Rogers TV all-candidates debate

Video transcript

Some sentences have been modified for clarity (eg. some grammar, removing stutters), but the content of what was said remains faithfully represented.

DF: Derick Fage (moderator)

RG: Richard Garrick

DJ: Dominik Janelle

PB: Patrick Brennan

KC: Kathleen Caught

AQ: Atiq Quershi

WL: Wilson Lo

GB: Guy Boone

DF: Welcome to the local campaign here on Rogers TV. Thank you so much for joining us as we get closer and closer to election day on October 24th. We bring you your municipal debates. Today’s municipal debate is Ward 24, Barrhaven East. Before I introduce you to our candidates, I will go over the format of this debate. We start off, each candidate will have 60 seconds for their opening statement—the order of that chosen at random just a few moments ago. From there, we go into our debate. We’re going to through a number of different topics, of course—topics that are important to not only the constituents, but throughout the entire city of Ottawa. I will ask a question to a candidate, they’ll have 45 seconds to open up the discussion, and then I will open the floor to a full debate on that particular topic. Once that is done, our time is done on that, we go back to the original person with whom I asked the question. They will have 30 seconds to wrap that up. So we will go through that, as I said, on some of the most important topics that are affecting citizens and residents in the Ottawa area, and then at the end of that we will have our closing statements. Each candidate will have 60 seconds for their closing statement. All right, now I will introduce you to our candidates, starting with Richard Garrick.

RG: Hi.

DF: Dominik Janelle.

DJ: Hi.

DF: Patrick Brennan.

PB: Hello.

DF: Kathleen Caught.

KC: Hi.

DF: Atiq Qureshi.

AQ: Good morning, Ottawa.

DF: Wilson Lo.

WL: Hi.

DF: And Guy Boone.

GB: Hi.

DF: All right, so we begin with our opening statement. As I’ve said, each candidate will have 60 seconds for their opening statement. We start with Patrick. Patrick, you have 60 seconds.

DF: Ah sorry, Richard. My apologies. Richard Garrick, we start with you.

RG: Not a problem, thank you very much. My name is Richard Garrick and I am running to be your councillor in Barrhaven East. I have called Barrhaven home for 30 years. I’ve gone to school here, I’ve worked here, and I’ve volunteered here. I’m a teacher, a former youth worker, and a non-profit coordinator, and I have worked to advocate for our at-risk populations, taught in special education, and even been in the customer service industry. I have worked with the Ottawa Police for over 15 years running their cadet programmes, and I’ve worked with other great organisations like the Lion’s Club, the NCC, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. With these experiences, I have honed my skills as an effective communicator, leader, and listener. I bring a realistic approach to this community and a strong voice. My experience will help me to advocate for the needs of the residents of Barrhaven. I’ve worked in many different sectors which sets me apart. I’ve been so lucky to call Ottawa home, and Barrhaven in particular. With my background experience and knowledge, I will be your strong voice at council and advocate for all in this community.

DF: All right, time is up. Over to Dominik Janelle. You have 60 seconds.

DJ: Hi there, my name’s Dominik Janelle and I’m running to be your next city councillor for Barrhaven East Ward 24, Ottawa’s newest ward. Barrhaven East has been experiencing a growth population, and I’d like to be able to address that for city council. I aim to bring a strong voice rooted in mental health considerations and the future of our city and to bring change in a susceptible and a responsible manner, which is to say aspects of fiscal responsibility, transportation, and transit. Barrhaven East is a prime example of intensification happening in our community, and to reach the 15-minute neighbourhood that Ottawa would like to provide is what we need to bring forward and pivot to be the prime example for our community to export to the other suburbs of our city. Barrhaven East is a perfect example of this. We came out of two current wards and to strive to be the best that Barrhaven can be, both east and west, is what I’d like to bring as your cooperative voice on council who’s not afraid to challenge the status quo.

DF: All right, thank you very much. Now we have Patrick. Patrick Brennan, over to you—60 seconds.

PB: Thanks Derick. Good morning, I’m Pat Brennan and I’m running for councillor in Barrhaven East. A few of the reasons I’m running is I feel we gotta have more accountability at city hall. There’s been a number of issues, specifically light rail transit, which I think it’s important that we restore confidence in our transportation system as soon as possible. As far as experience is concerned, I have been a school board trustee for six years and I was quite happy to represent Barrhaven for three years, and a couple of high schools were built as well as elementary schools. Other issues that I’d like to address are safe communities—we need more police presence in Barrhaven, because of the additional crime, as well as speeding. We have to get speeding under control. Finally, I have a finance background for over 30 years, and I raised my family in Barrhaven, so I’d like to be your councillor. Thank you.

DF: All right, thank you very much. Next up is Kathleen Caught. Kathleen, you have 60 seconds.

KC: Hello, I’m Kathleen Caught, and I too am running for city council in Barrhaven East Ward 24. I’m a grandmother of six, mother of three, a social justice advocate and author, an entrepreneur, and a retired financial consultant. I love disco music, just sayin’. Reading, taking my dog, Beacon, for walks, and above all, I love the community and experience of Barrhaven. I was born in Victoria and my father was in the navy, so I tended to travel a little bit throughout the country. I’ve lived in both ends of the country, both in Victoria and in Nova Scotia. In 1967, we moved to Bells Corners, and ever since, Ottawa has felt like home for me. Where my heart lies is in Barrhaven, where I raised my kids and my mom was in the long term care facility in Longfields Manor. In 1993, when we moved to Barrhaven at Woodroffe and Fallowfield, it was just beginning to become developed at that point in time. While politics and all things political have—

DF: I’m sorry Kathleen, your time is up.

KC: Okay, thank you.

DF: Over to Atiq Qureshi. You have 60 seconds, Atiq.

AQ: Hi, I’m Atiq Qureshi, resident of Ottawa for 17 years, happily married for 21 years, father of a teen and a young adult. I’m in accounting and finance profession for the past 26 years, worked at various positions, and currently an income tax and financial consultant, having knowledge of law and technology, with certificates, and I volunteer with community organisations and support them at financially and monetarily. I’m a teacher, a mentor, and an entrepreneur. We need to change the way city council works, and I believe that I have skills, planning to bring this change. On October 24, I will be your voice in the city hall with your support. Thank you.

