Democracy trumps private visions of "transformation" - Build on "20/20" process to create caring and inclusive city



    OTTAWA, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Democracy must trump private visions of
"transformation", community groups told the Mayor today.
    Former mayor Marion Dewar said that Mayor Larry O'Brien's most important
job was to make sure that residents are involved in shaping their city - and
not just by filling out an online survey.
    "The priorities of the City of Ottawa must be set publicly, after
widespread and meaningful consultations in communities across the city, not
set behind closed doors," Dewar said. "Excluding the public from genuine
consultation will not instill confidence in the Mayor's notion of
'transformation'."
    Dewar noted that Mayor O'Brien's vision for "transforming" city services
includes more public private partnerships (P3s), outsourcing and so-called
'alternative service delivery'. Just last week, it was revealed that two
Ottawa P3 recreation facilities have failed, sending warning signs to Council
about the limits of private sector service delivery.
    Leonard Poole, past president of the Community Council of Overbrook,
reminded the Mayor that city staff, community groups and politicians recently
agreed to a set of principles to guide the city's growth and development in
"Ottawa 20/20".
    "The first principle in 20/20 was a commitment to building a 'caring and
inclusive' city," Poole said. "But Council can't be caring and inclusive when
they're holing themselves up in a golf club, belatedly saying the meetings are
open to the public only after a community outcry. We must do better than
this."
    Peter Honeywell of the Arts Council of Ottawa urged city councilors to
press the Mayor to organize genuine consultations.
    "City councilors must press the Mayor to do the right thing, and open up
the process and let us all share in setting priorities together," Honeywell
said. "Creating a process with appropriate timelines and resources would be
real leadership."

    The guiding principles of Ottawa 20/20 are: "A caring and inclusive
    City...A creative City rich in heritage, unique in identity...A green and
    environmentally-sensitive City...A City of distinct, liveable
    communities...An innovative City where prosperity is shared among all...A
    responsible and responsive City...A healthy and active City."




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For further information: David Robbins, Campaign Coordinator, cell (613)
878-1431

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IMAGINE OTTAWA COALITION

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