• Future site of new central library to be local and national destination

    Ottawa – At a ceremony held today, Mayor Jim Watson and The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, with Councillor Tim Tierney, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board, dedicated the future home of a joint facility shared by the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada. Dignitaries unveiled a sign designating the site at the corner of Albert Street and Commissioner Street.

    In 2017, City Council and the Ottawa Public Library Board approved partnering with Library and Archives Canada to build a new joint facility, which will serve as a national institution, a city-wide resource, and a community gathering space.

    Located at the eastern edge of LeBreton Flats, the new facility will be located near homes and businesses, as well as green spaces, including the Garden of the Provinces. In addition, light rail will figure prominently into access to this new facility, as Pimisi Station is less than 300 metres away.

    Pedestrian access will be improved with planned road and intersection modifications along the Albert and Slater corridor. These will facilitate movement and support integration with the Central Business District and residential neighbourhoods to the east and south.

    This unique partnership will provide the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada with a unique, state-of-the-art facility that brings together the creative services of a public library and the public services of a national library and archives for a richer customer experience.

    Expected to open in 2024, this new facility will be a modern, iconic building and destination that will be designed by a renowned architectural team working with the City and the public on the look, feel and user experience of the building.

    Quotes

    “The new central library will benefit residents of Ottawa and visitors for generations to come. It will be an important hub in our city and an anchor for the whole community. Our collaboration with Library and Archives Canada will create a civic and national institution where residents can gather, learn, be inspired, and connect with the world and each other.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa 

    “Canada’s history and heritage are irreplaceable treasures that we must preserve with the utmost respect. This new joint facility will be a building of which all Canadians can be proud. It will be an invaluable resource for those seeking knowledge—or those just looking to curl up with a good book.”
    The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

    “This new facility in the heart of Ottawa is an excellent example of the partnership and co-operation between federal and municipal institutions that is a priority for our government. This collaboration will allow us to showcase artifacts highlighting Canada’s history and will make visiting the new central library a richer experience for local residents and visitors to the nation’s capital alike.”
    The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament (Ottawa Centre)

    “This new facility will be a community gathering space here in Ottawa, bringing people together to learn and exchange ideas. We’re excited to collaborate with Library and Archives Canada to provide innovative services and a rich customer experience in a modern space.”
    Councillor Tim Tierney, Chair, Ottawa Public Library Board

     

    Websites:
    Ottawa Central Library
    Library and Archives Canada
    Developing LeBreton Flats

  • Samia Hirani receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Alta Vista Ward Councillor Jean Cloutier presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Samia Hirani at City Council today in recognition of her dedication to volunteering and fundraising.

    Shortly after joining the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) as a volunteer guide, Samia Hirani expanded her volunteerism role to act as the local marketing lead for the AKFC’s World Partnership Walk starting in 2010. The Walk is Canada’s largest annual fundraising movement dedicated to fighting global poverty. Funds raised support development initiatives that allow women and men around the world to lift their communities out of poverty and build a brighter future.

    Ms. Hirani also helped establish a Corporate Engagement Team for the Walk, volunteering over 100 hours to organize the team and help it achieve its fundraising targets. At the same time, Ms. Hirani was always available to assist and encourage other team leads in organizing their Walk efforts.

    In this year’s Walk, Ms. Hirani raised funds by engaging her own workplace through their youth network and by creating the ‘Public Servants Shattering Poverty’ team, raising over $2,000. Samia Hirani also volunteered with the AKFC’s World Partnership Golf tournament and organized numerous fundraising efforts on behalf of the Walk throughout the year.

  • Amazon to Create More than 600 Full-Time Jobs in Ottawa

    NEWS PROVIDED BY

    Amazon Canada


    New facility marks eighth fulfillment centre in Canada

    SEATTLEJuly 10, 2018 /CNW/ – Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced plans for a new fulfillment centre in Ottawa, Ontario’s eastern suburb of Orléans. The 1-million square foot customer fulfillment facility is Amazon’s fifth in Ontario, creating more than 600 full-time jobs with benefits starting on day one. Amazon currently employs more than 2,000 full-time associates at its existing Ontario facilities in BramptonMississauga, and Milton.

    Ontario continues to be a great place for Amazon to do business and we look forward to adding a fulfillment centre in the National Capital Region,” said Glenn Sommerville, Director of Amazon Operations in Canada. “Our ability to expand in Ontario and create more than 600 new jobs is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce. Amazon is committed to providing great opportunities for employment and creating a positive economic impact for the region.”

