Tag Archives: lee

Gaia Java a welcoming venue for up-and-coming musicians

(PHOTO: Greg Lee played to a crowd of friends, family and fans at Gaia Java on April 21.)

MARIE TOOK A FIVE DOLLAR BILL OUT OF HER WALLET and with a wide smile dropped it in the large round mason jar with a black sign that says “support the artist.”

Of course, she wasn’t just supporting the artist who was playing at Gaia Java on a Friday night last month. She was supporting her son – Greg Lee, 17, who was playing to a house of friends, family and a few strangers who walked in to hear the sweet chords emanating from his acoustic guitar. Continue reading


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Book chronicles dreams and fears of original settlers

The life of 19th century Canadian immigrants was rough, and quite often deadly.  Their eventual triumph over natural and human-made adversity, and the foundation they laid for our community, is downright incredible.  That’s my takeaway from Olive Caldwell Lee’s 2015 book, “Living Out The Dream” .

The book is historical fiction, but has a solid footing in fact.  Lee weaves together her own family’s oral history with letters, official documents and heaps of genealogical research to tell the stories of George Argue and Forest Caldwell as they escaped brutal conditions in Ireland for the promise of a better life in Canada in the early 19th century.

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Corporate campaign donation rules need reform, say observers

Individuals closely tied to the Richcraft company donated over $11,500 to municipal candidates in 2014, in addition to $4,500 in corporate contributions made by the company itself.

While no election rules were broken, two municipal observers say that these contributions demonstrate that corporations have an unfair advantage over individuals in election campaigns. Continue reading


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EDITORIAL: Dave Lee is waking up the neighbours

(ABOVE: A cake at Dave Lee’s election night party. Photo by Glen Gower.)

I remember the first time I talked to Dave Lee.  It was September 12, the morning after he filed his nomination papers and entered the race to become Stittsville’s city councillor.  There are three things I remember about that conversation:

  1. He was surprised at how quickly word got around that he was running. “My phone’s going wild,” he said.  “That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen the city work.”
  2. He was focused on the Orgaworld / green bin topic. He must have talked for a good 10 or 15 minutes about it.
  3. He wasn’t focused on winning so much as he was focused on getting people engaged and aware about city issues (particularly Orgaworld).

Lee came a long way from that early morning conversation, winning an impressive 39% of the vote on Monday night against two-term, eight-year incumbent Shad Qadri.

He ran a very effective campaign. With the help of some experienced volunteers, he blanketed the ward with his distinctive black and red signs, attracted around 100 people to a meet-and-greet at the Main Street Pub, knocked on doors, debated, fielded phone calls and emails, and interacted with residents on Facebook and Twitter.

He took his original beef with Orgaworld and turned it into a broader complaint about process and financial oversight at City Hall.  I didn’t agree with where he stood on many of the issues but at least he gave us the opportunity, as a community, to discuss them.

The feisty public debate at Johnny Leroux Arena struck me as being out-of-character for the normally subdued Village of Stittsville.  One veteran politician told me it reminded her of some of the old meetings at Goulbourn Township council, where (in her words), there was a tradition of “loud and action-packed debates”.

We need more of that kind of discussion in Stittsville.  This community is growing fast and changing quickly and we need more leaders like Dave Lee to step up and get involved in shaping our future.

You don’t have to run for office to get involved. Read up on the issues, talk about them with your neighbours, volunteer for a community group, come out to public meetings, write an email to your councillor, comment on this blog. Dave woke Stittsville up, now it’s up to us to keep the momentum going.


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Audience gets feisty at candidate debate

Thursday night’s Stittsville ward debate was full of interruptions, accusations and arguing. And that was just from the audience.

About 150 people filled the community hall at Johnny Leroux Arena to watch the first live public debate between Dave Lee and Shad Qadri, the two men running to represent Stittsville on city council. The debate was organized by the Stittsville Village Association (SVA). Continue reading


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Candidate Q&A: Dave Lee and Shad Qadri (Part 1)

We sent a questionnaire to all of the candidates for city council and school board in Stittsville.  We’ve already published answers from the English Public Board and Catholic Board candidates, and today we have Part 1 of the answers from Dave Lee and Shad Qadri, the two candidates running in Ward 6 for Ottawa City Council. (Read Part 2 here.) Continue reading


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Lee, Qadri square off over Orgaworld in Rogers 22 tv debate

In a televised debate on Rogers 22, Shad Qadri said he followed the advice of professional engineers and legal experts before he voted in favour of the Orgaworld green bin contract.

The contract is a 20-year, $160-million agreement between the City of Ottawa and Orgaworld for green bin collection service. An auditor’s report released earlier this year said that city staff mis-led councillors during the contract review process.

The contract and the auditor’s report have been a central theme in Dave Lee’s campaign.  Lee, who’s challenging Qadri in this election, said that the contract and lack of due diligence by city staff is “a microcosm of how they’re doing business at City Hall.” Continue reading


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