This page is divided into TWO sections:
- Frequently asked questions; and
- Responses to critiques, derogatory remarks and — alas — slander.
Click on each question or topic below for my response.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of your priorities?
Climate protection is critical. Both reducing emissions so as to slow climate breakdown, and revising policies and standards to adapt to the changes already upon us. The city’s Energy Evolution strategy must be completed and then fully funded and implemented as rapidly as possible. The Official Plan must make true intensification — not mere massification — a top priority, but linked carefully to transit and active transportation investment, tree canopy and greenspace protection and expansion, and affordable housing promotion around transit hubs.
Tree canopy preservation and replanting. The new Urban Forest Management Plan has a series of actions, including bylaw reviews which must lead to stronger tree protection. The plan must be fully funded and implemented as rapidly as possible.
Housing affordability and Affordable/Supportive Housing
Many of our vibrant, convenient communities have become extremely popular — driving up the cost of ownership and rental, and driving out housing that accommodated many on limited incomes, notably seniors. That is a loss to us all, and we need to stop this trend from spiralling upward. I have worked to include an affordable housing component at Greystone Village. I will work to ensure the city meets its own target of 25% of housing being affordable by passing an Inclusionary Zoning by-law, notably around rail stations and using Section 37, where applicable. I will ensure the upcoming Official Plan revision includes strong affordability promotion, and that rail expansion is tied to affordable housing objectives. I will continue to champion supportive housing in Capital Ward, such as Ottawa Salus‘ Karen’s Place, and an imminent project on Carling Avenue. Nothing is more fundamental to physical and mental health than safe, healthy housing — built to minimize energy use so as to slash that expense also.
Planning certainty and compatible infill
I worked hard to reform the Ontario Municipal Board process. The new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal ensures Official Plans (OP) cannot be appealed and isolated applications for rezoning must be held to the Official Plan and Community Plans such as that in Old Ottawa East — which I was proud to help shepherd through. I contributed to passing the Infill I and II guidelines, worked to improve the R3 zoning and eliminated the loophole known as conversions. There is still much work to do to ensure planning certainty. The new OP is the chance to ensure it leads to a green and resilient city.
Recreation: Parks, greenspaces, paths and community centres are critical to community health.
I have made progress on new paths (and a bridge!) but we must complete our work of getting a new community centre at Greystone Village and for Heron Park, adding to and maintaining existing parks, and ensuring Springhurst Park absorbs the large greenspace on Lees Avenue when the outdated Alta Vista Corridor plan is removed from the next Transportation Master Plan, as I have worked to achieve. Sites for new small parks must be found wherever possible.
How will you calm traffic?
Make all Capital Ward residential communities 40kph zones in one fell swoop, not gradually as is currently proposed.
Use photo radar in place of vulnerable, scarce and expensive live officers. What a waste to have person do what a camera can do 24/7 at no risk!
Continue to convert streets using physical calming measures when they are rebuilt, and use temporary calming measures (planters, flex stakes, speed boards, etc) until then.
(See more below for Bank Street and Bronson Avenue)
How will you make Bank Street Bridge safer for cyclists (and everyone)?
Bank Street Bridge is a key North-South pinch point that intimidates even me — a veteran, confident cyclist. Since being elected, I have worked with local users and external experts to explore safer options. Because of the bridge’s heritage status, very high sidewalk use, the traffic volumes that must be carried on the road, and poor sight-lines stemming from its pronounced arch, many options are ruled out: shared sidewalks, one lane only for vehicles, an alternating middle lane. Also, the left turn at Wilton and light at Aylmer cause specific challenges. Ultimately, the only true solution will be to widen the bridge, and add wider sidewalks and raised cycle tracks. That is inevitably a long-term project. In the meantime, I have had the super sharrows and “single file” signs added, the speed reduced to 40 kph, and speed boards installed. Police also regularly do stings. As much as this is better, it’s not good enough. Good enough, will be when either a cyclist can be confident in claiming a shared lane because motorized vehicles are respecting the lane and speed limit, or when the aforementioned raised tracks are created. I went so far as to have a study done to see “what if the bridge was reduced to one driving lane per direction only.” It was determined that there would be near-gridlock as far as both Riverside Drive and the Queensway at all times except late at night. Clearly this was untenable. Bringing Bank to a standstill benefits nobody — residents or business! A further measure I advanced was the imminent declaration of a large area as a School Safety Zone recognizing the many schools and walking/cycling students. This will permit photo radar (speed cameras) to be installed. That should dramatically reduce speeding.
