Earl McRae to RC: “Pants on fire!”

If you were a deceitful career politician or a smug bureaucrat wasting tax dollars, who would you rather have on your butt – Randall Denley or Earl McRae?

Bob and Rick Chiarelli would say “neither!”

Randall’s sharp pen sliced and diced Mayor Bob on a regular basis in the Citizen, and now he’s even going after Minister Chiarelli’s job!

Earl's biting sarcasm in the Sun has made Rick Chiarelli the butt of many jokes city-wide and pretty much ended his aspirations to higher political office.

He caught Rick telling a huge whopper when he fabricated the existence of Don Robertson (supposedly the long-lost descendent of John Robertson, the guy who had given Rick the green light to rename the strip Lloyd Francis Boulevard).

If the Vox fox wasn’t telling the truth about that, it makes people wonder what other fibs he’s telling us.

Watch out, deceitful politicians and smug bureaucrats who waste taxpayer dollars!

Earl’s a bulldog and once he sinks his teeth into your butt he won’t let go:

Darwin deserves naming honour
Earl McRae, Ottawa Sun
earl.mcrae@sunmedia.ca

My first worry: That city councillor Rick Chiarelli will come out proclaiming he’s found the great great grandson of Merivale who’s against it.

There’s no great great grandson of Merivale just as there is no great great grandson of the iconic pioneer John Robertson even though Chiarelli said the mythical great great grandson told him he was all for whacking the name Robertson Rd. as part of the councillor’s grandiose revitalization plan for Bells Corners.

My second worry: That the city politicians will not do a thing, that they will not, as they were asked a year ago, honour with a permanent memorial in the visual landscape the late Howard Darwin whose contributions over many years, and in many ways, to the sporting culture of Ottawa was determining and unsurpassed.

How can this city not memorialize Howard Darwin as it has memorialized persons less deserving than the man who gave the city the Ottawa 67’s, owned the team for decades, was the impetus for the construction of the Civic Centre, brought Triple A baseball to the capital, owned the team, successfully lobbied for the construction of the stadium, supported, and through hard times, kept alive the Beaver Boxing Club, promoted boxing and wrestling in the city, donated his time and, privately, life-support money to countless sports groups through the ages.

Howard Darwin died at the age of 78 in October 2009. In July of 2010, his widow, Connie, wrote to the city’s community and protective services committee that is responsible for commemorative naming, asking consideration for her husband. “I wanted to see something for him before I’m dead and gone.” She was sent an application form to fill out. Darwin met the criteria,

Nine months earlier, at Darwin’s funeral, then-mayor Larry O’Brien expressed enthusiasm for a commemorative naming to Howard’s son Jeff; said he’d get the ball rolling.

And because Rick Chiarelli is the councillor for the riding Connie lives in, as well as being a member of the community and protective services committee, her sons Jeff and Jack arranged a meeting with him at his office in the summer of 2010.

“He was all for it,” says Jeff. “He assured us it’s going to be done. He told us he was the master at this kind of thing. But, once he got elected that fall, he didn’t return my calls.”

With the election, and a new mayor, the Darwin application got shunted off to nowhere.

The absolute best answer for a Darwin commemorative naming is the Civic Centre, and that’s what Connie suggested in the application form. It won’t happen. Not when there’s money to be made in the Lansdowne redevelopment by selling the naming rights.

Why would the corporate barons forget their damn wallets and make an honourable exception for a man who deserves it when they can get bucks for naming the place Ace’s National Laundry Service Arena, or some such sterile nonsense?

On Aug. 29 this year, Connie Darwin wrote to councillor Mark Taylor, the current chairman of the community and protective services committee, asking the status of her application which she pointed out was submitted more than a year ago. “I have yet to receive a formal reply from anyone at the City,” she told Taylor.

To Taylor’s credit, he phoned her right away. “He told my mother that it was being revisited,” says Jeff Darwin.

The file is back from the dead? Good. Let’s believe Taylor’s not blowing smoke. But the Darwin family, suspecting the barons will dismiss Howard Darwin’s name for the Civic Centre, have an option in mind that appeals to them, and it is a good one, there is no reason it can’t be done.

Merivale Centennial Arena, owned by the City.

Around since 1965, it is undergoing a massive beautifaction which, eventually, will include two ice pads. “It’s in the west end where dad lived,” says Jeff Darwin, “and it’s going nowhere, it’ll be around for a long time.”

Changing the name to Howard Darwin Memorial Arena is not going to offend anyone named Merivale. It was not named after a person. And if Rick Chiarelli says he’s uncovered a great, great Merivale grandson against the re-naming, let him tell the great great grandson to stop being a selfish bastid — the name is on a road, a high school, a bowling alley, a mall, a pizzeria, and more.

Don’t let the politicians kick this one aside again: mark.taylor@ottawa.ca.

Earl is my hero for pointing out to so many people the fact that Emperor Rick is wearing no clothes. I’m hoping he’ll turn up at the public meeting at 7 p.m. on Tues. Sept. 27 at the Westcliffe Community building on Seyton Dr.

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2 Responses to Earl McRae to RC: “Pants on fire!”

  1. wanderer says:

    I sure hope a pile of people come to the meeting, and make their feelings known. What is the meeting about? Who can attend?? I’ll be there with my hubby to see what’s up.

    The more the merrier – let’s get some discussion going about what’s been going on, and what we think needs to happen now.

    – The meeting is being called by the Westcliffe Estates Community Association (WECA) as its Annual General Meeting (AGM). To have legitimacy an organization must hold a meeting once a year to give its members a chance to hear reports from the board (treasurer’s report, president’s report, membership report, etc.) and give residents a chance to ask questions and hold a vote (if anyone new is nominated to be on the executive). This meeting should be publicized in the community.

    Usually the AGM provides financial information (revenues and expenditures), but I’ve never seen any detailed info at any of the many WECA meetings I’ve been to (or on the WECA website). This is not a criticism of anyone – providing detailed information is just more work for the already overburdened volunteers on the executive. No one profits directly from being on the board, and volunteers hate suggestions from non-volunteers that they should work harder.

    Nevertheless, transparency and accountability are important goals, especially when so many tax dollars are at stake. When I was president of the Lynwood Village Community Association (LVCA) our meetimgs always included complete financial disclosure. Every penny of the rink grant was accounted for, along with all revenue from rental fees for the building, City grants, sponsorships, kickbacks and membership dues. All expenditures were similarly listed item by item.

    Normally an agenda for an AGM is made available in advance too – maybe it’ll be posted on the WECA website before Sept. 27.

    I’ve heard that the WECA will be using the meeting to lobby Rick and Jim for funds to complete the sidewalk to nowhere, a longstanding grievance, and install security cameras to end the expen$ive reign of terror of the vandals in Westcliffe Park.

    I talked to Bill and other members of the executive to confirm that all Bells Corners residents and journalists are welcome at this public meeting – how often do taxpayers get a chance to see their mayor and their councillor in public?

    Somebody will probably try to hit you up at the door for a membership (probably $10), but you don’t have to pay if you’re not a Westcliffe resident and you’re still welcome to attend and ask a question if you get a turn. So an evening of gripping political drama is absolutely free – there won’t be a better show in town on Sept. 27 (live or on the boob tube) as we watch Rick and Jim try to pull the wool over our eyes with their carefully staged dog and pony show.

  2. margaret says:

    ha! what a difference between the civic centre and merivale
    council is very quick to honour its own before they ‘go’

    I feel for the family – so typical of this city
    first for having to ask and then being ignored
    maybe Mr. Darwin never gave the councillors cash

    – Too bad he didn’t cough up – a small contribution of $300 to a councillor can have a huge payoff.

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