(Councillor Glen Gower at his Stittsville ward office in the CardelREC-Goulbourn Complex, 1500 Shea Road. Photo: Stittsville Central)
At the February 21, 2020 joint meeting of Ottawa’s Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) and the Nominating Committee, a mini municipal restructure was put to a vote to replace six committee vacancies — the Vice-Chair of FEDCO; a member-at-large on FEDCO; a Vice-Chair of the Planning Committee; the Chair of the Ottawa Public Library board of trustees; the Chair of the Built-Heritage Sub-Committee; and, a council member on the Shaw Centre’s board of directors.
This restructuring stemmed from the recent resignation of Councillor Stephen Blais as Chair of the Transportation Committee and from the board at Hydro Ottawa. Blais is currently running as the Liberal candidate in the Orleans provincial by-election. In turn, Councillor Tim Tierney replaced Blais on the Transportation Committee as Chair — these moves resulted in the six vacancies that required filling.
The following nominations were put in place:
- Innes Ward Councillor Laura Dudas was nominated for vice-chair of the Finance and Economic Development Committee;
- Stittsville Councillor Glen Gower was nominated as Member at-large of the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Vice-Chair of the Planning Committee;
- Orleans Councillor Matthew Luloff was nominated for Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board;
- Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Rawlson King was nominated for Vice-Chair of the Built-Heritage Sub-committee; and,
- George Darouze was nominated for the Council member on the Shaw Centre board of directors
Councillor Gower was successful in his nomination to both the FEDCO and as Vice-Chair of the Planning Committee. FEDCO is accountable for all high-level fiscal and management policy issues, along with communications and public engagement, as well as a wide swathe of important activities falling under its purview — basically the Cabinet of City Hall. The Planning Committee is responsible for overseeing all development and planning from zoning, community planning, site design and affordable housing.
On Councillor Gower’s new appointments, he told Stittsville Central, “It’s important to me to sit on these committees because they put me in a better position to represent the interests of Stittsville residents. I already have a seat on Planning Committee but as Vice-Chair I get a bigger leadership role in shaping policy and priorities that help determine how our city grows. The seat on FEDCO is important as well because the committee deals with some of the highest-profile issues at the City.”
With the unrest among the City’s central hub Councillors, Gower added, “I know there’s some discussion about whether or not there should be more downtown representation on the committees. From my perspective I’m focused 100% on putting myself in a position where I can deliver on what I’ve committed to for my ward. I have no apologies about being as proactive as possible and getting myself into committees and building the relationships with council colleagues so that I can achieve those objectives for our community.”
Committee work delves into and deals with all elements of a particular file. The file is scrutinized and questioned by the committee members before being presented to full Council for a final vote. In most instances, Council takes into consideration the final recommendations provided by a committee. It should be noted that all Councillors can attend any committee meeting and provide their input.
Ottawa’s Council will consider the nominations at its regular meeting on Wednesday, February 26th.
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