FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa strongly condemns the decision today by City Council who voted in favour of a last minute motion, from Councilor Glen Gower, for an Auditor General investigation into the LRT, meant to avoid the original motion that was in council’s hands, to face a judicial inquiry. The main distinction between an Auditor General investigation and a judicial inquiry as discussed today at Council, is that an Auditor General cannot investigate members of Council or the Mayor and is not a public investigation.
“What we saw today and continue to see, is a move by the Mayor and his clique at City Hall to avoid accountability.” Said Sam Hersh, Board Member of Horizon Ottawa. “We know this last minute motion was a setup to ensure that council was able to avoid real transparency and accountability.”
The original motion that was proposed by Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney, had been out in the public eye for around three weeks and asked for council to vote to support a public, independent judicial inquiry into the LRT procurement process. The motion, despite having a massive amount of public support, did not even get to see the light of day at council on Wednesday.
Blocking the McKenney motion was one in a number of unacceptable and undemocratic moves by the Mayor and his allies during the meeting. At one point during the meeting, Mayor Watson even went so far as to seemingly mute Councillor Deans while she was trying to challenge his ruling during debate on the item. Several councillors protested the move but were promptly ignored.
“The only thing more off the rails than our LRT was today’s council meeting.” Said Hersh. “The unprofessional, undemocratic and unacceptable actions of the Mayor today continue to erode the public’s faith in our democratic institutions and his office as Mayor; residents deserve better.”
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