IT’S BUDGET SEASON—a time for our governments to figure out where they want to spend cash and cut funding. The Harper government has made it clear jobs will be cut, which means Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has some damage control to do.

Watson has already sprung into action. He recently introduced Invest Ottawa, a plan which will see local businesses get more money to employ soon-to-be-unemployed Ottawans.

I, for one, welcome our mayor’s move. Although it sucks government positions will be cut, the action plan has the potential to foster innovation in the city, making it more than just a government town.

Ottawa has already started moving away from its parliamentary image. This year’s Bootstrap Awards, which reward inventive startup businesses in the capital, added two new awards in an attempt to better reflect the amount of bright minded entrepreneurs in this city.

Watson recognized the need for innovation during his speech at the awards, telling the crowd about his uncle who had a creative mind and a need to invent.

It’s about time Ottawa developed the same needs and developed its identity in the process. We’re surrounded by business-like Toronto and forever-intoxicated Montreal, eternally branded as boring.

In reality, Ottawa is not boring at all. We have hippies on Main Street and hipsters in the Glebe, party people in the ByWard Market and drug dealers in South Keys. We have a ton of concerts, museums, sporting—OK, hockey—events, and community gatherings. It’s time our work and business identities reflected the diversity only Canada’s capital can provide.

On Friends, when Rachel finally quit her coffee house job, she got started on her dream career in fashion. Sure, firing a whole bunch of people who rely on their jobs isn’t a good thing, but maybe this is the rude awakening Ottawa needs to undergo metamorphosis and finally become something more than the prime minister’s home.

 —Jane Lytvynenko

(613) 562-5260