Developers to get ambassadors within City of Ottawa planning department
In response to Ottawa City Councillor Jan Harder's comments in the Ottawa Citizen about the Developer Ambassador initiative the Planning Department is touting, I can tell you that as a community association president and long time member of the Federation of Citizens Associations of Ottawa (VP Communications 2011-12), it has been my experience that relationships between community associations and many councillors (not those elected in 2014) are not strong.
On the contrary, they are often strained, especially when it comes to planning and development matters. Developers also have councillors they can deal with at City Hall, so Ms. Harder's explanation is quite hollow unfortunately. Not only are the optics bad, but it seems that the ambassador program has been set up to help developers avoid the Lobbyist Registry which was established last Council term in order to make the lobbying process more transparent. Lobbying of councillors that is...
It should be noted that Jan Harder was one of the most vocal opponents of the Lobbyist Registry when it was first introduced. She argued that it would impede her ability to work closely with the development community on special events.