I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Ottawa. It’s a beautiful town with some great restaurants and lots of things to do.
But I get a little peeved when I read stuff like this.
Basically, Ottawa exists in a bubble.
The story is that Jean Cretien decided to build a Portrait Gallery of Canada. After massive cost overruns, Stephen Harper decided to cancel the project and put the gallery in another city somewhere else in Canada.
That prompted the city to actually commission a study that showed it would cost $2.5 million more per year to run the gallery outside of Ottawa.
The fact that the cost of the gallery in Ottawa had already ballooned from $22 million to over $44 million seems to have been lost somewhere in the mix.
I’m hip to the fact that Ottawa wants to retain every possible public service job in their town. I know there were serious efforts to block any attempt to move any public jobs out of Ottawa (the failed Paul Martin promise). Jean Cretien said in 1994 that the Internet would be the ‘great equalizer’. Jobs that formerly could only have been done in urban areas could now be done in the far flung hinterland.
Then he proceeded in the latter part of his mandate to hire thousands of new bureaucrats – right in Ottawa.
So you get all the jobs. Flaherty cancelled all talk of moving jobs to anywhere else. But now even that measily little gallery project is being strong-armed back into Ottawa.
However, if you read this article, you will see that there is talk of putting it right in Stephen Harper’s riding.