Today's letters: City of Ottawa shouldn't ticket these out-of-towners
This past weekend, hundreds of families converged on the soccer park off Bearbrook Road in Blackburn Hamlet to watch and cheer on teams of young women playing in an annual soccer tournament. Families travelled from all over Ontario and Quebec to support these amazing girls playing a sport they love. Over two days, supporting families pumped a significant amount of money back into the local community.
How does the city of Ottawa respond to this effort? Knowing that this tournament occurs every year in August in the same location, it deploys two parking enforcement officers and an Ottawa police cruiser to Bearbrook Road and tickets the cars of the families for two solid days.
The city knows this tournament is going to occur, and that there is not enough parking at the soccer park for the hundreds of families that will be there to support their daughters. The city knows that the families will be forced to park along Bearbrook Road if they want to watch and support their daughters. To purposefully and wilfully target these families in order to take advantage of a cash-grab opportunity is despicable.
I wonder if the revenue from the tickets, less the wages of the two parking officers and police officer for two days, was worth the black eye Ottawa receives for this behaviour?
Simon Parker, Orléans
How about municipal ministries?
Re: Time to consider electing councillors-at-large, Aug. 10.
Mohammed Adam opines that Ottawa council needs roaming “councillors-at-large” dedicated to regarding the city as a whole and having the power to improve on it, because the current system only encourages regional parochialism.
But why opt for such a ministers-without-portfolio approach, when it would be far easier and more logical to actually create municipal ministries – dedicated to infrastructure improvement and (who knows?) – maybe even planning things out in our jumble of contradictory one-way streets, for instance? If, as he says, most of the 23 councillors represent rural and suburban communities, then they wouldn’t have to fear being denied the chance to elect their own to these ministries.
Would establishing some permanent and pro-active municipal ministries be so much worse than today’s system of randomly and retroactively forming and dissolving ad-hoc committees as crises develop? We wouldn’t even need the proposed “party” model, either; by default, our existing councillors should already all be dedicated members of the “Ottawa Party.” Why “threaten change” when this common-sense political model has never yet even been tried at the municipal level – at least, not hereabouts – at all?
Gord Brown, Ottawa
Potholes and cracks still get the job done
Re: Ottawa pilot program adds new dimension to slow down traffic, Aug 11.
The 3-D road markings on Othello Avenue do indeed appear to be an actual speed bump and are effective at least on the first occasion, but knowing it’s an illusion, will they be effective again?
The previous speed-calming device on Othello was quite effective: potholes and cracks! They are still there, by the way.
Denis Lemire, Alta Vista
Here’s how to reduce gun crimes
The best and most effective way to reduce gun crime by gangs and other criminals is to change the Criminal Code by:
• Increasing the sentence for the use of a firearm during the commission of a crime;
• Adding additional, increased time for being in possession of an illegal firearm;
• Not granting bail to offenders.
• If the criminal repeats the firearms offence, increase the penalties even further.
Make an example of these criminals. Let them and their associates know there are consequences. As it stands now, the judicial system has failed the community with light sentencing and easy bail.
John Gagnon, Ottawa