Kevin O'Donnell's blog

The Truthiness Cliff

I'm not sure whether to be happy, or weep, that today's Ottawa Citizen editorial, Why the truth squads can’t compete, calls out the rampant lying in politics for what it is, "pants-on-fire" lying. On the one hand its wonderful. In my twenties I volunteered for an alternative-media organization, convinced that if only the real story could get out, we would see politics change.

Gender bias against Ottawa's female councillors

Earlier in the month the Ottawa Sun put out a mid-term report card of Ottawa's city council. Right up front this is completely unscientific since the respondents were self-selecting, so buyer beware. Nonetheless the results show a gender bias illustrative of the challenge women face in politics. (Update: Also, I believe this bias would show up under any similar poll by any media organization).

Why do we pay property owners to keep their empty buildings empty?

Today I attended the FEDCO meeting that considered a large report that included a plan to develop community improvement programs. I spoke against it, to no avail. I'm against subsidies that just add a layer of obfuscation over the city's fundamentals. There is a reason Orléans has the lowest jobs-to-homes ratio and the proposed subsidies won't do much to address it.

A three season biker, going for four?

In years past I've never attempted to ride year around and always put my bike away at the end of October or early November. This year I'm going to let my newly minted biker set the pace.

I may not end up biking year around, but there's no way I'm going to cave before my daughter does. She's eager so we'll go until she wants to stop. I'm not going to say when its too cold to bike, or too dark, or too anything.

Tax Incremental Financing comes to Orléans

Where to start with City to subsidize ‘good jobs’ in Orléans? How about some math.

The city is going to spend $20 million over five years to bring 3,000 jobs to Orléans. 
The city is going to spend $6,666 in the next five years to create one job in Orléans.
The city is going to spend $1,333 a year for every job it creates in Orléans.

Small symptom of a big problem: XYZ's Government?

It makes sense for the media to refer to governments by the name of the prime minister or premier. The Harper Government proposed to do this. The McGuinty Government announced cuts to that. Saves time and confusion.

This news release encouraging Ontarians to prepare for storm impacts needn't be styled McGuinty though. We all know who the premier of Ontario is - sort of - at least until the end of January.

Proroguing Travesty

“Ho-hum, it’s politics.”

Within hours of the announcement last week that Dalton McGuinty has resigned as the Premier of Ontario, this was the refrain that rang out – no, sang out – no, murmured consistently – around Ontario. It’s politics. Of course it is. But it’s more: