Archive for the ‘Budget’ Category

Companies Pony Up For Councillors’ Events

- April 1st, 2014

It’s always useful to know what companies are sponsoring big community parties thrown by councillors. Here’s a compilation from the reports on 2013 council expenses, which was the basis of today’s story in the Sun.

As an aside, it’s interesting that only a few councillors pursued sponsors to offset the costs for throwing parties. These are all of the councillors listed on the public disclosure with events naming sponsors. Other councillors threw pricey summer barbecues or picnics or whatnot using only taxpayer funds.

(We can’t forget the sponsors for Mayor Jim Watson’s protocol-managed events, which can be found here)

College Coun. Rick Chiarelli’s New Year’s Eve Party

Ikea Canada $8,000
Leikin Management $2,000
Brady’s Pool & Spa Care $199
Scotiabank (Pinecrest) $199
KNT Nails & Spa $199
Scotiabank (Bells Corner) $199

Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson’s Kanata North Picnic

1025 Canadian Shield Ave. $2,000
Minto Communities $1,000
Richcraft Homes $1,000
Urbandale Corp. $500
Broccolini Holdings $500
Kanata Research Park $500
Novatech Engineering $500
Kanata Entertainment Holding $500

Alta Vista Coun. Peter Hume’s Annual Corn Roast

Ottawa Train Yards $10,000

Breakfast with Santa

Urbandale Corp. $8,000

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Watson’s Call For Arbitration Changes Ahead Of Sunshine List Release

- March 28th, 2014

Mayor Jim Watson knew what was coming in the 2013 Sunshine List (released today, with more than 1,000 police employees on it), that’s why he wrote to Premier Kathleen Wynne a couple of days ago calling for changes to the province’s arbitration system, as he has done before.

Watson calls it “urgent” that the province does something. Municipalities want a task force.

Meanwhile, the minority Liberals and the opposition PCs just can’t seem to agree on how to go about doing it. Still.

Watson Letter to Wynne March 26 2014

Those Darn Commemorative Namings

- October 24th, 2013

I have to wonder if staff and consultants tasked with selling naming rights at municipal facilities pull their hair out each time council votes in favour of a commemorative naming.

As Sun City Hall columnist Susan Sherring discovered earlier this year, the once-celebrated sponsorship program isn’t really bringing in much more dough.

There are several lines in the draft of the 2014 parks, recreation and cultural services budget that provide an update on the program, which is projected to miss its revenue target by about $2 million this year.

While the Sponsorship & Advertising Branch has been successful in generating annual revenues of $1.2 million in 2013, the general state of the capital region’s economic environment is creating obstacles in achieving the revenue targets. Reductions and uncertainties in the employment levels within federal government departments mean local businesses and national companies large and small are more hesitant to enter into advertising commitments and are taking longer to make partnership decisions. The long cycle times and repeat meetings with potential partners mean fewer agreements having been signed than anticipated. Additionally, the commemorative naming of new city facilities reduces the assets available for partnerships.

(Bolding is by me.)

The city has done a good job of keeping tabs on its commemorative naming decisions on its website. It’s not easy to argue the names for the facilities should have been sold instead.

But, hey, doesn’t anyone want to put his or her name on the Rink of Dreams?

The Rink of Dreams in front of Ottawa City Hall photographed on Oct. 8, 2013.

Sorry To Tell You About Your $21K Giant Board Game

- September 25th, 2013

It’s that wonderful time of year again: City Hall’s publication of the latest quarterly spending report.

Almost all of it is run-of-the-mill stuff. Things need planning and building and it all costs money.

But every report supplies a few eyebrow-raising expenditures.

For example, the $21,920 to “print, assemble, deliver and install a replicate of a 1930s board game into a life-size outdoor version at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum.”

A massive board game? The size of life?

You got my interest. To the World Wide Web!

And on the museum’s Facebook page we find this:


If you don’t think it’s a good use of tax dollars, well, sorry.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Where Councillors Have Donated Your Tax Dollars

- April 25th, 2013

This afternoon a joint committee of council will debate proposed changes to how council members can spend their annual office budgets. One of the changes would limit donations to 3.5% of each council member’s budget. As some councillors argued this week, the restriction would hurt community groups that have relied on those regular gifts.

(Also see Susan Sherring’s column today that tees up the committee meeting.)

