Ward 20 – Osgoode – 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?
George Darouze YES – However, my largest concern is my rural residents! Rural roads and infrastructure are a major concern for my Rural Residents YES – I am in support of the Complete Street Principles as long as my rural residents feel the same way and that it is safe for all. YES
Tom Dawson  NO – I will not place the other systems of transit over that of vehicle, but on par with that of cars. The rural areas require strong infrastructure and we don’t have many sidewalks or public transit options so we need our cars to move unimpeded.  YES – Anything new should be done right the first time.  YES – The downtown environment can benefit greatly from increased public transit and cycling options.
Davis Jermacans  NO – With qualification. Priority investment is needed to provide needed infrastructure for safe active transportation in our urban core. The high and increasing number of vehicle/pedestrian and vehicle/cycling collisions are unacceptable. Care must also be taken to ensure that adequate transit and road infrastructure is maintained for travel involving larger distances and travel from rural areas into the city.  YES – We need to do a better job of making our urban and village streets pedestrian friendly and our urban and rural arterial and collector roads safe for pedestrians and cyclists.  YES – Yes, depending on availability of funds.
Jean Johnston-McKitterick
Liam Maguire  NO  NO NO – I just checked off ‘no’ on these set of questions because I need more information. I only have the basic knowledge of complete streets. It’s certainly not an issue in a rural ward yet we just recently had a cyclist killed due to a series of bad decisions to even run that event out here that day. I need more information and I don’t see these issues as a top priority.
Bob Masaro
Allen Scantland
Mark Scharfe  NO – I can’t answer that yes or no. I’m certainly promoting bus lanes and clean-burning buses, but I do not in any way support bike lanes and that type of thing in this country. I was a policeman for almost 30 years, and bikes and people on the road, we’ve seen some terrible accidents. So it’s a yes to strongly support getting people on transit, but I do not support bikes and people on the streets. The roads are made for vehicles, not for bicycles and people.  NO – That’s another yes-no. For the buses, yes I’m 100% for public transit and bus lanes. But bikes and pedestrians, no, that’s ridiculous.  NO – Not for bikes, no.
Kim Sheldrick YES – While I have answered yes, my response is actually somewhat. In the rural areas public transit does not run (as is the wish of the residents) and vehicles are still quite necessary and roads are essential. Bike and walking paths connecting the rural villages are something I am in favour of. Within sub/urban areas, yes I agree with improving transit and alternate means of moving people.  YES  YES
Paul St. Jean
George Wright NO – I would support increasing the funding for pedestrian, cycling and transit infrastructure, but I cannot give it priority over road infrastructure. I wish the question was worded differently. “Prioritize” gives no leeway to transitioning toward increased bike and transit use, while maintaining safety for vehicles as well. NO – The word “all” seems unnecessary.  Decisions must be made on a road by road basis according to need and use. NO – Without additional information, the current roll-out plan seems attainable.

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?
George Darouze  YES  YES  YES
Tom Dawson  YES  YES  YES – We must take steps to reverse the damage that has been done, but this requires all levels of government to cooperate on this file.
Davis Jermacans  YES – With qualification. Environmental pollution is an issue to be coordinated and addressed by all levels of government. Regardless of whether climate change is human induced or not, greenhouse gas emissions and all other pollutants must be addressed.  YES – Yes, depending on availability of funds.  NO – Lets get close to the 20% first
Jean Johnston-McKitterick
Liam Maguire  NO – I see it as an issue for sure but not an urgent one, no.  NO – I have not seen the plan or the items for the 2015 budget. Sorry…I’m one of eleven running in a rural ward and these issues are not being brought to my attention. I’d like to be able to catch up on all that they entail before I’m make a full comment as a candidate let alone a councilor.  NO – I need more information on this topic.
Bob Masaro
Allen Scantland
Mark Scharfe  NO – I don’t believe that’s an issue. I’m a strong proponent of cleaner-burning fossil fuels, but I don’t want to go overboard and say that burning of fossil fuels is melting the ice in the Arctic. That’s not confirmed. They say the ice is higher now than it was last year. It just seems the experts all have different opinions, so I’m standing aside on that.  NO – Haven’t seen it.  NO – Can’t comment/haven’t seen.
Kim Sheldrick YES – While I have answered yes, my response is actually somewhat. In the rural areas public transit does not run (as is the wish of the residents) and vehicles are still quite necessary and roads are essential. Bike and walking paths connecting the rural villages are something I am in favour of. Within sub/urban areas, yes I agree with improving transit and alternate means of moving people.  YES  YES
Paul St. Jean
George Wright  NO – From research I did while at university in Geology, the millions of different buffer systems, be it biological, chemical, or physical, are constantly counteracting climate change. Whether human-induced affects will overpower them, is difficult to tell.Having lived off grid for 25 years and run our vehicles on renewable, used vegetable oil, my commitment to the environment should speak for itself. I hope to lead by example. NO NO – Given our increasing appetite for larger vehicles and larger homes, setting a goal of reduction is unrealistic.  We must reduce the rate of increase to 0 before attempting a minus 20 percent reduction.

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?
George Darouze  YES  YES  YES
Tom Dawson  YES  YES  YES
Davis Jermacans  YES – Clean drinking water is a core need for us all. In rural Ottawa a clean water strategy and investment is critical to ensure continued access to clean water for people who depend on private services (well and septic).  YES  YES – Yes if you are talking on a per capita basis. The troublesome issue of city clean water taken from hydrants by various contractors for street cleaning, watering street vegetation and other high water uses needs to be looked into. Many of these uses do not need processed water.
Jean Johnston-McKitterick
Liam Maguire  YES – Absolutely I will support further development of strategies to help with this issue but any financial commitment especially if it’s an increase over what was allotted previously will have to be examined versus other core issues.  NO – Because there’s only a yes/no answer to this I had to answer no. For me, this is not a priority. We have people losing their homes due to hydro costs and property tax increases.We need transit help especially in the rurals, the state of our roads also needs to be addressed out here all before we worry about green infrastructure.  NO – I need more information on this topic before I’m able to fully comment on it. I am not familiar with these water numbers.
Bob Masaro
Allen Scantland
Mark Scharfe  YES – My platform is to suspend the spreading of sewage sludge on farmland.  YES – The more trees the better.  NO – Don’t think it’s possible. We’ve already got no-flush toilets everywhere. I don’t think it can be done. People have to live.
Kim Sheldrick  YES – This is something I truly believe in and will help work towards whether I am elected or not.  YES  YES – I also believe we should further investigate the option “reusable grey water” for toilet flushing. Treating water to potable levels to use in toilets seems a waste of resources.
Paul St. Jean
George Wright  YES  NO – First step must be treating all the water released into the Ottawa River.  NO – Without knowing the costs, I cannot commit.


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? 
George Darouze  YES – Based on the fact that I am a rural Candidate, I would like to make sure that the area include Rural Ottawa.  YES – However, I would like to see the “strong strategy” as it is developed and make my decision upon seeing the completed report.
Tom Dawson  YES – I support additional tree planting, but the number of 1 Million might be a bit ambitious.  YES – Healthy forests and parks are good for all.
Davis Jermacans  YES – My understanding is that this is a collaborative program between communities and the city that requires minimal funding for planting and maintenance.  YES – Ottawa is losing much of its urban forest and tree cover to infestation and urban infill and suburban development practices.
Jean Johnston-McKitterick
Liam Maguire  YES – Yes I would support this goal and hopefully find funds as further investments to this project.  YES – l like the idea of developing new strategies for this, however I cannot comment on the funding of such without knowing how our budget will look going forward.
Bob Masaro
Allen Scantland
Mark Scharfe  YES – We went through this with Dutch Elm Disease and there was a significant effort to replant. I certainly support it. These things happen in life. Disease hits particular trees. But we’ll do what we can to replant.  NO – Not if citizens require bylaws to cut trees on their own property. I want no part of that. I think that’s where you’re going with that, and no.
Kim Sheldrick  YES – In my “other life” as a Scouter, my kids and I have actively participated in Scoutrees annually including planting in buffer zones for George Nelms soccer fields and Springhill Landfill.  YES
Paul St. Jean
George Wright  NO – Large caliper trees planted in urban areas cost many hundreds of dollars per tree. In the big picture, small trees at less than a dollar each planted in rural, but not farmable areas are much more effective. We must look at the big picture. We must also stop the NCC from developing land, especially the farmland, within the Greenbelt.  NO – I would answer yes, if it were limited to public land, without knowing whether it would infringe on private land, I cannot support it.

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? 
George Darouze  YES –  Yes, I firmly believe that the City of Ottawa needs an independent assessment to make sure our residents and city are safe.  YES  YES
Tom Dawson  YES  YES  YES – If the proposed pipeline was determined to be adverse for Ottawa, then yes, we should intervene.
Davis Jermacans  YES – If upper levels of government accept to have regard for such independent assessment in their decisions, then I would support an independent assessment being carried out by an interested group.  YES  YES – On the basis the City of Ottawa has a standing at the hearings and has information acceptable to the NEB to assist in making its decision.
Jean Johnston-McKitterick
Liam Maguire  YES  YES  YES
Bob Masaro
Allen Scantland
Mark Scharfe  NO – It all depends if the pipe will take the weight of the oil….The only way to tell is to try it. The only way to really test it is to put the oil through and hope it doesn’t break on our farm.  YES – But I don’t now how you’re going to prove it without putting the oil through it.  NO – No, I don’t think so. I think they can handle it.
Kim Sheldrick  YES  YES – I have attended the local open house and was not satisfied with answers to some of my questions. I have been contacting Energy East people since then yet have not been able to receive answers to my questions. It makes me questions why they are not forthcoming with answers.  YES – I believe Ottawa should be working in conjunction with our neighbouring communities for this.
Paul St. Jean
George Wright  YES  NO – I would insist that the project be improved to reduce that threat.  The status quo of importing oil from Venezuela and to a lesser degree the middle east is worse.  YES – I believe the city will be an intervener, we are a stakeholder in the project. The question is poorly worded.

Categories: Campaign

Author:Charles Hodgson

Acting locally on climate change

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

    […] Ward 20 – Osgoode […]

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