    The new facility will join Amazon’s network of current fulfillment centres located in OntarioBritish Columbia, and Alberta. Associates at this facility will pick, pack, and ship large items like household decor, sporting equipment and gardening tools. In total, Amazon employs more than 6,000 employees throughout Canada working at corporate offices, development centres, and other facilities.

    “We applaud Amazon for making this investment and, we look forward to doing our part to help other top employers create and protect good jobs in our province. Ontario is open for business,” said Ontario Premier, Doug Ford.

    Full-time employees at Amazon receive competitive hourly wages, medical, vision and dental coverage, a group RRSP, stock awards, and performance-based bonuses starting on day one.

    “After working closely with Amazon to grow its presence in our city, I’m very pleased they have chosen Ottawa to establish its new fulfillment centre,” said Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson.” This is a critical investment in our local economy and our community, which will provide significant employment opportunities for Ottawa residents.”

    Amazon is committed to supporting veterans as they transition from military life to civilian life, both within the company and the community. Amazon has a team of veterans devoted to military recruitment and offers its veteran employees access to mentoring and career support to help them develop their skills into long-term careers at Amazon.

    “I would like to thank Amazon and all of the government officials involved for making this project happen. Our government is focused on creating long-term economic growth and a stronger middle class, giving Canadians the support they need to find and keep good well-paying jobs. Bringing jobs to Orléans has always been my first priority and I am thrilled that Amazon has chosen our community to expand its Ontario operations. It is a great day for Orléans and indeed all of Ottawa,” said Member of Parliament for Orléans, Andrew Leslie.

    “I am very excited about all that is in store for the future of Orléans and Ottawa. The potential of our community is amazing, and that is made even more evident by Amazon choosing Orléans as the location for its new fulfillment centre. This is a project that will employ more than 600 people, bringing good jobs and more opportunity to the east end,” said Marie-France Lalonde, Member of Provincial Parliament for Orléans.

    Amazon also offers employees access to innovative programs like Career Choice, where it will pre-pay up to 95 per cent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program’s launch, more than 16,000 employees across the globe have pursued degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few.

    “Amazon’s investment will be a major economic driver for our city’s east end,” said Ottawa City Councillor for CumberlandStephen Blais.” This exciting project will create more than 1,500 construction jobs, and will permanently employ more than 600 full-time workers in our community, supporting the growth of rural east Ottawa and all surrounding communities.”

    The project is being developed by Broccolini.

    To learn more about working at an Amazon fulfillment centre, visit www.amazondelivers.jobs.

    About Amazon
    Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

    SOURCE Amazon Canada

    For further information: Kristen Schaffrath, NATIONAL Public Relations, kschaffrath@national.ca, 416-848-1704

  • Agnes Warda and June Girvan receive Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson, Knoxville-Merivale Ward Councillor Keith Elgi and Rideau-Vanier Ward Councillor Mathieu Fleury presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Agnes Warda and June Girvan at City Council today. Ms. Warda was recognized for her dedication to her community and community association while Ms. Girvan was recognized for her service to children, youth and immigrant families.

    Agnes Warda has been influential in transforming the Glens neighbourhood. She moved to the area in 1998, started working with the Glens Community Association in 2002 and has been president since 2004. Her commitment to the community has helped make the Glens a vibrant, green, family-friendly neighbourhood. Ms. Warda was also instrumental in establishing the Knoxdale-Merivale Council of Community Associations, which she chairs.

    In her roles, Ms. Warda had contributed to City plans such as the Greenbelt Master plan and the City’s Official Plan and has provided leadership on issues ranging from transportation and infill development to community policing and environmental issues. She has also worked with both the Quality Care Alliance, Ottawa Chapter and the Canadian Polish Congress to advocate for better home care for seniors.

    June Girvan was born to teach and as a teacher and an Education Officer, she was always committed to nurturing, protecting and affirming children and youth. When Ms. Girvan retired, she opened the J’Nikira Dinqinesh Education Centre for children, youth and immigrant families, offering programming that fosters understanding, racial harmony and social justice.

    Ms. Girvan has been recognized many times for her tireless efforts. She was awarded a Community Champion Special Award by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and is a past recipient of the Martin Luther King DreamKeepers’ award for her distinguished community leadership and engagement. Ms. Girvan is also Acting President of Black History Ottawa, an organization that celebrates the history, culture, traditions and achievements of Canadians of African descent.

     

  • Graham Macmillan receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward Councillor Tobi Nussbaum presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Graham Macmillan at City Council today in recognition of his dedication to the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa (BGCO) and the Ottawa Senators Foundation.

