I’m not an expert on Ottawa’s municipal politics, but I feel fairly comfortable questioning the judgement of the city’s deputy mayor, George Darouze. He strikes me as the sort of guy who either is legitimately stupid or thinks that everyone else is.
First things first, it’s never a good sign when even before you get into the meat of the very dumb thing that brought him to my attention to begin with, you’re greeted by related headlines like “Darouze’s letter a threat to ‘shut up’ wife, Osgoode couple says” and “Darouze used power to ‘bully and intimidate’ Facebook critic, report finds”. But we’re not here for those things, at least not now. We’re here because according to his own self, Mr. Darouze has managed to do something that I don’t think anyone has ever done before. I know I certainly haven’t, and not simply because I can’t drive.
Osgoode councillor and deputy mayor George Darouze initially joined the 9:30 a.m. meeting from what looked like his kitchen, and even asked a detailed question about the accounting procedures surrounding the city’s public-private partnership at Lansdowne Park, one of the audits tabled Tuesday.
Around 11:30 a.m., the livestream showed Darouze getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. He put on his seatbelt, as well as headphones, presumably to keep listening to the meeting. His device appears to be sitting in the passenger seat, the camera facing him.
He began to drive — the passing scenery clearly visible through the driver side window — and pulled out a cell phone. He then began to text with his thumbs, taking his eyes off the road several times. At one point, Darouze fumbled around with his right hand to find his glasses, then put them on.
Eventually, Darouze looked toward the second wireless device in the passenger seat and turned off the camera.
Ok, so he was texting and driving. What’s so special about that?
That’s not why we’re here, even though I will take a second to call that out as being shitty, dangerous and something that people really ought not do. The amazing part is what happened next.
The councillor didn’t respond to a request for comment, but posted the following brief apology on Facebook:
“This morning, I inadvertently texted while I was driving. I apologize for this and commit to my family and residents that this won’t happen again.”
I don’t even.
Again, I cannot and do not drive. Some may argue that this renders me unqualified to have an opinion on this issue. But those people are what I would charitably describe as being as thick as George Darouze’s silly ass apology. For while I do not drive, I do text. And it has been my experience that the only way you can send a text entirely by accident is to have something press on your phone in precisely the wrong way. It has also been my experience that that thing is never your own hands making a typing motion. These have been my experiences in spite of my not possessing a degree in telecommunications as Mr. Darouze does. This was a series of deliberate acts. The only inadvertent part was forgetting to turn off the camera.
At some point, somebody must have clued him in to how ridiculous his statement sounded, because he later replaced it with a new one.
This morning I was texting and driving. This was stupid thing to do and I should not have done this. I commit to my family and residents that this won’t happen again.
Better, although I hope he means the texting part and not the getting caught thing.
Is Darouze always like this? If so, did he at least manage to save it until he tricked you into voting for him twice?