Monday, May 5, 2008

Charles Caccia

I haven't posted in a while, but I feel this is something worth posting about.

On Saturday, Charles Caccia, one of the few men who tried to make Ottawa green instead of beige, passed away. I had a chance to see Mr. Caccia speak last fall. He had much stronger pro-environmental views than virtually all other parliamentarians. He was not afraid to make his views known. It probably cost him upward mobility in the Liberal party post-Trudeau.

His "resignation" from the Liberal party roughly coincided with when I gave up on the Liberals as well.

RIP Mr. Caccia.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

I have to say, as a person from the west also, a musician and engineer, living in Ottawa for almost 12 years now, this comparison you've made between Montreal and Ottawa tells me that I have not been crazy, believing that there was something "not quite right" about living in Ottawa.

It is crazy that there are no responses to this post. Perhaps the Ottawa natives (perhaps at 12 years a resident, I am considered one too?) cannot relate, cannot understand, or simply, cannot face the beige reality?

Sitting in a cafe a few months back in the Mile End area of Montreal, I pondered this exact point.....why? Why MUST I "escape" Ottawa at least 1-2 times a month to visit Montreal? Why does the fact that I am here simply because I built a career in high tech, and if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be here? Why does the thought of raising children in a city so beige, and therefore render THEM so beige, scare the crap out of me? Why are great musicians playing to 3 people in Ottawa, when the same musicians play to a packed house in Montreal? Why does the regular person in Montreal CARE about music and art? Why are clothes in the Montreal version of the same store in Ottawa COMPLETELY DIFFERENT?

All I know that in this blog entry, you have perfectly encapsulated the soul of Ottawa. A thin skin of a glorious facade, trumpeting it's capital-ness and foundation-ness, wrapped around a core of.......nothing. There is no "air" in this city. No pulse. No sense of urgency of life. No....nothing.

I'm reminded of a feeling I had once, coming back from Paris. At this point, I had been living in Ottawa for 5 years. Life was going well. Career was going well. I was going to Montreal on weekends about 3 times a month, needing the one weekend to do domestic stuff.

My flight from Paris was transiting via Montreal, and this was the first time that I had landed in Montreal coming back from a business trip. All other times, it was always directly to Ottawa.

The FEELING I had when I touched down in Montreal vs. Ottawa was astounding to me! I felt that I had come home. Whereas in Ottawa, it always felt like I was touching down in a connecting city/airport, but, where I happen to live.

Regardless, amazing piece! And to all the Ottawan's out there thinking/saying/responding, "well, if you don't like it here, just move".....and my answer is, believe me, working on it! Proximity to Montreal is a funny thing....the closeness makes weekend jaunts much like heading to the cottage. The sanity injected by Montreal, always made me fresh to come back to Ottawa life. Besides, salaries here in Ottawa are insanely better! And there is a very good reason for that....what other reason would people want to live here? ;-)