P Dot will be well-served.

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Ottawa’s taxi system is bush league…

Friday, June 20th, 2014

… in what is supposed to be a big league city.

A few examples…

  • No empty cabs at 6 pm in the Market last Saturday. 6 pm. The Market. Really?
  • Waited for 30 minutes after having called for a cab to arrive a few months back to take me to the VIA station. At 9:00 am. After the early morning rush. And I don’t live in the boonies like Barrhaven.
  • Last time we got a cab as a family to get to the airport for a vacay, I expressly asked for a van because of our luggage. I was assured – “yeah, no problemo”. What shows up? An Impala. We’re sitting on luggage and luggage is sitting on us. Unsafe as hell, PLUS dude does 110 down Conroy Road despite my telling him to slow down.
  • Finally, just the other day, my wife has a 7 am to Toronto; meaning being at the airport for 6 am to avoid any hassle. She called a cab at 5:10, just to be safe… called again at 5:20… and at 5:30. Each time being told that a cab was on its way. 5:50 and still no cab (note – we live about 15 minutes from the airport if the traffic is light). 6 am, 6:10 and she comes upstairs (where I’m still in bed), and I jump outta bed and speed her off to the airport (just lucky that the eldest was there to look after our littlest that morning)… but it wasn’t in time, she missed her flight and it threw her off her whole day of back to back to back meetings.

Come on Ottawa taxis! get your act together?

And yes, there will be an official complaint once we figure out to whom to bitch.

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Ottawa suburbs? NO LRT for YOU!

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Voters in the ridings of Ottawa-Orleans, Ottawa West-Nepean and Ottawa South?

Yeah, you guys. Pay attention to who you vote for next week.

You know that LRT thingy that would be extended to your neck of the woods in Phase 2 of the project?

Ain’t going to happen if Timmie is Premier.

For the first time since this provincial election began, Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak was clear about whether a PC government would fund the second phase of light rail in Ottawa — and the answer was a resounding “No.”

“No, we can’t afford it,” Hudak said simply when asked about the project at a campaign stop in Ottawa South on Thursday morning.

While Hudak has said that he wouldn’t yank back the $600 million already approved for the 12.5-kilometre section of LRT currently under construction — it will run from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station — the PC leader said he won’t support the $1 billion of funding needed from the province to extend rail to Orléans in the east, Bayshore in the west, and Riverside South (with a possible airport link).

And his minions like Matt Young  are falling dutifully in line… though they must be cringing at the timing of this…

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Greekonwheels

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

In Ottawa – timing sux.
Don’t recommend. Seriously. 1.5 hours on a Sunday night.
#poorservice #noexcuses #takeout #ottawa

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Lisa MacLeod – her mouth runneth over…

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Or…. should a candidate make unfounded claims about “dirty tricks”?

Dirty tricks – Leaking secret information, digging into a candidate’s past (opposition research) or exposing real conflicts between the image presented and the person behind the image are always subject to argument as to whether they are dirty tricks or truth-telling. When a candidate runs into trouble or roadblocks in his or her campaign that are traceable to the other side, he/she can easily charge their opponent with dirty tricks. Often, the candidate is right in this accusation, but one candidate’s “dirty trick” is another’s “political strategy.” The distinction changes with the times. Of course imputing the discovery of a past misdemeanor to the other side can be considered a “dirty trick” in its own right.

Just the other day, I posted a picture of a wrecked Liberal sign in my neighbourhood of Ottawa South. I shouted out an offhand comment about how it was curious that the only signs I had seen knocked down were those of the red and white persuasion.

The conversation continued on Facebook about the construction of the signs and how the orange ones and the blue and white ones might just simply have been erected with a bit more engineering fortitude than the red and white ones. The thread sort of ended with a resounding “meh”. Who knows? Kids wreck signs, they get blown over, etc., etc…

Now, where am I going with this?

I’m a political hack. No more and no less.  And this hack made a glib comment about sign vandalism. No one outside my circle of those with whom I usually yell back and forth on political matters really gave a crap about what I said. I am outside the process looking in and I know my words really don’t carry a helluva lot of weight.

