What a waste of money!

If you received this week’s so-called ‘community paper’ (what a misnomer!) you’ll notice another fawning article about Rick’s pet project, the Bells Corners Business Improvement Area (BIA). Desperate to make residents forget about his Lloyd Francis Boulevard bungling and his dumb move in inventing Don Robertson before next Tuesday’s public meeting, he called up his favourite reporter in order to stage yet another bogus photo op in front of Alex’s posh office (paid for by local struggling small businesses).

On the left we have Manny, who owns the Cock ‘n Bull – I used to patronize that place until I had a very unpleasant experience there. Then we have Alex Lewis, who used to sling beer for Manny and worked as a mall cop before Rick hired him as one of his office boys and then promoted him to BIA executive director. Beside Alex is Betty from Sew for it! , then we have Rick’s co-conspirator Jim, Mr. Doughnut himself and a couple of others who seem to be putting their own narrow interests first.

A Bells Corners BIA is a good idea, but we need one that promotes the interests of all the businesses in our community, not just the ones who have jumped onto Rick’s taxpayer-funded gravy train. So far the BIA has sucked about $200,000 out of Bells Corners businesses (the biggest chunk to pay the salary of the councillor’s former office boy) and has virtually nothing to show for it. The BIA does not represent the Bells Corners business community but is simply a business-funded extension of the councillor’s office, with an executive elected at a poorly-attended ‘secret’ meeting.

There’s nothing new in the article, unless you didn’t know that when the Department of National Defence takes over the Nortel campus it’ll be good for local businesses and real estate values in Bells Corners, where some homes are already in the million-dollar range. It’s only a matter of time before Rick tries to take credit for DND’s move to the west end, just as he falsely took credit for demolishing the Vox.

Jennifer’s puff piece didn’t fool everyone – here are one reader’s comments:

Whether DND’s influence is as positive as billed, I don’t see what the BIA has to do with it — DND employees are going to spend money in Bells Corners (or not) regardless of whether there’s a BIA or what it does, which so far isn’t much. They promised an ad campaign years ago and never did it. They don’t organize events like the other BIAs do. The Play-Shop-Dine banners were ripped off from another BIA and they never apologized. I realize most of the executive’s hearts are in the right place but I am concerned that they’re totally adrift here. You can’t just claim credit for the Vox coming down or the Rexall going up– both 100% private transactions– and say you’re doing good work. In fact they even said the lot vacated by the Vox was going to be condos; the land isn’t even sold. Bottom line, are the businesses better or worse off with the BIA? Is anything different at all?

Also, has anyone else noticed how many stories have been run about the plans Chiarelli and the BIA have? That condo/hotel story ran in this very publication (this is the still-unsold parcel). Plans for condos. Plans for more hotels. Plans for ad campaigns. Plans for a website. Plans for a skateboard park. All are allegedly imminent and yet they never materialize. Those changes which do happen are because of someone else’s effort. I feel like he plays this publication’s staff for fools sometimes.

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9 Responses to What a waste of money!

  1. TonyL1 says:

    I read the “Bells Corners prepares for future” article, and literally dropped to floor, stuff like “BCBIA members are hard at work on seasonal banners” and “planning for planters to hold the tulips.”

    Jim Sourges is sadly mistaken about the direction he wants the neighborhood to go. He should go count the empty stores now – the number has increased since the BIA began imposing extra taxes and costs on the businesses to pay for the BIA’s lame plan and Rick’s renaming folly.

    Bells Corners is being ruined by people who put their own interests ahead of the community’s and it’s a damn shame.

    Hard at work? There’s still no BIA website. I hate to sound negative, I love Bells Corners, but to witness it die slowly is cruel and pathetic. Just take a look at the strip, it’s a jumbled mess of a dump.

    Jennifer McIntosh, why not interview the real people of Bells Corners, the people who truly care, and try getting the real story. Craig is the local hero here, not people like Rick and Alex and their co-conspirators.

  2. Jayme says:

    Tony, once DND moves to the Nortel site the empty stores in Bells Corners should quickly disappear, as there will be a huge demand for stores here.

    • margaret says:

      hope it does make a difference –
      but it’s just as easy to get to Bayshore or Kanata from there
      Nortel and its previous ‘companies’ also worked in BC
      so the connection was already there
      for a new group – there are no historical ties
      to them what BC offers will only be by word of mouth
      and right now there’s not much that is not available elsewhere

    • That is a very optimistic view and unfortunately not really the results that I would predict. I think there will be a small benefit to Darcy’s and Local Heroes at lunch but that is about it.

      Pinning the hopes of Bells Corners on DND is very foolish since the results are not likely to be as the BIA and RIck expect. They should be working on something else rather than waiting a few years just to realize they have greatly overestimated the impact DND is going to have.

      • margaret says:

        there are times I wonder if I’m the only one seeing the ‘big picture’ and able to look at things with a wider angle … glad some others can too

        like OCCW says – maybe D’Arcy McGees will benefit (it’s known across the city), maybe Local Heroes (likewise, but there’s one in Kanata just down THAT road) … think Haveli will benefit – it’s also known across the city …. but the other stores are mostly available elsewhere and unless it’s a last-minute-dinner-or-forgot-to-buy purchase in the drug stores and supermarkets, and it just happens to be on the way home, then I doubt the others will benefit much at all

        however – it was good to see that Outskirts has expanded – so not all is failing in BC
        Outskirts 150 Robertson Road, Nepean, ON, K2H 9S1 613-726-0170
        This Nepean boutique caters to a more mature clientele and features Canadian designed clothing that ranges from dressy to casual wear.

  3. wanderer says:

    What a waste of time and money by people who really care about Bells Corners. RC only uses BC for getting attention, and most of his promises have turned to dust – especially once the elections are over.

    I only hope that the next meeting is hugely attended, and that local folks can honestly express their ideas and their disgust with how the BIA and RC have misused their contacts locally to misrepresent their involvement in Bells Corners.

    PLEASE – Bells Corners and Westcliffe Estates residents, attend the meeting next Tuesday to display your disappointment with RC and the BIA on their non-action, non improvement and the uselessness of all their attempts to flog their positive benefits to BC and the Westcliffe Estates residents.

  4. margaret says:

    BIA has its job cut out if businesses like Loblaws doesn’t cater even to the local community

    4pm today – Saturday of thanksgiving weekend – with one more day to shop before Monday’s closing … no boxed coffee and no sugar … both shelves empty

    can understand not wanting to overstock with fresh produce etc but packaged stuff ? … running out on a Saturday and no one restocking ! …. easier to just get in the car and drive elsewhere

  5. Anonymous says:

    How many businesses have left Bell’s Corners?

    – I don’t know the exact number, but every time a business fails I’m sure it’s a tragic event, especially for small businesspeople who have invested their life’s savings in their dream. Every time I see another closed shop on the strip I feel sad to see someone’s hopes dashed. Alex and Rick have a lot to answer for.

  6. TonyL1 says:

    Last time I did the count in detail (late November), it was over 30 – no exaggeration! Since then Shell has closed, Kid Kaf & Magic Cuts in Zellers, and maybe more?

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