City Planning Committee Sept. 23 agenda - $7.7 million sewer extension: Claridge, Minto and Richcraft and the question of optics

City Planning Committee Sept. 23 agenda - $7.7 million sewer extension: Claridge, Minto and Richcraft and the question of optics
Posted on September 22, 2014 | Alex Cullen | Written on September 22, 2014
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

I have researcd the 2003, 2006, and now the 2010 municipal elections in Ottawa with respect to campaign finances. I have found that corporate contributions to municipal candidates distorts the playing field: they come primarily from corporations that do business with City Hall (creating a conflict of interest) and their donations are targetted. And their targets win.

As a result I have (twice) brought reports to Ottawa City Council to ban corporate (and union) contributions to municipal election campaigns (as the City of Toronto has done), so that it better reflects democracy and avoids the undue influence that these businesses have over land planning and development.

If elected, I will do so again.

Tomorrow (September 23, 2014) the City of Ottawa`s planning committee will be dealing with an agenda item - the extension of the South Nepean Sewer Collector, worth $7.7 million. This is to service lands being developed by Claridge Homes, Minto and Richcraft Homes, three of the City`s largest developers. Without this sewer extension, these lands could not be developed.

There are 10 members of Planning Committee: Peter Hume (Alta Vista Ward & Chair), Jan Harder (Barrhaven), Stephen Blais (Cumberland), Rainer Bloess (Innes), Rick Chiarreli (College), Katherine Hobbs (Kitchissippi), Allan Hubley (Kanata South), Bob Monette (Orleans), Shad Qadri (Stittsville), and Tim Tierney (Beacon Hill-Cyrville).

All but one (Shad Qadri) has taken campaign contributions from these corporations (and families connected with these corporations) - Claridge, Minto & Richcraft - totalling $12,000 in the last municipal election, donations that helped get them elected. And on Tuesday, they will be voting on this project.

This is not happenstance. Last election there were 23 councillors elected - two used surpluses from the previous election as their campaign revenues. Of the remaining 21, they received 72% of all corporate contributions made for City Council (not counting the mayoralty). And the overwhelming bulk of these were from corporations that did business with City Hall.

Just sayin` ... 


Alex Cullen

The better City Councillor for Bay Ward!
36 Burland St.
Ottawa ON K2B 6J8
Twitter: @Alex_S_Cullen
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Former OBE Trustee (1982-88), Ottawa City Councillor (1991-94), RMOC Councillor (1991-97), MPP Ottawa West (1997-99), Ottawa City Councillor (2000-2010). Economist, former Policy Analyst NHW (1982-91), former... More