Ward 15 – Kitchissippi – Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Ecology Ottawa asked all candidates in the 2014 municipal election a series of questions on important environmental issues.

Complete Streets:

Many Ottawa streets are dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians and too many neighbourhoods lack affordable and convenient public transportation options. Badly designed streets discourage active and healthy lifestyles and limit transportation choices. In 2013, City Council adopted a Complete Streets policy that will put more emphasis on designing streets for all ages, abilities and users (pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users, as well as cars).

Candidate 

*indicates incumbent

If elected, will you commit to prioritizing pedestrian, cycling and affordable public transit infrastructure over automobile infrastructure in meeting the future growth in travel demand in the urban area? If elected, will you work to ensure that all new roads and road renewal projects integrate Complete Streets principles? The City’s new transportation master plan increases funding for cycling infrastructure but delays many investments for over 15 years. If elected, will you work to increase the overall level of investment and accelerate the pace of implementation?
Katherine Hobbs *  YES – Kitchissippi #1 in cycling infrastructure in the City. Churchill is Ottawa’s 1st “complete street” with raised, segregated cycling lanes. Scott to follow in 2018. Two of the three bike corrals in the City are piloted on Wellington. New MUP from Scott east widened, lighted, winter cleared with no gaps through to Laurier segregated lanes in 2015. YES – Having the first Complete Street in the City on Churchill gave us a great model for other locations, such as Main Street, which I supported unequivocally. Scott is next, the EA approved. The new Carling/Champagne/Preston CDP approved July 9 calls for $85 million of public realm projects to be completed in this area. I fought successfully for this policy as it means complete streets, buried hydro, expanded parks, pedestrian and cycling bridges, etc.  YES – I have been successful in bumping forward Multi-Use pathway system by 4 years in Scott/Albert area. That means new MUPS south of Scott beside Tom Brown arena and under Albert Bridge that connect with Bayview Station and North/South MUP. North MUP widened to 3.5M and connected to the Laurier Bike lanes. Cantilevered pedestrian and cycling path slated for Prince of Wales rail bridge (extension of O-train).
Jeff Leiper YES – I am a lifelong transit user and cyclist, and have never driven to work as a primary means of commuting. I cycle to work every day, and understand the frustrations of cyclists at the lack of safe infrastructure. If elected, my commitment is to make real the City’s policies with respect to the transportation hierarchy in the Transportation Master Plan. Safe infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists must be implemented on major routes more rapidly, not only as a by-product of road reconstruction. YES – I am fully supportive of the City’s policy to implement complete streets as part of road renewals and new roads. If elected, I will work to implement streets that more completely embrace European-style complete street principles (“woonerfs”). It is also vital that these connect to a usable network, and not produce a set of complete street fragments that just dump cyclists and pedestrians into unsafe environments where they end YES – Cycling infrastructure funding increases are a good start. Now, the strict link between street renewals and complete streets needs to be relaxed. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has noted that current federal and provincial transfers are ad hoc. I am committed, if elected, to working independently and with Council colleagues, to address the need for greater, long-term, stable funding from provincial and federal revenues for sustainable transportation.
Ellen Lougheed YES – I certainly would. This is one of my key elements in my campaign. This is a subject near and dear to my heart.  YES – Same answer as first question. YES – I would need more details before committing wholeheartedly, especially in terms of finances. Again, I stress innovative solutions.
Michelle Reimer  YES  YES YES – If residents want to accelerate this investment I would look at ways in which this could be done for my Ward and City-wide.
Larry Wasslen

Climate Change:

About 75 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions come from activities that occur in cities, and municipalities have direct or indirect control over about half of these emissions. In 2014 the City of Ottawa adopted a new Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan.

