Angry Ottawans take out frustrations on the wrong Jim
'Suddenly I know a lot more about Ottawa than I ever wanted to know,' says mayor's near-namesake
U.K. political journalist Jim Waterson is facing the wrath of Ottawa residents over bus stop changes and unplowed streets on Twitter because of a similar handle to Mayor Jim Watson.
The deputy editor for BuzzFeed in the U.K. penned a column about the occasional mixup between his account, @jimwaterson, and the mayor's account, @JimWatsonOttawa.
"Suddenly I know a lot more about Ottawa than I ever wanted to know," Waterson told CBC News.
"It's only every few months but it's always a delicious sort of bizarre thing. I sit there, writing about U.K. politics every day, and then suddenly, out of the blue, someone is having a go at me about the fact that they can't get a snowplow to their front door."
Waterson forwarded a direct message he received following Ottawa's first major snow storm of the season to Watson on Twitter in December 2015.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/JimWatsonOttawa">@JimWatsonOttawa</a> Hey Jim, this guy really need a snowplough, can you get it sorted? <a href="https://t.co/9IAO0RpQzs">pic.twitter.com/9IAO0RpQzs</a>—@jimwaterson
But the handle mixup dates back much longer. Waterson received a series of angry Tweets over a bus stop in October 2014.
"I was so confused," Waterson said. "In the end, I worked it out."
On holiday and turn on Twitter to find bloke from Ottawa is damn angry about his bus stop. Sort it <a href="https://twitter.com/JimWatsonOttawa">@JimWatsonOttawa</a> <a href="http://t.co/nnD8rfWuVV">pic.twitter.com/nnD8rfWuVV</a>—@jimwaterson
As a political journalist, he said he's used to "abusive messages" but the ones directed at Watson take more time to figure out.
'Ah, it's the Canadians again'
"After a moment it clicks. 'Ah, it's the Canadians again. They found me,'" he said.
Waterson spoke to Watson for his article and said the mayor invited him to come to Ottawa for Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.
"He seems like a nice guy," he said.
Waterson also included a tweet in his article from "some man called Denis Coderre who tweeted at me about a flag, according to Google Translate." The tweet (which has since been deleted) was from the mayor of Montreal.
Watson wore a Montreal Canadiens jersey for the day and had to hoist the hockey team's flag at City Hall in April 2015 after losing a bet to Coderre.
Watson got Coderre's handle right when he tweeted proof that he honoured the bet.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/DenisCoderre">@DenisCoderre</a> Not happy about this but a bet is a bet. Congratulations! <a href="http://t.co/F1d4u9E1Bz">pic.twitter.com/F1d4u9E1Bz</a>—@JimWatsonOttawa