DF: Thank you very much, Atiq. Next up is Wilson Lo. Wilson, you have 60 seconds.

WL: Thanks Derick, and thank you, Rogers, for hosting this debate. I share with you a very personal interest in making sure that our community has a healthy and sustainable future. My wife and I live in Barrhaven East and we’re planning on raising a family here. I want my kids to grow up in a community that’s safe, that lets them thrive, and that one day can become the community they raise their families in. From Knollsbrook to Hearts Desire, Longfields, Davidson Heights, Winding Way, and Chapman Mills, I love this community and I’ve served it for almost a decade as an OC Transpo employee. I will represent this community I’ve served, and I’m all in—I’ve taken an unpaid leave of absence from work and I’ve forgone a salary since I registered as your candidate in late-June. I’ve knocked on almost 10,000 doors in that time and spoken to neighbours about how we can make our roads better, how we can make our transit better, and how to better spend the city’s money—our money. We cannot let our infrastructure and services fall behind as our community continues to grow rapidly. I’m very excited to share my vision for Barrhaven East with you and I look forward to doing so. Thank you.

DF: Thank you, Wilson. Lastly, we have Guy Boone. Guy, you have 60 seconds.

GB: Hi, my name is Guy Boone, and I’m a safety engineer with LRT experience. I brand myself as “Safety Guy.” I’ve lived in Barrhaven for 27 years and raised my family here, and I’ve been a volunteer in many community associations in our community as well as served on school council. I was even invited by the public board to serve on a working group for the expansion of the Longfields to include grades 7 and 8. In the past five years, I stepped up to serve my profession, Professional Engineers Ontario as the eastern regional councillor, and that gave me good experience in governance. My priorities are safety, transportation, smart initiatives, quality of life, and I bring accountability and transparency. Thank you, and I’m honoured as your upcoming councillor. Thank you.

DF: Thank you to all of our candidates. Now we move into the debate portion. We’re going to start with Richard. Richard, I’ll send the topic to you. You’ll have 45 seconds and then everybody will have an opportunity to jump in. Each candidate has mentioned public transportation and the LRT, so let’s start with that. People want reliable, affordable, and accessible public transit. There’s also some debate on what the cost of whether they should be bringing the LRT out to Barrhaven—people have been talking about that as well, but let’s talk about public transportation overall. How would you help achieve some of those goals I just mentioned, and what is your position on free transit for all? Over to you, Richard.

RG: Well thank you very much for the question. You know, first, as a city, we need to review our transit system. Every thing from Para Transpo to the LRT. We can’t use a system that doesn’t work. Residents are frustrated with wait times, missing buses, and even having to transfer multiple times. We must be transparent and communicate with resident and advocate for those needs while also talking to drivers as they know the system better than anybody. We need to look at local routes and focus on how to make our system efficient. When it comes to free transit, it’s important to know that transit costs will be put somewhere—example would be your taxes. You know, do residents want a 480-to-1,000$ tax bill added to their mortgages and taxes as the cost of living is on the rise? I think not.

DF: All right, so now we open it up to the floor. Candidates, please feel free to jump in at any time.

RG: I don’t know if I can do this, but—

AQ: My plan which I am proposing, because I’m not convinced with the way they are putting the Barrhaven LRT, phase 3 to Barrhaven, because there is a big span of five kilometres from Hunt Club to Woodroffe, we have no population over there. But if we look at Ward 24, within five kilometres, we have almost 30,000 population, so LRT existing plan will run on that area—there is no population for that. I was convinced last time, and I am still convinced that being a supporter of public and private partnership, I want to sit with VIA Rail, CN Rail. We’ll bring the commuter trains, utilise the existing railway line, and connect the Barrhaven to the down—

RG: So, I have to ask, we don’t own the lines. Those are federal lines. How do we use something that doesn’t belong to us? One, we already know that there’s concerns in Barrhaven when it comes to transportation, transit, and trains. That’s a touchy subject in our neighbourhood. We can’t use federal lines. We need to build our infrastructure, and saying that there’s nobody between Hunt Club and Woodroffe, that’s a good thing, that’s our Greenbelt, which we need to protect. But at the same time, we know that Barrhaven is growing, we are getting closer and closer to Manotick, and we must meet those needs of that community. We have students—you know as a teacher, I send my students to Algonquin College, Carleton, University of Ottawa, where I’ve also travelled on those buses and trains, and I know how effective that has to be. We can’t just use a system that doesn’t belong to us.

DF: Okay, anyone else want to jump in here?

KC: Yep, as well I think the indigenous community is still not given their blessing as to whether or not we’ll be able to proceed, so that’s still in discussions, and I think that’s something we have to be mindful of going forward. As well, I also don’t think there’s talking about this subject, I don’t think we’re incentivised enough to actually take public transportation. Not just because whether it’s free or not free, or whether it’s dependable or not dependable, it’s just that we’re have an addiction to our cars. We have defined our identities with cars, and we need to try and wean ourselves off of cars, and my suggestion has been to introduce the Communauto shared mobility opportunities around the community to allow people instead of buying the second car for the teenagers that are using your car all the time, they get a Communauto membership for 20$.

DF: Kay, anyone else want to jump in—

PB: Yeah.

DF: Go ahead.

PB: Thanks Derick. First of all, to the one question that you mentioned was free transit, I don’t support that. I think there’s a lot of subsidisation already to light rail and OC Transpo that I wouldn’t be in favour of free transit. Second of all, I think as far as LRT is concerned, firstly we have to sit down and speak to staff and all the different providers of the services that put on LRT, because right now there seems to be a lot of acrimony, and there’s a bit of blame game going on as reported in the media. But I think first, we gotta say okay, we want to turn the page on this, we want to first find out what are the issues, the public hearings we had this past summer will report in November, which I’m looking forward to seeing, and from there say okay. What’s wrong, let’s fix it, let’s move forward with LRT.

DF: Anybody else want to jump in?

WL: The problem…

DF: Yeah, go ahead, Wilson.

WL: …is the contract doesn’t really—we’re locked in a contract for 30, well, another 20-something years, that doesn’t really allow this company to come out and speak about what’s going on, and doesn’t allow the city to demand this transparency and accountability that you speak of. In terms of Atiq’s point about there being no population for the five kilometres between Hunt Club and Fallowfield, there’s—we have a four-lane road there, Woodroffe Avenue, which also has no population in that section, so by saying the LRT will be pointless in that area by saying there’s no population, you’re also saying Woodroffe Avenue is therefore pointless, and the same goes for Greenbank, same goes Merivale, same goes for Prince of Wales, Cedarview, and Highway 416 even.

DF: Guy, you want to jump in here?

GB: Yeah, so I’d like to speak to the issue of the reliability of the LRT. My personal sense is that if we had more engineers on council, we could have not been in this mess that we’re currently in. The LRT is a nation-building project, and it’s more to it than just forcing a deadline, which is what the current council did is force a deadline, and force the consortium to deliver when it’s a complex system. So, certainly as a safety engineer, safety has been a big issue with the current phase of the LRT. I’d like to also bring some light to the fact that we have an unfinished piece of work as a result of the train and bus collision at Woodroffe and Fallowfield, and I’m hoping and counting on Phase 3 to resolve that issue, but as we’ve seen on Greenbank and Strandherd, we do need grade separation, that’s critical—

DF: Okay, I just want—Dominik wants to jump in here.

DJ: I do agree with Guy there, thank you there for mentioning the accident that happened in 2013, where a Ottawa transit bus collided with a VIA Rail passenger train, in which six people lost their lives, sadly, which is to say that LRT is still a great thing coming to Barrhaven. It’s one of the suburbs in which I do believe would benefit from it, Kanata’s the other one, as primarily we are the two suburbs underserved by our public transit, and to reinvigorate the reliability would be to provide this quality of service, having implemented the findings of the public inquiry released in November 30th. I spoke at the public inquiry in Stage 1 back in May, and to have these changes implemented would bring that reliable transit to Barrhaven, and as well as to incorporate in the new Ottawa plan the fact that—to bring an efficient transportation system to Barrhaven Centre, which would bring a provision an efficient, multimodal transportation network, and that’s what we should be pioneering while bringing Barrhaven the LRT Stage 3.

AQ: At this point, I will like to address couple of colleagues’ question that at this time, transit is working taking all the people to the downtown core. We need to revisit the transit pattern and connect all the suburb community—

DF: Sorry, I’ve gotta cut you off, that’s all the time we have for this, but, coming back to Richard, you do have 30 seconds to wrap up this topic.

RG: Perfect, thank you. You know I do have to agree, but we also have to realise Woodroffe to Hunt Club, there’s Merivale Gardens, people do live there, so we need to keep that in mind. We need to rebuild faith in our transit from all aspects. We need to listen not only to our riders, but our drivers and hear their concerns, we need to review our tracking system as to make sure our system is more effective, and we must continue to invest in our transit while looking at cost reduction and efficiencies, electric buses, hybrid buses. We need this to be the best system it can be in Canada as the nation’s capital.

DF: All right, thank you very much to all of our candidates. We’ll move on to the next topic. We start the topic with you, Dominik, you will have 45 seconds. The topic is concern over the city’s growing debt. There’s a lot of concern over the city’s growing debt. Where would you set tax increases over the next four years, taking that into account? You have 45 seconds to begin.

DJ: So with the growing debt with the City of Ottawa, it’s important to recognise that the City of Ottawa is a six-billion-dollar corporation. It employs 17,000 people and it has a lot of money spread around a bunch of services. What I would like to bring is a tax freeze, a one-year tax freeze which restricts the spending on—which restricts the tax increases to keep it stable for the first year. The main important behind this is that the pandemic has been hard on our citizens and we’ve still had to add tax increases continuously throughout this. Our citizens have been hurting through pensions and now into a forty-year record-high inflation, they’re hurting and it’s about time we give everyone a break, and during that time, do a budgetary review.

DF: Okay, thank you Dominik. I now open the floor, anyone feel free to jump in. Go ahead Wilson.

WL: If we freeze our taxes, yes, it might bring stability to a lot of families for the first year, but what you’re setting them up for is future years of instability, because we’re going to have to pay for that tax freeze, because our city services still need to be continue to be funded. City services like our emergency services, our transit, our parks, our roads need to continue to be maintained. Furthermore, yes, it’s a six-billion-dollar budget, but we still have to fund it responsibly. We need to look at this budget and make sure we’re responsibly continuing to fund it instead of going for these easy topics like a tax freeze, because we will have to confront this later on, and this will actually just bring more instability in future years.

RG: I think we also have to look at the fact that inflation is rising, we have costs for the city that are increasing. Putting a tax freeze right now, we don’t know where our budgets are, we don’t know where things are going because of this inflation and cost of living for everybody. This is a great opportunity to increase our community programmes and increase options for our members of the community to be engaged in City of Ottawa and balancing that cost and being able to go swimming for a low cost, rather than having to build a pool. Keeping families and life affordable in Barrhaven is crucial. We’ve seen this in the rise of cost of living, taxes over the last 10 years have been on average about 2.5 to 2.6 per cent. That’s a reasonable cost, but we also have to make sure that whatever we do, our city is still able to function and run. We need to make sure that our police have the resources and tools that they need, we need to make sure our fire trucks are working, and that we’re investing in our agriculture, investing in our local economy. We can’t just say we’re going to freeze taxes, because I must admit, I do agree—we’re going to run into problems down the road where we then have to pay for things. Look at Ben Franklin’s plans from that.

DF: All right, let’s uh—Kathleen, you want to jump in here?

KC: Yeah, I would like to jump in and really, our budget was set and approved on December 8th of 2021, and since then we’ve had a multitude of things take place, some out of our control, like what was happening in January, February, the weather conditions, some other events that are occurring along the way, so we really don’t even know if we have any money, and I think the most important thing we have to do and I’m in agreement with this, in the first hundred days to take a review, take a look from the top to the bottom, line by line, and make sure we are having a good responsible approach in terms of how we’re going to go forward.

WL (over KC): You can’t [incomprehensible]…

KC: So having any responsible reactions to what should we be doing, it cannot happen until we know exactly what we’re going.

