Ecology Ottawa asked all candidates in the 2014 municipal election a series of questions on important environmental issues.
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?|
|Scott Moffatt *||NO – I won’t place any one mode of transportation over another. I feel we need to tackle them all equally in order to achieve the support needed to move these types of projects further. Churchill Street is a prime example where all modes are prioritized equally.||NO – As I have done in the past, I will support Complete Streets where they make sense. I was personally opposed to Main Street but I strongly supported Laurier Avenue. In my opinion, they don’t make sense on every road.||NO – The current TMP is based on affordability. If we can advance certain projects without delaying others, I would be supportive but there are many priorities between now and 2031 and we need to balance them appropriately.|
|Daniel Scharf||YES – Yes for urban/suburban but we have to recognize that road infrastructure in Ward 21 is the only transportation mode for many. I have reservations about application of the Complete Streets to our small villages.I intend to work toward specialized public transit initiatives to serve people in the smaller communities.||NO – Yes, with the significant reservation about fitting these principles to our rural villages, rather than fit the needs of our rural villages to these principles.||NO|
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?|
|Scott Moffatt *||YES – While I can’t say I disagree with the question above, I will say that I feel a municipality’s role is small when it comes to their impact on a global scale.||YES – I think the Air Quality and Climate Change plan that was approved by Council recently was a good step that balances the priorities of the residents of Ottawa. As much of the content was pushed to the next term of Council, I look forward to further discussion in the coming months and years, if elected.||NO – I believe the goal we set, while modest, is realistic. Far too often, unachievable goals are set with no realistic ability to achieve them. We are being honest in what we can achieve and I support that approach.|
|Daniel Scharf||NO – This is actually two questions: yes, to the second one, in that I agree that all levels of government should work toward reducing GHGs–that is necessary. On climate change, there is no doubt that human factors contribute to climate change; I monitor the ongoing scientific debate about the impact of those factors.||NO – Yes, but the original Plan requires a through review and updating with current practices and research, as well as new technologies.||NO|
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?|
|Scott Moffatt *||YES||YES – Supporting green infrastructure that reducing costs and saves taxpayers dollars while protecting the environment is a no brainer, I am not convinced, however, that the environmental benefits of all green roofs outweigh the financial costs. I don’t feel we can go for green at any cost. It needs to make sense and be affordable.||YES – This is a bit of a yes/no for me. The City of Ottawa has and will continue to promote water conservation. However, attaching a hard number is difficult because of growth and other factors. Even if you remained at 100,000L over the next few years, that’s conservation but wouldn’t achieve the 3% reduction.|
|Daniel Scharf||YES – I support this with the qualification that addressing these issues in rural and farming communities is quite different. For example, rural drainage and flooding as a result of ineffective or unmaintained municipal drains is an important concern in Ward 21.||YES – I support, with the qualification that we live, farm and do business in areas that are already “green.” It is essential to our livelihood and quality of life that we maintain and protect sensitive ecosystems.||YES – Yes, with the strong qualification that this applies mainly to urban and suburban areas. Since the vast majority of our residents provide their own water through wells, we live every day using principles of water conservation–we know how to do this.|
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?|
|Scott Moffatt *||YES – In this term of Council, we have increased our tree planting funding and diversified the species of trees that we plant. I have supported our tree planting efforts 100% and will continue to do so.||YES – Obviously, one needs to see a strategy of this kind and its recommendations before offering blanket support but I do support the development of the strategy.|
|Daniel Scharf||YES – The urban forest must be maintained–it is important to the city’s way of life, and an important feature of a beautiful Capital City.||YES – I intend to make sure that this strategy reflects the reality of rural areas as well.|
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?|
|Scott Moffatt *||NO – I feel this is an issue that falls under Federal jurisdiction and the role of the municipality is minimal. My role has been gathering information and securing answers for concerned residents. I will continue to do so.||NO – I feel this is an issue that falls under Federal jurisdiction and the role of the municipality is minimal. My role has been gathering information and securing answers for concerned residents. I will continue to do so.||NO – I feel this is an issue that falls under Federal jurisdiction and the role of the municipality is minimal. My role has been gathering information and securing answers for concerned residents. I will continue to do so.|
|Daniel Scharf||NO – The federal government has responsibility for this; Ottawa can review and comment.||NO – This question is a matter of degree: what is the probability of the risk, and the severity of the impacts?||NO|