Safe and vibrant neighbourhoods

Youth

As I travel throughout the Ward, I hear from people of all ages that there is an enormous gap in services for young people, and keep in mind, Algonquin College students are a large constituency in College Ward. Members of the City’s Youth Engagement Committee report that more could be done and feel a sense of tokenism in their relationship with the City.

I will work to:

  • Create a Youth Advisory Council for College Ward, comprised of young people, ages 15 – 25;
  • Ensure there are safe public spaces in College Ward for youth to meet and engage in activities
  • Advocate for youth representation on City of Ottawa Committees and Boards with public representation and the piloting of a “Model City Hall” - including both Council and senior corporate staff roles - similar to the popular Model UNs and Parliaments for youth;
  • Champion youth mentorship opportunities in Ward and across City.
  • Support adequate funding and other resourcing for the City’s Youth Engagement Committee, and input of youth on key Council decisions such as the review of the Official Plan and the annual budget; and
  • Work to increase job opportunities and paid internships for youth, with a focus on quality mentorship, as well as adequate income, at City Hall and in Ottawa’s private sector companies.

 

Crime prevention and policing

I am happy to hear that College Ward has experienced an overall decrease in the crime rate over the last year.  However, I know that news stories about an increase in homicides and gun-related crimes throughout the city can make us all feel nervous and less secure.   

  • I will organize a series of ward-level meetings with the goal of developing a ward-level strategy on crime prevention. Our network of community associations will provide a solid foundation to begin this process.
  • I will invite a Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO) Ambassador to the Ward to share information and participate in this discussion.
  • I will monitor the progress of the Ottawa Police Services Community Equity Council which launches this fall, with the goal of strengthening relationships between the OPS and Indigenous, racialized and faith-based communities or organizations. My professional experience in this area will be especially valuable.

 

Affordable housing

The lack of affordable housing is a continuing and growing issue, especially for low-income people in Ottawa.

In College Ward, the issue has resulted in an increase in “rooming houses” that are not cared for and are being marketed to Algonquin College students, which is creating friction in our neighbourhoods. 

I am committed to moving the needle on this important issue. 

  • I will urge the City to continue advocating strongly for provincial and federal funding to support the City’s 10-year plan and its partners, including Ottawa Community Housing. 
  • I want the City to use and strengthen inclusionary zoning to address affordable housing issues when reviewing any applications for new large developments. I want Council to seek the power to ensure such requests or proposals for affordable housing are enforceable.
  • I want the City to look at introducing a rental replacement bylaw to reduce the risk of losing the low-end of market rental housing, when the need is so acute in Ottawa.  (The City of Toronto provides an example of this kind of bylaw.)
  • I will address the “rooming house” issue in College Ward in a comprehensive manner, ensuring that efforts to address the issue with licensing are supported with additional neighbourhood-level solutions. 

 

Planning and development

It might seem that City Planners work more closely with developers than with communities.  Have you noticed how City Council often ignores its own height restrictions on new developments and over-rides the Council-approved Official Plan, secondary plans and community design plans? And as we’ve seen in College Ward, in some neighbourhoods, infill developments are creating friction among residents.

  • I will use my experience in conflict resolution and the law to advocate the development of a protocol that will build community cohesion and help avoid this intense disagreement around the issue of infill developments in the ward.

 

Quality public and community spaces

People in College Ward tell me they want more public and community meeting places.  There are few places in the ward where these types of spaces are available and readily accessible.

  • I will work with City staff to conduct an audit of public and community spaces (indoor and outdoor) in the College Ward.
  • In consultation with the community, we will develop a strategy for increasing the number and distribution of public and community spaces across the ward. I will involve commercial, residential and public sectors in this process. I will promote identification and access of multi-purpose spaces.

 

Better garbage!

No, really – we can do better.  Ottawa has an underwhelming record when it comes to waste diversion, including recycling. There are places in Ontario where the rate of waste diversion is 63%, even Toronto is at 52%.  Ottawa?  We are at 43%.  Only half of us in the city are using green bins, and a full quarter of the population doesn’t recycle at all, according to Waste Watch Ottawa. 

  • I will meet with City staff to learn about what’s working and what’s not when it comes to waste diversion in our ward. And then, I will work with staff and other City Councillors to improve those numbers and push past Toronto, to become the best in the province.