Downtown councillors shut out of FEDCO committee

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Speaking at committee today Coun. Shawn Menard said “how do you justify not appointing members from huge swaths of regions on to the financial decision making board here in the city.”

With these remarks it became clear that the urban suburban rift at city hall is deepening.

“What's happening today is actually quite appalling." Catherine Mckenny said there is a whole urban core being shut out at city hall the mayor is doing it deliberately and it continues to be a frustration.”

Among the changes:

  • Innes Ward Councillor Laura Dudas was nominated for vice-chair of the Finance and Economic Development Committee.
  • Stittsville Councillor Glen Gower was nominated as Member at-large of the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Vice Chair of the Planning Committee.
  • Orleans Councillor Matthew Luloff was nominated for Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board.

Many of the big ticket projects in Ottawa are happening in the downtown core. With large developments like the LRT, the Chateau Laurier expansion and general intensification it’s not surprising that urban councillors are feeling a little shut out.

The committee changes were necessitated because Transportation Committee Chair Councillor Stephen Blais stepped down to run in a provincial by-election.

The nominations still must be ratified by city council next Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Councillors McKenney, Menard, Jeff Leiper, Mathieu Fleury and Rawlson King issued a letter from the “urban Councillors”, requesting proper representation on Council committees.

In the letter, the Councillors said “the City of Ottawa’s urban Councillors – and by extension, the residents we represent” have been locked out of key positions within City Council. This lack of representation is more acutely manifested in the current make-up of the Finance and Economic Development Committee.”

The urban Councillors recommended McKenney be named as the at-large member of the Finance and Economic Development Committee, move Leiper to vice chair of the Planning Committee and add Menard to the Planning Committee.

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