Typically the voter turn out for the City of Ottawa municipal elections is in the low 40% range, only once in 2006 did it soar to 54%. I find this ironic, as pretty much everyone has an opinion of how the city is being run and it is seldom a positive one. The reality is that local municipal elections have more of an impact on our daily lives than any other level of government, and across the country, have the lowest voter turnouts. Voting is a civic duty, while it can feel pointless, it is important and is our only way to hold the elected accountable. Fear not, the fall from my high horse can be measured in inches as I have missed an election or two myself. The CBLCA has no opinion on who you vote for, that’s not what we are here to do. We would like to encourage you to vote and have put together this newsletter with some basic information to aid you with your decision. We decided to focus only on the Ward Councillors as there are too many Mayoral candidates and by the time you read this the various debates would have aired on TV. The CBLCA’s crack journalistic team reached out to the three candidates (Theresa Kavanagh, Robert Hill, Othman Alhusain) with a simple offer to them, to reach out to the Crystal Beach – Lakeview residents. Below are their responses: (The CBC sent out a questionnaire to all the candidates, those links are beside their names.)
Hello Crystal Beach – Lakeview Community,
My name is Robert Hill and I am extremely proud to be one of the three candidates running for the role of councillor here in Bay ward, I am a young fresh perspective ready to hit the ground running at city hall with the positive change we need at the council table.
For as long as I can remember, I have had an incredible passion for politics and making my community a better place. While I was in high school I was selected as one of sixty students province wide to join the Minister of Education’s student advisory council (MSAC) and this was a great honour for me. After my team on MSAC I dedicated my remaining school years to helping special needs children with various social interactions and whatnot to ensure they had an incredible school experience. I’ve since had the privilege of working as a deputy returning officer in the federal election and continued following the inner workings of the political world with passion.
After the past 4 years of disasters at city hall I’ve decided that 2022 is the year for positive change and the year that I take that leap and put my name on the ballot to be your voice, To be your representative, To be your councillor at city hall.
If elected, I will ensure that you have the opportunity to have your voice heard on any and all issues that play a part in your life or the lives of those in this ward. I will ensure that closed door decision making is a thing of the past, This is your city and we need to be transparent about what we are doing and why. I will work with my fellow council members to ensure we go through our budget with a fine toothed comb to ensure we are spending smart while avoiding increasing your property taxes.
If elected, I will fight for housing affordability and availability, Far too many people are being forced to move out of Bay ward or even out of this city due to the rapidly rising cost of housing, Many people have to decided between putting food on the table or paying the rent or mortgage and this is not only incredibly sad but this is unacceptable. I will work with our partners at the provincial and federal levels to do whatever we possibly can to keep people in their homes and ensure that going forward we put emphasis on adding ample additional affordable housing units.
If elected, I will fight for reliable and affordable transit. I’ve spoken with many residents that cannot depend on our transit system due to buses not showing up, LRT not running or spending nearly 2 hours on our buses to get a short distance down the road and this is unacceptable. In addition to the lack of reliability, The cost of transit is incredibly high, Especially as our cost of living continues to rise while wages do not. I will work with our transit partners to find ways to reduce these fares going forward to ensure transit is an option for all.
These are just a few of the priorities I will bring to the council table but by far my biggest priority is you, The residents of Bay ward. Together we can build this ward and this city into a desirable place to visit and a desirable place to live for generations to come.
I thank everyone that has taken the opportunity to vote for me during the advance voting days and I hope if you haven’t voted yet that you give me your vote on October 24th.
Candidate for Councillor
Over the past four years it has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with the Crystal Beach Lakeview (CBL) community. Together we have accomplished many things.
Keeping our community vibrant means working with residents to ensure we continue to have great parks and facilities available. An example of this is the play structure renewal project in Lakeview Park.
I was successful in getting a new storage building beside Maki House where rink maintenance equipment can now be stored. I encourage artwork to be explored and shared throughout Bay ward. This led to the creation of a beautiful wall mural at Maki park which the community enthusiastically took on with funding assistance from the city. Art needs to be everywhere!
Drainage issues in Lakeview have been a long-standing issue. I advocated on behalf of residents and asked the city to come up with strategies to ensure neighbourhoods, that depend on ditches for storm water drainage. The city will remain focused on ditch maintenance, and I will ensure that Lakeview community continues to get the assistance it needs.
During my term residents reached out to my office to share their concerns for an abandoned dilapidating property on Burnbrook, that presented safety hazards. Three levels of government were stymied with legal delays and unable to move forward on this property for decades. I worked closely with City staff to have the federal government take on responsibility to remove their lien on the property and allow the city to tear down this derelict building. The property will be put up for sale in the new year to allow it to be redeveloped and have new families enjoy this community.
While the City was finalizing its new Official Plan (OP) I worked closely with the community to ensure that their voices were heard. Together we successfully advocated for an amendment to be implemented to the OP that would protect the green belt around the new Moodie LRT Transit Station.
I have also worked with residents on development projects along Carling to ensure that developers and City planning staff engage with the community. I have and will continue to request that developers hold public consultation sessions in Bay Ward in addition to their mandatory requirement to present to the City’s planning committee. I believe it is essential that residents’ voices are heard and that their input and concerns, especially those who are directly affected by the new developments, are addressed.
When I was first elected the Stage 2 LRT team announced that the Corkstown Road would be one-way use to traffic due to the limited amount of space around the new Moodie Transit Station. It was clear that this was not acceptable to the community, and I requested that the city to go back and negotiate more space to ensure that residents continued to have two- way access to their community. This has now been integrated in the plan and is currently being constructed. I am dedicated to continuing to keep the community informed on the Stage 2 construction as it moves forward. This has included ensuring that their questions and concerns are brought forward to the Stage 2 team and the consortium.
I appreciate the CBL’s continued engagement in both local and city-wide issues such as climate change and affordable housing while looking for opportunities to ensure environment stewardship to protect such features as NCC Green Belt. We need logical walking and cycling routes to get to the transit stations.
Along with local goals I know CBL wants to see a city that is more equitable for all. It has been my privilege over the past four years to be the City Council Liaison on Women and Gender Equity. This gave me the opportunity to push the city to use the gender lens in all we do as a city. This is not only about equitable services but being an example to all by putting women and gender diverse persons as well as working on the intersectionality of anti-racism to create a healthy city for all to live. It’s about affordable housing and having a safe city to live. Electing women is a big step forward in bringing those views to the table.
Keep a strong experienced voice in Bay Ward.
Re-elect Theresa Kavanagh, City Councillor.
I followed the CBLCA vision, goals and especially “Community centric concerns” like protecting the green belt, protecting our outdoor assets (pathways, parks, beaches, trails, etc), and keeping intensification with reasonable levels.
I would like to assure you and your association’s members that I believe in what they believe in, so it is easy and natural for me to agree with you and with your members on advantageous solutions to all concerns raised.
Last but not least, I am an engineer who has extensive experience in planning, execution, and management of big projects, and since almost all transportation projects (LRT system, Bus routes, stations) crisscrosses our Ward 7 (Bay Ward), so many of our streets and roadways are turned upside-down for man years, and these new builds and/or renovations are taken lengthy times for no good reason. Such poorly planned construction works cause us great deal of traffic disruption, discomfort, noise, dust, even stress and other dangers; I will strive to plan such project well.. and to make sure that the execution times are kept short, and all construction benchmarks are respected according to projects’ schedules.
Othman Alhusain, Dr. Eng., C.Sc.
Councillor Candidate for Ward 7 (Bay Ward)