Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stephen Orser. Once again, London deserves better

Last week I was privileged to give a talk to TechAlliance, a dynamic organization that supports and nurtures businesses here in London. I've admired this group from afar for years, so to be asked by them to speak at their season-closing breakfast was a real honour.

Both during my talk and in the hallway discussions afterward, we talked about what makes this city unique, how our business landscape is stacked with the right kind of talent, and why we need to do a better job connecting the dots and telling our story both inside and outside our borders. The experience galvanized me. Not that I needed any more reason to love this town, but I came away from it feeling even more committed to pushing our agenda forward.

Then I looked at my Twitter stream last night and noticed one of our city councillors had yet again stuck his foot in it. Stephen Orser represents Ward 4, and he's repeatedly exhibited behaviours that most reasonable individuals would classify as questionable, unacceptable or downright moronic - see my blog entry, Games politicians play, for a recent example where he posted a citizen's private information without his permission.

This time, Orser found himself in hot water after a graphic that was offensive to women was posted on his website. (The site,, is now blank. Because apparently an "under construction" graphic featuring a dog leering at a buxom woman was for a time considered by at least one elected official to be preferable to nothing at all. Seriously...unreal.)

His excuse - because he always has a convenient one - follows the now-familiar theme of blaming someone else. According to Orser, his webmaster, who according to reports also owns a porn site, screwed up. Orser added he doesn't know much about technology, and called the response an "orchestrated campaign" against him. (London Free Press story here: Coun. Stephen Orser in another online mess)

Sorry dude, but this one's all on you. If you wouldn't put your foot into it so consistently and instead behaved like a mensch, maybe your political opponents wouldn't find it so easy to go after you for being the kind of person I'd never want my children to emulate. You might also want to try finding better friends and associates, because your current bunch also seems to fail the mentor-for-my-kids test.

Coming on the heels of what I thought was a really great talk with some of London's most notable business leaders - Orser wasn't there, but Mayoral candidate Matt Brown was. Mayor Joe Fontana was busy preparing for his fraud trial that's currently underway - this latest chapter in Orser's political career disappoints me to no end, and I'm guessing I'm not alone in throwing my hands up in frustration.

Because yet again, our city is tarred with bush league idiocy by a city councillor who seems to bounce from one blame-everyone-else-but-himself incident to another. Yet again our agenda is hijacked while other cities, professionally led by civic-minded councillors who seem to innately know how to earn respect, race ahead of us. Orser's latest mess-up was, like all of his previous ones, no simple mistake. It's not remotely acceptable, and this city deserves better.

At what point does London say "enough"? At what point do we take the morons who discredit us and bounce them, once and for all, from office? At what point does this city decide to it deserves a better class of leadership?


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Orser needs to go. I hope Londoners will realize this In Our next election.