RG: I agree that the fact [incomprehensible]…

AQ (over RG): City [incomprehensible]…

DF: Let’s let Atiq jump in here. Go ahead.

AQ: That’s okay, I’m convinced we should give a break to the residents of the people. Give it a break for a one-year freeze. One thing everybody should know that MPAC do the assessment of the property. Increasing property value, property tax assessment will be automatically—city will automatically have excess resources, so we can utilise…

WL (over AQ): That’s not true.

AQ: …those resources effectively. Also if we control the and thoroughly do the audit process and bring the accountability in the city hall, we can cut the cost where various costs have been utilised for non…sorry.

DF: Guy or Patrick, do you want to jump in here, either of you? Go ahead.

PB: Yeah, I certainly, I’m one that talks about fiscal responsibility, so I want to keep taxes to a minimum, any tax increase, but essentially the residents of Barrhaven and Ottawa want our core services to be delivered effectively and efficiently, and feel value for their money. So I think that we have to look at what is the city spending all their money on and just look at that and say is that necessary, you know, going forward? So I think that I’m going to keep the tax freeze, not tax freeze, but taxes down, but I think it’s important, as Richard said, with inflationary pressures on fuel and oil, we know this past year, I think you gotta look at that and say okay, we keep it down, but may have to cut services.

DF: Okay Guy, you want to jump in?

GB: Yeah, I just want to say that we need to be responsible so doing a review, make sure that we’re spending money in the right places. I also believe, as an engineer, that we need to be strategic with our finances, make sure that we’re getting value from strategic opportunities, where we can do more with less, so in general, I think we have to be responsible, but make sure we’re spending money in the right places.

DF: Wilson, I’ll go to you, because I know you want to jump in, and then I’ll come to you, Richard. Go ahead, Wilson.

WL: Yeah, a lot of you have mentioning a budget review, but the problem is we have a 2023 budget that needs to be approved within 45 days after any of us take office, and to review a six-billion-dollar budget, as Dominik mentioned, that covers our emergency services, we have to—that covers our emergency services, our transportation, our transit, our maintenance, our parks, paying our employees, and not to mention to make recommendations, to make changes, to present it for public consultation, to discuss it at council, that’s not going to take 45 days, that will take a lot longer.

DF: Richard, go ahead.

RG: So, we have to review. There’s no doubt about that. Any incoming council should be reviewing what’s happened in the past and being knowledgeable as we move forward. We can’t just sit back, our services have to run, and residents don’t want us to stall—they’ve already seen stalling with LRT and funding for those things. We need to move forward with our budgets. It is always the right common sense approach to review things as a new job, that’s your responsibility as a councillor. But we still have to move forward, we need to ensure our systems are working, and the residents of Ottawa are getting what they deserve locally through community services and more.

DF: Okay, Kathleen, you want to jump—

KC: Yep, and I also think that we should be looking at introducing the concept—I think Ben Franklin had this concept in the past. The user-pay model, so for example, commercial use of the roads that are overused as it is, Fallowfield, Prince of Wales, what-have-you, having commercial vehicles having to pay a user-pay model in order to be able to create alternative ways of funding the cost that are available.

WL: You can’t do that.

KC: Yeah you can, regulation 586.

DF (over WL and KC): Okay, I’m just gonna close it there, because we only have 10 seconds left, but I’m going to come back to Dominik. Dominik, you have 30 seconds to wrap up on this topic.

DJ: To bring it back together, we do know where our city finances are. The city debt has tripled over the past decade, close to 3.5 billion dollars, with around 240 million in interest which has been susceptible to inflation. So we know where our budget is, we know where it’s going, and is it possible to do it within 45 days? It is. To review it all would mean—what I would propose is a one-year tax freeze on taxes, fees, and non-discretionary spending, so that we can do our budgetary review to be fiscally responsible.

DF: All right, okay, that’s time for that topic. We move on to the next topic, and Patrick, you’ll be starting this, you’ll have 45 seconds. Let’s talk affordable housing. It’s been a big issue, a big topic that many people have been talking about. How would you address the immediate need for affordable housing and affordable rental housing? How do you think we should go about achieving that goal? You have 45 seconds to open.

PB: Yes, that’s a very difficult topic, Derick, just because there’s so many things that impact it. Certainly, you want to let the market sort of dictate to a certain point. If somebody has an investment property, income property, they gotta have so much rent to cover the cost of providing that, so that’s one thing. As far as affordable housing—and I think we have to look at our partners, the provincial government, the federal government for help. The property taxpayer as Dominik mentioned earlier a three-and-a-half-billion-dollar deficit in the City of Ottawa, we’ve got to be careful on how we spend money, so we really need help from other levels of government to just arbitrarily roll out affordable housing—

DF: Okay, time’s up, thank you very much Patrick. I open the floor to all candidates, feel free to jump in. Go ahead, Kathleen.

KC: Housing is a human right, and we do have a national housing strategy that is aiming to ensure that people all have a home. But we need to do more than that. There’s a Swedish model that allows for people who are in a public housing environment to actually be contributing to society as well to offset the different costs that they may not have enough to complete their day-to-day requirements. I’m suggesting also to put into every public housing area year-round greenhouses or vertical hydroponic systems so that people can be having their own food that they’re creating there and if they have access, they can either donate it to the food bank or to the groceries the same with high schools and the same with assisted living, to try and create at least the methodology to have people being able to remember to take care of themselves and not look to other people to do everything for them. Give them an opportunity—

DF (over KC): Just a reminder to all the candidates…

RG (over DF): So…

DF: …feel free to jump in. Okay, let’s go over to Richard.

RG: One of the things we need to look at is we also, as somebody just mentioned, we do need to work with our partners not just federally, provincially, but also locally. We need to look for non-profit developments with a proven track record that can help build these homes. As a city, we have a lot of opportunities to our land, to sell this land at a low cost, offer affordable housing. A great example of that is Jockvale and Longfields, they’re putting in community housing at Jockvale and Longfields, and that land was sold to a local proven non-profit developer for 2$, not a profit so we can get people into homes. We also need to look at wrap-around services, do these areas have access to transit, food, mental health services, community resources. These residents don’t just want to be put somewhere where they don’t feel they are a member of the community, we need to engage in that, and we also need to engage with those communities to hear what they’re saying, because our waitlists are really long. This also beings up the idea of revitalising the downtown core. We have an opportunity that we need to look at—it might not be the perfect option, but we need to look at it as a city council, and ensure our residents have the best places to live.