    In 2017, Mr. Macmillan stepped down as board chair of the BGCO after a decade at the helm. The club grew dramatically under his leadership from an average of 10,000 visits and just over 2,600 members in 2009 to 114,000 visits and 4,500 members in 2016.

    While at the organization’s helm, Mr. Macmillan oversaw numerous capital campaigns to improve services, modernize program space and make the clubhouses more accessible for all residents. The BGCO is a key resource for children and youth in Ottawa. It offers after school, weekend and summer programs for kids aged 6 to 18 and provides them with opportunities for new experiences, confidence-building and social interaction in a safe and caring space.

    Mr. Macmillan also served as the Chair of the Ottawa Senators Foundation, aligning the organization with the BGCO. Mr. Macmillan continues to serve as a BGCO and Ottawa Senators Foundation board member today.

  • Mayor Watson’s statement on the Provincial Election results

    “I would like to congratulate Premier Designate Doug Ford for winning a majority of seats in the Ontario Legislature.

    I would like to thank Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario Liberal Government for all that they have done for the City of Ottawa over the last 15 years. The Wynne Government has been a good partner on a number of significant city building initiatives – many of which would not have been possible without their support and co-operation.

    Personally, I would also like to thank Kathleen Wynne, local members of the Government caucus as well as local MPPs who have not been re-elected, for their steadfast commitment to the residents of Ottawa. It is my opinion that the work accomplished through the recent partnership between our two levels of government is something to be proud of and I believe that – with the passage of time – these accomplishments will be viewed as both practical and productive – with a clear focus on the people we serve.

    I have said previously that there were policies in each of the Liberal, PC and NDP platforms that would be good for the city. I continue to feel optimistic about the future and I will be focusing on areas of common alignment with the new Progressive Conservative Government and Premier Designate Doug Ford.

    I remain committed to building a productive working relationship with the new government, with a strong mandate of delivering results for Ottawa residents. My hope is that the newly elected government continues and strengthens a strong partnership with the City of Ottawa. I truly believe that when the municipal, provincial and federal governments work together, much can be achieved. I trust that local MPPs will continue to act as strong advocates for their communities, regardless of what side of the legislature they are sitting on.

    I am also appreciative that all three major parties fully supported our Phase 2 Light Rail Project and we look forward to breaking ground in 2019.

    To Premier Designate Doug Ford I would like to say congratulations on your successful campaign.”

  • Responses to the Mayor’s Questionnaire for Provincial election local Candidates 2018

    Click the links below to view each Party’s and candidates’ individual response
    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Responses from the Local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Response from the Local Ontario NDP Candidates
    Response from Doug Ford Leader, Ontario PC Party

     

    1. 1. Stage 2 LRT Provincial Funding Commitment

    The City of Ottawa, in partnership with the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada, is currently procuring Stage2 of Light Rapid Transit, scheduled to begin construction in 2019. Stage 2 will bring LRT farther East, West and South. It will reduce commuting times for Ottawa residents and families, contribute to a long-term reduction in GHGs and support the City’s economic diversification. Stage 2 procurement also includes the extension of the Trillium Line from South Keys to the Riverside South Town Center.

    1.a) Does your party support the Province of Ontario honouring its $1.2 Billion  funding commitment to the City of Ottawa for the full build-out of Stage2?

     

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Yes ­­

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Yes

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Yes

     

    Responses from the Local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Yes

     

    Response from the Local Ontario NDP Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: The last Conservative government cut the provincial government’s funding for municipal transit, and Kathleen Wynne refused to restore it. The Wynne Liberals have created chaos by politicizing transit decisions to serve the interests of their party and their friends. Funding approvals are ad hoc, making it impossible for municipalities to make long-term plans to ensure that the right transit is built where it will best serve the public interest.

    Conversely, a New Democrat government will get Ontario moving again with better transit and safer roads and bridges. We will honour all existing commitments to which the province and the City of Ottawa have agreed.

    The NDP will restore the province’s 50 per cent share of funding for municipal transit operations – improving service and helping make fares affordable. That means spending more than $800 million to improve transit and paratransit service across the province.

     

    The Ontario PC Party local Candidates did not provide a response 

     

    The Ontario Trillium Party local Candidates did not provide a response

     

    1.b) Does your party support the Province of Ontario honouring its $50 million funding commitment to the City of Ottawa for the extension of the Trillium Line from Bowesville to Riverside South Town Center.

