Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hide And Seek.......

RICE POINT, PEI: The invisible woman remains invisible.

Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur has declined an invitation from the Municipal Taxpayer Advocacy Group to attend the Hydro and Municipal Affairs debate the group is hosting on September 12 from 5.00 to 8.30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

One would think the minister responsible for welfare in Ontario would be prepared to participate in a public forum where welfare will be one of the topics under discussion given that there's a provincial election on the horizon. What could possibly bemore important than the chance to explain what's happening with welfare reform (or the lack of it) in the province.

Perhaps Mme. Meilleur's decision not to present herself at this forum has to do with the fact it has a highly Anglophone tinge to it -- what with Steve Madely and Nick Van Der Graft from CFRA being involved and the other sitting provincial government members and the candidates opposing them who are participating in the event may very well be bilingual, but they are Anglophones or Allophones just the same.

Mme. Meilleur might do well to review the latest demographic figures for her riding of Ottawa-Vanier which can be found by accessing Statistics Canada's web site. She's in for a surprise.

It might also behoove her to instruct her constituency office staff regarding the boundaries of her riding and what areas of the city are included in Ottawa-Vanier. It ain't just Vanier, kids.

A friend of Citizen Ellie's who resides in New Edinburgh recently had occasion to call Mme. Meilleur's constituency office, seeking assisstance with a problem. Citizen Ellie's friend was repeatedly told that they could not help as New Edinburgh did not lie within Ottawa-Vanier's boundaries. After insisting that New Edinbugh did indeed lie within Ottawa-Vanier's boundaries, the staffer told Citizen Ellie's friend that she would have to look into the matter and call back. A somewhat chastened Meilleur staffer indeed called back and admitted error.

The only knowledge of Mme. Meilleur's existence posessed by many Ottawa-Vanier residents is the fact a street in the riding has been named after her. What has she done to receive this honor ? Inquiring minds want to know.

The provincial election looms. Will Mme. Meilleur carry the Liberal banner yet another time ? Again, inquiring minds want to know. If so, does she think that just having her name on the ballot will be enough ? Or the old line, "Vote for me because I'm French" (used by Liberal candidates throughout the years) will cinch it for her ? Hope she's ready for four years in opposition. That's where many of her constituents fervently hope she ends up -- across the floor where she'll truly be invisible.


Citizen Ellie has frequently had occasion during the past weeks of her sojurn on PEI to leave her little piece of paradise at Rice Point on the Northumberland shore, and venture to other parts of the island.

Driving across the island, heading north-east to the beach at Greenwich (part of the National Park system on the Atlantic shore),Citizen Ellie once again used the Charlottetown by-pass and marvelled at the foresight of that city's elected representatives as compared to the lack of it on the part of Ottawa's city council during years past. Sadly, Ottawa lacks a ring road.

In the old days before the bypass, one had to negotiate Charlottetown's University Avenue through the downtown core to get to the bridge across the Hillsborough River which would take one to points east such as Greenwich, St. Peter's, Montague or Souris.

In Ottawa, we still must drive through the city core to get from west to east and vice vesa. A ring road would go a long way to solving congestion in the downtown core in addition to changing the Queensway from a parking lot in both directions during rush hours to a free-flowing autoroute.

More posts. Soon.