DF (over RG): Atiq, go ahead.

AQ: City business model is at this time building new houses, building new units, and generate revenue for that. Where we are having builder-centric business model, I will suggest that city should allocate the lands for building new affordable housing units and restrict the builders that is they are going to build 100 houses in a community, they should at least 15 per cent to be build and that allocated land for the affordable housing, so they should—then they will get the contract and go on for their current project anywhere in the city. That is my suggestion to—

DF (over AQ): Who else wants to speak? Go ahead, Wilson. Go ahead.

WL: I agree with Patrick and Richard that we do need to work with our provincial and federal partners. But it’s not just working with them, we—sorry, it is working with them, but we also need to explore things like a rent subsidy. On the local level, something we can do, and should do is implement more inclusionary zoning that allows a better supply of affordable—both affordable and subsidised housing so that people have more options. You know a lot of people at the doors that I’ve spoken to have said they’re afraid their kids won’t be able to live in Barrhaven, in the community they grew up in. We can also advocate for more supports with those partners in our federal and provincial governments for better ODSP and OW supports.

DF: Dominik, go ahead.

DJ: I agree with Wilson on that regard, and as well as Patrick—my apologies, Richard—did bring up a great example of the Jockvale and Longfields development by a non-profit. It’s really the fact that by 2046, the City of Ottawa is going to be increasing by 420,000 people, which is going to be a rough ball estimate of 200,000 extra homes that we need. Barrhaven East is an intensified ward in which we are quite stable and out housing situation, one situation is not as fortunate is Barrhaven West and Riverside South-Findlay Creek. That’s where we need to invest in our affordable housing through multiple uses of multimodal houses to single detached units, as well as condominiums. So to provide different alternatives and as well as under rezoning, but make sure that it’s affordable housing, that’s rentable properties that’s for Ottawa’s citizens so we don’t have to have more multigenerational households as Wilson mentioned in which a kid living with their parents might not be able to move out, because they just simply cannot afford it. [incomprehensible]…

DF (over DJ): Thank you, thank you, gonna stop you right there. Guy, do you want to jump in, and then Kathleen, I’ll come to you. Go ahead.

GB: Yeah so, I think we need to think about smart means to solve this problem. We need to—housing needs to be affordable, and we need to make sure that we have supply for the demand that we’re seeing.

DF: Okay Kathleen, go ahead.

KC: Well, I also want to just point out that right in our own backyard, we have people that are living in the motel over at Prince of Wales and Fallowfield. They don’t have a safe place to walk on Prince of Wales, they can’t actually get to groceries very effectively from that location, so I think that we have to be mindful of people that are already in our community that we’re not representing very well, and I want to make sure that we consider these people as well, as part of our community.

RG: So, I mean listen, I’ve been a teacher, I’ve been a youth worker, I’ve been into these homes, and we’re not just talking about affordable housing for people in Barrhaven. We’re talking about across the spectrum. We’re talking about affordable housing from emergency housing in the downtown core to rental subsidies to owning a property. It is a full spectrum in this city, and it is a city problem, not just a neighbourhood problem. You know, within that, not only do we have to treat these people with respect, because they are having a time in their lives, but we also need to do what is best for them. I have to admit, looking at outside areas is fantastic, but we also have Nepean Community Housing in Barrhaven with rental subsidies. How can we best support them? Not just building houses, but supporting people that are already in place and organisations that are also already in place. Through funding, through community access, engagement, we need to engage with these people.

DF: Thirty seconds left, anyone else wanna jump in before I go back to Patrick? Go ahead.

DJ: It’s a great point mentioned by Richard that it really is the engagement with these people and to make sure that it really is a local and solution for the affordable housing crisis and make sure that every suburb can be having their own plan for it, which is to say that with the Barrhaven downtown secondary plan, it’s imperative that we do have the engagement with those local Nepean housing corporation.

DF: All right, we’ll wrap it up there, but I’ll come back to you, Patrick. You’ll have 30 seconds to wrap up on this topic.

PB: Okay, thanks Derick. As I mentioned before, affordable housing is a tricky issue, and we do need our partners from the provincial and federal level. As well, a big problem with housing in general is the supply issue. There’s been a shortage of supply, we’ve had a number of new Canadians and we’re not keeping up with the supply to provide the proper housing. So I do agree we want to find local solutions and, you know, provide housing, but the supply issue is very real, so we have to work that out.

DF: All right, thank you very much Patrick. That does it for this topic, we’ll move on to the next topic, and I will start with Kathleen Caught. We’ve talked a lot about public transportation, but people are using their cars, and there’s a long list of roads that do need attention. How do we ensure that the worst of those get the attention that they need, while scheduling other infrastructure which is quite frustrating to many residents in Ottawa? Kathleen, you have 45 seconds to open up this topic.

KC: Okay, so one of the things that I’ve been kind of doing some research on is that Amazon has a location distribution centre at 416 serving a large area. We also have one at Boundary Road, and then we have these two hubs in between. So they’re using our infrastructure in order to be able to not only go through the highways, but also across town to from one distribution centre to the other, and it’s putting a lot of extra pressure on our infrastructure, on those roads, Fallowfield being one, Prince of Wales being another. My suggestion has been through regulation 586, which does exist in Province of Ontario for charging those that are using the—

DF (over KC): I’m sorry, Kathleen, you’ll have to come back to that. You’ll have some more time…

KC (over DF): Sorry.

DF: …feel free to jump in, anyone—Wilson…

RG (over DF): You’re talking about—

DF (over RG): Okay…

WL: If we do that—Amazon right now is Barrhaven’s largest employer. In fact, Barrhaven has a distinct lack of a major employer, Amazon has kind of jumped in and filled that void. If you want to deliberately tax or somehow charge them extra to use our roads, our infrastructure, you’re only going to drive out these employers and future opportunities—future employer, excuse me, as well.

