Shawn Menard on “Our Ottawa”

Yesterday on CKCU I had a conversation with Shawn Menard on the “Our Ottawa” group. There’s been lot’s of hints over the past few months as to what exactly the organization is, much to the consternation of some. They’ve been pitching themselves as a “network of community organizations”, and their first real release was more than a little cagey, though it does position them of being generally in favour of centre-leftish (with an emphasis on the centre) urbanist ideas. You won’t find much disagreement in this corner with things like restricting the urban boundary, supporting services like Crime Prevention Ottawa, or a more general push to city-wide thinking.

I think the interview clears things up a little bit more, leaving a bit of a better scope of who is actually involved. It’s also pretty clear that there is some manner of organisation behind the group, and they aim to make it more than an umbrella title for a coalition of like-minded groups. While they aren’t going to run a slate of candidates, they are going to do some decidedly slate-like things and (I paraphrase here) endorse candidates that are willing to endorse their principles, and maybe even look out to find some people to carry the flag. It seemed pretty clear that endorsement will come with at least some organizational and volunteer support.

That’s a pretty big deal, especially if they are as organized as they make it sound. Unseating incumbent councillors is a daunting prospect, even if you have a group of dedicated and connected volunteers, but is certainly not impossible. The real advantage will probably be in open contests, of which there are at least three so far. Council candidates have a notoriously tough time trying to build profile, so being able to associate with a larger group of ideas can only help.

We’re still a ways off from the election, and it’s still a bit early to tell exactly what effect this will have at the ballot box. At this point, I think that its fair to say that they will be an important part of the campaign, and should make the council races a whole lot more interesting. Short of it being a spectacular failure,  I expect that we’re going to see more coordination like this in the future, and especially from those that disagree with what Our Ottawa ultimately advocates.

Our Ottawa is organizing a rally today at noon at City Hall to oppose the re-opening of the urban boundary, so if you are around you should go and check that out.

Radio Topics, February 23rd

Happy Tuesday! Welcome to the second full week of the Vancouver Olympics, a time where our normal mid-games hysteria at not winning is all the more urgent because they are being played within Canada. To help offset the growing realization that we probably won’t actually own the podium (and the nagging fear in all of us that Germany will beat our Men’s hockey team), Adam and I have an exciting show lined up. Join us from 7 until 9 on CKCU FM, 93.1 for those with radis, www.ckcufm.com for everyone else.

At 8:30, I’ll talk with Shawn Menard of “Our Ottawa”, an collective of community organizers that is looking to have its voice heard in the lead up to and during the coming Municipal election. ]

Canada’s last WW1 veteran dies. Gordon Lightfoot: still allive.

Transit Committee bumps stroller ban to full council.

Obama has a plan for the Great lakes: no Brodeur in it.

Quebec Finance minister muses that the era of something for nothing might be coming to an end.

Lansdowne design symposiums begin tonight!

Chris Page, live on CKCU

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of having Chris Page in studio to talk about his new album, “A Date with a Smoke Machine”. In a fit of absentmindedness, I forgot to record the first half of the conversation, so you missed out on him singing Summertime Out, which is a shame because it’s my favourite track from the album. Worry not, though, as you still get the second half of our conversation and another in-studio song.

The in studio performances sounded excellent, but the CD itself is even better: it’s catchy and personal and filled with the sort of songs that will get in your head and have you humming. Think of it as a sort of vaccine against the wretched CTV olympic theme.

The CD release show is next Saturday at Dom Polski SPK (Waverly near Bank), with Camp Radio and Year Zero opening.

Radio Topics for February 16th

I can almost guarantee that there won’t be any student listeners this morning as all university students in Ottawa are enjoying there reading week. However its business as usual on the Tuesday Morning Special Blend. At 8:15 we will be speaking with Matthew Barber who has a new album being released on the 23rd. Then at 8:30 we will have Chris Page in studio. Chris is part of the Kelp Records family and has a new album being released today. As per usual we air on 93.1 CKCU FM in Ottawa and www.ckcufm.com for everyone else.

