Archive for the ‘Election’ Category

Taxes, Fees Go Up. What About Salaries?

- September 19th, 2014

Mayor Jim Watson chats with reporters before announcing his tax platform during a lunch-hour speech at the Ottawa South Community Centre on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.

When we talk about hikes to property taxes, water bills and user fees, we often think about our own salaries to see if they’re in line.

Mayor Jim Watson is promising to cap annual property tax increases at 2% if he’s re-elected. He suggested that user fees should be in the range of inflation, although he made no promise on the fees today.

When it comes to water and sewer rates, Watson (though he said he’d like to see them lower) didn’t sound like he was willing to make any changes to a plan already in motion.

Then there are the charges outside of City Hall jurisdiction. Other utilities. Food. Gas.

It adds up.

So what’s our salary forecast for 2015?

I found a handful of national projections, although nothing necessarily specific to the City of Ottawa. All suggest salaries are expected to increase more than 2.5%.

Maybe you’re one of those lucky ones.

Here are those studies or related articles:

Pal Benefits Inc.: http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/human-resources/canadians-average-pay-increase-2-79-2015-survey-140618/

Hay Group: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1402510/canadian-employees-will-see-average-salary-increases-of-2-6-per-cent-in-2015-according-to-hay-group-s-survey-of-top-employers

Mercer: http://www.mercer.ca/content/mercer/north-america/ca/en/newsroom/energy-sector-continues-to-lead-salary-increases-in-canada.html

Morneau Shepell: https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/blogs/balance-sheet/canadian-employers-expect-salaries-rise-2-8-per-140006355.html

Conference Board of Canada: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=6485

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

Some Candidates Want Ward Councils

- September 19th, 2014

There are some council candidates promising to create, or bring back, ward councils.

These have been used in the past to consult with community associations and, quite frankly, all residents on issues specifically related to the ward.

I don’t know of many of the 23 councillors who currently have a ward council beyond the current structure of community and business associations in their constituencies. (Looks like Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson has one, although I don’t know if they’re simply town hall meetings. There might be other councillors using ward councils, though).

I suspect the challenge with formalizing a ward council is managing expectations.

Are there votes taken at the ward council?

Would the councillor consider these votes binding?

Who gets to be a member of the ward council?

Is there a risk that a ward council becomes another layer of internal bureaucracy?

I think it could work either way, but key, I think, would be for the councillor to make sure the ward council understands its mandate. Is the ward council there just to provide feedback on city policy, or will it establish a position for the councillor to take to City Hall?

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

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

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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
Zero”

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 .

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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.

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