Candidates: What would you do to safeguard Ottawa City Hall from the corrupt influences of organized crime?
This year’s Ottawa Municipal Election has been lacking in debate. Just like the past four years at City Council, there has been very little debate of the real issues facing our City. This is mainly due to the fact that there are few challengers to Mayor Jim Watson.
Mike Maguire is Watson’s only real challenger. He’s a nice a guy, but he doesn’t have a vision for the whole city and therefore can’t win the election on October 27th. He also doesn’t have the backing of Ottawa’s Power Brokers. As I wrote earlier in the week, it’s the developers who determine who runs for Mayor in Ottawa.
Given the demise of Montreal’s City Council two years ago with the arrest of their Mayor and several council members. And, given the testimony of veteran York Regional police detective Mike Amato at a public inquiry in 2012 regarding the scope of the Italian Mafia in Ontario, where he described a group that has managed to root itself deeply into everyday society.
A Huffington Post article dated Sept. 20, 2012 states:
The detective said the reach in Ontario extends to certain construction-related industries like trucking, home-building and excavation — and added that these businesses are difficult to compete against because they are infused with illegal cash.
"How can you compete against someone where it doesn't matter if he turns a profit on the job," said Amato.
A revelation I learned about from a veteran city councillor from a South-Western Ontario municipality last year when I was told that “we know the developers are laundering money”.
Candidates- I would like to know what you would do to safeguard Ottawa City Hall from the corrupt influences of organized crime?
- Would you improve transparency and accountability? If yes, how?
- Do you think there should be a police investigation into the OrgaWorld contract based on the Auditor’s report?
- Should a special organized crime unit be created within the Ottawa Police to investigate suspicious activities at City Hall?
- Would you support a ban on all corporate and union campaign donations to municipal candidates?
- Would you ban all sole-sourcing contracts?
- Do you think the City’s lobbyist registry is stringent enough? If not, how can it be strengthened?
- Would you call for a return to taking full meeting minutes at all Council meetings so there is a written record of what has been said and by whom?
- Would you re-instate the public advisory committees' right to criticize staff and council when they believe they are not acting in residents best interests, as many of them did on the Lansdowne Live file?
- Would you back a call for real governance experts to investigate how public consultation can best be integrated into the City’s decision making processes?
- Should Ottawa, the largest geographical municipality in Canada, use a borough or community council like Toronto has done, to help ensure city decisions reflect the interests of the residents who will be affected the most?
- What ideas do you have to ensure real, meaningful debate takes place around the Council and subcommittee tables and that decisions are made in public view rather than behind closed doors?
- Should Ottawa City Council pursue the “Ottawa Act” with the provincial government?
There are many things that can be done to improve governance at Ottawa City Hall. Actions councillors can take to protect the City from the undue influences of organized crime. What would you do if elected?
I look forward to hearing your responses.
James O’Grady, Founder