DF: Richard, you want to jump in?

RG: Looking at 586, you also have to believe in people’s rights and that they could Charter challenge us. This is access to movement and freedom they could argue. I’m not saying that’s what they’re going to do, but that could bring us into a legal argument that we need to be aware of that could possibly take place. We should be engaging with our contract partners to do more. Finding examples when we’re paving Greenbank to Fallowfield, why are they not also looking at the paths next to it? Not only will they save time and money, it’ll make residents happier, because jobs get done faster. We know we need infrastructure—I live in the oldest part of the ward between Foxfield and Greenbank, and I see it every day. And that again takes engagement with the provincial and federal partners as well as our community associations to plan ahead and not just deal with the right-there-and-now. We need to be proactive, not reactive when it comes to fixing our infrastructure.

DF: Anybody else? Atiq, go ahead.

AQ: As I said earlier, we need to change the approach the city works. We don’t need to fix the roads once people start crying for that. So we need to do a pre-emptive measures. Right now, we need to widen Fallowfield all the way to Prince of Wales, so before the traffic or community population will increase and start using it, we will have the road to utilise it. It’s not like the way Greenbank is—now they are building it. All the area has been built, and on the promises of they’re for the widening of roads, and once the population will be there, start out crying for the need, then the city move in and start building the roads. So we need to change this approach, we need to take a pre-emptive approach, understand how much houses are going to be built there, how much traffic flow will come, and at what time we need to start widening the road. So this is something that [incomprehensible], and I will…

DF (over AQ): Okay, I’m just going to go to Dominik, and I’ll come to you. Go ahead, Dominik.

DJ: The widening of a road is a great solution to what Barrhaven is currently facing, because we’ve had an incredible growth population, and yet our infrastructure had not kept up with this. Back when Prince of Wales as a part of the City of Nepean, it was supposed to be a major highway for the ward, but what we’ve seen is that it’s our needs change, the situation changes, and we need our infrastructure to reflect this in kind. I can think of already on Lodge Road and which already has massive potholes that are scheduled to be fixed, but they’re going to take its time, and I already know that the infrastructure in the Ashdale and Rideau Glen communities are underserved and under-maintenanced, and it’s a complaint they have all the time. They even have their street lights not working in those communities—

DF (over DJ): Okay Dominik, I’m just going to let Guy jump in here, thank you.

GB: Yeah, so certainly with the LRT coming, we need to re-look at how the routes are set up and make sure that we’ve got priority lanes for buses to go to the park and rides and even in our community, we have park and rides that are not being used very much, so we need to make sure that we’re taking advantage of the infrastructure that we have. I’m also concerned about the facility the Amazon facility that’s being proposed. It’s going to affect our traffic, there’s trucks that are going to be coming through our community, and I’m concerned with the way the current council approved that application. They did it in a two-stage process where they told us at the first stage there was no proponent, and then later we find out in a very short time that there was a proponent, and now we even see what the facility looks like. So I’m really concerned, the new council needs to revisit that decision, because I’m not sure it’s not the right decision that was made.

DF: Atiq, go ahead.

AQ: I agree with Guy, that the new truck facility there, we have to go and revisit the thing, because this is not—it should not be in the residential area. The best place—

RG (over AQ): The thing is it’s not a residential area. It’s a multi-use…it’s a business park.

AQ (over RG): …for them is across their own facility at 416 at Moodie Drive. That is the best place in my opinion. They should move that one and for that Merivale business park, with my plan which I’m coming to reduce the cost for building a 3.5 billion for LRT, I am looking a hospital in that Merivale business park.

RG: So, here’s the thing…

DF (over RG): Okay, Patrick very quickly, then I’ll come to Wilson.

DF: Patrick, did you want to jump in?

PB: I think it was Richard.

DF: No, but we haven’t heard from you yet so I thought that you might want to get in there before we run out of time, but go ahead then, Richard. [incomprehensible]…

RG (over DF): Listen, we can’t just move this, the project is done. Do I agree with the project? I agree, it was not done correctly. We now need to look at mitigating those factors between speeding, roads, looking how we reduce noise, light pollution as we move forward with our city planners and our partners. We can’t just move something to another ward. That is—one—not responsible, and you’ve mentioned moving it to a different ward. That may mean new environmental assessments, new transit issues. We need to now work with what we have and talk with our partners, talk with our community groups, talk with other councillors in the ward. When it comes to building a hospital, that’s provincial and federal. Do we support it? Yeah, but we need to be better looking at how to attract doctors and medical staff to our city. They go to university at the University of Ottawa, why can’t we make this city attractive that they stay? Building that bridge to better health care, but back to the transit part, it’s just not feasible, we need to look at safety moving forward rather than wasting more taxpayers’ dollars on reassessing this park that’s already going ahead.

DF (over RG): Patrick, go ahead.

PB: Okay thanks. As far as roads are concerned, most people I talk to they’re in favour of having a, you know, schedule where their road can be resurfaced in a period of time that doesn’t take too long. There was a number of people that spoke at the door lately. As far as the South Merivale Business Park is concerned, there were three to 4,000 signatures on a petition that did not support that specific rezoning, so I think that’s important, because it’s right in that community, and I think we should revisit it when we go to council.

DF (over PB): Okay, we’ll wrap it up there. Sorry, Dominik, we’ve run out of time. Kathleen, you have 30 seconds to wrap up on the topic.

KC: We have to incentivise ourselves to not use our cars, so I’m not in favour of widening to four lanes. In Prince of Wales, but to try and even cross the street on Prince of Wales to put your children on a bus, it’s very dangerous, there’s no sidewalks, there’s no place for bicycles, and at nighttime, it’s extremely dangerous. So I am in favour of trying to do something for Prince of Wales to make that more make sense. Reducing, not increasing is what we should be looking at, trying to get people out of their cars—

DF (over KC): Okay, that is our time. Thank you very much, Kathleen. We’re going to start with Atiq on this next one, the environment and climate change. A big topic that people have been talking about quite a bit in this campaign so far. What can we do on a municipal level to make this a greener city? You have 45 seconds to open up the conversation. And again, just a reminder, this is our last topic for debate, so please feel free to jump in at any time after Atiq. Go ahead, Atiq.

