Ward 16 – River – 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).


*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?
Riley Brockington  A healthy balance must exist for all.  That is an admirable goal to aim towards.  Accelerate pace of investment, yes.
Barbara Carroll
Don Francis  YES – A car becomes quite useless in gridlock.  YES – I am encouraged to note the growing acceptance of these principles.  YES – I can vote for such measures easily enough, but the acceleration will occur only with strong citizen support.
Antonio Giannetti
Jeff Koscik YES YES – Where reasonable YES
Michael Kostiuk YES – Create denser centres in the urban core, AND outside the greenbelt. This will promote both local employment in Kanata, Orleans and Barrhaven, and it will also support mass transit on both sides of the Greenbelt. YES – New Urbanism and Satellite Cities. Use modern planning and architecture techniques to create dense employment centres in the urban cores (Satellite Cities) outside the greenbelt (Kanata, Barrhaven, Orleans). If people can work close to their homes then there is less pressure on public transit. YES
Mike Patton NO – We need a balanced approach to transportation that encourages public transit but acknowledges the reality of the car in our community. YES – understanding that the needs of the rural areas are different than the needs in the urban core. NO – many of the “delays” are the result of upgrade on replacement, fast tracking some projects will result in higher costs and greater inconvenience to residents
Colin Pennie  NO – I support both automobile infrastructure improvements as well as affordable public transit, pedestrian and cycling. Prioritizing and neglecting one side of this issue would result in more transportation issues for Ottawa residents.  YES – Complete Streets give Ottawa citizens access that should be part of new developments and improvements. YES – I would examine budgetary restrictions and constraints to accelerate the pace of implementation. I would look into private-public partnerships and community fundraisers to increase financial support and investment.
Vanessa Nicki Sutton  YES  YES YES – By strategically realigning existing budget resources over a 5-15 year period.
Bruce Winchester

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.


*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?
Riley Brockington  YES  Will need to review budget before I commit to 2015 expenditure priorities.  I would need to know how we plan to get there and what the impact would be on the taxpayer, but I support initiatives that lower green house gas emissions.
Barbara Carroll
Don Francis  YES – While each level of government has a different role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, I am keen to see the city assume its responsibility seriously.  YES – I have yet to review the 2015 budget, but am pleased to note that action is contemplated.  YES – We have many qualified experts whose advice needs to be heard. I know they do have ideas that need consideration.
Antonio Giannetti
Jeff Koscik  YES YES – If it is possible to do so within a balanced budget  YES
Michael Kostiuk  YES  YES  YES
Mike Patton  YES  YES  YES
Colin Pennie  YES – Long-term planning and sustainable solutions is a forefront responsibility of each level of government to take an active role in.  YES  YES
Vanessa Nicki Sutton  YES YES – By strategically aligning existing budget resources so as to avoid the need to increase property taxes.  YES
Bruce Winchester

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.


*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?
Riley Brockington  YES  YES  YES – But can not commit to a 3% taget as I do not know its impact or level of reasonableness.
Barbara Carroll
Don Francis  YES – Action on this file is absolutely necessary as so many reports have now shown, including the most recent one about the plastic particles found in rivers from products as seemingly innocent as toothpaste. The impact on fish has been known for years particularly from medical products which pass through the human body into the waste stream.  YES – The need for action was made particularly clear in Toronto and Calgary last year.  YES – I am interested in knowing more about how the reduction occurred and how more can occur.
Antonio Giannetti
Jeff Koscik  YES – Yes I will support such a Water Environment Strategy as long as the proper groups are consulted, a reasonable timeline and reasonable goals are set out.  YES  YES
Michael Kostiuk  YES  YES  YES
Mike Patton  YES  YES  NO – Really more of a maybe, I don’t know how much more real conservation is available or how the 3% goal would be achieved.
Colin Pennie  YES – Water Environment Strategy is a key priority for the city. We need to follow-through on a multi-jurisdictional government approach to implement clean water and healthy watersheds.  YES – Sustainable solutions must effectively protect and preserve the environment to avoid bigger problems in the future. River Ward has more green space than any other area in Ottawa that requires the protection and support of leadership with any initiatives going forward.  YES – Without question, reduced water consumption will be a priority if I am elected as City Councillor for River Ward 16. I will continue to work to implement water conservation methods.
Vanessa Nicki Sutton  YES – By strategically realigning existing budget resources as I do not want to increase property taxes.  YES – By strategically realigning existing budget resources as I do not want to increase property taxes.  YES
Bruce Winchester

Healthy Urban Trees:


*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? 
Riley Brockington  YES – But hope to have sponsors to cover costs.  YES – But must be aware of costs.
Barbara Carroll
Don Francis  YES – We lost elms a generation or two ago and now it is emerald ash. I certainly support the plan to plant a million new trees, all the while emphasizing bio diversity.  YES – I expect to learn more details about the actual strategy and how citizens can be encouraged to support the effort.
Antonio Giannetti
Jeff Koscik  YES  NO – I currently do not know enough about this subject so I can not say yes.
Michael Kostiuk  YES – If we plant a wide diversity of tree species then insects will have a harder time spreading since they tend to only favour certain tree types.  YES
Mike Patton  YES  NO – again more of a maybe, I support a strong Strategy, but let me see the Strategy prior to me agreeing to fund it.
Colin Pennie  YES – This is a fantastic initiative and I would support this both in council and actively taking part in tree planting. I would engage the River Ward 16 community with local schools and local organizations to take part as well.  YES – Our city green spaces and forests are an essential part of our environmental health and identity. I would support the implementation of a new Forest Management Strategy.
Vanessa Nicki Sutton  YES – By strategically realigning existing budget resources as I do not want to increase property taxes.  YES – By strategically realigning existing budget resources over a 5-10 year period as I do not want to increase property taxes.
Bruce Winchester

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.


*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? 
Riley Brockington YES Depends of level of threat.  I would like to see the results of the indendent assessment first.
Barbara Carroll
Don Francis  YES – The City cannot decide the pipeline issue, but it can certainly influence it with a thorough assessment of the risks and costs.  YES  YES – I believe that this intervention can be more effective, and less costly, if it occurs in cooperation with the Province.
Antonio Giannetti
Jeff Koscik  NO –  I think all governments and municipalities should do an independent study on the possible risks. Also out of all modes of transportation for the gas I believe the pipeline to be the most efficient and safe. Instead of opposing the pipeline I propose we look at how to make the pipeline more safe. Plus a large portion of the pipeline already exists through the areas that would affect our rivers.  YES  YES
Michael Kostiuk  NO  YES  NO
Mike Patton  NO – Such an assessment is most properly done by the province and the federal governement.  YES – If a pipeline is demonstrated to pose a threat it will not be permitted  NO – The National Energy Board should be permitted to do their work.
Colin Pennie  YES – While the proposed pipeline is an important solution for transportation of Canadian developed oil, we absolutely need to examine the environmental impact and fiscal cost before making any commitment.  YES – We need safe solutions that benefit our communities and watersheds. If the Energy East Pipeline is not equipped with full contingency planning and viable safety measures, then we can’t implement it.  YES – As the proposed Energy East pipeline directly affects our city and environment, we need to be directly involved.
Vanessa Nicki Sutton  YES  YES  YES
Bruce Winchester

One Comment on “Ward 16 – River – Candidate Questionnaire Responses

  1. Pingback: Election Reports | Ecology Ottawa

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