     

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Yes
    Comment: Ensure LRT and transport is affordable and accessible

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Yes
    Comments: we want to invest MASSIVELY in public transit, but make all highways in cities toll.

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Yes
    Comments: We urgently need new public transit infrastructure and services.  Green MPPs will increase funding for public transit infrastructure by $1 to $1.5 billion per year over projections in the 2018 budget and will fund 50% of the operating costs of municipal transit systems. We would provide permanent operational funding support for municipal transit services in order to reduce fare increases for users.

     

    Response from the local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: Ontario Liberals know how important public transit is to managing congestion, curbing emissions, and building communities. The Liberal Party has committed more than $1 billion to support the Stage 2 LRT project in Ottawa. This is the largest single investment ever made to the city’s public transit system from the provincial government.Through earlier investments our government committed up to $600 million toward the Stage 1 Confederation Line. Since 2003, we have committed more than $2.2 billion to public transit in Ottawa, the largest investment in public transit in the City’s history. This includes more than $452 million in Gas Tax funding.The Ontario Liberals  remain committed to working cooperatively with the City of Ottawa as it moves forward with implementing its Stage 2 LRT project, including the $50 million extension to Riverside South Town Centre that was announced by Bob Chiarelli on May 3rd. The Ontario Liberals are also prepared to work with the City of Ottawa, the City of Gatineau, the Province of Quebec, and the Government of Canada on the next steps for interprovincial transit across the Prince of Wales Bridge as well as any further steps that need to be taken to expand transit access further across the city.

     

    Response from the local Ontario NDP Party Candidates
    Yes

     

    Response from Doug Ford Leader, Ontario PC Party
    Comments:
    Ontarians rely on public transit to get to work, see family and friends, and live their lives. Yet, after 15 years of broken Liberal promises, they are still waking up at the crack of dawn just to beat traffic. The PC Party has committed to province-wide funding for transit, which includes completing stage 2 of Ottawa’s Light Rapid Transit project. We will cut the red tape and end the delays to ensure that transit projects get completed on time and on budget and see this project through to completion.

     

    The Ontario Trillium Party Local Candidates did not provide a response

     

    2.Province of Ontario Commitment to increase City’s share of gas tax

    In 2017, the Province of Ontario announced an increase in the Provincial share of gas tax to be shared with Ontario Cities.  For every litre of gasoline sold, Ontario currently provides two cents to municipalities to help fund local public transit improvements.  Beginning in 2019, Ontario will gradually increase the municipal share of gas tax funds up to a total of four cents per litre in 2021-22, as follows:

    • 5 cents per litre in 2019-20

    • 0 cents per litre in 2020-21

    • 0 cents per litre in 2021-22

    In 2021, the City of Ottawa’s contribution is estimated to increase to $73 million from $36.5 million in 2018, an average funding increase of approx. $12.2 million annually, over three years.  The planned increase will allow the City to continue to invest in and fund much needed public transit needs.

    Does your party support honouring the Province of Ontario’s commitment to increasing the municipal share of Provincial gas tax revenue, as outlined above?

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Yes
    Comments: To build and electrify public transportation

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Yes
    Comments: I would move to have large cities have their tax base to fund their own projects.

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Yes

     

    Response from the local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: The Liberal Party of Ontario is committed to using Gas Tax funds to support public transit across Ontario. Through the 2013 Ontario Budget, we passed the Dedicated Funding for Public Transportation Act. This made the funding for the Gas Tax program permanent.

    It is now a guaranteed source of funding for eligible municipalities to improve and expand their transit services. Since 2004, we have committed $4.1 billion in Gas Tax funding. This includes more than $452 million in Gas Tax funding for the City of Ottawa.

    In addition, we have committed to increasing Gas Tax funding from 2 cents per litre to 2.5 cents per litre in 2019/20, to 3 cents per litre in 2020/21 and to 4 cents per litre in 2021/22. This means up to $66M per year for the City of Ottawa by 2021/22.This increased gas tax funding will go to municipal transit without an increase to what drivers will pay at the pumps.

     

    Response from the local Ontario NDP Party Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: The NDP has long fought for increased funding for transit projects in Ontario. As mentioned above, it is also important to note that an NDP government will commit to funding 50 per cent of operating costs for municipal transit and paratransit.

     

    Response from Doug Ford Leader, Ontario PC Party
    Comments:
    A Doug Ford Ontario PC Government will also continue to share gas tax revenue with municipalities. They will not receive a corresponding decrease in their transfer payments as a result of our promised 10 cents per litre reduction in gasoline taxes. Not only will gas tax transfers continue as planned, but the reduction of gas taxes will save municipalities money at the pumps. We understand that this could result in as much as $6 million in savings per year to the City of Ottawa.

