Lord, save me from a sanctimonious politician imploring everyone else from politicizing an issue. Save me from partisan rhetoric dressed in post-partisan garb. Save me from ridiculous diatribes. Save me from the hubris.
Oh, sorry, I’m not being terribly specific. This could be about pretty much anything. My bad. Let me try again.
Lord, save me from Lisa MacLeod. (No relation. The spelling should give it away.)
Let me offer a bit of background. One of the defining features of our city is the Central Experimental Farm. Built in 1886, the farm is a valuable research facility. It provides knowledge and economic benefits to our city and our nation. It doubles as an educational institution. So many Ottawa school kids have received hands-on learning thanks to the farm.
It’s also a fabulous bit of greenspace. Take a walk, ride your bike, go for a jog. These are some of the pastimes in which you can take part in the farm. And there are fewer things more magical in our city than walking through the farm in the black of night and seeing the Northern Lights.
I don’t know what MacLeod thinks of the farm, but I know what she thinks of the attempts of local residents to save the farm.
“I just hope this isn’t an idea by local Liberals to say let’s undo everything (former federal Tory cabinet minister) John Baird did. We don’t have time for that,” she lamented.
Opposition to a poorly thought-out giveaway of a public asset is just Liberals hating on John Baird, apparently.
“If we are going to reopen (the search for a hospital site), the federal government has got to be cognizant of the real timelines the provincial government has. It shouldn’t just be because John Baird is a Conservative.”
Look, we’re not talking about reopening the process. The process was never open to begin with. There was no consultation with the public. There was no consultation with the farm. There was no consultation with scientists.
The Ottawa Hospital, complicit in all this with federal politicians and bureaucrats, made sure this wasn’t an open process.
Local residents aren’t the ones playing politics. The Conservative Party spent years playing politics with our city, and now MacLeod is carrying water for their (hopefully) failed vision of a lesser Ottawa.
Remember the Victims of Communism memorial? The backers and the NCC worked together to find a nice little spot for it, the Garden of the Provinces. This spot, on “Confederation Boulevard” wasn’t good enough for the Conservatives. They decided that all the non-partisan planning that had gone into the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP) of the Parliamentary Precinct should be scuttle for their pet project.
The NCC never seemed on board. The decision not only went against the LTVP, it went against their mission, as well. The Tories didn’t care. They stacked the NCC board and made sure that this monstrosity went through. It wasn’t supported by Canadians. And it wasn’t supported by Ottawans.
So, yes, the federal Liberals and the NCC are undoing the damage done by John Baird and the Conservatives. This isn’t playing politics. This is scrubbing cynical political maneuvering from city-building.
John Baird was not a trustworthy steward of the NCC or our city. The Liberals could hardly do any worse.