Watson Pushes Envelope


A good politician manages to turn adversity into advantage.

Responding to criticism that new (again) Mayor Jim Watson would go to anything, including the opening of an envelope, he brought this up at his inauguration speech at the Shenkman Hall. The wording in his prepared speech is: “listening to the families I speak with at the church bazaar or the backyard BBQ. Some people poke fun at me for that, but it’s a point of pride for me. Over the next four years, I will join you in your communities and church basements, at your farmers’ markets and fairs, doing the important job of going to where you are – and listening.” In the version of the speech he delivered, he mentioned that he would proudly attend the opening of an envelope.

During the election he promised new action to clean up the Ottawa River and to stop the sewage we dump into it because previous councils [list former mayors here] decided not to spend money on the out-of-sight sewers in favour of more visible vote-getters.

So he’s been office just two days, and presto, a ceremony at the Booth Street sewage control station. I came along after the event, but I gather there was his honor, councillor Monette, Mr Baird, and others, officially opening the sewer. I sincerely hope he can deliver on his other promises that fast — I recommend you stock up on OC Transpo tickets for the first rides on the new LRT system opening next week..

Now am I alone in wondering if the above ceremony/press event doesn’t have a bit of deja vu all over again? Wasn’t it just earlier this fall that the mayor (at that time sporting a chrome dome instead of black plastic glasses) was there with various councillors and the same Mr Baird … opening the sewer?

It seems Mr Watson won’t just go to a letter opening, he will go to the re-opening of an already-opened envelope.

And I am sure it was just a coincidence that this came the same day that thousands of Ottawa West residents got constituency flyers from a Mr Baird touting stimulus funding for the sewers.

I am full of hope that competent days are here again, if city hall productivity is to be judged by their proficiency in organizing photo ops.

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