Thursday, February 17, 2022
Things are now getting weird and we're not sure where we are as a City.
We all know that there is a separation between City Hall and the Ottawa Police Services Board, intended to keep oversight of the police in civilian hands but not be directed by partisan politics.
Last night Mayor Jim Watson pushed through a vote at the delayed City Council meeting to remove the three City appointees to the Police Board and replace them with three others. Chairperson Diane Deans was replaced by councillor Eli El-Chantiry. Councillor Carol Anne Meehan was supposed to be replaced by councillor Jan Harder but that vote was lost. Meehan resigned anyway.
Councillor Rawlson King also resigned in support of Deans and was replaced by councillor Jeff Leiper.
Was this because of the abandonment of the City by the Police Board? The slowness in separating with the employment of former police chief Peter Sloly?
No, it's because Diane Deans went outside the force and hired former Waterloo police chief Matthew Torigian as acting chief, with a one year contract.
Torigan has now withdrawn from the job and won't ask for compensation from the City. He was to start in the next few days.
Then we have City Manager Steve Kanellakos, who said at yesterday's council meeting: ‘I know we've been criticized because "some 20-year old" took out an injunction.’
Kanellakos, of course, is refering to Xeni Li, the Ottawa resident who has humilated City Hall staff, the Police, and the City's solicitors with her successful injunction against honking.
Li's case has expanded with more neighbours joining the proposed class action. Her lawyer says you are welcome to join if you are within this map.
For her trouble, Li says one of the Trucker protesters tried to back into her with his pickup.
Speaking of maps, some environmental scientists have created one showing the impact of the diesel fumes on downtown, making the air 30 per cent worse than Mexico City.
We haven't heard a peep from Ottawa Fire Services, considering that it is impossible to bring a fire truck anywhere near the buildings where 25,000 people live downtown. Until now. They just made an announcement: Ottawa's eight new fire trucks are 60 centimetres shorter. What a relief.
By the by, if anyone thinks that a City official – elected or staff – is acting unethically, Ottawa’s Integrity Commissioner Karen Shepherd would love to hear from you. Click here to start a report.
Shepherd doesn't investigate the police though. If you think that someone on the Ottawa Police Services has not been doing their job, that would be the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. The complaint form is here.
As for material reality: last night was full of honking; a protester brought a boat to live in – maybe the Police can also ignore maritime law as a palate cleanser; the Police were denied permission to enter the the Coventry logistics central camp – the one on City-owned land – to hand out their fliers; and gas canisters were being delivered unmolested – including by a child carrying one as a backpack.
The City issued another idle threat. This time warning that if a person were arrested – as if – their pet would be taken into custody and considered relinquished after eight days.
But a day of total weirdness would not be complete without contributions from the Americans.
US election denier, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, promised to bring 10,000 of his pillows to the Trucker protest to help give them all a good night's sleep. Lindell was thwarted as he is not himself vaccinated and thus could not cross the US/Canada border.
Squad member Ilhan Omar, a Democratic Party member of Congress for Minnesota, was mad about yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen story where the owner of Stella Luna complained of harassment to her business after it was revealed she had donated to the Trucker protest.
‘I fail to see why any journalist felt the need to report on a shop owner making such a insignificant donation rather than to get them harassed. It’s unconscionable and journalists need to do better.’ – she Tweeted.
It is cold comfort, but at least unwanted US commentary is bipartisan.
We'll see you tomorrow – Martha and Darren
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Weather: ?️ Rain or snow. High of 8°, low of -11°.
Number: 44,000. The number of people served each month by the Ottawa Food Bank. The Food Bank says that a 5 per cent inflation rate may make more people turn to its services. [CityNews] [Donate]
Ottawan of the Day: Kristina Watt. The University of Ottawa theatre professor is spearheading the WHY NOT NOW: Awaken the Dream Project on Sunday to inspire 12 creators into turning dreams to action. [Capital Current]
Quote: ‘Even if there are a few honks in the distance, I would like to do it’ – Concert pianist Angela Hewitt who is playing Monday at Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre. Hewitt needed a police escort to move her piano from her downtown apartment to the venue in Centretown. [Ottawa Citizen] [Tickets]
BE KIND TO BREWERIES
Thanks to a post by Ottawa Beer Society, we hear that Heineken plans to raise its prices by “courageous” amounts to deal with inflation. If the escalating cost of living and rising supply prices are hurting the big boys, they’re probably devastating to small craft brewers. So we at the Ottawan ask you to support your local Ottawa, Gatineau and Ottawa Valley breweries. Use our brewery guide to find one near you.
▪️It’s Bingo night at the Broadhead Brewery taproom, starting at 6:30pm, with food by Meatings. 1680 Vimont Cr Unit 106, Orléans
▪️Just arrived: 20oz beer glasses at Big Rig. They’ve got some stylin’ merch too. Shop online or visit 103 Schneider Road, Kanata.
▪️Enjoy 2lbs of wings for $22 from 5:00pm to closing time at Conspiracy Theory Brewing, 2172 Robertson Road, Nepean.
▪️Vimy Beer is nearly ready to open the doors of its new location at 830 Industrial Ave, near the Trainyards. Keep an eye on their social media for updates. Meanwhile, you can order beer and merch online.
Information is as of this morning. Changes are relative to yesterday.
EASTERN ONTARIO HEALTH UNIT
The Health Unit is changing the way they report. In the meantime, they are reporting only selected information.
⭕ Ontario’s chief medical health officer Dr. Kieran Moore says that the peak of Omicron is behind us. He says that his fear of a rebound has not come to pass. Capacity restrictions on restaurants end today. [CBC]
⭕ The Novavax's COVID 19 vaccine has been approved for use in Canada. As the Novavax vaccine is not an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer or Moderna, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization says it is can be used by people who are allergic to the other vaccines, or believe mRNA vaccines contain 5G chips supplied by Bill Gates. [CBC]
WHAT OTTAWA IS TALKING ABOUT
▪️Rideau Canal skateway is closed once again due to warmer temperatures. The National Capital Commission does not have a restart date, but Environment Canada is promising a cold snap over the weekend. [CityNews]
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