United Way Educates Candidates

- September 15th, 2014

The city’s United Way has sent all candidates running for council a document highlighting the main social issues and how City Hall could tackle the problems.

Lots of information here that’s useful for all residents, not just those running for office.

United Way Candidates Primer Sept 12 2014

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

Cycling Advocates Call For More Infrastructure

- September 14th, 2014

Hot off the press…

Citizens for Safe Cycling Launches 2014 Election Platform

“I Bike, I Vote” campaign calls for more spending on cycling, support “Vision

Ottawa (September 15, 2014) Today, Citizens for Safe Cycling (CfSC) launched it’s 2014 election platform, dubbed “I Bike, I Vote.” The platform outlines measures for the next term of council that CfSC believes will help make Ottawa the best cycling city in Canada.

“The ‘I Bike, I Vote’ campaign outlines measures that the next council can take to improve cycling in Ottawa, “ said CfSC municipal campaign coordinator Mike Powell. “Excellent cycling facilities are an important part of a liveable city. It’s important that cyclists of all ability levels feel comfortable riding in their own neighbourhoods. The steps outlined in this campaign help achieve that.”

“I Bike, I Vote” reflects the views of hundreds of cyclists that responded to a survey CfSC conducted over the summer. It calls for four simple, practical actions from the next council that will serve to improve cycling in Ottawa and help the city reach it’s cycling objectives.

These actions are:

1. Link spending on cycling infrastructure to ridership.
2. Support “Vision Zero”, a city free from cycling fatalities.
3. Collaboration. between the city, the NCC and the cycling community.
4. Complete projects that will complete the cycling network, making it easier for Ottawans to bike within their neighbourhood and elsewhere in the city.

“With a large number of open and heavily-contested council races, more than ever every vote will count,” continued Powell. “It is important for cyclists to take advantage of this and make their voice heard and ask candidates for council what they are going to do to improve cycling in this city. For aspiring councillors, it’s important to remember that cycling issues are a major vote determinant for electors.”

To help further inform voters, CfSC will be sending a questionnaire to all registered candidates, asking them their views on a number of important cycling issues. These results will then be posted to the CfSC website later in the municipal campaign.

The full CfSC I Bike, I Vote platform is available at www.bikeottawa.ca .

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

First Graphs: The Latest Releases From Council Candidates

- September 12th, 2014

A few more releases from council candidates came in since the last time we did First Graphs. These are the first paragraphs from those statements.

Tobi Nussbaum (Rideau-Rockcliffe): Tobi Nussbaum today committed to tabling a motion at City Council asking the Ontario Legislature to ban corporate and union donations from Ottawa municipal election campaigns within 100 days of taking office if he is elected City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe in the October 27th election.

Penny Thompson (Rideau-Rockcliffe): Today as part of her platform and candidacy in Rideau-Rockcliffe, Penny Thompson unveiled her comprehensive plan to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017 throughout the city.

Jeff Morrison (Somerset): Jeff Morrison, candidate for Somerset ward in the Ottawa municipal election, today issued the following statement about Somerset House.  A copy of this statement can also be found at www.jeff2014.ca/news.

Davis Jermacans (Osgoode): As part of our Elect Davis Communications Plan we are preparing videos outlining Davis’s solutions to the issues facing Ottawa and Osgoode Ward.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

What Happened To The Smithsonian Of The North?

- September 12th, 2014

Mayor Jim Watson with philanthropist Dave Smith at Smith’s home Friday morning.

Mayor Jim Watson had a campaign availability this morning after hammering in an election sign at philanthropist Dave Smith’s house.

Watson was asked about the Science and Technology Museum closing because of mould, which provided a good chance to ask him about one of his promises during the 2010 election campaign.

As part of his tourism plank in his platform that year, Watson vowed to help establish “Canada House,” a new museum showcasing the nation’s accomplishments. He billed it as the Smithsonian of the north. After he was elected, Watson thought he found a perfect potential location at the old U.S. embassy on Wellington St.

And that’s where the story ends.

Watson said he met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper about it and appeared before the heritage committee of the House of Commons, plus raised the idea with former heritage minister James Moore.

“There’s been no movement on it unfortunately and again that’s another building in a prime part of the city that has remained vacant for I think over 15 years,” Watson said today. “I was hoping that 2017 (Canada’s 150th birthday) would spur the federal government on to actually do something with that, even on a temporary basis, so it would be open to the public so they could go in and see some of the great accomplishments of Canadians.”

Watson said he would continue to push the idea if elected Oct. 27, not only for the museum, but for something to be done with old embassy building.

“You look right across from Parliament Hill and you have a building that’s basically boarded up and abandoned for over 15 years,” he said. “You wouldn’t see that outside the White House, you wouldn’t see that outside the Capitol building, and I think we can do better.”

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

First Graphs: The Latest Election Releases

- September 10th, 2014

The latest from your 2014 municipal election candidates. These are the first paragraphs from their news releases in a segment Sun & The City likes to call, First Graphs.

Mark Taylor (Bay): Mark Taylor today pledged to continue working for and with our front line services to enhance and strengthen the way in which these men and women serve our residents daily. With investments and innovations in our Paramedic, By-Law and Fire Services we can build on our already strong ability to support our community.

Martin Canning (Somerset): After eight months of canvassing 20,000 doors in Somerset Ward, engaging more than 5,000 people through social media and email and meeting with hundreds of community and business stakeholders, Martin Canning released his campaign platform, The New Ottawa Plan, 2015-2018.

Martin Canning (Somerset): Media are invited to participate in a Twitter chat with Somerset Ward municipal council candidate Martin Canning following the upcoming release of his New Ottawa campaign platform. The discussion is open to all Twitter users, and will be moderated by the campaign’s @NewOtt Twitter account. Questions should be directed to the hashtag #NewOttawa or #MeetMGC. All responses will come directly from Canning’s personal Twitter account @MartinGCanning.

Michael Qaqish (Gloucester-South Nepean): Gloucester-South Nepean candidate, Michael Qaqish announced today that he will be working collaboratively with the province and local school trustees to bring a much needed school to Findlay Creek if elected in this fall’s municipal election.

Robert White (Mayor): Given the increasing incidence of violent crime in Ottawa, and the election campaign to replace an ineffectual Mayor Watson, I am calling on all candidates to comment on what their stance will be with regard to menacing by gangs, and gang shootings, in the Ottawa region? With regard to my own stance if elected Mayor of Ottawa, I will be a law and order mayor. I will demand that substantive action be taken by Ottawa Police Services to maintain our community safety in all areas of Ottawa’s jurisdiction. I will enlist the help of the Federal Minister responsible for Safety & Security in CANADA to provide stepped up measures to eliminate gun trafficking across our border.

Darren Wood (Mayor): First Council Meeting at which any real work is done (2nd council meeting) I would enact part one of my platform. Keeping my promise to do the three key things I have been asked by the people of Ottawa to do since I started campaigning for the job of mayor.

Jason Kelly (Gloucester-South Nepean): Jason Kelly announced a plan to strengthen the path network along the Rideau River shorelines in Barrhaven and Riverside South.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.