Candidate 

*indicates incumbent

Do you agree that human-induced climate change is an urgent issue and all levels of government have a role to play in helping to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions? If elected, will you push for the full implementation of the City of Ottawa’s Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan, including items identified in the plan for the 2015 budget? The Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan establishes the modest goal of reducing Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent per capita by 2024, but leaves open a lot of space for new initiatives to emerge in the coming years. If elected, will you push for actions aimed at surpassing the current goal?
Katherine Hobbs *  Yes – I fully support the Climate Change Management Plan; and all levels of government should lead in setting climate change policies. And personally I believe we should all do what we can. I sold my car as part of my commitment for our air quality and reduction of dependence on fuels. I am proud this Council approved Light Rail that will see 1000’s of buses off our roads. I also successfully fought for two 2 new stations in Kitchissippi.  Yes – And additionally I support policies to reduce parking requirements for development applications as well, and all other opportunities to improve our environment for our health and our future generations.  YES
Jeff Leiper  YES  YES YES – I am committed to achieving at least the current target for GHG reductions, and consider that it is too modest a goal in light of the reductions urged by climate change scientists. I will work to restore a corporate target for GHG reductions in areas that are directly controlled by the City (http://jeffleiper.ca/content/two-big-problems-new-city-ottawa-climate-change-plan-and-how-fix-them). I also want to see the City report to the public each year on GHG reductions achieved by the City.
Ellen Lougheed  YES – Seems obvious to me. NO – I cannot say yes or no until I get the full plan and budget.  I want to behave responsibility in all areas that are important to the city and to this ward. YES – I constantly see the ill effects of greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollutants in young children and others with breathing problems.  When you lessen one problem, you lessen the other.  Math works in strange ways like that
Michelle Reimer  YES  YES  YES
Larry Wasslen

Clean Water and Healthy Watersheds:

Every time it rains, a cocktail of contaminants (including bacteria, chemicals, fuels and heavy metals) washes off our streets and runs straight into our rivers and streams via the underground storm-sewer system. Ecology Ottawa wants the City of Ottawa to follow-through on its commitment to develop a Water Environment Strategy that improves stormwater management, invests in green infrastructure, reduces flooding, protects our streams, and makes it safer to swim and fish in our rivers.

Candidate 

*indicates incumbent

The City of Ottawa is developing a Water Environment Strategy that will provide a framework for action to promote clean drinking water, reduce the toxins going into our rivers, and protect communities and streams from flooding associated with severe weather. If elected, will you support the development of a strong strategy and prioritize the investments necessary to realize the strategy’s goals? The April 2014 Ontario Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) instructs planning authorities to promote green infrastructure measures (such as parklands, stormwater systems, wetlands, street trees, urban forests, natural channels, permeable surfaces, and green roofs) in order to reduce costs, protect ecosystems and adapt to extreme weather events. If elected, will you prioritize green infrastructure in addressing the City of Ottawa’s water management needs?   The production of clean water for public consumption has been falling over the past decade in Ottawa (ie., we are using less water). Between 2004 and 2013, the amount of clean water produced and used inside Ottawa fell from over 125,000 million litres to about 100,000 million litres (not including private wells). If elected will you commit to continuing this trend by prioritizing water conservation measures that reduce usage by 3 percent per year?
Katherine Hobbs *  YES – I am committed to the City’s Stormwater Managerment Retrofit Plan and the need for oil and grit separators and stormwater management ponds, etc. My goal is to increase the number of days Westboro Beach is open for swimming by improving a number of factors in the Pinecrest Creek corridor that contribute to unsafe levels of bacteria at the beach, and increase public awareness and involvement in stormwater management with rainbarrels, downspouts directed to pervious surfaces.  YES – I fully support this policy. Additionally I am proud that the new Innvoation Centre at Bayview Yards will have a green roof and that the Community Design Plans for the OTrain corridor incorporate a green swath to the River.  YES – I would like to introduce stronger environmental policies for construction in Ottawa such as mandating toilets that use less water per flush, as well as better protection of trees during construction. I believe a list of environmental requirements should be developed and integrated into the development approval process and I would achieve this by pushing for it to be added to the work plan for the Planning Department for the next term of Council 2014-2018.
Jeff Leiper  YES – We must conserve Ottawa’s rivers as a resource for future generations. My commitment, if elected, is to prioritize municipal spending to fund infrastructure to protect our waterways and to push the City continue to work with the Province to achieve this goal. As far back as 2003, I was a leader in the successful campaign to eliminate the Bayview Yards snow dump that was exacerbating Ottawa River pollution (http://ottawariverkeeper.ca/news/snow_dump_is_obvious_waste_of_prime_land/).  YES – I am committed to protecting green space (http://jeffleiper.ca/content/western-light-rail-going-rails-kitchissippi) and urban forests (http://jeffleiper.ca/content/concrete-steps-protect-our-urban-forests). I will vote to protect watersheds and preserve natural environments. I am committed to maintaining permeable surfaces when infill and new development occurs. I will use regulatory tools to require green building when possible and otherwise encourage it through incentives.  YES – Public education, rebates for high volume water users to implement water efficiency measures, and regulatory measures such as water restrictions have served to reduce the overall and maximum day production of water. If elected, I will work to reduce per capita and overall water consumption with measures that continue to reduce system leakage, continuing public education measures, as well as regulatory measures where needed.
Ellen Lougheed  YES – Why has this not been done before?  YES – Although I am a strong believer and supporter in a healthy environment, I do have other priorities that also need support, such as affordable housing. I believe I can support both initiatives in such a way that helps both. Some solutions to both of these areas do not require lots of money, and others do need considerable financial support. I think we have to be more innovative in our solutions.  YES – By all means. And we can devise creative solutions to encourage people to use less water.
Michelle Reimer  YES  YES  YES
Larry Wasslen