     

    The Ontario Trillium Party Local Candidates did not provide a response

     

    3.Affordable Housing Funding Commitment

    On April 30th, 2018, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario announced they have reached a bilateral agreement under the National Housing Strategy. The 10-year agreement will invest more than $4.2 billion to protect, renew and expand social and community housing, and support Ontario’s priorities related to housing repair, construction, and affordability.

    The governments of Canada and Ontario will also work together on the design and implementation of a new Canada Housing Benefit in Ontario. This new bilateral agreement will support long-term and predictable funding starting April 1, 2019.

    3a) Does your party support honouring the Province of Ontario’s commitment to the National Housing Strategy with a commitment to the successor program to the Investing in Affordable Housing Ontario Program?

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Yes ­­

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Yes

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Yes

     

    Responses from the local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Yes

     

    Response from the local Ontario NDP Party Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: Andrea Horwath and the NDP believe housing is a human right. Our goal is to ensure every Ontarian can access safe, affordable housing.

    In addition to maintaining existing commitments, an NDP government will build new affordable homes — 65,000 of them over the next decade. Andrea Horwath will sign on to the federal National Housing Strategy, which will fund the construction of about 20,000 units, including non-profit and co-op housing. Our 10-year capital plan will make additional investments to build the remaining 45,000 units. And we will provide the co-op housing sector with $3 million to seed co-op bid development.

     

    The Ontario PC Party local Candidates did not provide a response 

     

    The Ontario Trillium Party local Candidates did not provide a response 

     

    3b) Does your party also support the continuation of the following two provincial programs recently announced:

    • The Development Charges Rebate Program, where $18.5M was committed over a 5 year period to support the development of new purpose-built rental housing in the private and not for profit sectors; and,

     

    • The provincial Home for Good Program, where, Ottawa was allocated a total of $11.3M in operating funding and $19M in capital funding for new supportive housing for people struggling with physical and mental health challenges.

     

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Yes

    ­­Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Other
    Comments: We would go further and have a law that 20% of all new housing stock must be affordable housing.

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Yes
    Comments: Plus additional funding. Green MPPs will require new developments to have a minimum of 20% affordable homes. We will push for innovative solutions such as “tiny houses”, laneway housing, co-housing and secondary suites.  And, we will invest in an additional $200 million over projected increases in the 2018 budget in funding for shelters, social, co-op and supportive housing.

     

    Responses from the local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: We are committed to ensuring that the people of Ontario have a safe and affordable place to call home. When families have access to affordable housing, they are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Unlike the PCs and the NDP, we have a solid track record on housing and will continue to make strategic investments in affordable housing. Under Kathleen Wynne’s leadership, the government has increased annual investment in housing to $1 billion per year.

    We are supporting the creation of over 22,000 affordable rental housing units and more than 335,000 repairs to social and affordable housing units; and, providing rental and down payment assistance to over 93,000 households in need.Through the Investment in Affordable Housing program, the Government of Ontario invested $27 million to build 675 housing units, including partnering with the Multifaith Housing Initiative in Barrhaven and the Carlington Community Health Centre on supportive housing for low-income seniors.

    The Government of Ontario also invested $5.1 million in the Tamir Integrated Living Centre, a 34 unit, 45 bed facility that provides housing and respite care for adults with developmental disabilities. A re-elected Ontario Liberal government will continue to fund projects like these that take an innovative approach to address housing challenges.

    Our government is investing up to $200 million in operating funding for housing allowances and support services to assist up to 6,000 families and individuals over the next three years. We are also supporting the construction of up to 1,500 new supportive housing units over the long-term.

    Our Fair Housing Plan is protecting homebuyers and tenants alike, because everyone deserves a suitable home that they can afford. This includes extending rent control to all private units, which protects tenants from unfair and unaffordable rent increases.

    We unlocked the value of provincial lands and expanded funding for affordable housing, ensuring the affordability of tens-of-thousands of existing and future homes.

    Through the Development Charges Rebate Programs, we will provide over $200 million in municipal supports to create market and below-market housing Through the Home For Good program, partnering with municipalities to deliver tailored supportive housing units for people experiencing homelessness.

    The National Housing Strategy will deliver over $4 Billion dollars to support housing in Ontario, including new construction, a portable housing benefit, and the renewal of tens of thousands of units of social housing. Ontario Liberals would cost-match federal funds dollar-for-dollar to derive maximum benefit from this opportunity.

