David Chernushenko: Councillor’s Column, December 2014

Onward and Upward in Capital Ward

Four more years—so much to do and so little time. Let’s get started.

First, I want to express my gratitude to all those who placed their faith in me to represent them for a second term as Capital Ward councillor.

To everyone who voted, no matter whom you supported, thank you for exercising what is both a right and a privilege, fundamental to democracy. Too few citizens—less than 40 percent in the Ottawa municipal election—take the time vote, and that’s a shame.

On the other hand, I was amazed by the effort many made to ensure they could cast their ballot—advance polls, proxy votes, requests for a drive to the poll. One lady of a certain age, determined to keep her perfect voting record intact, simply wanted an arm to hold onto as she crossed Main Street. I was honoured to offer that arm.

I am looking forward to working with my newly elected colleagues and continuing my collaboration with re-elected ones.

I have a short list of priorities for 2014 – 2018. I know many new issues will arise, many projects will require support and many crises will have to be dealt with. But if I do not keep an  eye on my short list, my energy will too quickly be dissipated.

– Accelerate construction of affordable housing across the city, by helping to broker cross-sector partnerships and creating a stronger affordable housing policy.

– Oversee the renewal of Main Street and use this experience to apply Complete Street principles to other road projects, such as Bronson Avenue in 2017 – 2018.

– Promote sustainable urban intensification and development principles, notably working with developers of the Oblate Lands in Old Ottawa East to showcase this approach.

– Improve public transit by completing the Confederation Line and moving quickly to finance and approve the route for Phase Two light rail, including expanded O-train service. Revise bus routes to make the most effective use of the new rail service.

– Prioritize active transportation by fully implementing the Ottawa Cycling Plan and Ottawa Pedestrian Plan.

– Increase citywide connectivity and reduce congestion by advancing the construction date for the Fifth Ave – Clegg footbridge through a multi-party financing partnership.

– Provide greater certainty to communities in the development approvals process through consistent application of zoning, community design plans and infill design guidelines.

– Complete the ‘Infill Two’ study, and see this translated into new bylaws.

– Continue to support public health promotion through Ottawa Public Health’s Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) strategy.

Two of these items, the renewal of Main Street and the separate but related redevelopment of the Oblate lands, are major, game-changing projects for the community of Old Ottawa East.

With so much slated to happen, good communication between residents, local businesses, my office, city staff and developers will be essential. It’s going to be a busy and sometimes noisy and dusty period. Knowing what’s happening and how to share concerns will help.

E-mail is the most efficient way for me to reach my constituents in a timely fashion. If you wish to receive my newsletter (about every 6-8 weeks) and special updates, please sign up at capitalward.ca/subscribe. Help me to serve you better.

Councillor David Chernushenko
613-580-2487 | David.Chernushenko@Ottawa.ca | capitalward.ca

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