Noses out of joint: Doucet's Disciples (aka Glebe Community Association) are some miffed that City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick and Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group's Kevin McCrann won't be attending the organization's public meeting (bloodletting, anyone ?) on June 2 to "discuss" the future of Lansdowne Park.
Association president Bob Brocklebank says he's "surprised at the thinness of their skin given they are public figures." Yes, they are public figures, but they're smart enough to recognize a lynching when they see one. They're also smart enough not to get into a pissing contest with a bunch of snakes.
No plan for the revitalization of Lansdowne Park will satisfy the good burghers of the Glebe unless it's a plan to create a Central Park clone for their personal enjoyment.
Citizen Ellie has this question: how many current Glebe residents lived in the area prior to Lansdowne Park being established as a fairground ? None. They're all long dead and gone. Which means that all those opposing Lansdowne Park revitalization purchased their trendy Glebe properties in the full knowledge that Lansdowne was home to professional football, Ottawa 67s hockey, a domed soccer facility, numerous trade shows, outdoor concerts and the Ottawa Ex. They all knew this unless they were so stupid as to believe moving the Ex to another location meant that every other use of the facility would similarly disappear. Were they taken in by real estate agents ? Was it an election promise ?
Citizen Ellie has this dream for the revitalization of Lansdowne Park: rebuild the half-mile short track inside the stadium and bring back the ground- pounders. Nothing like the sounds and the smells of short-track stock car racing to liven up a summer evening.
Oh well.........only 69 more sleeps until Watkins Glen and the NASCAR weekend when we fire up the turkey fryer and get out the Texas Pete's hot sauce!
There's a lesson here: before tunnel-promoting councillors take the final decision on Ottawa's version of the "big dig" they ought to take a close look at a recent ruling by British Columbia Judge Ian Pittfield.
The case involved a Vancouver woman who operated a maternity-wear store on the strip of that city's Cambie Street where a tunnel was being built as part of construction of a rapid-transit line down the street. The disruption it created, and the detours it forced had a devastating impact on a whole bunch of businesses on the street, including Susan Heyes' maternity-wear shop. Collateral damage, said public officials who refused to consider any compensation for the affected businesses for fear of setting a precedent. The transit line was in progress, they argued, and progress comes at a price. If that price included being forced out of business or having to eat hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses, so be it.
Susan Heyes wasn't having any of that. She decided to wage a court fight with a half-dozen corporations and government bodies including the city of Vancouver, the province of B. C., and the government of Canada. Everyone laughed at her. What an idiot -- to think she could take on the big boys and win !
Well, win she did. A $600,000 judgement. Not the precedent the big boys were looking for. Judge Ian Pittfield ruled that governments could not use "progress" as an excuse to wipe out businesses and obliterate the financial and emotional investments people had made in them -- not without some form of compensation.
While his ruling probably will be appealed, it could have widespread ramifications. If it stands, governments, developers and maybe even city councillors desirous of building a tunnel through downtown Ottawa as a monument to themselves will have to consider the impact such a project would have on the financial livelihoods of others.
There are a lot of businesses, including several of the Ottawa's larger hotels, in the very area where tunnel proponents are planning to burrow. It could become an even more expensive proposition if those affected launched a class action demanding compensation for financial losses due to business disruptions resulting from tunnel-building.
And, by the way, when are Ottawa taxpayers going to be told the truth (in terms of dollars to be added to their tax bills) about what this this little exercise in "progress" is going to cost ? Why the secrecy ? Surely it isn't a matter of national security. Or is it that our esteemed elected representatives just don't know ?
Sensitive ears ? Citizen Ellie was dismayed to hear two CBC newsgals express surprise earlier this week about language used by Mayor Larry on the tape of his interrogation by police -- evidence at his trial. Use by the mayor of the term "swinging dicks" in his description of a meeting with rival Terry Kilrea -- shocking, just shocking !
Wake up, ladies. That's just an alpha male talking to other alpha males (cops are all alpha males) about an alpha male wannabe. Locker room jargon, maybe. But boys will be boys.
Back in the day when Citizen Ellie started in the news business, one had to fight to get out of the "social department" and into the newsroom. Once in the newsroom, one had to fight to get out of always having to cover "soft" beats such as health or education and get into something more meaty such as police and courts. In those days it was thought that our female ears were too sensitive to be subject to the language of the cop shop or the courts. (Citizen Ellie, when assigned to write something about the annual police report, nearly caused apoplexy when she asked a senior police official to explain the meaning of two terms ("buggery" and "sodomy") used in the statistics. Citizen Ellie knew full well what they meant, but couldn't resist the opportunity.)
Beware. There are still MCPs (male chauvinist pigs) in positions of power just as there are still "soft" news assignments just waiting for the woman's touch.
New posts usually on Fridays