Kevin O'Donnell's blog

Highway 174 Tolls Are Necessary

A little while back a City of Ottawa councillor floated the idea of a road toll on Highway 174, right at the city limits. The idea being people coming into Ottawa aren't paying for the rest of the road through property taxes (which is how we pay for all roads), so that's not fair. I responded to Ken Gray's post about it in a comment. Just posting it here so I have a copy forever, just in case.


June 4, 2013

Lobbyist Registry Visualization

Following up on yesterday's devapps graph, here's the network of lobbyists and their clients. To absolutely nobody's surprise, Jeff Polowin stands out.

Lobbyists are in blue, their clients are in yellow. The sizes are weighted based on how active they are, and what activites they are doing (email is less important than a "meeting").

Development Application Sausage - How's it made?

OttWatch.ca tracks the status of every development application at the City of Ottawa and keeps track of the date of each change. Below is a directed graph of how each development application has proceeded through various states. It is not perfect since OttWatch is tracking a lot of applications starting "in the middle" - and is missing the real "first state".

School supplies for kids or $7.62 for Kevin? Clean Energy Benefit redirection - Part 7

Another electricity bill, another waste of government spending. This time I've been given a $7.62 rebate even though Ontario is supposedly fighting a deficit. A small rebate off my hydro bill makes no difference to my household budget. I'd rather the Liberal government send it somewhere else.

Is the debt for Lansdowne going to mean budget cuts elsewhere?

I am a bit fascinated by Ottawa's Debenture Committee, not because it decides anything interesting, but because it's where the rubber meets the road after Council makes a spending decision. On the way in we can debate if a decision is a good idea or not - such as spending $154m for Lansdowne.

Elizabeth Fry Society - Clean Energy Benefit redirection - Part 6

Who needs help more: me, or someone who is homeless who has just been released from custody at the Ottawa courthouse? Obviously I shouldn't be first in line for help. And odd as it is for politicians to say this to taxpayers, there's a good chance you shouldn't be first in line either.

Email about Catholic School Funding

Mass emails to the GPO contact list sometimes go out under my name as Deputy Leader. It's always interesting because I'll get replies from people I've never met before. A recent mailing touched on the topic of Catholic schools and I got a reply from someone who wasn't happy we support a fully secular system. For the record, my reply:

Chilling out on a chilly walk

I am blessed with a kid who's super easy to parent. Really, super easy. For instance, mornings are generally a breeze. Since less than a year old wake-up has been at 6:30 and out-the-door has been at 7:40 - first for daycare and now for school. Everyday is much the same: wake up and two minute cuddle, then I make breakfeast while she slumbers on the couch for extra winks. Then easy peasy: eat, brush, dress, play, coat & shoes and out the door.