Ottawa Municipal Election

Little debate at all-candidates’ meeting

By Ashwin Shingadia

Mayoral candidates vote with their thumbs at the Capital Ward all-candidates’ meeting on October 2. From left: Bernard Couchman, Michael St. Arnaud, Robert White, Anwar Syed, Jim Watson, Mike Maguire.  Photo: LorrieLoewen

Mayoral candidates vote with their thumbs at the Capital Ward all-candidates’ meeting on October 2. From left: Bernard Couchman, Michael St. Arnaud, Robert White, Anwar Syed, Jim Watson, Mike Maguire. Photo: LorrieLoewen

At the all-candidates meeting held at the Glebe Community Centre on October 2, representatives of the six community associations in Capital Ward put questions to both mayoral and council candidates before an audience of about a hundred people. Questions from the audience were also collected on slips of paper and read by moderator Anne Scotton.

In the first half of the meeting, questions were asked to the councillor candidates for Capital Ward, all of whom attended: Espoir Manirambona, David Chernushenko and Scott Blurton. In the second half, the same questions were asked to the six mayoral candidates who attended: Bernard Couchman, Michael St. Arnaud, Robert White, Anwar Syed, Jim Watson and Mike Maguire.

In my opinion, there was little debate among the candidates. Some stayed after the meeting to talk to members of the audience and other candidates. Some school board trustee candidates were also on-hand. Posing questions were representatives of the community associations of Heron Park (James McLaren), Old Ottawa South (Linda Hancock), Glebe (Christine McAllister and Carol Macleod), Glebe Annex (Sylvia Milne), Old Ottawa East (Phillis Odenbach-Sutton) and the Dow’s Lake Residents’ Association (Bhagwan Sandhu). In response to community association concerns, the question posed was, “What would you do if elected, and how are you qualified to tackle the issue?”

Rooming houses

On the problem of substandard rooming houses and noise created by students and others, mayoral candidate Couchman suggested that more affordable housing is needed, St. Arnaud wanted licensing of landlords, while White said the question was out of order as “there is no damn way we have low quality housing in Ottawa.” Syed’s solution was to have “more campus housing, outside hosting and educating students to respect their neighbours.” Watson noted that under his administration the city had invested $16 million to improve housing. Maguire wanted to fix the planning regulations by taking into account planning, zoning and environmental requirements.

Among the councillor candidates, Manirambona’s solution was better housing for students with more community involvement in zoning and noise levels. Blurton suggested community involvement in the licensing of rental units and applying his principles of smart development. Chernushenko reminded the audience that all tenants need adequate housing.

Parks and Recreation

The community associations noted that Capital Ward is under-served when it comes to recreation and parks. Among the mayoral candidates, Maguire did not think it was possible to have the same standard of programs across the city. Watson noted that, although several years ago the city had wanted to shut down the Glebe and the Old Ottawa South community centres, they have in fact been renovated. Syed said there was room to improve community sports facilities, but a balance must be maintained between the environment and buildings. White said, “The spending fiasco has to stop. If I become mayor, we will have $3 million more for Brewer Park.”

Among the councillor candidates, Chernushenko mentioned the planned replacement of the arena and swimming pool at Brewer.

Intensification

The city’s planning decisions have allowed some “minor variances,” which contradict zoning bylaws and the Official Plan, that community associations do not consider minor. With intensification, what will our neighbourhoods look like in 10 years time? Watson noted that since the 2001 amalgamation, the City has aligned the transportation plan, environment plan, cycling plan as well as the Official Plan to provide better integration. Syed thought that trees should be maintained and that old buildings should coexist with new, but added that “the planning and adjustment committees should listen to you.” Maguire cited the dramatic increase in number of housing units allowed in a Manotick development, and advised: “Stop voting for those who do this.” White held that “intensification is a Liberal agenda.”

Among the councillor candidates, Manirambona felt the need for “local democratic planning,” Blurton suggested we “get rid of corporate donations to councillors” and Chernushenko agreed, pointing out that he will return any corporate donations he has received. He offered kudos to the Oblate lands development process, which so far has included consultation with the community. Manirambona voiced his vision of a democratic and sustainable city. Blurton referred to his smart development principles.

Other Issues

The candidates were asked whether the pedestrian bridge over the Rideau Canal scheduled in 2025 could be constructed immediately. The answer from all mayoral candidates was a resounding “no.”
Candidates were also asked to discuss the issue of buses on Lakeside on football game days. Initially, as many as 500 buses per hour rumbled down Lakeside on game day. After much protest from residents, this number has been reduced. Candidates agreed that further solutions were possible.