How will you improve Bronson Avenue safety?
Bronson Avenue does and must continue to carry large volumes of vehicular traffic. The issue is less the volume than it is the speed, however. Throttling volume too much will just prompt people to seek shortcuts down residential streets of Old Ottawa South and the Glebe, so we must act carefully. Over the past six years, I led the initiatives to improve cycling and pedestrians safety south of the Rideau Canal: raised cycle tracks, better on- and off-ramp geometry to slow down drivers and improve site lines, more flex stakes, longer crossing times and more clear lane pedestrian crossing and bike crossing marking. Plus, of course, an entirely new traffic light with signalled crossing. It is a start, but only that. Ultimately, from South to North, I will push for the following:
Why did you support the new household hazardous waste (Green Bin) contract which permits the use of plastic bags?
The city’s 10-year old contract with Orgaworld was a terrible one. It forced the taxpayer to pay for unused capacity if tonnage did not meet expected targets, it banned pet feces and it limited the type of bags/containers to paper-based products only (not even compostable plastic bags can/could be used). The result was extra costs and lower citizen participation than expected/desired. One of the greatest obstacles in that low rate was the “ick factor.” Many citizens told us that if they could use non-porous bags, they would participate, or do so more often. A contract was negotiated which among other things allows for plastic bags to be used, and now gives the city — for the first time– the right to alter the types of bags used.
This was a fundamental first step to making a transition to compostable bags if/when/as soon as there is a bag on the market that is provincially certified, can compost quickly (in the short time it would spend passing through the Orgaword plant) and is readily available and reasonably priced. Since none of those conditions can currently be met, I supported the new contract as a critical next step to diverting more organic waste. As bags will be shredded and then screened out, the risk of a very small amount of plastic residue getting through is to me inconsequential when weighed against the reduction in greenhouse gases emitted from diverting/composting this additional 30% of organics (estimate) and by not prematurely filling and closing our Trail Road landfill — and building another landfill or a massive waste-to-energy alternative (see my article)
Single Use Plastics/Bans on Bags, Straws, etc.
I moved and successfully had passed a motion at Council to have staff provide recommendations for reducing and eliminating single use plastics as part of the Long Term Waste Plan to be brought forward in 2019. Though this plan was due to come out several years earlier, with the province putting forward an entirely new approach to waste management and the entire funding regime being unknown until new regulations came into place, it made sense to carry on with the current city approach until such time as a new strategy could be debated under the new provincial rules.
Incompatible Infill – What have you done to stop/correct it? What will you do?
Most Capital Ward residents understand the need for appropriate, controlled intensification, as opposed to freezing communities in their current state. I have heard from many that only when there is greater population density will local businesses have the reliable walk-in traffic they need. But the key is to ensure that it is population density that is achieved — not what I call mere “massification” — and to ensure zoning is respected. I am pleased that egregious cases of infill have been greatly reined in since I was elected in 2010. The bad cases still exploiting loopholes are well known to all, because they are actually few in number. I have spent 8 years working with staff to close loopholes.
Cases in point:
This is fine and good, but not enough. So, I worked with the provincial government to reform the Ontario Municipal Board, so as to hand more power back to the community via a Local Planning Tribunal. Now, the city’s Official Plans can no longer be appealed. Now, the city and community can draft clearer, tighter language for its OP and local plans with the likelihood they will stick. It is in that context that I look forward to winning more votes at Council on infill applications, or no longer having developers even taking inappropriate projects that far.
Have you opposed incompatible development citywide and in the Ward?
I have dealt fairly and consistently with developers large and small, treating each case as unique. Every applicant who comes to my office gets the standard “here is what I and the community can support, and here is what we cannot” lecture. They are also told they should engage quickly with the affected neighbours and community associations. Some take this to heart, consult, make changes, and move forward with compatible projects. Some simply abandon their plans. Others move forward taking some or none of my advice and hire expensive planning consultants, lobbyists and lawyers. This latter group gets the headlines.
Whenever a project comes forward to Planning Committee which I and the community object to (keeping in mind that there is never a full community consensus for or against anything), I speak in advance to staff, members of Planning Committee and often the mayor. I have had some modest success in blocking the worst, but often end up voting against the project as one of a small number of urban councillors (usually a 19-5 loss to the far more numerous suburban and rural councillors plus the mayor). As long as the spectre of an OMB appeal remained in place, it seems the deck was always stacked against “us.” Now that the systems is changing, I see far more victories possible, and certainly more mediated settlements that are acceptable to all parties.
