Superman Ties and the Public Purse

When it comes to spending our money currying favour with the electorate, some city councillors just have no shame. Seems no purchase is too big or too small for city councillors to dole out our hard-earned income. What other job can you get elected, then use the electorate’s own money to help keep you in office? How many of these municipal politicians ever give pause before plunking down our money to entertain residents across the city, fly across the country or make charitable donations with our tax dollars? The charitable donations are particularly galling.

Keep in mind that’s our money and they get the tax receipt. And if they feel so strongly about a charitable organization, shouldn’t they be using their own money?

Of course they should.

For example, Kanata Coun. Allan Hubley bought a personalized Ottawa Senators jersey for $400 at a charity event. Say what The money apparently went to the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club, according to records accessed by my new blog On the City, From the Burbs. What became of the jersey? Good question.

Hubley has some other interesting expenditures which we’re picking up the tab for. For example, he used our money to buy a $25 tie, which according to his records will be worn at community events to promote his Smart City work.


The receipt describes it as a City Scape Superman tie! Illusions of grandeur perhaps?

Hubley isn’t alone.

Gloucester-South Nepean Michael Qaqish, though a first-term councillor, is learning the art of self-promotion quite quickly. (Note: I ran against Qaqish in the last municipal election. Clearly I lost! You’ll have to judge for yourself whether my columns are fair comment or not.)

Qaqish developed an affection for bigger-than-life posters of his image on bus shelters. In fact, if you peruse his 2016 expenses which are online on the city’s website, you’ll see that at almost $50,000 for the year, he’s leading the charge in the advertising category.

There’s always been a lot of talk about swag in the media, with purchases of personalized t-shirts, coffee mugs, even tattoos with the politician’s own image – allegedly for gifts, but look more like vanity purchases.

Qaqish spent about $1,200 on mini-hockey sticks to hand out to kids at games. The logo? His name of course! Hey, those kids have parents who can vote, even if the rising hockey stars can’t!

Sadly, there’s plenty more examples where these came from.

More later.


  1. So much for the fiscal conservatives on Council. Sad that former Councillor Bloess is no longer there to set the example for the so called “fiscal conservatives”. He at least practiced what he preached. It’s not so much about the amount as it is about respecting other people’s hard earned money. And how can potential candidates compete against people who promote themselves with public money?? Time for change.

  2. I think that the salary for our elected representatives and money for their office and staff salaries should be what they receive. This money to spend to advertise themselves and to have items to give away, should be stopped.

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