What does this Canal mean to you?

What does this Canal mean to you?

In my Ottawa Citizen column this week I answered the question asked by the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa about what the Rideau Canal means to me. It is quintessentially Ottawa-esque in that it can be beautiful but is mostly under-utilized, and not in a good way. Pour public averti, I guess. 

That’s two weeks in a row without any legal writing to share, now you owe me a drink.

The winner of this week’s most irresponsible quote goes to Pierre Poilievre for this turd, bombastically uttered in the House of Commons on Wednesday: "Mr. Speaker, we have just heard media reports of a terrorist attack with an explosion at the Niagara crossing of the Canada-U.S. border. At least two people are dead, and one person is injured. It is the principal responsibility of the government to protect the people. Can the Prime Minister give us an update on what he knows and what action plan he will immediately implement to bring home security for our people?" It did not take law enforcement very long to rule out terrorism and in fact what happened was a terrible accident. If he knew shame, Poilievre should experience it in spades. But alas. I note in passing a gorgeous letter sent to him by a Twitter user that I highly encourage you to read.

Dans La Presse un article qui détaille une montée de toxicité masculine et de misogynie chez les jeunes dans certains écoles. Ça me jette complètement sur le cul. On n’est pas sortis du bois, c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire. Parlez à vos jeunes, de grâce. Et montrez-leur de bons exemples. 

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This is infuriating on so many levels that somehow an entire forest was sufficiently neglected over a sufficiently long period of time as to become a fire hazard and condemned to being cut and oh, coincidence, make space for more private development. As I tweeted with more than just a hint of frustration, Ottawa’s motto is “We tried nothing and it didn’t work, sorry you’re upset.” 

But not as infuriating as the fact that the new (and expensive) active transportation link between Ottawa and Gatineau — the lovely and wonderful Chief William Commanda Bridge — shuts down for the next couple of months because, get this, it was “not designed” for winter pedestrian and cycling use. And why not? I get that when it’s extremely icy we may want to close it to prevent unfortunate accidents. But not for the entire winter! People still walk and cycle in the cold, you know. Gah, this town some days. 

Last Sunday was World Toilet Day and I was reminded by my good friends at GottaGo! Campaign that Ottawa only has two standalone public toilets for a population of one million (not counting visitors). There are more public toilets but they’re not advertised and they are hard for people to find. There are so many easy and cheap things we could do to improve the livability and human-friendliness of the city. If this strikes you as important, the campaign is always looking for volunteers.