Can you explain your vote in favour of the 99 Fifth Avenue project?
From my 12 July, 2018 newsletter:
Since the first notice of intent from Minto that they wished to redevelop 99 Fifth Avenue — what many know as Fifth Avenue Court — I have maintained a firm and consistent position. I believe that in the heart of the Glebe, and so deep into a lot that abuts residential homes at 2-3 storeys on Fourth and Fifth Avenues, a building should be limited to 4 storeys plus mechanical projections. The Traditional Mainstreet Zoning permits 15 metres as a maximum height (approx. 4-5 storeys), and the Official Plan allows for an argument to be made for how as much as 6 storeys might be considered consistent with the planning objectives of the City.
I made this point to Minto on multiple occasions as well as to City planning staff. In the ensuing months, Minto modified the proposal in response to feedback from the community, the GCA Planning Committee, myself and City staff. The modified application for 7 storeys with no projections is a slight improvement on the original 8 with projections. However, my position remained that the building was still too high, and that its rear wall was not sufficiently set back from the property line or tapered to provide light and relief to adjacent properties.
I formalized this position in my written comments in the staff report. Alas, that same staff report came to the conclusion that Minto’s (modestly modified) proposal should be considered appropriate. The staff recommendation was to approve Minto’s application.
At this point, it became clear to me this was highly likely to be another case of the Planning Committee voting in support of the application, and then Council voting overwhelming in favour. Almost all such applications in urban wards over two terms of Council have broken down along the lines of urban councillors vs. everyone else (that is, 5-19).
For this reason, I made the strategic decision to put my energy into fighting for last-minute design improvements — and a commitment to a long-term Community Design Plan (CDP) to be launched in 2019 — as opposed to another futile battle to actually overturn the staff recommendation. I teamed with the GCA’s Planning Committee both in taking this approach, and in working for specific improvements.
Ultimately, after multiple rounds of discussions with the applicant and ongoing work with staff and the mayor’s office, we were able to achieve important design improvements as well as the commitment to a CDP. Those modest but important “wins” were formalized through a Motion to Planning Committee, which was passed on June 26 by a near-unanimous vote.
I attended Planning Committee along with the GCA, where we made the case for this amending Motion and explained why we were now doing this, as opposed to outright opposition. I am not a member of Planning Committee, so therefore do not have a vote.
At full Council on July 12, I again raised my concerns about the ongoing erosions of what I (and the majority of Glebe residents) consider important attributes of the community. This project constitutes a more modest erosion than the original proposal, but is nonetheless another nibble, on top of earlier ones to the mainstreet and the Glebe.
I did not, however, vote against the application, as it contained improvements that I and the GCA wished to see pass. It would be disingenuous for me to encourage staff to support these changes, and call on my colleagues to support them, but then vote against them myself.
I hope you will understand this distinction. The project is higher and more massive than I would have liked, but better in a number of ways than what was likely to have been put forward and approved by Council. I will now put my energy into seeing the CDP process started as soon as possible, with a goal of better planning certainty and protection of the desirable attributes of Bank Street and the Glebe.
Can you explain your Southminster United Church redevelopment vote?
From my August 2017 column in the OSCAR:
Every issue of this paper demonstrates the importance many Old Ottawa South residents place on preserving community attributes they deem important, even essential. These can be cultural, aesthetic or practical. Even a view is not just a view for most, but a defining characteristic of where they live, a symbol of the place they call home.
A threat to that symbol is therefore not a trivial matter, and in a city undergoing considerable transition, the preservation of an important landmark such as Southminster United Church becomes important not just in its own right, but as a bulwark against a perceived larger unravelling. This is the context for what is certain to be the biggest debate over heritage, character and community that Capital Ward has seen since Lansdowne Park.
As councillor, I hear many points of view on every project, and this one is no different. Opinions range from “Don’t touch it” on one end of the scale to “I like the proposal just fine” at the other, with a large middle ground of “I can support appropriate redevelopment.” Most people, myself included, are somewhere in the middle — but it’s a somewhat mushy middle. What is appropriate? What is too high, too dense, or too modern?
In this case, there is also the church itself to consider. Southminster United is in the same situation as many Ottawa congregations: shrinking, aging and severely strapped for cash. Just keeping the heat and lights on, let alone making essential repairs, is a constant struggle. This is especially unfortunate when you consider the many important roles the building plays in the community. Daycare, yoga classes, Scouts, addiction recovery meetings, hot suppers for the homeless and, more recently, musical performances — there is a place for everyone at Southminster. The loss of the church as a community venue would be a big blow.