Questions from the floor

The moderator read questions from the floor, to which, for reasons of time, the candidates were asked to answer with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” Questions dealt with issues such as corporate donations to election campaigns, recycling of plastic bags and changing the city’s garbage contract, and a vision for the development of Bank Street between Billings Bridge and Walkley Road.

Although there was no audience participation at the microphones, the meeting covered a lot of ground. I wish the best of luck to the candidates and urge all citizens to vote on October 27.

Ashwin Shingadia is a frequent contributor to the Glebe Report.


Ottawa Municipal Elections

Further to the Glebe Report’s coverage of the Ottawa election in our September issue, we are pleased to bring you statements from these additional candidates. Mayoral, Councillor, and Trustee candidates were asked to keep their responses and biographies to no more than 290 words, and the Glebe Report pledged to publish them “as received” (edited only for length.) Candidates were also asked for contact information and a photograph of themselves.

Candidates for Councillor of Capital Ward and Mayor Ottawa Municipal Election is Monday, October 27. Polls are open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Vote for Mayor of Ottawa, your ward Councillor, and your school board Trustee. For a full list of candidates, go to www.ottawa.ca. Under the City Hall tab, click on Your City Government, then Elections.

To find out if you are on the voters’ list, go to www.ottawa.ca and under Voters, click on “Are YOU on the voters’ list?” To find out where you vote, go to www.ottawa.ca and under Voters,
click on “Where do I vote?”

ID needed: You need one single, original (or a certified or notarial copy) document that shows your name and qualifying address OR you can complete a Declaration of Identity form at the polling station.

Mayoral Candidates

Candidates for Councillor of Capital Ward (Ward 17)

Candidates for School Board Trustee (Zone 9)



Mayoral candidates

The Glebe Report asked all candidates for Mayor of the City of Ottawa to respond to the question:
“What do you consider top priorities for Ottawa and for the Glebe neighbourhood in the next four years, and how do you plan to address them? What qualities do you bring to the table? (A few issues you may wish to address in your answer: intensification, light rail extension & funding, traffic congestion, taxes, garbage collection & recycling, government efficiency, city debt load, Lansdowne development, Ottawa River Action Plan, affordable housing, Canada’s 150th birthday celebration 2017, other…)

Candidates were asked to keep their responses and biographies to no more than 290 words, and the Glebe Report pledged to publish them “as received” (edited only for length). Candidates were also asked for contact information and a photograph of themselves. Responses appear in the September and October issues of the Glebe Report.


Bernard Couchman

couchman My fellow citizens, In response to your request for my ideas on the top priorities for Ottawa and your neighbourhood in the next four years, and how I would address them and what qualities I bring to the table. To be fair you suggested 16 items and others although 250 words are not enough to cover them all. What I can say is I care deeply about your struggles in the Glebe, and for all the citizens of Ottawa, that’s why I have chosen to contribute my time, energy and resources to make sure that Ottawa remains a vibrant community that we can all enjoy. It would be wardism to just comment on what I think the Glebe should look like in the next four years. I spend a lot of time with John Leaning, I have his autographed book on the Glebe and that is a great starting point, although you will be playing a huge role as we welcome the world in the women’s FIFA 2015. I think the energetic Glebe today has seen some significant changes in the last 150 years, most of it for the positive, we must accept the responsibility as citizens of Ottawa that our city is growing and growing has pains. I will thank you for being so patient with the city as we work together to make Ottawa a competitive global city. “Be a great neighbour” is my philosophy, unity makes us stronger, keep up the fight of faith, love is the answer.

Biographical details: I am a world-renowned philanthropist, businessman, artist, academic, athlete and now mayor of Ottawa candidate. I graduated with honors from Sir Robert Borden high school, and have since committed my life to the betterment of humanity.

Contact information:
Phone: 613-277-9310
Email: bjc@bernardcouchman.ca
Web: www.bernardcouchman.ca

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Candidates for Councillor of Capital Ward (Ward 17)

The Glebe Report asked all candidates for Councillor of Capital Ward (Ward 17) to respond to the question:
“What do you consider top priorities for Capital Ward (Ward 17), and the Glebe in particular, in the next four years, and how do you plan to address them? What qualities do you bring to the table?” (Some issues you may want to address: Lansdowne traffic and parking, integration of Lansdowne retailers, urban park programming, canal footbridge at Fifth and Clegg, intensification and infill issues, bikeway, green space deficit …)

Candidates were asked to keep their responses and biographies to no more than 290 words, and the Glebe Report pledged to publish them “as received” (edited only for length). Candidates were also asked for contact information and a photograph of themselves. Responses appear in the September and October issues of the Glebe Report.


