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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney



 

 

 

   

(Posted 12 p.m., Sept. 23)
Bob Monette roasted to benefit Paroisse St-Joseph renovation project

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson roasts deputy mayor and Orléans Ward councillor Bob Monette as the guest of honour looks on during a fundraising event in support of the Paroisse St-Joseph Building Fund on Thursday evening. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Bob Monette has been in politics for over 30 years now. For the past 10 of those years he has served the residents of Orléans Ward as their city councillor.

On Thursday, he celebrated the past decade in politics by getting raked over the coals by his friends, colleagues and family members at a roast in his honour to benefit the Paroisse St-Joseph repair and renovation project.

Among the guest roasters were Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, council colleague Shad Qadri, former councillor Doug Thompson, Monette's former campaign manager Eric Lamoureux, and his daughter Joanne.

Watson led off the proceedings by joking about the mustache Monette had when he first ran for Cumberland town council in 1985, saying that he looked like a "70s porn star".

He also joked about the number of times Monette's pictured has appeared in the Orléans Star over the asking, asking if he owned the paper and gripping about the fact that it's the only newspaper in Ottawa in which the local councillor's picture is in the paper more than his.

After the jibs, Watson read off a laundry list of Monette's accomplishments over the last 10 years including bringing the first hotel to the community; blowing the whistle on sewage outflows which resulted in the Ottawa River Action Plan; ensuring fair and equitable funding for east end projects; and championing the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park and the return of baseball to the former Lynx Stadium.

By the time he had ended, Watson's speech sounded more suited for a campaign kickoff than a roast. He ended by expressing his hope that the guest of honour will stick around for one or two more terms.

Shad Qadri spent his turn at the mic joking about Monette's passion for Ottawa's sports teams and in turn presented him with a mini hockey stick, a seat cushion, a mini football and a noisemaker.

Finally, he pulled out a cow hat in reference to Monette's defence of the cow that stood on top of the Cheddar Etc store in the Crown Point Plaza at Trim and Watters. When the Ottawa bylaw office threatened to fine the owners for having an illegal sign, Monette started a petition garnering thousands of signatures and earning him the nickname Bob "Moo"-nette among his fellow councillors.

Eric Lamoureux used his turn at the mic to tell a story about how Monette almost got into fist fight with former Glebe councillor Clive Doucet during closed door meeting about the future of Lansdowne Park. Lamoureux then ended his speech with the chant "four more years".

Monette's daughter Joanne talked about what it was like growing up as the daughter of a politician and having to "volunteer" for his election campaigns along with her two brothers Ron and Rick. One of whom now has grandchildren who have already learned how to "fake campaign smile".

One of the best lines of the night was delivered by former Osgoode councillor Doug Thompson who joked about arriving late.

"We would have been here on time but we got stuck in that double round-about. It took 20 minutes to get out of the damn thing," Thompson quipped, referring to the St. Joseph Blvd. traffic circle which Monette first supported and then was against.

When it was his turn to take the mic, Monette fired a few jabs back at his roasters and then thanked the many people who helped make it happen including developer John Ruddy and the Trinity Development Foundation which was the title sponsor and donated $50,000 to the Paroisse St-Joseph Building Fund. He also thanked longtime supporter Lionel Laurin from Ace Body Shop for organizing the event and Qamar Masood from Dewan Catering who donated all the meals to the cause.

Lastly he reminded everyone how important if was for the entire community, both anglophone and francophone, to support the Paroisse St-Joseph renovation project and preserve Orléans most recognizable landmark.

"It's the very heart of Orléans. It's part of our heritage. How many other heritage buildings do we have in Orléans? So yes, it's something we all need to support," said Monette.

As for all the talk about four more years and whether or not he will run again in 2018, Monette was as noncommittal.

"The job is fun. I love it. But no, I don't know what I'm going to do in two years. There's still plenty of time before I'll make that decision," he told the room most of whom would be happy to help make up his mind for him.

For now Monette will focus on the task or tasks at hand including making sure Phase 2 of the LRT goes all the way to Trim Road and and seeing the final stage of the Ottawa River Action plan go into service and eliminate once and for all any sewage outflows into the Ottawa River.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

 

   

 


Posted Jan. 12



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