Tis the Season to Support #Local & give Global @planetcoffeeott

Tomorrow evening Ottawa’s top coffee-shop Planet Coffee hosts a “Pearls for Girls” evening from 6-8PM in the Byward Market. Planet Coffee teaming up with a charitable opportunity means your on to a buzzing time and the opportunity to pair holiday shopping with fundraising aimed specifically at building the confidence and leadership skills of young women in Lesotho. The Pearls 4 Girls program has both fundraising and education components. Funds are raised through the sale of beautiful pearl jewellery in support of transformative leadership programs for girls in Lesotho. Each purchase is an important contribution towards something bigger than a piece of jewellery – it is a commitment to gender equity and the belief that girls can make a difference. All proceeds raised through the sale of Pearls 4 Girls jewellery goes directly to Help Lesotho. Pearls for Girls Thursday Nov 20 6-8PM Planet Coffee – 24a York St in the Byward Market

Eye Spy: Young Lady in White lights up @artscourt @tacticseries @evotheatre

A sold out opening night and rave reviews don’t stop the esteemed Counterpoint Players TACTICS’ Series from offering accessible theatre.

Today’s 2PM performance of “Young Lady in White” from local company Evolution Theatre is a Pay-What-You-Can affair at Arts Court.

The inventive play spans 76 years, from 1930-2009, from the vantage point of a young girl in an undeveloped photograph who witnesses history from her window in Germany as she awaits the return of the photographer. While war and progress unfold before her the historical context is tied to the personal struggle of her own hopes and dreams waiting to “develop”.

TACTICS’ gives local independent artists a chance to showcase their work in an affordable venue bringing quality theatre to the Ottawa stage. The TACTICS  series will run from November 2014 to April 2015 at Arts Court Theatre.

Please give generously to support the artists and to ensure PWYC theatre continues for those that cannot afford the arts.

Young Lady In White
Nov 7-15, 8PM – with 2PM matinees
Arts Court Theatre
2 Daly Ave

Reevely: On those that Cry “Split-Vote” #ottvote


In this, my first municipal election in Ottawa, I hear a lot of split vote talk which is intimidating and disruptive to the democratic process. Individual voters must evaluate candidates with an open-mind and cast their ballot for the one they believe is best suited to serve their ward.
In Kitchessippi ward anonymous notes were sent to the supporters of challenger Michelle Reimer in an attempt to dissuade and deter their commitment. Reimer remains a strong, qualified and committed candidate.

This base tactic is nothing short of bully-tactics. The fear-mongering over vote splitting is disgraceful and, as so often with cowardly tactics, unfounded. Let us put forth that anyone who feels the need to fear-monger over vote-splitting would be better off using this energy to build a better campaign for their preferred candidate.

It is particularly sad in this instance that the tactic was aimed at a female candidate in a city that is very poorly represented by elected women.

On October 27th, Be Brave. Vote with your beliefs not governed by fear.

Originally posted on Ottawa Citizen:

Ottawa’s got several city council races this fall in which our old way of voting will probably make a hash of the results and a new kind of ballot would help a lot.

Premier Kathleen Wynne wants cities to have the option of ranked-choice voting by the next election in 2018. The trick is convincing politicians chosen the old way to agree to the new way. In a month, we’ll probably have a bunch of object lessons in why they should.

In downtown Somerset, where longtime councillor Diane Holmes is retiring, voters are blessed with 11 candidates, of whom five are plainly capable of doing the job. The situation is similar in Innes, which veteran Rainer Bloess is vacating. The winners will probably be chosen with a third of the votes at most.

In other wards, incumbent who might be vulnerable could have their jobs saved by split opposition.

In Rideau-Rockcliffe, Peter Clark…

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Nancy Peckford: One step back for women in municipal politics


If we want diverse representation we need to support diverse representation in #ottvote and not decide upon the candidate to support before listening to them.

Originally posted on Ottawa Citizen:

In politics, it is widely accepted that to be successful you have to play the long game. Short term wins don’t always translate. There are bound to be hiccups, setbacks and even big losses among the hard won victories. Staying the course, upping your game and remaining credible are key.

And so it goes with women and politics as we are nearing the finish line for Ontario’s municipal elections where it appears few women are getting ahead. In Ottawa, a mere 17 per cent of candidates are female and the one female mayoral candidate has little visibility. In Toronto, it’s just 12 per cent. Olivia Chow’s mayoral bid is just starting to gain the momentum many expected it to have by now.

