• 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  

  • 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.

  • Responses to the Mayor’s Questionnaire for Ottawa-Vanier Candidates 2016

    Responses to the Mayor’s Questionnaire for Ottawa-Vanier Candidates have been organized alphabetically by each candidate’s last name who has responded.

    1. The city is embarking on an ambitious Light Rail Transit project, including Stage 2 that sends light rail further East, West and South. If elected, will you and your party support Stage 2?

    New Democratic Party of Ontario candidate Claude Bisson

    Yes
    Comments:

    My party and I believe that we should focus our efforts towards transit projects like the LRT expansion. It will help Ottawa’s economy, provide more transportation options around the city and ultimately reduce our carbon footprint. We also need to make sure transit options are affordable in order to ensure that Ottawa citizens can all have equal access to transit options in the city.

     

    Ontario Liberal Party candidate Nathalie Des Rosiers

    Yes
    Comments:

    I strongly support the expansion of the LRT. This project means that people in Ottawa-Vanier would spend less time in traffic and more time with their families. Continuing to improve transit for Ottawa-Vanier families is an issue I have raised throughout this campaign will continue to fight for.

    I am very proud to be running for the team that funded the first phase of the LRT and has already committed to funding the second phase of this important project. Unlike the Conservatives, the Ontario Liberal Party has never wavered in its support for building transit in Ottawa.

     

    Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda candidate Elizabeth de Viel Castel

    Yes

     

    Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario candidate André Marin

    Comments:

    The Ontario PC Party believes that one of the province’s most pressing needs is infrastructure. Congestion, wait times and gridlock drag down our economy and our quality of life. Unfortunately this Liberal Government has been in power for 13 years and Ontario is still burdened by gridlock and insufficient transit. The Ontario PC Party supports Stage 2 of the City of Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit project. Should I have the honour of being elected as the MPP of Ottawa-Vanier, I will support this project on behalf of my constituents. Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown has also made it clear that if elected, an Ontario PC government would honour infrastructure projects that have shovels in the ground. Infrastructure projects must be started within the mandate a government is elected, and be delivered on time and on budget.

     

    Green Party of Ontario candidate Raphaël Morin

    Yes
    Comments:

    I believe transit and active transportation are essential for the health of our communities and economy.

    The Green Party of Ontario supports regional transit infrastructure renewal throughout the City of Ottawa, including funding for Stage 2 of the LRT.

    In addition, the Green Party of Ontario renews its call for all levels of government to work together to expedite the extension of the Trillium Line to the Ottawa International Airport.

     

    2. Truck traffic in the downtown core, particularly on Kind Edward, Rideau and Waller Streets, is often unsafe and takes away from the quality of life of residents and visitors. The city has approved a plan to conduct an EA on a proposed truck tunnel that would remove the majority of trucks from the downtown core. Will you and your party support 1/3 funding of the EA in this next fiscal year so that work can begin on the study next year?

    New Democratic Party of Ontario candidate Claude Bisson

    Yes
    Comments:

    Three cyclists recently lost their lives here in Ottawa because of all the heavy traffic that is currently using our roads in the downtown core. That’s three too many. We need to make our streets secure for everyone. We would definitely fund the environmental assessment, but any project moving forward will need proper public consultations so we can ensure that we build a consensus around the solutions that will be identified.

     

    Ontario Liberal Party candidate Nathalie Des Rosiers

    Yes
    Comments:

    Truck traffic continues to be an issue for families in this community. The time for action is now. I am very pleased to know that the Ontario Liberal government also recognizes the importance of this issue and has already provided $375,000 towards the initial feasibility study.

    If I have the honour of serving the people of Ottawa-Vanier as their MPP, I will work with the City of Ottawa on this next step, and further explore the feasibility of the tunnel by contributing 1/3 of the funding required for the EA.

     

    Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda candidate Elizabeth de Viel Castel

    Yes

     

    Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario candidate André Marin

    Comments:

    The Ontario PC Party is open to evaluating every idea on its merits, particularly one that may help to make our streets safer and reduce congestion. We are also willing to work with our federal and municipal partners to come to solutions that are in the best interest of the province.

     

    Green Party of Ontario candidate Raphaël Morin

    No
    Comments:

    Removing trucks from our downtown streets is an important priority for our city.  It’s one of many long-term unaddressed infrastructure problems in the City of Ottawa.

    At this point the tunnel proposal has been limited to a technical feasibility study. Although the high level of public interest in understandable, it is too early in the process to consider it a done deal.

    We also need to acknowledge the existing commitments to other major infrastructure projects in the City of Ottawa. Phase II LRT expansion and the Ottawa River Action Plan must continue to be the top infrastructure priorities for Ottawa for the next 5 to 10 years.

    There must be a lot more community consultation before this proposal or any other proposal goes forward. Time after time, the residents of Ottawa-Vanier and their quality of life have been treated as an afterthought. The public deserves more clarity about all possible solutions. More study is needed, particularly on the roundabout proposed at Overbrook.

    Before investing $1.5 to $2 billion in a tunnel project, the community needs to have their say on other, lower cost options that could perhaps be implemented more rapidly. Instead, in effect, the tunnel project has been “floated as trial balloon.”  Unfortunately, we’ve already seen how divisive these issues can be, for example with the NCC’s earlier $1.2 billion Kettle Island bridge proposal. That is why broad and meaningful consultation with the affected communities is so important.

     

    3. Ottawa has seen an increase in the number of shootings in our city. Would you support providing ongoing sustainable funding for our Ottawa Police DART and Guns and Gangs teams to help combat this serious challenge?

    New Democratic Party of Ontario candidate Claude Bisson

    Comments:

    In my experience in the RCMP, I believe that only using repressive measures won’t make us successful. To reduce crime in Ottawa, we need a balanced approach that involves our communities, business leaders, and police officers. We have to offer our youth activities that will get them off the streets and only our community organizations can do that. We also have to address the root causes of such violence like poverty and access to education.

