• By: Dan Donovan

Publisher’s Message

Illustration: Claudia Salguero

This is Ottawa Life Magazine’s 14th Annual Top People in the Capital list. This year our theme was “under the radar.” We wanted to select people who make great contributions to our city but who often go unnoticed or unrecognized. Take, for example, our number one pick this year: Ottawa Art Gallery President Alex Badzak. She is leading the project to quadruple the size of the gallery from its current 12,000 square foot size. Badzak is a talented whirlwind of energy and her business savvy coupled with her deep commitment to artists has had a major impact in the city. A+ to the selection team who hired her too. Richard Auger and Brenda Hollingsworth are a married couple who run one of the city’s most successful law practices…now that takes skill. All public servants should read about Ishbel Solvason-Weibe because she makes public servants look good…really good. She has built the social housing program in Ottawa from the ground up and done it by “treating everyone with fairness and respect”. We need more of that everywhere! Juno winner and Aboriginal singer songwriter Lawrence Martin is one of the capital’s best secrets. Tanya Bracanovich goes well above and beyond the responsibilities of most other dentists. She has been able to maintain a successful business with Sparks Dental, while offering complimentary dental work for people in need. Ken Hughes, the City Auditor General has proven to be Mr. Accountability in Ottawa. His report on the Orgaworld waste contract highlighted the massive incompetence of the senior city civil servants—they wasted tens of millions of dollars. Darryl Davies is a criminology professor at Carleton University who stared down the bullying tactics of the cerebrally-chilled Ottawa Police Association and has led the cause for reforms to policing in Canada. John Gordon is Ottawa’s building-it-right contractor with a solid reputation in the renovation and trades industry. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is probably the only person on this year’s top 10 list who is not under the radar but we felt compelled to add him. After 8 years as Prime Minister, his steady-at-the-helm approach has guided Canada through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He has been a strong global leader for democratic values, has stood up for Ukraine and has been unwavering in showing Canada’s support for the democratic state of Israel. At home, he has overseen the creation of millions of jobs and will bring Canada a balanced budget this fall- the first for Canada since the global financial crisis of 2008. This past year he (and Canada) saw the tragic passing of his dear friend and political ally, former federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Stephen Harper has an admirable record for Canada. Finally, the article, The Fifth Floor about patient abuse at Ottawa’s Saint-Vincent Hospital is upsetting. With the abuse, first reported by CTV and now by us, the hospital board remains silent. The province needs to step in and take over the hospital, fire the management team and board and figure out why this patient abuse continues.