Unnecessary Problems

Do the actions of politicians sometimes have you scratching your head in bewilderment? Do you frequently think you could do a better job?

You are not alone. Especially if you are one of those people with common sense.

Living in Germany doesn’t mean I am oblivious to what is happening back in Ottawa. I keep up with local issues and proposed solutions to societal problems. Such as how to properly maintain social distancing.

It is tough to go walking with someone and maintain a two-metre separation when your sidewalks aren’t that wide. So someone suggested that certain Ottawa streets be closed to vehicles, to allow pedestrians to walk together with adequate social distancing.

The mayor, after initially opposing the idea, decided that was a matter best left to individual members of council, suggesting each could request a street closure in their ward. The money for the closures, to pay for barricades, would have to come out of each councilors budget.

Am I the only one who questions this? Or is there something I’m missing somehow?

There is not enough space on Ottawa sidewalks for pedestrians to keep a safe distance from each other. So they want to close streets to give more room for people to walk.

At the same time, public parks are all closed. Lots of space there, but politicians are concerned those frequenting the parks won’t respect social distancing rules.

Maybe they won’t – but you won’t know until you try. Ottawa certainly has a lot of bylaw officers who have been handing out tickets for hefty fines to those the find in the parks who they feel are breaking the rules.

You would think the mayor would encourage people to be in the parks, as it appears they are no longer recreational space but revenue generators for the city. Ottawa bylaw officers a couple of weeks back handed out almost twice as many tickets as their Toronto counterparts, despite Ottawa having only a fifth of Toronto’s population. From published reports, it would seem many of those $800 tickets are questionable.

So if there isn’t room on the sidewalks for people to walk safely, maybe it is time to re-open the parks. Or is that too much like common sense?

 

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