In Ottawa, with two high profile councillors Maria McRae and Diane Holmes choosing not to run again, it’s anyone’s guess if those seats – or seats in other…

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Tonight: Ward12 All Candidates Debate @Ottvote #Rideau #Vanier

Tonight is the penultimate all-candidates debate for Rideau-Vanier Ward12.

The debate is from 7-9PM at 159 Murray in the Guigues Centre. Should be another corker of an evening. If you’ve attended several, like us, or this is your first you are likely to enjoy the evening with insightful engaged candidates and residents that are committed and pushing hard for good things in their ward.

Hope to see you there and be warned come early if you want a seat.

Eye Spy: Media Coverage of Mathieu Fleury’s conflict of interest.


There may only be 3 Claridge builds but there are 2 towers slated for the Metro’s location, 2 being built across the street from the Metro & the one of St Andrew/Bruyere so this is more about scale than how Claridge “groups its projects”. An equally important consideration is the sheer number of units in each of these buildings. I believe the two towers at Metro are to be 27 & 32 stories alone.

Originally posted on Ottawa Citizen:

Questions about his conflict of interest with developer Claridge Homes are dogging Mathieu Fleury, who is currently seeking re-election in the Rideau-Vanier ward.

Not long after he won in 2010, Fleury, 29, declared a conflict of interest with respect to Claridge, one the biggest developers in the city. The company has several projects in his ward.

But Fleury says the conflict hasn’t completely silenced him on issues related to Claridge.

Fleury’s father, from whom the councillor is estranged, works for the developer, so the councillor can’t in any way address zoning issues involving Claridge, nor can any of his staff.

All term, Fleury wasn’t allowed to discuss projects with residents, make a presentation to the planning committee (as is usual) or vote on any proposals should they reach full council. (In his place, Coun. Jan Harder, vice-chair of the planning committee, acted on his behalf on Claridge files in the…

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An @Ottvote issue requiring urgent coverage & action – @crdottawa

Last week Ward 12 resident Thierry Harris stood up at the All Candidates debate and through his questions revealed a watershed moment in terms of the imbalance between the rights of the individual versus those granted to corporate builders while the City of Ottawa stands by .

Our house shook for a few months when Stewart St was torn up. The noise was incredibly irritating and slightly concerning yet absolutely nothing in comparison to what these neighbours to the St Partick / Bruyere Claridge Homes WaterStreet build have been subjected too over the last 11 months.

courtesy crdOttawa.org

courtesy crdOttawa.org

The homes of Thierry Harris and at least 4 of his neighbours literally move and shake. The sound of industrial machinery is relentless and deafening. The ceiling of his neighbour’s well-appointed office has collapsed covering work and computers. Entry handles are dismantled and re-assembled when doors no longer open and close properly. Floors tilt as heavy machinery drills down underneath to accommodate underground parking. Walls with many deep cracks and crumbling portions are duct-taped to prevent further erosion and keep cold air at bay. Recently the waterproof membrane was torn from Harris’ foundations by the considerate builders of the 5-storey condo that has penned in his small yard and completely eradicate his  view as the build is literally up to his property line.

Citizens for Responsible Development (CRDOttawa.org) are doing an excellent job providing an online showcase for the damage, the frustration and the helplessness of these home-owners. Please visit the CRDOttawa website and browse the portfolio images and video – the few words here do not do justice to this situation.

The current councillor, Mathieu Fleury, cannot advocate for these resident as he has declared a Conflict of Interest where this particular builder is concerned. However I would say this goes beyond the issues of one Councillor and one Ward. This is a City wide problem that requires action.

It really doesn’t matter which ward you live in – City-wide regulation is clearly desperately needed to protect home-owners and provide clear enforceable guidelines for new-builds particularly those that dwarf and compromise the existing architecture in a neighbourhood. No one builds a two-storey town home to the specifications to withstand this sheet metal piling and drilling required for a condo tower.

Harris is a Rideau Vanier resident but this could happen any where in a city where many municipal candidates and even our Mayor have campaigns bankrolled and/or endorsed by Developers. All Ottawa residents should have up-front protection against such invasive developments and stop-work regulations should be issued long before this level of damage is ever incurred.

It’s time for change in regulations and it’s time for change in how elected officials fund their campaigns if residents are to expect political will in their favour. The electorate deserve representation that speaks up to protect individuals over corporations and in this instance Ottawa’s current municipal politicians must take decisive action to protect these peoples’ homes.

Please visit Citizens for Responsible Development Ottawa for comprehensive coverage.