Healthy Urban Trees:

Candidate 

*indicates incumbent

 The Emerald Ash Borer infestation is killing millions of trees across Ottawa, including about 25 percent of the trees in the urban area. In response, organizations and individuals, including the City of Ottawa, are coming together to set the collective goal of planting a million trees in our nation’s capital as part of our contribution to Canada’s 150 birthday celebration in 2017. If elected, will you support and prioritize investments towards this goal?  The City of Ottawa has announced its intention to develop a new Forest Management Strategy. If elected, will you support the development of a strong strategy and the investments necessary to realize the strategy’s goals? 
Katherine Hobbs *  YES – As co-chair of the Ottawa’s 2017 task force, I fully support the planting of a million trees as undertaken by collective organizations and individuals for 2017. We are aiming to have 150 things added to the Guiness World Book of Records for our anniversary and this might qualify if no-one has done it before 🙂 Just a note that extensive replanting has taken place to replace lost Ash, and increase the variety of trees to ensure a healthy urban forest.  YES – As a Councillor in the urban core I recognize the importance of our trees. However in order to be effective in setting strategy and having a strong voice on Environmental issues it is imperative to serve on the appropriate committee which I, if elected, will request to be placed on.
Jeff Leiper  YES – A major tree-planting initiative is an investment in our future air, water and soil quality. The City of Ottawa should help fund such an initiative. It also has an important role to play in providing leadership in a broader fundraising initiative. I will support maximizing the trees required as part of landscaping in new developments and using funds from new development, such as cash-in-lieu of parkland and Section 37 funds, for trees.  YES – The urban forest is a key part of maintaining the sustainability and livability of Ottawa. We need stronger policies that lead to increased tree planting and preventing the loss of mature trees, which is an increasing threat both from diseases and development pressures. Part of this must be measuring the effectiveness of the current Urban Tree Conservation Bylaw, and strengthening it where it falls short.
Ellen Lougheed  YES – Again, I think we can find creative solutions to achieving this goal. I love this goal.  YES – I will have to see what has been done already, and to see what suggestions have been made.  I could say yes, but I would have to see the figures and this goal in more detail.
Michelle Reimer  YES – Regarding this costly but important investment in replacing trees I would encourage City Hall to request cash-in-lieu of parkland (CIL) to be used City-Wide in this “million-tree” investment. Money should be applied equally throughout 23 wards. I would also include residents in the determination of where to place new trees. Finally, this wonderful initiative should include an educational component and involve school children during implementation.  YES
Larry Wasslen