AQ: I’m a great supporter for a hybrid approach. We can’t be on the one—we can’t put all the eggs in one plate, so hybrid approach means that we have to utilise the city resources so we can effectively produce the result after that. I was not—I was shocked by the decision of the previous council when they approved the atomic waste dump at Chalk River. I’m a physicist student, so I know what atomic radiation will do down the road, and our children will be suffer for that. They will curse us for this, what we will do—what we are going to do with them in the future. Second, environmental hazard, the truck yard, yes for sure, that is our community—

DF (over AQ): Okay, sorry, that’s it for the opening. Feel free to jump in, it’s open to all candidates.

DJ: In my work with community associations for environmental sustainability which hosted two mayoral debates on the environment into what can be done for our city and for the future, it’s really that we can be doing so much more. What we’ve seen is from our extreme weather events, our power grid is not reliable. What we can be doing is having more reliable, green energy and a better, efficient power grid to supply residents. As well as under Hydro Ottawa, they would like to see EV charging stations, e-bike charging stations on cost-recovery basis installed throughout the city by 2030, which would be a great incentive for citizens to transition to EV vehicles, and as well as the city fleet of ambulances and all services, transitioned to electric and hybrid vehicles is the way forward.

RG: I think it comes down to infrastructure, this is another opportunity where as we look at infrastructure, we can plan ahead. You talk about EV charging stations, I was recently overseas, and in England, they are putting EV charging ports into the light posts as the light post gets re-fixed, they put a charging system in it. This is where it comes down to smart planning. We do need to invest in our green environment and our culture, by retrofitting our buildings, looking for grants working with partners such as the federal government to also offer homeowners those options. We do need to be ready for natural disasters, and a great option here—you know, look last night just in the east part of Barrhaven, we lost power for about 10 minutes in a wide area near the Vimy Bridge. We need to look at putting generators and emergency options in our community centres to best meet the needs like we’ve seen in 2018, and recently in June. We need to look at the city as a whole and fix everything that we can in a sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective measure.

DF: Just jump in, go ahead Kathleen.

KC: I think we also have to recognise we lost a lot of trees in this last weather conditions that we had in the spring, and trying to replace all those trees is going to be a big project. But I also think that we should be aiming towards being able to have our 15-minute communities with tree canopies so that when you’re walking on the sidewalk in 41-degree temperatures, that we at least have some shade from the trees over our heads, and I think that should be something that we work towards. I am in agreement with Atiq that we should not be having atomic waste situation on the Ottawa River. It’s on a fault line, so I don’t understand the logic of why that even would have been considered, but it seems to be an ongoing discussion—

DF (over KC): I gotta go to Patrick, because he had his hand up as well here Kathleen, sorry.

PB: Thanks, yeah as far as climate change, one thing I am supporting is the city’s transition to EVs and hybrid-types of vehicles, but a bigger issue really once again is funding. I think that federal and provincial governments have to step up. Infrastructure is critical, we have to have the charging station. I met a lady the other night who had electric vehicle, she wanted to visit her daughter up north, and they were reluctant to take the vehicle, because there’s only a couple of charging spots on route. So that’s a serious issue. So I think if there’s so much talk about the environment—and I’m in favour of the environment—but, I don’t see as much commitment form other levels that would help municipality of Ottawa.

DF: Wilson, go ahead.

WL: Exactly, I agree with you. I visit my mom north of Toronto every so often, and before I bought my car, I rent cars. One of the options was an electric vehicle and I thought I’d get stuck on Highway 7 in Peterborough somewhere. But no, these are great points about securing our future for our kids and making sure that we have an environment that they can live in, planting trees along our streets, along bare parts of our parks as well, but we also need to ensure that our greenspaces are preserved in new developments. The city has lots of tools at its disposal to ensure that new developments come with a certain percentage of greenspace—that we preserve our existing greenspaces. Places like the Chapman Mills Conservation Area, places like Nepean Woods, these are gems within our community that we need to protect, from development. They’re right about the resiliency that we need to implement into our infrastructure, our buildings, and even having a plan to just address climate emergencies—sorry—address extreme weather events for residents when it happens.

DF: Anyone else want to jump in here?

RG: Listen, I—

DF (over RG): Guy? Sorry, did you…

GB: Yeah, I’d like to say that yes, the climate is very important and we’ve been having a lot of events and power outages and so we need to make sure that our hydro and we’re promoting greener sources of energy, and because really, you know, things are getting worse.

DF: Okay, Richard you wanted to jump in?

RG: I own an electric vehicle, it’s my second vehicle. I love it, it has provided a lot of options for me, so I am really supportive of looking at these measures to ensure that we can grow with our green energy technology and we should also be investing in bringing green energy partners to the city, you know small business-wise and large business-wise, to not only drive our infrastructure, but our economy. You know, as a city and as a national capital, we have the responsibilities to be leaders in providing effective, workable, realistic solutions when it comes to the environment and climate change, and that’s just plain and simple.

DJ: [incomprehensible].

DF (over DJ): Anybody else? Dominik, go ahead.

DJ: Couldn’t agree more, Richard. It really is the fact that we are the capital city, and we have the chance to set the standard for the rest of Canada, including Toronto, including Montreal by providing a working EV electrical grid with reliable generators, with backup emergency generators if things go wrong, to transition Canada into that green capital of the world. We are a G7 capital, and I say it’s about time we have pride in it. We can make the change into a green pioneer of the next technological revolution. If we so willed it by electing councillors who would push for it, and I would like to push for that, because electrical is the renewable, it’s the way of the future. Our fossil fuel industries can be exported to the rest of the world, but we should be striving to be better.

DF: Anybody else want to jump in before Atiq wraps this?

RG: I think on that note, it also comes with a sense we need to be sustainable and responsible, and that comes down to taxpayers’ dollars. That’s where our community partners come in and they play a massive role with that.

DF (over RG): Okay, excellent. Thank you all. Atiq, you have 30 seconds to wrap up on this topic.