From so many points of view, Southminster must be saved. The thorny question is “how?” The congregation has explored many avenues over the past decade. They have spoken with many potential partners and developers. Ultimately, they found a developer — a green developer at that — interested in a partnership. And yet, any venture of this sort has a bottom line. How much profit must be realized to make this viable, to provide the congregation with enough of a financial legacy to not just keep the doors open, but revive and carry the building far into the future?
There is no easy answer. This is a business arrangement, and few businesses are willing to open their books for all to see. So we are left in a situation where we must accept that, in order to generate sufficient profit, the redevelopment must achieve a certain density and be granted certain height and possibly setback exemptions from existing Institutional zoning. That is where the main controversy lies.
People ask: Why do they have to build so high? Why is rezoning necessary? Can’t they make do with less profit? Can’t they can make plenty of money within the existing zoning and 15-metre height limit?
Ultimately, money is the driver behind any “need” for rezoning, for additional height, for a certain level of density. And because we will never get to see the inner workings of the developer’s financial model, we can only speculate about what is or might be possible besides the current proposal under consideration by the City’s planning department, and likely coming to Council in late autumn.
I have not taken a firm position on this proposal, and I trust that the above context helps explain why. In fact, I rarely take a firm position for or against any project from the outset, because proposals evolve, and I am often able to achieve improvements if I get engaged and try to ensure that all interests are considered. A proposal has to be either outstanding or truly egregious for me to give it my thumbs up or thumbs down at the outset.
In this case, I have made it clear to the church, developer and residents that I wish to see the height reduced to respect and protect heritage views of this landmark building. If the financial requirements can be achieved within the 15-metre limit, all the better — aim for that. I also wish to see as many of the mature trees protected as possible, not merely replaced later. Southminster is an essential part of Old Ottawa South, but for it to have a future, the property will need to be redeveloped in a major way. As always, though, the devil is in the details.
Postscript to this column:
I voted for an amended version of the project, so as to ensure the height reductions and upper storey stepbacks were formalized.
Why does your CBC website survey look incomplete and rushed?
Because it is incomplete and was rushed. In the middle of an extraordinarily busy week of committee meetings and ward emergencies, I began drafting my survey response. At the deadline, thinking I had completed it, I sent it. When it was published, I saw that it was actually my draft, and asked permission to submit a complete version. That permission was denied. Fair enough. I missed the deadline, so why should I get special treatment.
I hope I have covered somewhere on this site — or in the linked radio interview on the home page — all the issues you may be interested in. Feel free to contact me if I did not.
Also, please check out the excellent Q&A format coverage in our great community papers: the Glebe Report, the OSCAR, the Mainstreeter, the Riverview Park Review and the Heron Park Herald. Also the surveys by ACFO, Ecology Ottawa and more.
Responding to critiques, derogatory remarks and — alas — slander
I have always considered my integrity and reputation to be precious. I do my best to live honestly, speak only the truth and own up to my errors and shortcomings. In politics, of course, one is under constant scrutiny. You are fair game for criticism on your record. That means the facts around decisions you have taken, the way you have operated and the example you have set. So it should be. I accept that not everyone will agree with all my actions and positions, but am game to explain and defend them. And admit errors.
What I have never accepted, and never will is falsehood, innuendo, bullying behaviour and especially slander. When I am slandered I will call it that, and call out the perpetrator. Shawn Menard has now on multiple occasions slandered me in public. More than a dozen people have reported statements made about me on their doorsteps, including a mother and her 12-year old son in my neighbourhood. But until now this was always “hearsay” that I did not witness.
Now, however, it is in writing on Facebook. It is also being done by proxy through the blog of someone apparently working on the Menard campaign whose blog neglects to mention this fact.
The following is the verbatim post of Shawn Menard on my Facebook page
“People continue to ask me how I am different from the Incumbent Ward Councillor of Capital Ward. Here is a summary: If you look at his voting record, it is atrocious on the environment and on progressive issues. David has voted for and ushered in higher transit fares every single year, despite declining ridership. He has voted for plastics to go in the green bin, and against further staffing of energy evolution. David has acquiesced on nearly every major development that required push back. He has effectively allowed the Immaculata field to be privatized by not doing proper background work when it was required on the site plan agreement (something any ‘experienced’ councillor should have known right away). David has cancelled the Ward Council that used to exist in Capital Ward, to the detriment of our residents and community voice. Not to mention taking $1000 perks from OSEG developers. It is shameful to support this type of record. Time to support a candidate who won’t back down, build colaitions and will speak truth to power when it is needed. For more reading: https://stepsfromthecanal.wordpress.com/…/capital-ward…/ https://ottawacitizen.com/…/reevely-councillors-can…
To be clear, not everything Shawn Menard has said in this post and on doorsteps is false or slanderous. The parts that are a mere critique merit a factual response. The statements that are allegation or spin, will be identified as such and refuted by facts and by my own interpretation. But where the statement is false, that is what I will name it.