    We also introduced inclusionary zoning, which gives municipalities the power to force affordable housing as part of development projects.

     

    Response from the local Ontario NDP Party Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: According to Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, as of 2018, “there is a staggering shortage of supportive housing in Ontario.

    Andrea and the NDP will invest in 30,000 new supportive housing units over the next 10 years, starting by spending $1.4 billion to build 12,000 supportive housing units within its first mandate, as recommended by Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council and leading mental health advocacy organizations.

    This commitment is over three times as large as the Wynne Liberals’ commitment in the 2018-19 budget. We will fund ongoing rent supplements and support staff costs.

     

    Response from Doug Ford Leader, Ontario PC Party
    Comments:
    For many families, finding an affordable place to live can be a challenge. This is especially true for younger families looking to purchase their first home. I believe in an Ontario where the dream of home ownership shouldn’t be out of reach for the average family that works hard and spends wisely. Though the province took steps to help reduce housing prices, the Liberal government did not go far enough to increase housing supply. More needs to be done to increase housing supply so that prices return to affordable levels and stay there.In addition, when it comes to social housing we have committed $1.9 billion for mental health, addictions, and supportive housing. This money will help increase the stock of needed supportive housing across the province.

     

    The Ontario Trillium Party local Candidates did not provide a response

     

    1. 4. Supporting Long-Term Care

    The Province of Ontario committed $300 million over three years in new funding for long-term care, starting with $50 million in 2018–19 to hire a registered nurse for every home, and setting a goal of increasing the provincial average to four hours of daily care per resident by 2022.

    Does your party support honouring the Province of Ontario’s commitment to fund more direct, one-on-one patient care for long-term care residents?

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Yes ­­­

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Other
    Comments: I do not know if this is the best way to improve this kind of care, so will have to wait until I learn more. We would add to that as focus on home care and be sure that the retirement home system is not dominated by for profit businesses but are community based so that they are also part of the long term care solution.

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Yes
    Comments: We take a comprehensive view of health care by using smart investments to improve our current system, which includes improving the care available to seniors.  We will increase the number of Nurse Practitioners in Long Term Care facilities, as well as mental care and acute care facilities.

    To advance long-term care and home care we will monitor and improve the quality of care in long-term care homes and reduce wait times for elder care.  We will also ensure staff of long-term care facilities have proper resources to appropriately address the needs of residents that require complex care such as mental illness and addictions, acquired brain injury, and/or brain disorders including dementia.
    We would also provide support for people to live at home longer, by increasing funding for home and community care, investing additional resources to improve the availability of assisted living and transitional living for seniors.   We would provide support for family members who care for an infirm relative full time, and develop and fund research into smart home technology to enable us to age in place and stay in our communities.

     

    Response from the local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: Ontario Liberals have committed to over $300 million more dollars in long-term care to increase staffing in long-term care homes with the goal of meeting the provincial average to four hours of daily care per resident by 2022. This will ensure that every home will have staff with specialized training in behavioural supports, and in palliative and end-of-life care.

    These investments will directly impact the lives of residents living in Ontario’s long-term care homes now by ensuring they receive additional care immediately. These investments are in addition to the new long-term care capacity we have committed by adding 5,000 new beds by 2022 – which have already been allocated and include beds for Ottawa’s francophone population – and 30,000 in the next decade.

     

    Response from the local Ontario NDP Party Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: Andrea Horwath and the NDP know that too often, long-term care homes themselves are failing to protect the dignity, health, and even the safety of those who live there.

    We will build and fund 15,000 more long-term care beds over the next five years — rising to 40,000 new beds by 2028. Our investment will focus on expanding the not-for-profit and municipal sector, where funding goes to patient care instead of profit. This will include investment in culturally-appropriate care: offering seniors greater access to care in their primary language, eating food they are familiar with, and engaging in activities they know and love.

    Andrea Horwath and the NDP will also restore a legislated minimum standard of care for every long-term care resident in Ontario, and fund long-term care homes so they can meet it. That standard will require every long-term care home to give each resident a minimum of four hours of hands-on care every day on average.

    We will support the work of local health organizations to build community programs for the most vulnerable people, and we will work with long-term care providers to ensure their residents have full access to publicly funded dental services.

     

    Response from Doug Ford Leader, Ontario PC Party
    Comments:
    On long-term care, we realize that there is a growing need – with 32,000 Ontarians currently waiting for a long-term care bed. Our hospitals are overcrowded, and a lack of long-term care facilities is the primary reason why. We will build 15,000 new long-term care beds in the first five years of our mandate and 30,000 beds over 10 years.