AQ: As I said earlier, I will explore the opportunity to revisit the decision for the dumping of atomic waste at Chalk River if there is any legal obligation, I will take it—we’ll look into that. Also, electrical vehicles sounds very good, but we can’t experience the California, what is going on right now. They banned gasoline vehicles, and now they banned the people to charge the electric vehicles. So, we have to go for the hybrid approach and that—

DF (over AQ): I’m sorry, that’s time, Atiq. Thank you very much. And it’s now time for our closing statements. I’ll do that in reverse order of what we started, so Guy Boone, you have 60 seconds for your closing statement.

GB: Yes, thank you again to Rogers and my colleagues for tonight’s—today’s debate. I just want to say that I personally have been very active in the community, and I feel that I’m prepared to take this next step. I think we need at least an engineer on council to be able to make the kind of decisions we need going forward to deal with the LRT, to accommodate affordable housing, public transit, and even just the regular transit. So certainly my priorities are safety, we need a safe community, environment, infrastructure. We need to have meaningful and effective transit, and transportation. We need to have quality of life, smart initiatives, and transparency and accountability. I trust—

DF (over GB): Thank you Guy, thank you very much. Wilson, over to you, you have 60 seconds.

WL: Yeah, thanks again Derick and Rogers for hosting this debate. I am the compassionate and caring neighbour you can count on to lead our community through successes and challenges, the accessible and respectful councillor who will listen to your concerns for—and ideas, rather—for a safer and better Barrhaven East, or even just a friendly person to have a conversation with. I will build the same collaborative and productive relationships with city staff that I did as an employee, with both our city staff, our community stakeholders, other councillors, as well as residents of course. I plan on using my expertise and experience as an OC Transpo employee to be a well-informed councillor for our community. Since registering as a candidate, I visited almost 10,000 houses in the ward to introduce myself, to introduce my platform, and to listen to your concerns and ideas for a better community. As your councillor, I will continue to respectfully listen so that our voices are heard at the council table. I mentioned in the beginning my wife and I have a very personal interest in making sure our community has a healthy and sustainable future. Thank you.

DF: Thank you, Wilson. Atiq Quershi, you have 60 seconds for your closing statement.

AQ: At the end, I will say that being having my experience in accounting and finance, everybody can work on the given resources. I always work with the less resources. How to utilise, how people can utilise their resources best in the minimum and effective way. So that is something I will look into that, and I am also look that approach the hybrid approach as I said earlier, and the way we have an innovative approach. I am happy that they adopted [incomprehensible] at Greenbank when they put the elevated bike lanes. That was my pitch on that last time, so I am very happy that it is implementing right now. So all those points which I raised they said those are practical points. I work on that. I plan on that. So I will deliver on that. So thank you for your support.

DF: Thank you, Atiq. Kathleen Caught, you have 60 seconds for your closing statement.

KC: Over the last few weeks, once a week, I have been going out and checking where the potholes are in the community, where problems are with the playgrounds, so my intention for doing that is to make sure people understand that I’m not just about words, I’m about action. And by showing that I’m going to take some action even before I’m elected, although I do believe once elected, you’ll get to see that I advocate very well. It’s all of us that need to take responsibility to remind ourselves that we’re peacekeepers, we’re Canadian, that’s what we do. And by getting involved in heaving community count, that’s my objective. Neighbourhood watch is something that I feel very strongly about, because we need to be able to engage and go cross cultural opportunities to bring people together. That’s my intention, community counts. Vote for Kathleen.

DF: Thank you, Kathleen. All right, over to Patrick Brennan. You have 60 seconds for your closing statement, Patrick.

PB: I want to say as I said earlier, given my experience with a finance background, management, collective bargaining, and capital markets, and also I’ve been a volunteer in Nepean for a number of years with the girls hockey, the boys hockey, and I also coached five years East Nepean Little League Eagles, and I also spent 14 years as a reader at my local church, so I think I am the best prepared to move on to the role of councillor. I want to address, as I said, LRT is the number one issue, we gotta restore confidence in that project. Also address the crime issues in Barrhaven, speeding, and possibly having to use cameras if necessary, increase police presence. We also have to make sure we deliver the core services like roads and I also want to attract jobs into Barrhaven so people can live and work in Barrhaven. Thank you.

DF: Thank you very much, Patrick. Dominik Janelle, you have 60 seconds to wrap up.

DJ: Thank you Derick and Rogers TV for hosting this. As well as for hosting them previously in the past. I would like to first say that Ottawa is on unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation, I do feel that was important to mention as being the first to say it. As well, my vision for Barrhaven is to bring it into the future. What does that mean? It means to bring reliable transit to Barrhaven, account for new incentives such as solar-powered splash pads, so we don’t have to rely on battery-powered. Renovating and revolutionising bike infrastructure, incentivising and revolutionising what we want our communities to look like—for far too long, Barrhaven has looked the same way, when we know there’s better technologies to improve that. I’d like to bring that, that’s my vision for Barrhaven. If you agree with me, then I’m glad to share it. I want to bring that vision forward to yourself which is reliable transit, one-year tax freeze to ease the pressure on yourselves, and if you like what I bring, then vote Janelle.

DF: Okay, thank you, thank you very much. Richard Garrick, you have 60 seconds for your closing statement.

RG: Perfect, thank you very much. I’ve lived in this community for over 30 years and I understand the importance of being connected to what is happening in Barrhaven, remaining transparent with effective communication, that’s essential in making sure that our community grows and thrives. I bring a realistic approach to this community with a strong voice. My experience will help me to advocate for the needs of the residents of Barrhaven, and I have worked with many different community partners, stakeholders with real on-the-ground experience, whether that’s with the Ottawa Police, CHEO, or as a teacher. We need to rebuild faith in our transit system. We need to work to innovate and grow while developing sustainably. Increased programming for our youth and our seniors and engage again in transparent conversations and work to engage our residents. I am a teacher, a former youth worker, a non-profit coordinator, and I will and have advocated for the community my life. With my background and experience and knowledge of Barrhaven, I will be your strong voice at council. On October 24, I ask for your support in making me that strong voice and leader for our community.

DF: All right, thanks to all of our candidates. Really appreciate it. Again, Ward 24, Barrhaven East. And thank you at home for watching here today. We’re really appreciate it. Again, a reminder, election day is October 24. Thanks so much for tuning in, here on Rogers TV.

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