Kevin O'Donnell's blog

Open Letter - Municipal Elections Act Reforms - MPP Yasir Naqvi

Hello Yasir,

As you know my overall preference would be for corporate and union donations to be banned from contributing to municipal campaigns. However, in the event that change is not being contemplated within the current review of the Municipal Elections Act, I would like to offer the following suggestion to improve transparency and accountability under the current regime.

Things You Can Do: Emailing Committee of Adjustment

How do you move the needle on how your city evolves? Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's easier. Commenting on Committee of Adjustment applications can be an easy one*.

The way CoA works is you have to show up to the meeting (April 15th in this case) in order to have legal rights in the process (notification of the written decision, the ability to appeal the decision to the OMB, etc). That said, if you email they will forward your comments to the Board, and the Board does take those comments into consideration.

Gender Breakdown of Sunshine List Top 100 Earning First Names

Here is a very quick, possibly flawed, analysis of gender represenation within the Ontario Sunshine list. I wanted to see how women are represented within the list and if any improvements are being made within the upper echelons of Ontario institutions.


Hello again, world. I've finally had time to delete my temporary 2014 campaign website and restore this personal one back into place. So here's a perfunctory post about that.

In the last few months I've thought of blog posts I could write - but didn't - for lack of a place to put them. Perhaps now I will write them, time willing. As a tangent, it's a good idea to own your own domain.

Fort Reading

That moment when you feel like a bad parent because you haven't spoken to your kid in an hour, then realize they're reading a book in the fort you helped them make an hour ago, and then you feel alright and then some.


Earth Hour 2014 on Parliament Hill - Ottawa

The Green party is hosting a candlelight vigil on Parliament Hill for Earth Hour again this year - this is becoming quite the tradition!

Lights out at 8:30 so arrive a bit early. We're handing out beeswax candles on a first-come first-candled basis.

A special voting day at Carleton University? Yes please.

On Tuesday the FEDCO committee will consider a new idea in the City of Ottawa - "anywhere" voting days. In addition to regular advance vote days, the City of Ottawa is considering three more "special" days where you can vote early at three locations, regardless of where you live. 

The Lego Movie: Everything is not Awesome.

Everything is not awesome.

So, yeah - The Lego Movie. It passes the Bechdel test with a three sentence exchange between Wyldstyle and Unikitty, though the first sentence is actually Unikitty addressing every character as a group. Arguably the same could be said for the third sentence. Around 10 seconds in a 100 minute movie. That's 0.16% of the movie. Weak.

The asterisk on a "pass" rating really makes sense now:

New intersection at Byron & Roosevelt?

Update 2: I offered this feedback regarding the physical layout of the changes. They make sense to me, but I have no gauge on their feasibility. Will see what the staff member has to say.

Using small data to illustrate what Big Data can do

I'm using the Twitter API to scrape some data for a few projects I'm working on. From the scrape of my own account it's interesting to see the relationships that pop out - even in a rudimentary analysis of my tweets. The data I've pulled together is from:

  • All of my own tweets (and who is mentioned in those tweets).
  • All tweets where I'm mentioned (and everyone who is mentioned in those tweets).

Ok. So what?