Responding to Critiques and Derogatory Comments
“Atrocious record on the environment” – SPIN – decide for yourself
SPIN - decide for yourself
The Ottawa River Action Plan: Combined sewage storage tunnel is half-completed protecting our precious Ottawa River from stormwater overflow of untreated sewage; Rain Gardens to beautify, calm traffic and detain storm water (check out Sunnyside Ave)
Energy Evolution — Ottawa’s Renewable Energy Transition Strategy. Conceived of, lobbied for and saw through to completion Phase One. More than 15 individual projects are now funded and underway.
Urban Forest Management Plan — a citywide plan to protect/increase our urban trees, praised by all major environment and greenspace groups. Now we have to fully fund it, and complete the 25-plus individual action items.
Better contract for Household Organics (green bin) so as to increase participation and convenience by including pet waste and use of plastic bags as first step toward compostable-only bags, once standardized and readily-available
Light Rail for Ottawa using low-carbon electricity!
Bike lanes, bike tracks, footbridges — they are popping up everywhere you look. More to come, already approved. In my two terms, with me serving as a highly visible advocate Ottawa has moved light years ahead in building dedicated cycling infrastructure.
All city buildings now aim for LEED Gold (my motion). More than a dozen have been achieved. Even the Second Avenue parking garage is certified as a Green Garage (go figure!) and includes electric car charging and car sharing stalls, as well as substantial bicycle parking, much of it covered.
Ottawa became the first city to successfully issue Green Bonds, something I had prompted at committee.
Ottawa has adopted the Paris Agreement targets, joined the Compact of Mayors, and now has a short-term target as part of participation in Carbon613 — a core member.
“Voted for and ushered in higher transit fares every single year, despite declining ridership” – TRUE but SPIN
TRUE but SPIN
I have supported the OC Transpo budget each year. Often after extensive questions and debate. It is a global budget that must keep the fleet on the road and the drivers paid. If somebody wants to freeze or cut fares, I would ask them where exactly that shortfall will come from. What other budget items will they vote to eliminate. Ask for specifics. Precisely what road will they vote against building, and how will they get the support of 12 other councillors?
“Acquiesced on nearly every major development that required push back” – FALSE
On only two occasions have I voted for a significant development project that was not fundamentally sound. See my explanations for my 99 Fifth Avenue and Southminster United Church votes above.
“Voted for plastics to go into green bins” – FALSE and SPIN
FALSE and SPIN
See the FAQ section above, and also the following from my April 9, 2018 newsletter:
On green bins and plastics
Fewer than 50% of Ottawa households participate in the green bin program, a statistic I find shocking. There are both legitimate reasons and excuses: Some homes have no storage space for a green bin, some people have difficulty getting a heavy bin to the curb, and many apartments and condominiums are not equipped to deal with organic waste. Despite a multi-year campaign, fewer than 5% of multi-unit residential buildings participate in the program.
The most common complaint is that dealing with kitchen scraps, fat and bones is smelly and messy. Waste is messy whether it’s in the green bin or garbage, but if the “yuck factor” is really what’s preventing another 30% of residents from participating, allowing the use of plastic bags is a worthwhile compromise.
That’s why I voted to allow plastic bags as containers in green bins starting in mid-2019. Many people wrote and called to praise this change. Others chastised me for encouraging the use of plastic bags, when we should be discouraging or even banning them. But I think it’s worth taking an important win when we can, instead of trying to solve all environmental problems in one fell swoop.
Crucially, the City is not promoting the use of plastic bags. A public education campaign will highlight other options, including newspapers, paper shopping bags, cereal boxes, sugar bags, and bags made specifically for the beige, kitchen-sized bin. We expect that, instead of creating additional plastic waste, people will re-use existing plastic bags that would otherwise go to landfill, along with all that organic waste.
With the expanded service, Orgaworld will invest $3.9 million to be able to effectively screen out plastics — and process dog waste, the other big change — with technology already used in many Canadian municipalities. This will divert more organic waste from landfill and transform it into beneficial products like compost and fertilizers. It will reduce CO2 and methane emissions, and extend the life of the Trail Road landfill.
