Labour Council “Can’t get in through the front door then try the back”

Release Date: 
June 12, 2008

OTTAWA – The Ottawa and District Labour Council said today that Mayor O’Brien’s task force on governance is a hand picked group of ten people with past and current ties to the Mayor and/or his company Calian with the intent to push through the Mayor’s governance re-structuring plans.

“It really is amazing that the Mayor continually tries to slip things through with the hope no one is paying attention,” said Sean McKenny, President of the Ottawa and District Labour.

“How do you have neutrality in respect to a task force when its membership has direct ties to the Mayor,” said McKenny. “Since coming to office he has repeatedly attempted to assume more control. Whether that’s at city council or through the city manager,” he added.

“Where do you want us to start,” said McKenny, “How about the fact that one of the task force members current firm represented Larry at the first meeting between him and the Ontario Provincial Police during the Kilrea affidavit investigation. How about the fact that one of the task force members was paid by the city of Ottawa as a consultant and continues to be paid as a consultant.”

Although the mayor claims that the task force will look at things like citizen engagement and effective relationships with staff, in addition to the governance structure McKenny claims that the true intent is to assume more control. “Look, that’s the smoke and mirrors part. This is all about control, complete control.”

“You would be hard pressed to find many councillors who would support the Mayor’s attempt to power grab and he knows it. Thus the reason for the Task Force, “ said McKenny. “If you can’t get it through the front door then you try to plow it through the back door.”

The Ottawa and District Labour Council (ODLC) has been the voice of working people in the Ottawa area since 1872. The ODLC currently represents 90 local unions with a combined membership of close to 45,000 working men and women and is the largest democratic and popular organization in the Ottawa area.

Contacts:
Sean McKenny 613-862-5150
Ottawa & District Labour Council 613-233-7820