     

    The Ontario Trillium Party local Candidates did not provide a response 

     

    1. 5. Maintaining Uploading Agreements

    The Province of Ontario began “uploading” approximately $1.5 billion in social service costs in 2008. This program has been implemented and saved the City of Ottawa approximately $25 million a year.  I am sure you would agree that it makes more sense to fund provincially mandated social services for the larger and more diverse provincial revenue base than from the municipal property taxes.

    5a) Do you personally agree that the Province of Ontario should maintain the uploading program?

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Yes

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Yes

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Yes

     

    Response from the local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Yes

     

    Response from the local Ontario NDP Party Candidates
    Yes

     

    The Ontario PC Party local Candidates did not provide a response 

     

    The Ontario Trillium Party local Candidates did not provide a response 

     

    5b) Does your political party commit to maintaining the uploading program?

     

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Yes

    ­­Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Comments:
    We think in reverse, programs that are local should have the local government have the ability to tax and raise funds to pay for them, as most cities in Europe do.

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Did not provide a response

     

    Response from the local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: The Ontario Liberal government began the work of uploading costly responsibilities that had been recklessly downloaded by the last PC government under Mike Harris.

    We spent years fixing the mistakes of the previous government on this file. In January, we proudly completed the upload. In 2018, On Ontario Works alone, the upload of non-administration costs to the province will save municipalities about $408 million.

    This includes about $25 million in program delivery funding that was previously paid by municipalities. We are committed to maintaining the upload and to work collaboratively with municipalities on these and other challenges they face.

     

    Response from the local Ontario NDP Party Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: Ontario has not yet recovered from the damage caused by the Conservative government’s decision to download billions of dollars in provincial costs onto municipalities nearly two decades ago. Under the Wynne Liberals, municipalities are still paying what used to be provincial costs, such as social housing, ambulance services, transit, and the maintenance of provincial highways within city boundaries.

    Andrea Horwath and the NDP will deliver change for the better – enhancing the existing program. The NDP understands and respects local government, which is the closest to the people and provides services and infrastructure that people depend on every day.

    An NDP government will undo the damage caused by decades of disrespect and downloading by Liberal and Conservative governments.

    Andrea Horwath and the NDP will stop and reverse the downloading of provincial expenses and responsibilities to local governments – this means fairly sharing responsibility for transit, housing, and child care costs. As mentioned, the NDP will cover 50 per cent of municipal transit and paratransit operations, cover our one-third share of costs of social housing capital repairs, and restore funding to the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund.

    Further, the NDP understands that one-size-fits-all does not work for Ontario municipalities. We will develop policies that respond to the unique needs and challenges of small communities, while also empowering larger towns and cities.

     

    The Ontario PC Party local Candidates did not provide a response 

     

    The Ontario Trillium Party local Candidates did not provide a response 

     

    1. 6. Traditional Infrastructure

    Residents understand that the last seven years have seen the Province focus more heavily on transit infrastructure – which required a massive catch-up effort. Today, residents are asking us to shift some of that focus to our other built infrastructure needs. What we are hearing – at public meetings or in informal conversations – is the need to continue to do more about the state of our roads, infrastructure, buildings and parks.

    The infrastructure gap is a significant challenge for municipalities nation-wide. For every $1 billion dollar invested in new infrastructure, 10,000 person years of employment will be generated in Ottawa, including 5,500 new jobs in the construction sector.

    Will your party consult with Ontario municipalities on the need to establish a traditional infrastructure program for roads, bridges, highways, pedestrian and cycling facilities?

     

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Centre, Cherie Wong
    Yes ­
    Comments: Ensure all are accessible facilities.

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Carleton, Gordon Kubanek
    Yes
    Comments: our focus will be on public transport and in cities have highways as toll highways. I personally, as an engineer, think there should be a mandated % of funds set aside every year to avoid infrastructure gaps so we are always up do date on the required investments. This does mean urban sprawl has to stop  – it is not affordable in terms of infrastructure costs.

    Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, Sheilagh McLean
    Yes
    Comments: We will establish a dedicated long-term fund for municipal walking and cycling infrastructure, investing $2.17 billion over 4 years on safe streets and roads. We will establish a Complete Streets Act which would require streets across Ontario to be planned, designed, operated and maintained to ensure safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities, regardless of their mode of transportation.  We would require all new and resurfaced highways to have paved shoulders for safe cycling, and establish commuter cycling networks across the province.