To give you a taste of where councillors donate, I put together this list of donations, memberships and sponsorships expensed by politicians so far this year. The numbers come from the monthly disclosures posted on the city’s website.

This category doesn’t include expenses for tickets and special events but you can find those numbers in the disclosures, too.

It will be interesting to watch the donations over the next two months. If council agrees with a recommendation to implement the spending restrictions starting July 1, politicians could be scrambling to donate.

Donations for January and February 2013

Mayor Jim Watson

Orléans Coun. Bob Monette
Orléans Army Cades Corps ($150)
Gift cards for community events ($125)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)

Innes Coun. Rainer Bloess
Orléans Army Cadets Corps ($150)
Membership for Royal Canadian Legion Branch 632 ($60)
Ottawa Riverkeeper event ($27)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)
Ecole Secondaire Publique Gisele-Lalonde graduation bursary ($200)

Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder
Greater Nepean Chamber of Commerce ($250)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)

Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson
Kanata Chamber of Commerce People’s Choice Business Awards ($204)
Kanata Minor Hockey bantam charity tournament ($160)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)

West Carleton-March Coun. Eli El-Chantiry
Kanata Chamber of Commerce People’s Choice Business Awards ($204)
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 617 “Old Sled Run” ($150)
West Carleton Seniors’ Council, “West Carleton Seniors Games” ($500)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)
Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre “Ottawa Good Food Box” ($150)
Cheshire Cat Pub “Tim Jar Fundraiser” ($86)

Stittsville Coun. Shad Qadri
Kanata Chamber of Commerce People’s Choice Business Awards ($204)
Talisman Flowers “In memory of the Corshis family” ($118)
Hockey for Little Hearts tournament ($50)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)
Royal Ottawa Hospital “Do It For Daron” ($100)

Bay Coun. Mark Taylor
Food cupboards at Britannia Woods and Foster Farm ($300)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)
Food cupboards at Foster Farm, Britannia Woods and Michelle Heights ($570)

College Coun. Rick Chiarelli
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)

Knoxdale-Merivale Coun. Keith Egli
Merivale Gardens Community Association annual winter fun day ($150)
General Burns Community Association annual skating party ($100)
Hockey Day in Ward 9 ($200)
Fisher Heights and Area Community Association annual winter fun day and pot luck supper ($150)
Manordale-Woodvale Community Association annual winter carnival ($150)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)
Greater Nepean Chamber of Commerce community charity breakfast sponsorship ($250)
Myers Riders Football Club sports trivia fundraising gala ($200)

Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)

Beacon Hill-Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)

Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)
La Nouvelle Scene “Soiree Benefice 2013″ ($150)

Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Peter Clark

Somerset Coun. Diane Holmes
Ottawa ACORN ($200)
Membership: Heritage Ottawa ($25)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)

Kitchissippi Coun. Katherine Hobbs
Ottawa ACORN ($100)
Champlain Park winter festival supplies ($39)
Orange Art Gallery rental for book launch ($153)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)
Champlain Park winter carnival ($91)

River Coun. Maria McRae
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($25)

Alta Vista Coun. Peter Hume
Alta Vista Community Association, 2013 Alta Vista Picnic ($1,000)
Eastway Gardens Community Association 2013 Eastway Gardens/Cecil Morrison Park summer fun day ($1,000)

Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais
University of Ottawa “Monument de la Francophonie ($250)
Cumberland Bandits fundraiser, gift baskets ($202)

Osgoode Coun. Doug Thompson
St. Mark’s High School graduation ($200)
Make A Wish of Eastern Ontario ($100)
Plowing for a Cure ($300)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)
Gloucester Fair ($350)
Hockey for Little Hearts ($200)
Christian Community School gift certificates ($90)
Metcalfe Skating Club ($100)
Supplies for gift baskets to be donated at community events ($530)

Rideau-Goulbourn Coun. Scott Moffatt
Kanata Chamber of Commerce People’s Choice Business Awards ($204)
5th Annual Hopewell “Love your Life” Valentine’s Gala ($750)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)

Gloucester-South Nepean Coun. Steve Desroches
Membership: Greater Nepean Chamber of Commerce ($244)
Nepean Camber of Commerce “Community Charity Breakfast” sponsorship ($250)

Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley
Kanata Chamber of Commerce People’s Choice Business Awards ($204)
United Way dinner auction ($100)
Kanata Bantam Charity Tournament ($160)
Ottawa Mission “Feed the Hungry” ($69)