Espoir Manirambona

espior We are fast entering a new age, full of possibilities for advancement as a community. There are many opportunities to manifest positive changes that will benefit all residents in the Glebe, Capital Ward, Ottawa and indeed across the world. For example, local, organic food security, free transit, healthy homes for all. A sustainable, cooperative, local, resource-based economy. 100 per cent green energy. Reconnecting with the sun, earth, wind and fire. Clean water, fluoridation-free! Let’s develop an ambitious plan for climate justice today because tomorrow never comes. Let’s clean up our air. Let’s walk and bike more, so that kids can breathe a little easier. Making every vote count equally with proportional representation, a ranked choice ballot and multi-member districts. Building direct democracy. Embrace diversity, creativity, public art, solidarity, free goods and services. Less is more. All power to the people. Democracy at work through worker co-ops. Development that’s democratic, inclusive and sustainable. Let’s reconsider Lansdowne; empower neighbours and community groups, social movements in the development process. For the people. These are solutions that we are already discussing, embracing and manifesting. My vision is simple: a more sustainable, democratic and egalitarian society. Imagine and create. “Not the only one, I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will live as one.”

Biographical details: Living well, in the present moment. Consciously serving in social justice, environmental and democratic reform groups and movements. Learning honour and duty. Completing a Bachelor Degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management at Carleton University. Disciple of wisdom, nature and life.

Contact information:
Email: espoir.manirambona@gmail.com
Web:www.electespoirmanirambona-in-capital.blogspot.ca

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Candidates for School Board Trustee (Zone 9)

The Glebe Report asked candidates for School Board Trustee in Zone 9 to respond to the question:
“What do you see as top priorities for [Ottawa Carleton District School Board][Ottawa Catholic School Board] schools in Zone 9, in particular those serving Glebe residents, in the next four years? How do you plan to address them? What qualities do you bring to the table?”

Candidates were asked to keep their responses and biographies to no more than 290 words, and the Glebe Report pledged to publish them “as received” (edited only for length). Candidates were also asked for contact information and a photograph of themselves. Responses appear in the September and October issues of the Glebe Report.


Ottawa Catholic School Board

Jason Renaud
renaud
The highest priority has to be student achievement. I will support student achievement and the advancement of the Catholic faith by ensuring that the board supports school administrators and teachers with their own development so that students will continue to receive high calibre instruction. Further, I will work with my board colleagues and school administrators to ensure that we provide safe and welcoming environments so that students, teachers and administrators can stay focused on learning.

My priorities that are specific to the Glebe area include evaluating the outcome of the Walking School Bus Pilot Project and working with the City to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to ensure that students have safe access to school once the Main Street Renewal project gets underway.

I will bring strong leadership to the Ottawa Catholic School Board. I am an experienced administrator and I am ready to serve the residents of Zone 9. I have managed both large and small teams while working in collaboration with some of the largest trade unions in Canada. I enjoy helping people and I have always worked on the front line. For more details, please visit www.jasonrenaud.ca/priorities.html.

Biographical details: Bilingual candidate for OCSB Zone 9 Trustee, raised in the St. Elizabeth Parish, attended school in the OCSB. Graduate of the University of Calgary (Security Management) and Algonquin College (Police Foundations). Employed in a leadership position in a mental health setting. For more details, please visit www.jasonrenaud.ca/about-jason.html

Contact information:
Email: Jason@jasonrenaud.ca
Twitter: @JasonZone9
Web: www.jasonrenaud.ca

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French School Trustee Zone 9 candidates

Although there are no French-language schools in the Glebe, some Glebe parents may support a French-language school board. Below is a list of school board trustee candidates for Zone 9 for the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO) and the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE).

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO)

Marielle Godbout
Email: marigodb@hotmail.com

Richard St-Jean
Email: richard.stjean@yahoo.ca
Phone: 613-898-1911

Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE)

Johanne Lacombe
Email: jmlacombe@hotmail.ca
Phone: 613-282-9182
Web: www.johannelacombe.ca

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