     

    Response from the local Ontario Liberal Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: We are committed to ensuring that our unprecedented infrastructure investments deliver for everyone in Ontario. We have a responsibility to build the critical public infrastructure our province needs to maintain a strong economy and high standard of living.

    Our track record speaks for itself – we are already making the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history: $230 billion over 14 years.

    In March, Ontario and Canada signed an agreement that will bring $11.8 billion in federal funding to Ontario over the next ten years.

    Our commitment to match that amount with $10 billion of our own includes significant investments in public transit, green, rural and northern, and recreational infrastructure. This joint funding will support faster commute times, cleaner air and water, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, roads and bridges, and enhanced recreational facilities.

    We are aware of the City of Ottawa’s requests regarding expanding the Highway 17/174, an interchange along the 416 highway at Barnsdale Road, and a pedestrian bridge at Huntmar Drive, among others, and if re-elected, we will continue to work with you to find solutions to these and the other challenges the City of Ottawa faces with regards to its infrastructure.

    We look forward to working closely with the federal government and our municipal partners on the design details of this next phase of funding.

     

    Response from the local Ontario NDP Candidates
    Yes
    Comments: Communities across Ontario have seen the impact of decades of cuts to public services. The most obvious examples are roads, schools, or hospitals that need repair.

    The Ontario NDP will keep down the costs of transit, hospitals and schools by making infrastructure planning and procurement decisions based on the long-term public interest, not the needs of profit-seeking private financiers.

    The NDP believes that infrastructure is a public good, and that it should serve the public interest.

    We will invest over $180 billion in infrastructure and will ensure it remains public, avoiding P3s. Additionally, we will expand Community Benefits Agreements, making them integral to all infrastructure projects. These agreements give experience to Ontario apprentices and give growing companies a chance to supply projects with their goods and services — while setting standards for efficiency and climate-resilient construction.

    As mentioned, we will also restore funding to the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, allowing local governments to make long-term plans. We will also work with lower-tier municipalities to ensure they can get funding for important local priorities.

     

    The Ontario PC Party local Candidates did not provide a response

     

    The Ontario Trillium Party local Candidates did not provide a response  

  • Mary Ann Varley receives the City Builder Award

    Mary Ann Varley was recognized for her community leadership in visual arts and cultural development. The City Builder Award was presented to her by Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor and Beacon Hill-Cyrville Councillor Tim Tierney on behalf of Mayor Jim Watson at yesterday’s Council meeting.

    Ms. Varley has volunteered with Arteast, a not-for-profit organization that helps its members develop their abilities and interests in the visual arts, in a variety of leadership positions. She has served as the President and Vice President of the organization, and now helps guide Arteast’s board and mentor other members.

    Arteast fosters the growth of visual arts in Ottawa and the surrounding regions. In support of the organization’s community outreach, Ms. Varley has led the Grow With Art speaker series since 2009, and supported other outreach activities and art exhibitions. A life-long artist that generously and selflessly gives her time, Ms. Varley is also an active member of the Ottawa Art Association.

  • Mayor Watson seeks input on important City of Ottawa issues from local provincial candidates and party leaders

    Today, Mayor Jim Watson issued a short questionnaire to local provincial candidates and their respective party leaders, seeking their input on important City of Ottawa related issues.

    All received responses will be posted on Mayor Watson’s website www.Jimwatsonottawa.ca, simultaneously, without editorial comment, on Monday, June 4. The intention of this respectful initiative is to ensure local issues specific to Ottawa receive provincial attention in the lead-up to the June 7 provincial election.

    The questionnaire’s responses will outline each party’s position on issues of great interest to the City of Ottawa, its residents and businesses.

    Click here to view the questionnaire.

  • Karen Taylor receives the City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and West Carleton-March Councillor Eli El-Chantiry recognized Karen Taylor for her long-standing community leadership in Fitzroy Harbour, especially during the 2017 spring flood response, by presenting her with the City Builder Award at today’s Council meeting.

    In her long-serving role as president of the Fitzroy Harbour Community Association, Ms. Taylor has been a master organizer of many successful local fundraising events and activities, such as Harbour Days summer festival, the Winter Carnival, the Spring Fling fundraiser, and the New Year’s Eve community event. Her leadership and community spirit were also key to securing the funding to improve the Fitzroy Harbour Community Centre.

    Last May, Karen Taylor displayed the same passion and leadership for her community during the response of the 2017 spring floods. Her organizational skills were instrumental in organizing both volunteers and actions to help her community and neighbours in need.  Her community spirit has continuously brought together her fellow neighbours in both good times and bad.

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