 

Proposed Oil Pipeline Threatens Ottawa Water and Communities

TransCanada wants to move more than a million barrels a day of tar sands oil through the City of Ottawa and across the World Heritage Rideau River on its way to export terminals in eastern Canada. The proposed “Energy East” pipeline puts communities and waterways in danger all along the pipeline route.

Candidate 

*indicates incumbent

Do you think the City of Ottawa should conduct a thorough and independent assessment of the risks and costs that the proposed Energy East pipeline poses to the health of Ottawa’s communities and water?  Would you oppose the Energy East Pipeline if it was demonstrated that it threatened the health of Ottawa’s water, climate and communities? Should the City of Ottawa intervene in the National Energy Board review of the proposed Energy East pipeline in order to ensure that the interests of the people of Ottawa are well represented? 
Katherine Hobbs *  YES – This is something City staff are already engaged in although we are years away, but it is my understanding this will continue to ensure that our rivers are safe.  NO – To be honest there is likely no opportunity for a Councillor to vote against the pipeline as the area is currently zoned for a pipeline, and there are pipelines there and this is an order of the Federal Government. Therefore in terms of how the question is phrased, I can’t say yes, but I can say that as Councillor a pipeline must not impact any health and safety factors in Ottawa, and that all threats MUST be addressed to the satisfaction of experts in our EPS branch.  YES – This has to be by invitation, and to my knowledge the City has not been invited to participate. Whether or not that is right or wrong is for citizens of Ottawa to address with their Federal MP’s.
Jeff Leiper  YES – An independent risk assessment of the proposed pipeline is required, the costs of which should be borne by the proponent. There are enough pipeline accidents in Canada that I do not believe it should traverse our city. The risks involved with other means of transport, such as by rail, must also be examined.  YES – I will oppose anything that is demonstrated to threaten the health of Ottawa water, climate, and communities, but I hope that any Councillor would do the same. More specifically, I will work to ensure that we have access to the necessary information to determine whether there is a significant risk, which requires that Council understand the issues and ensure that City staff protect our interests.  YES – As with multiple issues, if elected I am committed to working with my Council colleagues to more forcefully advocate for residents’ interests. It is certainly a legitimate issue for Council to address. The City should require that any environmental risk assessment be thorough and transparent and that the safety of Ottawa residents and our environment are not compromised. The City should oppose any plan that poses a risk at the National Energy Board.
Ellen Lougheed  YES – I have to think more about that one.  If other cities conduct thorough assessments, we do not have to do one of our own.  We can generalize, unless the others’ results do not make sense.  YES – I would definitely oppose the Energy East Pipelines if it was demonstrated that it threatens the health of water, climate and communities.  Why would I choose otherwise?  Nothing is worth risking our health, not even if the Pipeline provided jobs and income.  Jobs and income are related to good health, but to have our health and environment ignored or deemed less important is absurd.  If we cannot consider the health of ourselves and our families and neighbours, we are not passing on a legacy of progress.  NO – don’t know yet.
Michelle Reimer  YES – And no. I support an independent assessment but would expect the cost to be shared by the three levels of government.    YES  YES – Not sure what you mean by intervene. Do you mean stop the review? I think an independent review is imperative and that the only way to make sure it is robust is that a new “special” panel be struck with a diverse mixture of backgrounds and interests. However, I understand the NEB can only make a “recommendation” to cabinet and that cabinet has the final say.  
Larry Wasslen

Categories: Campaign

Author:Charles Hodgson

Acting locally on climate change

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  1. Election Reports | Ecology Ottawa - October 3, 2014

    […] Ward 15 – Kitchissippi […]

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