Mayor should follow process

Mayor should follow process
Posted on May 11, 2013 | James O'Grady | Written on May 9, 2013
Comments
Letter type:
Published

Publisher

Publisher:
Ottawa Citizen

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

This letter to the editor was published in the Ottawa Citizen today. I wrote it in response to public comments Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has been making about people who insist politicians and government officials follow "Due Process". As you will read, Jim and I disagree on this point.

Mayor Watson’s comments yesterday regarding people who argue in favour of ‘Process’ as being something people do when the they lose an argument is one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard a politician say. In my professional life as a business person, communications professional, teacher and municipal candidate, I have found the opposite to be true.

People, especially politicians, who intentionally evade following ‘Due Process’ do so because they know they won't get their way, if they do follow proper procedure. If your argument is solid and you can back it up with salient facts, then you will not be worried about having to defend it in public because you are secure in the knowledge that you can. However, people who manipulate and evade 'Due Process' to serve their own ends, something we have seen Mayor Watson do many times over the last three years (ex. Casino, LRT twice, etc), do so because they know they can’t win or will be personally embarrassed in the process.

In politics and governance, this type of action could be considered a bully tactic used to suppress and prevent opposition voices from being heard. By now we’ve all heard of the voter suppression tactics used in the Robocall scandal and in many US elections. Evading due process in government is a similar tactic meant to achieve the same objective: Winning at all costs.

This is why the City of Ottawa so desperately needs a proper public consultation process and policy. So, ordinary citizens can voice their opinion in a transparent, accountable and respectful way, and so politicians and Staff can hear it, understand it and respond in a timely, meaningful and respectful manner. Only in this way can we get the best answers for everyone. Not following due process as an elected official, especially as the Mayor of the nation’s capital, is an act of disrespect toward all Ottawa residents and is a breach of the intent of our democratic system, in my opinion.

The lesson I have learned is that people who refuse to follow due process simply can’t be trusted. Mayor Watson continues to prove it in spades.

James O’Grady, Nepean resident

About The Author

I am a social media entrepreneur, communications professional, part-time school teacher and community leader living in Nepean, Ontario. I am also a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate... More