Radio Topics, January 26th

Well, with rain like that I guess I have seen all that January weather can offer, at least short of an ice storm. I’m comfortable with that. Anyway, January showers bring February flowers. Join josh and me at 8:30 where we will be joined by Shawn and Safwan of Wide Mouth Mason, who play Mavericks Wednesday night.

We’ll also touch on the following:

Prorogation protests! 20,000 people in almost 50 cities rallied against Parliament shutting down on Saturday. Josh was there. I was at Ikea.

Ottawa city council begins the budget deliberations. On the chopping block: bus routes, semester bus passes, and cutting Crime Prevention Ottawa. With a name like that, the “Ottawa Free Ice Cream for Orphans project” would have a greater chance of getting axed.

Raw milk activist wins court fight. Zombie Louis Pasteur is angry.

Ontario signs sweetheart deal with Samsung to build windmills. $7 billion gets you 1400 jobs!

Four years of Stephen Harper. Apparently we’ve changed him.

Colvin accuses government of getting back at him for his criticism.

Indefinately detained double feature: CSIS agent says we have nothing to suggest Harkat is a terrorist AND Supreme Court to rule on Omar Khadr on friday.

Ottawa bands to host Haiti fundraiser on Saturday.

Love is officially dead: Brangelina to split up. She apparently will get the kids, he’ll get the ridiculous eponyms.

George Dark on the Lansdowne Design Review Panel

This morning, I had the chance to chat with George Dark, who is heading up the Lansdowne Strategic Design Review and Advisory Panel. To bring people up to speed, as part of moving forward with the Lansdowne Live plan, the city opted to appoint a design panel to help sort out what the whole thing is actually going to look like.

I was already generally supportive of the Lansdowne Live plan, mostly because I was pretty sure that we were going to let hopes of the BEST PLAN EVER get in the way of something that we can all use and enjoy, but this makes me a lot more hopeful. Coming from this, I think its a lot clearer that much of what we’ve already seen is largely a first draft, that we sorta know what the pieces that are going to be used are, but not actually what exact form they’ll take. That’s a good sign.

There is also room for optimism in that it sounds like there is  going to be, or is at least an option for, public consultation in the early design phase. So, bidding companies will be encouraged to actually come and talk to the people that live here to help shape their proposal. That’s a good thing for a project that, rightly or wrongly, has left a nasty feeling of being imposed. We should all get uppity and make sure that happens.

Jim Watson, Mayoral Candidate

This morning, Josh and I had a chance to chat with Ottawa mayoral candidate Jim Watson. We talked about why he was looking to come back to municipal politics, the challenges of a 10-month campaign (especially with the burden of a “front-runner” moniker), and talked specifically about transit and Lansdowne.

Watson clarified his comments from last week a bit, but still used some the phrasing that frustrated Reevely so last week (“Cut the suit to fit the cloth”, etc.) We pushed a bit on the transit issue, but he’s still pretty vague as to what something being affordable means. That said, he was pretty clear that it’s important to move forward on these files, and it doesn’t sound like he is going to look to change decisions that have already been made should he be elected. That’s a good thing.

Anyway, Watson is going to be an interesting force over the next year: he’s pretty clearly the front runner, and suspect that he’s going to be pretty tough to beat over the course of it. That means that, as we decide on these big issues, his opinion should have some affect amongst the public, even if he doesn’t get an actual vote at council.

This is the second of our conversations with mayoral candidates, having previously spoken with Alex Cullen. We’ll keep plugging away as time and circumstances permit, and will endeavour to speak with people again as things actually start to happen. We also won’t limit ourselves to the city-wide race, and will likely start turning our eyes to some choice council seats closer to the date.

Radio Topics, January 19th

We’ve got a pretty exciting show lined up for tomorrow: at 7:30, we’ll be joined by mayoral hopeful Jim Watson; at 8:30, we’ll talk with George Dark, who is heading up the Lansdowne Strategic Design Review and Advisory Panel.

We’ll also touch on some of the following:

Iggy- make that Mr. Ignatieff- finishes his campus tour at the University of Ottawa.Josh was there.

In and out decision is out. Shifting spending space is apparently in.

Cabinet shuffle day! Best guess is that some people that made mistakes will be demoted, others will be promoted. The largely faceless and unidentifiable will still be faceless and unidentifiable.

