(June 18, 2017)
Last week we learned about the abuse of power inside the Ontario PC Party when leader Patrick Brown approved the nomination of candidates whose nominations were highly contested, without review. The Ottawa West-Nepean OPC nomination contest in particular appears to have been hijacked by a party insider. 28 more ballots cast than members present and a winning margin of only 15 votes screams “recount”! But, not for OPC leader Patrick Brown who apparently thinks no one is watching. If he’s behaving like a dictator now, what’s he going to be like if he becomes Premiere?
Now, this week we’re hearing about how a very conservative leaning City councillor has taken offence to a factual comment about outgoing City Planner Manager John Moser being a friend of the development community at his retirement party. Even the developers said so (lovingly) at Moser’s party. Yet, Planning Chair Jan Harder’s stinging rebuke of Jeff Leiper’s offhand comment, as David Reevely of the Ottawa Citizen reported, telling him to “shut it” in a completely unprofessional email blast to all corners of City Hall, belies her own pro-developer bias.
God knows Harder has received enough money from developers over the years through donations to her election campaigns (not to metion her ‘developer fundraisers’) to be considered “one of the boys”. More importantly, it further demonstrates how willing conservative politicians are to abuse the power and privilege of their elected positions.
We already know this about liberal politicians. Kathleen Wynne and Jim Watson have made it clear they don’t value public opinion and input in decision making, and will use their power to get the results they want come hell or high water. Yet, to see this behaviour so willingly replicated by conservatives in positions of power is quite discouraging for voters seeking an end to government abuses and mismanagement.
There will be three elections in 2018. Voters seeking change should look long and hard at candidates who are not connected to the Liberal and Conservative parties, and who respect voters enough to not abuse the power they have been entrusted with. Patrick Brown and Jan Harder have clearly failed in this regard.
James O’Grady, President
Green Party of Ontario
Nepean Constituency Association