Michael Ignatieff has priorities for this upcoming parliament. In a rare move for the Liberal Party he has actually made these public.

Non-natives are told to leave the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake near Montreal.

Vancouver 2010: On now at a television near you.

An appeal in the case of Toronto 18 member Saad Gaya and maybe not from the side you would expect.

Get your very own “I slept with Adam Giambrone” pin today!

Family Day protests by people who want the province to pay for them to have a family to celebrate the new holiday with.

CFB Trenton gets a new commander for pretty obvious reasons.

Radio Topics for February 9th

The three of us are all back this week so tune in to listen to the new and improved Tuesday Morning Special Blend Line-up. With that kind of tag line how could we not be the #1 morning show in Ottawa? Disregarding commercial cliches at 7:30 Adam will be talking with Councilor Clive Doucet regarding his latest proposal involving Lansdowne and the NCC. As per usual we air on 93.1 CKCU FM in Ottawa and at www.ckcufm.com for everyone else.

CTV Ottawa’s studios go up in flames but thousands of historical broadcasts are saved by building supervisor.

First Saskatchewan, then Ottawa cut funding to the First Nation’s University and now it is closing its doors.

G7 Finance Ministers trek up to the Arctic for a weekend of winter fun.

The Conscription Crisis: Afghanistan version

Jack Layton is diagnosed with prostate cancer

In more Lansdowne related news, two Ottawa architects are chosen to design the site.

Now the medical isotope crisis has gotten really bad as the Dutch reactor goes offline.

Jill Zmud, live in studio

This morning, I had the pleasure of talking with Ottawa’s own Jill Zmud about her new album, coming to writing music past the “Britney years”, and the nature of musical collaboration in town. She had her guitar, and also treated us to live acoustic versions of “East of the Line” and “Wish”.

She plays in Memphis in the near future, for those heading to Tennessee. She plays Ottawa again later in March.

The Journal of Public Transit in Ottawa Launches

This morning, Adam had a chance to chat with Peter Raaymakers of Public Transit in Ottawa about their new Journal on, of all things, public transit it Ottawa. The journal is free, online, and has a neat community-reviewed structure, and deserves to be checked out.

Wide Mouth Mason on the Special Blend

Last week, Josh had the opportunity to talk with members of Wide Mouth Mason about life returning to the road, what they’ve been up to in the last few years, and revisiting past concerts to make a live album.

They played Maverick’s last week, so ignore the pushing of the show. At times the phone was a bit spotty, so I do apologize if their are audio hiccups.

Radio Topics, Groundhog Day edition

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today.

Forgive me: you only host a radio show on Groundhog’s day so often.

We have an exciting show lined up for this week: After 6 weeks away travelling the world and landing at AZNAC beach a century too late, Adam returns. If we’re lucky; he’ll regale with stories from the road. If he’s lucky, we won’t make him run up Dunton Tower while doing it.

At 7:30, we’ll be joined by Ottawa songstress Jill Zmud. At 8, we’ll chat with Darryl Boyce, Assistant Vice-President (Facilities Management and Planning) at Carleton, about the University’s new campus master plan. At 8:30, we’ll speak with Peter Raaymakers from Public Transit in Ottawa about their new Journal of Public Transit in Ottawa.

Also, apart from a series of terrible Groundhog puns, we’ll touch on the some of the following:

Ottawa’s growing need for a Springfield-esque coyote patrol.

Omar Khadr, Conservative Government simultaneously win and lose. Charter rights definitely lose.

Make parts of the moon an out-of-this-world heritage site?

Daycare to be Liberal priority number 1?

City finally considers fixing sewage overflow problem. Hint: It involves letting it mellow.

Obama unveils budget that has deficit best-articulated with made up numbers.