McGuinty clears the air on LRT.

New Brunswick to revise hydro sale deal.

Liberals silence Ross Rebagliati

“Electrosensitives” bothered by electrical tower that had been turned off for 6 months.

Andrew Nikiforuk on Wiebo Ludwig and sour gas activism

This morning, Josh spoke with Andrew Nikiforuk on Wiebo Ludwig’s recent arrest and release in relation to a series of pipeline bombings in BC. Josh has a pretty good outline of the situation, and I suspect that we are going to hear more about this now that the search warrant is complete, but Nikiforuk makes a really neat comparison between this sort of situation and a divide between urban and rural Canada. Essentially, urban folk take for granted where our energy comes from, despite its extraction often having a pretty terrible effect on some rural communities way of life- effect’s that we would not brook ourselves.

Now, after the show Josh and I kicked ourselves for not leading out with Corb Lund’s “This is my prairie”, which more or less exactly mirrors the sort of sentiments that Nikiforuk talks about (and that have surrounded Ludwig for the last decade or more.) So, to make up for it, here it is on some other radio show on some other station, who happen to have video cameras rolling for making radio. Crazy.

This morning, I spoke with Colin Carmichael of It’s an umbrella website created to help coordinate the frustration with prorogation of parliament and manifest it in something real. So, at the site you’ll be able to see a reasonably impressive list of cities where some form of event will be taking place on January 23rd to protest parliament’s suspension. Our conversation focused mostly the dispersed nature of the organization and the challenge of translating facebook group activisim (slactivism?) into actual action

Radio Topics, January 12th

We’ve got an exciting show lined up tomorrow: at 7:30, I’ll be joined by Colin Carmichael of to talk about the growing grassroots criticism of the government’s decision to prorogue. At 8:30, Josh will speak with Andrew Nikiforuk about the recent arrest (and release without charge) of activist Wiebo Ludwig in relation to a series of pipeline bombings in BC. As always, we are on the air from 7-9am on 93.1fm in Ottawa, for people from everywhere else.

We’ll also touch on some of the following:

Watson looks likely to throw his hat in the ring.

Hartman’s piano gets pulled.

Man attacked by pet tiger.

Mark McGwire juiced. In other news, Kieth Richards has used narcotics.

Legal aid lawyers to expand boycott of low rates.

Coyote cull contest criticized

Alex Cullen, the first 2010 Mayoral Candidate

This morning, we spoke with Bay Ward councillor and mayoral candidate Alex Cullen. The audio is below.

Cullen is first out the gate, and is obviously quick to frame himself as an experienced guy that knows what he’s doing and is unafraid to speak realisitically about taxes and services. His efforts on transparency are along the same vein. You can expect that this will be a dominant theme from a couple of candidates, including some of the rumoured high-profile ones, so it makes sense to try to associate himself with it early.

Also, as a heads up, I’ll be trying to get all of the candidates, as they declare, for similar interviews. I’ll probably also touch back with candidates as things move forward.

Also also, you should check out Cullen’s website at He’s right that it’s a bit rough (and there was some twitter catcalling to that effect yesterday), but he does have a fair number of ideas and issues up there, so it’s worth a look.

Radio Topics, January 5th

Welcome to 2010! I hope everyone had a good vacation, and that they aren’t resenting getting back to the grind of the real world *too* much. As mentioned over the last few shows, Adam is travelling through Europe for the next couple of months, so in his stead we will be joined by my good friend Josh Zanin.

We’ve got quite the show lined up for this week. At 8:30, we’ll be talking with the first person to enter the race for Mayor in the fall municipal elections, Bay Ward Councillor Alex Cullen. The Citizen has details.

We’ll also touch on some of the following:

Parliament to take an extended winter break, watch olympics, and not ask pesky questions of the government.

Suddenly less beautiful kicked off of vain dating site in what is almost certainly a great PR stunt for getting kinda fat.

Man’s attempt to blow up plane via underpants ignition prompts airline security crackdown.

Irish Atheists challenge new law banning speech blasphemy. The enlightenment wants their tensions back.

“Postal Code” lottery for cancer treatment?

Downtown transit tunnel one step closer to reality.

Dead Sea Scrolls bring with them interesting history, controversy over ownership, in visiting Toronto.