Still, allowing plastic bags in green bins won’t be enough to achieve provincial waste diversion targets. That’s why City of Ottawa staff are studying and seeking feedback on options to increase diversion, such as garbage bag limits, fees, or clear bags to ensure no recyclables end up in the garbage. They will present a plan in 2019. Mandating compostable bags for groceries and organic waste is an option to explore as a separate, longer-term project.
As for the larger issue of single-use plastic items like food and drink containers, the City will explore solutions, focusing on ones where we can expect a high level of public participation. As we have learned from the green bin, if half the population doesn’t buy in, it may not be the most effective approach.
One last point to add to this article: Won’t it be great to have all that dog poop that is currently being illegally placed in overflowing city park receptacles now going into the green bin. It is organic waste! The bags will be shredded and removed.
“Voted against more staff for the Energy Evolution Strategy” – FALSE
Energy Evolution is the Renewable Energy Transition Strategy that I conceived, placed on the Term of Council Priority agenda, found staff to develop, assembled over 100 stakeholders from all sectors to help develop, and ultimately brought forward to Council for adoption. The 2018 budget for Energy Evolution was very slim, given how late in the year this budget “ask” came. That modest amount was destined to be allocated entirely to community pilot projects that could start now and achieve some tangible results and offer insight into potential for scaling up. The city had sufficient staff to reassign to manage these projects and to apply for federal and provincial funding. Furthermore, senior managers made a commitment to finding sufficient staffing in the future. So, when a surprise motion was tabled to cut in half the money to go to projects (effectively scuttling 5-7 projects submitted by our community partners) and to allocate it instead to a new staff person, with an undefined task, which would take 4-6 months to hire anyway, I firmly rejected that “raid” on the community projects budget and voted against it. Fast forward to the present: with reassigned staff, all funding applications were submitted on time, and substantial funding was awarded to the city; the projects went ahead as intended, and new ones have just been awarded with the additional funds; a new, permanent manager for Energy Evolution and climate protection programs will soon be hired using existing resources transferred from unused “FTEs”.
“Effectively allowed the Immaculata field to be privatized” – SPIN
There is nothing in the 1993 Site Plan Agreement that would have prevented the Ottawa Catholic School Board from moving forward with this field redevelopment and long-term lease agreement with Footy 7s. All that could be curtailed were the hours of operation (I worked to have reduced hours imposed upon them, though this is now being appealed to the Local Planning Tribunal). They will be held to the city’s lighting and noise bylaws.
“Taking $1000 perks from OSEG developers” – SLANDER
On the doorstep, this figure has ranged as high as $2000, according to several sources. But the dollar amount is not actually the point.
As I explain transparently in the article referenced (I encourage everyone to read it), I attend very few functions on “free tickets” and only when (1) approved by the Integrity Commissioner; (2) serving a function necessary or of value to the City of Ottawa; (3) the ticket provider is not a registered lobbyist or will not be doing business with me or the city, and (4) I will be reporting my actions on the Registry.
I attended the Grey Cup as host councillor to a national festival who had spent months deeply involved in preparations and who needed to see the stadium in its full 40,000 seat build-out mode for the first time ever. I did not accept other gratuities. The tickets were NOT from OSEG or developers, but rather the CFL commissioner. For me to refuse to attend would have been short-sighted, and negligent. How else to witness in person whether Lansdowne and the special security and transportation measures were up to the job. I am pleased to say, all passed with flying colours, but some lessons were learned about access and egress.
Should it matter, I am not even a big football fan.
Paraphrasing Menard at the All Candidate Debate: “David votes with the mayor, and not the progressive councillors” – FALSE
I vote with the mayor when I agree with the mayor, and do not when I disagree. Few votes are black and white. Sometimes we vote yes or no for quite different reasons than it may outwardly appear. On major issues, I take the time to communicate why I voted how I did — see my 8 years’ worth of councillors columns in the community papers, and Capital Ward News commentaries. And what is this term “progressive councillors” anyway? Who gets to make up that category? We are 23 councillors representing distinct wards. On every issue, we vote as individuals. Sometimes the mayor tries to “whip” the vote, sometimes he does not. I remain an independent thinker and voter, as Mayor Watson will attest, and I believe he has come to respect that. I will listen to his case or to the case of other councillors, just as I ask them to listen to mine. It is called Bridge Building. Nobody gets ahead over the long term as a councillor by fighting.