     

    Ontario Liberal Party candidate Nathalie Des Rosiers

    Yes
    Comments:

    Ontario Liberals have consistently increased funding to local police services in Ottawa as we believe that the best way to fight crime is to let local communities decide their own priorities.

    This past year the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Police Service received over $7 million support local community safety and well-being efforts, an increase of nearly $300,000 from the year before.

    According to the Crime Severity Index (a measure of violent crime) Ottawa has one of the lowest rates in Ontario. Of the 32 largest Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada, Ottawa ranks behind only Toronto and Barrie in Ontario, and is one of the 5 lowest in the country.

    We will continue to fund programs in Ottawa to ensure it remains one of the safest cities in the country.

    Through my work at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and as a long-time advocate, I know what important work our police do. I also know that policing is only part of the solution. If we truly want to address violence in our community, we must also focus on prevention. That’s why I’m proud to be part of a team that not only continues to increase funding to the Ottawa Police Service but also invests in programs for at risk youth and vulnerable communities.

     

    Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda candidate Elizabeth de Viel Castel

    Yes

     

    Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario candidate André Marin

    Comments:

    As the candidate of Ottawa-Vanier, I have been busy knocking on doors and meeting with residents. What I’ve been hearing from the community – from families and businesses – is that people are worried and afraid. A record number of shootings this year is completely unacceptable in the city that I call home. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about whether their child will come home at the end of the day. While Ottawa’s police work extremely hard protecting our entire community we need to do more to support them and make the community safer. As a lifelong resident of Ottawa and the candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, I have a sincere desire to address this issue. That is why last month Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown and I called upon the government to restore their shortsighted cuts to Ottawa’s DART program. We continue to hear from cops with anti-gang experience that the cuts to this unit have impacted their ability to prevent shootings. The province urgently needs to take action to get guns off our streets and build stronger, safer communities for Ottawa families. If this government won’t act, I would continue to advocate for the restoration of this funding as MPP, and an Ontario PC government commits to restoring this funding.

     

    Green Party of Ontario candidate Raphaël Morin

    Yes
    Comments:

    The Green Party of Ontario supports sustainable funding for all aspects of policing, including the DART and Guns and Gangs units.

    As a candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, I acknowledge that our community faces challenges regarding criminal organizations. To that end, I also support funding for diversion programs for youth, for addictions treatment centres and for harm-reduction facilities such as safe injection sites.

    It is also important to acknowledge the ongoing demands placed on the Ottawa Police Service related to the presence of the federal Parliament and the many diplomatic representatives in our city. Every time there is a major demonstration in our city, our police play an important role in protecting people and property while safeguarding our freedom of assembly. As an MPP, I would work with other levels of government to ensure stable funding in this regard.

     

    4. Will you and your party join with the Federal Government and the City of Ottawa in adding additional funding for affordable housing? If so, what kind of support do you envision?

    New Democratic Party of Ontario candidate Claude Bisson

    Yes
    Comments:

    We must ensure that all Ontarians have safe and affordable housing by building and repairing more affordable housing units. The government must stop downloading this crucial responsibility onto cash-strapped municipalities. We need to set attainable targets for increasing affordable housing for the people that need it the most, invest in new affordable housing and repair existing sub-standard housing. Ultimately, the Ontario NPD would develop an Ontario housing plan that includes inclusionary zoning and better tenants’ rights.

     

    Ontario Liberal Party candidate Nathalie Des Rosiers

    Yes
    Comments:

    Supporting people who are in need is one of the values that has guided me throughout my life and career. And one of the most essential supports is having a home.

    Having a place to call home is a foundation that leads to better health outcomes, improved access to services, more employment opportunities and stability.

    The Ontario Liberal Government currently funds and will continue to fund a number of affordable housing programs in Ottawa.

    For Ottawa specifically this includes but is not limited to;

    • $35.6M for the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative for Ottawa this past year
    • $48.2Mthrough the extension of the Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario
    • $16.2M from the Social Infrastructure Fund for the Social Housing Improvement Program
    • $12M from the Green Investment Fund for the Social Housing Apartment Retrofit Program

    The Ontario Liberal Government has a strong track record of making investments in affordable housing in Ottawa and we will continue to make these important investments.

     

    Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda candidate Elizabeth de Viel Castel

    Yes

     

    Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario candidate André Marin

    Comments:

    The Ontario PC Party is open to evaluating every idea on its merits. We are also willing to work with our federal and municipal partners to come to solutions that are in the best interest of the province. One issue we have seen continued provincial inaction on is affordable housing. This government has had 13 years to fix Ontario’s affordable housing waitlist, yet we now have over 171,000 families waiting for housing – the longest it’s ever been. It’s clear the current approach is not working. Liberal policies – from spiraling hydro rates, to high taxes, to increasing development charges on new homes and rentals – are making life more unaffordable for all Ontarians. What’s more, years of Liberal waste, scandal and mismanagement, including the irresponsible spending at Housing Services Corporation, have left this government unable to fund the services Ontarians depend on, such as health care and affordable housing. While this is an issue that requires all levels of government to work together, organizations such as the Home Builders and Rental Housing Providers have made suggestions to help reduce building costs that would also be worthwhile to consider.

     

    Green Party of Ontario candidate Raphaël Morin

    Yes
    Comments:

    The Green Party believes it is the right of every Canadian to have affordable, safe, and secure housing. It enhances people’s health, dignity, and life opportunities. It is an essential prerequisite to an equitable society. The Green Party supports the delivery of social housing dollars to provincial, territorial, and municipal governments through the traditional vehicle of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).