8 a.m., Dec. 11)
council wraps up 2009 budget process by passing second omnibus motion
By Fred Sherwin
city council put the wraps on the 2009 budget process on Wednesday
by passing a second omnibus motion that dealt with the city's capital
was expected to debate the merits of a long list of capital projects
and initiatives, but the discussion barely even started before the
same coalition of councillors who brought forward and passed an omnibus
motion on the operating budget Monday, did the same thing again.
contained a series of cuts, mostly in the area of IT acquisitions
such as the purchase and upgrade of computers and computer programs,
totalling $14.4 million. The motion also calls for a one year delay
in work to be done on the Mooney's Bay Complex which will save another
place the councillors added or moved up several projects including
$2.9 million for the Old Ottawa South Community Centre; $2.8 million
for rehabilitatiion work on Preston Street; and construction of the
Southwest Transitway from Baseline Road to Norice Strett. The coalition
also restored $8 million for infrastucture renewal that had ben slated
various alterations, council managed to reduce the overall capital
budget for 2009 from $314 million to $304 million. The omnibus motion
passed by a margin of 17-6, with Mayor Larry O'Brien and councillors
Rob Jellett, Bob Monette, Rainer Bloess, Doug Thompson and Shad Qadri
all voting against it.
the councillors who supported it compared it to having to take a little
water with their wine in that they didn't support everything that
was contained in the motion, but there was enough in it to warrant
was introduced and then voted on without any of the councillors having
the opportunity to debate it. The surprise move infuriated the councillors
who were opposed to it including Mayor O'Brien who called the situation
I saw this afternoon was simply disgusting," O'Brien said after
the meeting. "They acted out of fear, not leadership."
before, the Mayor was sounding a little more conciliatory in summing
up the budget process.
an ex-CEO I have the attribute of never being happy and always wanting
to go father. I honestly thought we could do better (than 4.9 per
cent). Zero has long since not been a number of meaning to me, but
I did hope to have a line by line debate on our spending priorites.
But that wasn't to be. It was the will of council to do it this way
and we have to respect the will of council," said O'Brien.
there is one positive to come out of all this, it's that we have a
solid consensus to do things differently next year starting with the
creation of a standing committee on budgets and spending which I think
will make a major difference."
Ward Coun. Bob Monette used his five minutes during the closing debate
to apologize to the public for what had just transpired.
apologize to the residents of Ottawa for what they've seen here today.
(The coalition brought in the omnibus motion) and then when it came
time to debate it they cut us off. The 18,000 residents in my ward
elected me to represent them and what happened today was not representation.
We are paid close to $100,000 a year and we can't even do a full day's
work," said Monette who then directed his ire at the 16 councillors
who formed the coalition. "I hope you're proud of the budget
because I'm not."
the controversy over the process, the 2009 capital budget contains
a number of local projects including the following.
junior playstructure, fence and equip.m.ent at école des Pionniers,
acrylic colour coating of tennis courts in Kinsella Park in Queenswood
junior play structure, fence and equip.m.ent at Centennial Park in Queenswood
repairs at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex, $341,000\
pool basement service room at Ray Friel Recreation Complex, $101,000
building and pool systems remediation at Ray Friel, $315,000
lockers, Control Panel and gas detectors at Bob MacQuarrie Recreation
asphalt and gravel roof at the Queenswood Heights Community Centre,
steel storage tanks and refrigeration equip.m.ent at the J.B. Potvin
arena and cafeteria exhaust fans at the Earl Armstrong Arena, $68,000
spray pad and senior play structure at Meadowbrook Park in Pinview,
sport lighting at Trillium Park in Beacon Hill South, $90,000
park improvement program for Alcide Trudeau Park in Vars including
ball diamond, fencing and netting, $55,000
of Hillside Estate Park including play equip.m.ent and park benches,
senior play structure and play equip.m.ent at Norm Childs Park in Carlsbad
remediation of R.J. Kennedy Memorial Centre in Cumberland Village,
flooring, caulking and ceiling cladding at Charlemagne Blvd. fire
Village Design Plan, $500,000 for develop.m.ent and implementation of
remediation at Cumberland Village Heritage Museum (Foubert House and
French Hill School), $130,000
to Front Page