Capital Ward election heats up

by John Dance

Unlike last time, the municipal election in October will be hotly contested in Capital Ward. Even though nomination papers can’t be filed until May 1, six candidates have declared themselves.

In addition to two-term incumbent David Chernushenko, Emilie Taman, Christine McAllister, Joe Federico, Anthony Carricato and Jide Afolabi are seeking to become councillor for Capital Ward, which embraces the Glebe, Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South, Heron Park and the Riverside Drive area east of Old Ottawa East.

Chernushenko had just two opponents in the 2014 election and he handily won with 77 per cent of the vote compared to 41 per cent when he first won in a race with six other candidates in 2010.

The challengers bring a wide range of experience and community service to their campaigns. Here are key points they submitted to me by email.

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Emilie Taman
Photo: Lu Korte

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Joe Federico
Photo: Carmen Sanchez

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David Chernushenko
Photo: Andrew Balfour

Emilie Taman: She plans to run on a platform of “greater public accountability, increased public engagement in planning and development, evidenced-based decision making in public health, and strengthening environmental sustainability across city projects.” She says, “Right now, private developers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to growth in our city. This just doesn’t work for creating thriving neighbourhoods that work for the people who live there.”

Taman has been the president and a long-time board member of the Old Ottawa South Community Association and is a former federal crown prosecutor responsible for the prosecution of offences such as corporate tax evasion, human smuggling, environmental and fisheries violations and fraud. She is currently teaching in the law faculty at the University of Ottawa and is the co-host of the politics podcast, The Docket.

Jide Afolabi: “My aim is to bring bold thinking back to City Hall,” says Afolabi. “To promote the kind of solutions that Capital Ward, as part of Ottawa, desperately needs, e.g. regular community forums to bring City Hall to the people, smart city pilot projects to tackle fundamental questions like road surface deterioration, a dog waste to energy pilot project, resident-centered snow removal, and more. I aim to be an ultra-engaging and ultra-engaged councillor.”

Afolabi is a lawyer with a practice in Ottawa. He is also the managing director of nextOttawa, a non-governmental organization committed to the promotion of progressive policy ideas for Ottawa. He has served and continues to serve on the boards of a number of community organizations such as the African Canadian Dramatic Arts Society, the African Canadian Associations of Ottawa, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and the Ottawa Centre Provincial Liberal Association. He is a long-term resident of the Glebe.

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Jide Afolabi
Photo: Jide Afolabi

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Anthony Carricato
Photo: Katherine Smith

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Christine McAllister
Photo: Blair Gable

Joe Federico: “New development, the evolution of our neighbourhoods, public transit, infrastructure, housing, the environment – they all hinge on how the growth of our city is managed. Policies should provide people with choices of how and where they want to live,” says Federico. “Vibrant economies, liveability, equal opportunity and a dynamic city of connected communities are the recipe for a great city, today and tomorrow. It all starts with a passion for the issues, ideas and a strong desire to see positive change through.”

Federico is a physiotherapist and a small-business person with a practice in downtown Ottawa. He has been a member on the board of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association and has lived in the Glebe and Dow’s Lake area with his family for over 20 years. He has been engaged in local issues over the past decade through his involvement with the Dow’s Lake Residents Association.

Anthony Carricato: “In my discussions with residents of Capital Ward, I’ve heard loud and clear that they want change and want to be represented more effectively at City Hall,” says Carricato. “I’m passionate about public service and truly believe in the power of civic engagement… Our city will benefit from new leadership on Council and I am eager to contribute my skills and energy to put my neighbours’ views first to make our ward a safer, greener and more inclusive place.”

Carricato has served as vice president of the Glebe Community Association and is a volunteer at the Rideau Curling Club and a contributor to the Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy. He has worked for over a decade on Parliament Hill and within the private sector. He’s also an avid yogi and outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending time in the kitchen.

David Chernushenko: “I seek the honour of representing Capital Ward for a third term,” Chernushenko says. “I believe I have been an effective, responsive and principled councillor, and that I can use my experience to advocate for long-term plans, specific projects and important values that will benefit the citizens of Ottawa and residents of Capital Ward.” Goals he cites for the new term include: “a new and greener Official Plan; a sustainability-driven Transportation Master Plan; [and] quality of life and health of residents.”

Chernushenko has, according to his bio, “Spent his working life promoting prosperous communities and healthy livelihoods by advising public, private, and non-profit organizations on adopting more sustainable and socially responsible practices. He served for three years on the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and for six years on the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Environment Commission.”

Christine McAllister: “I am running to represent the residents of Capital Ward because I believe local government matters, and I want to give Capital Ward a strong, progressive voice at City Hall,” she says. “Bringing people together to solve issues facing our communities has been the driving focus of my 15 years of community service. As Councillor, I will continue to prioritize public engagement, because better decisions are made when diverse community voices are heard.”

Her experience includes being the longest-serving president of the Glebe Community Association and the president of Good Morning Creative Arts and Preschool. She says, “As a mom of three kids, as a lifetime resident of Ottawa, as a professional with deep expertise in the financial industry and as a community leader with a track record of getting things done, I am uniquely prepared to help create a more engaged, well-managed and sustainable city.”

John Dance is an Old Ottawa East resident who takes a keen interest in the beauty and smooth functioning of the city and other important matters.

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