Ward 22 – Gloucester-South Nepean – 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?
Kevin Fulsom
Scott Hodge NO – I am committed to prioritizing complete streets that are safe for all users – pedestrians, cyclists, public transit users, and people using private vehicles. The infrastructure is there for all users, not some form of transportation over other forms of transportation  YES – I am committed to prioritizing complete streets that are safe for all users – pedestrians, cyclists, public transit users, and people using private vehicles. NO – There are many critical infrastructure requirements identified in the TMP that ideally should be implemented earlier than scheduled. However, the City has limited resources which prohibits advancing the overall level of investment and accelerating implementation. To do so would require the City to take on considerably more debt. The prioritization of the infrastructure projects TMP should be reviewed and revised to ensure highly critical investments are made earlier than currently planned.
Jason Kelly
Michael Qaqish
Bader Rashed
Roger Scharfe
Susan Sherring I will seek, where possible, to balance needs while working hard to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. The principles of Complete Streets, while applicable in some cases are not, in my opinion, applicable in all cases. I cannot commit to fast-tracking cycling investments
(currently being adopted over a 15 year period) without a considered look at
the budget over all.

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?
Kevin Fulsom
Scott Hodge  YES  YES NO – If elected, I will support the compliance to the Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan and the achievement of the targets set in the Plan. Opportunities to pursue options that could result in surprising the targets should be reviewed and assessed, and supported where they will provide suitable return on investment financially, environmentally and operationally in terms of delivering municipal services to ratepayers.
Jason Kelly
Michael Qaqish
Bader Rashed
Roger Scharfe
Susan Sherring  I agree that climate change is a critical issue and all levels of government have a role to play. The 2015 budget must be considered in its totality.  I cannot make financial commitments without an analysis of the budget, a review of recommendations of staff and input from the community-at-large  I am satisfied with the current goal but I am always open to new information and the consideration and review of new initiatives.  At City Hall consistent and effective research and monitoring must be incorporated into all our decision-making.

 

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?
Kevin Fulsom
Scott Hodge  YES  YES – In keeping with the intent of this Provincial Policy Statement, the City of Ottawa needs to recognize and prioritize the need to protect and maintain the urban forest / woodlot areas located in the various developing communities in the suburban areas of Ottawa.  NO – The City has been promoting two potentially contradictory policies – reduce the consumption of water but tap water is clean and healthy and has been promoting to residents the consumption of tap water instead of purchasing bottled water. The City should continue promoting the consumption of tap water, and the benefits of regular watering of lawns and greenspaces on private property, while educating residents and property owners on how to be ‘water conscious’ and not waste clean water.
Jason Kelly
Michael Qaqish
Bader Rashed
Roger Scharfe
Susan Sherring YES – The development of a strong and sustainable water strategy must be one of Council’s priorities moving forward. Reducing flooding and protecting rivers and streams is critical for residents today and future generations. I believe such a strategy must be more than lofty principles. Instead it must focus
on realistic and measurable goals, with a clear timetable for implementation and consistent monitoring and review.
 Green infrastructure is a priority but not all infrastructure measures are created equal. Rather than blanket support for a laundry list of measures, I am committed to analysis and action that focuses on specific measures that are applicable to the issues we face in Ottawa.  NO – I believe conservation measures can be best achieved through education and awareness rather than setting arbitrary targets.


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? 
Kevin Fulsom
Scott Hodge  NO – The planting of trees to mark Canada’s 150th birthday is a terrific initiative led by various organizations and individuals but the City of Ottawa has limited resources and tax dollars should be prioritized on core municipal services, including the protection of existing urban forests / woodlots.  YES
Jason Kelly
Michael Qaqish
Bader Rashed
Roger Scharfe
Susan Sherring  The planting of a million trees in Ottawa as our contribution to Canada’s 150th birthday is an admirable goal and one I would support. In terms of ‘prioritizing’ this investment – that’s a question with a price tag and one that I can only answer when I have more information about the plan being put together by the city, community organizations and individuals. The City of Ottawa has called on residents to come forward with ideas on how to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and I think it’s important that Ottawa City Council, at this stage, be open to all ideas, groups and individuals. Prioritizing will come over the next year. I will support the development of a Forest Management Strategy – one that is effective, affordable, sustainable and measurable.

 

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? 
Kevin Fulsom
Scott Hodge  NO – The approval and management of the pipeline is jurisdiction of the Federal Government and all environmental assessments will be conducted in accordance to legal requirements. As a principal stakeholder, the City of Ottawa should be involved in the review process but should not circumvent the responsibilities of other levels of government and conduct is own independent assessment.  YES  NO
Jason Kelly
Michael Qaqish
Bader Rashed
Roger Scharfe
Susan Sherring I believe the City of Ottawa must research and assess the pipeline plan through our city, and closely examine safety precautions and protocols. The answer to this question would depend on the quality of research and analysis and whether there are ways to address the risks. The question is do we communicate our concerns to the provincial government or directly to the National Energy Board? I think intervener status is a question for the new city council and I would like input from staff and community and environmental groups. Intervener status would also depend on what our research and analysis has told us.

Categories: Campaign

Author:Charles Hodgson

Acting locally on climate change

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

    […] Ward 22 – Gloucester-South Nepean […]

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