But is a candidate in the current provincial election the same as ol’ Trashy?? Of course not. They are not on the outside looking in… rather, they are the “in” that we are looking at. Their words do carry weight and thousands of peeps do read and soak in what they say. That is is why it is important for these people – candidates –  to be mindful of what they say.

So we get to the crux of the matter:

signs

“Dirty politics”. ” Dirty Tricks”. Just another way of saying – “the other guys did this”.

Surely, Ms. MacLeod has some evidence of these “dirty politics”? A secret video of OLP workers going crazy with Exacto knives, perhaps? A memo from the Premier’s office directing that hell be unleashed on all OPC signage?

Of course not. But of course, the OPC would claim that all the emails were deleted…

Ms. MacLeod has the reputation of a bit of a blowhard MPP waiting in wings for the moment when Timmie stumbles at the finish line yet again. She aspires to the Premier’s office (*cringe*).

As such, her advisers should point out to her the importance of using discretion in what she says. “Think” before you open your trap” is how my Dad put it.

Because, unlike me,  she DOES occupy a position of authority and people DO listen to her.

She needs to keep this in mind before again uttering something so completely irresponsible and unsubstantiated.

 

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Aaaannnnd… they’re off!

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Municipal election season opened in Ontario today and there will certainly be some interesting races in O Dot.

Jeff Leiper will be a strong challenger to Katherine Hobbs in Kitchissippi Ward.  The Centretown CA prez says he’s challenging Diane Holmes.

No challengers for the Mayor’s seat yet and no one challenging Peter Hume in my Ward of Alta Vista.

Ah. For political junkies like me, there are the best of times…

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DJ’s Roofing – anyone know about them?

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

If so, someone should tell the owner that a bunch of yahoos in one of their trucks (didn’t get the phone number and can’t find them with Google) ran the stop sign at the three-way stop at the end of my street last night (August 17) at about 7 pm… just as my 6 year old son and I were starting across the crosswalk.

Frickin’ idiots. I hope the interweb thingy does its magic and this gets back to the owner. Or maybe the driver WAS the owner!

In any case, if you need some roofing work done, avoid these guys – because if their roofing skills are at the same level as their driving skills…

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Banning scooters from streets…

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

It’s about time that someone pushed this issue up a flagpole!

I don’t always agree with Councillor Clark, but the issue of scooters on city streets should at the very least be studied by city staff and recommendations put forward. There is going to be a tragedy one of these days and it would be a shame if the City simply sat on their collective hands until one happens.

Yes, I get that scooters are a great thing for residents with mobility problems. Without these mortised devices, many would be shut in their homes and completely reliant on family and social services to get around.

And I also understand that some City sidewalks are in pretty dire need of repairs and the scooter-ability of said slabs of concrete is somewhat difficult.

But…

These devices are not suited to street use from a safety perspective. Pure and simple. I am a frequent user of St. Laurent Blvd. around the Elmvale Mall area. The sidewalks are wide and in good repair. Yet, it is not at all unusual to see a scooter or three pumping right down the street. And, for those of you who are not familiar with the area, St. Laurent is a very busy 4 lane divided main north/south artery.

One older gentleman has an annoying habit of powering his scooter right down the middle of one lane and giving the finger to anyone who honks at him!

Look, these things don’t have lights, move at a very slow speed and are difficult to spot at times.

Should the City be looking at those sidewalks in need of repairs and upgrades? Of course. But they also have to do the responsible thing and look at either regulating or banning scooters – at least in high traffic areas. Someone is going to get killed and a vehicle driver is going to have to live with that for the rest of their lives.
responsibility

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Citizen article on OCDSB playstructures

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Great piece on the state of playstructures in Ottawa Carleton District School Board schools.

I’m hoping the Board steps up in the fall and ups its funding commitment to playstructure renewal projects. I, as a parent and member of school council, would like our school’s volunteer efforts to focus on other things aside from playstructures. Yes, they are an important part of our children’s physical development, but there is SO much more!

BTW, a h/t to not only Trustee Fisher, who is bringing the issue to the forefront, but to Trustee Blackburn who contacted me to clarify and elaborate on some points. This is how Trustees serve their constituency!

I wonder what my Trustee is doing… Oh. Yeah.

Too bad she doesn’t live in the riding. She might have a chance at increasing the Dipper traditional 13-15 percent vote share!
.

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