More coverage of Ontario Votes 2011
CBC Ottawa

O'Brien speaks his mind

Like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get when you interview Larry O'Brien. The mayor's penchant for going off script and floating new ideas in front of the cameras has for four years delighted reporters, and horrified his (several) communications directors. Today's little scrum at a pumpkin carving contest for children at risk was no exception.

On his admission, reported in today's Ottawa Sun, that "I'm not counting on a win":

"Aw, I don't think I ever said that, I think I made a few comments last night to someone who I did not believe was actually a reporter that in fact the polls did not look good....(It's) more or less what I would expect about you know that particular newspaper at this point in the campaign."

On the cruise he's planning to take in November:

"I had that planned for six months...Win or lose, you need a break after a rugged campaign, so we planned that cruise, and it's going to be an exciting cruise. I'm really looking forward to it."

On his council colleagues who chair committees at City Hall:

"You know a lot of the mistakes that I admitted to a little while ago that I did...were all made in the first 10 days when I chose the wrong people to lead committees, when I chose the wrong structure, and added to the difficulties. I would never make those mistakes twice...I'm going to do a lot of restructuring in terms of responsibilities of councillors in terms of committee chairs and co-chairs."

On his criminal trial:

"I think I'm still living with, under the shadow of the trial. I think there's a large component of that in some of the thinking of the people."

On undecided voters:

"Our numbers, and we do them consistently, show that 33 per cent of the people out there who are committed to voting, haven't made up their minds yet. And most of those people were former O'Brien supporters, former supporters of mine, and I have to give them every reason in the world so that when they get into that voting booth that they check that X beside my name."

On City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick:

"My goodness Kent has done such a fantastic job, but every so often you need to refresh parts of the organization, and that would be one that I think council and myself would have to think about very thoughtfully as to what kind of administrative leader we need in the city going forward after his contract expires in April."

The scrum lasted just over four minutes.  

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