We asked the Ottawa Centre candidates…Why should residents of Old Ottawa East vote for you?

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CAROL CLEMENHAGEN CONSERVATIVE PARTY

For my first year at Carleton University, at old St. Pat’s College on Echo Drive, I lived in the women’s residence, a house on Hawthorne Street. Some of the neighbours still remember the hijinks!

Old Ottawa East has changed a lot, with new developments, new streetscapes. What hasn’t changed is its strong sense of community.

I share voters’ concerns about today’s cost of living, its affordability in the future and disappointment in the incumbent Liberal MP’s absence on local issues.

I want to speak up for Ottawa Centre, bringing our diverse community into the priorities that are set and choices made on federal spending and taxation proposals.

I am alarmed by the Liberal Government’s lack of fiscal responsibility, certain to negatively impact debt burdens for future generations and our ability to fund complex public priorities like health care and climate action or to cope with the shocks of an economic downturn.

The Liberal Government, with passive, sloppy management, produced 4 successive deficits, this year’s topping $20 billion. Federal debt is more than $700 billion and growing.

In the month of August alone, journalist David Akin counted 4,545 new Liberal spending commitments totalling $12.8 billion.

I want Ottawa Centre to have a strong, representative voice in a competent and caring Conservative government. One that advances health care and climate action, that fosters a strong economy investing in basic research and infrastructure. A government that puts more money in people’s pockets so that they can get ahead.

My focus is representing Ottawa Centre priorities. A top local one is infrastructure, with its cross-cutting significance for economic development, health care, climate action, transit, roads, housing, recreation.

With a federal and a provincial government burdened by Liberal deficits and debt, securing stable, predictable funding via federal/provincial/municipal collaboration for local priorities is critical.

A new Conservative government will fund all infrastructure projects approved to date and move forward quickly on others with provincial and municipal partners. Residents too often now feel their concerns are discounted or deflected.

The incumbent Liberal MP has been absent, silent or unhelpful on local issues like the Château Laurier addition, Tunney’s Pasture development, LeBreton Flats, new Civic campus, Ottawa Hospital, National Capital Commission capabilities. I will seek out residents’ input, meeting frequently with local community associations to engage Ottawa Centre’s broad views on issues.

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COREEN CORCORAN LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF CANADA

I discovered the Libertarian Party of Canada a few years ago after I became disillusioned by the lack of accountability within our governments and a lack of respect for taxpayer dollars.

Billions of dollars disappear from a department with little acknowledgment of the lapses in governance to ensure proper accounting of our money. We continue to sell arms to questionable regimes like Saudi Arabia, while turning our backs on oil and gas workers because they are not in what we now consider favourable industries. Partisan politics has reached a peak, and there is no respectful dialogue between opposing sides.

I see Canada as a family, albeit a dysfunctional one, that needs a vision to hold us together. This has been lacking for decades and has led us to be very narrow-minded in how we support the issues. We come together when national sporting events unite us, but our day to-day rarely extends beyond the end of our street. Urban and rural residents have completely different needs, and it is unfortunate that one-size-fits-all decisions are made by people who will never see the impact on individuals.

The Libertarian Party of Canada founds its policy on respect — respect for the person and property of our fellow citizen. We believe that if government’s role were limited to upholding this respect, our natural tendency to fulfill our needs at the least cost would ensure an ever-increasing quality of life, and the satisfaction derived from helping others would ensure social harmony. Ask yourself this question when a new program or initiative is proposed – is the government the best option for providing this service? The federal government should only be involved with settling disputes among individuals where private, voluntary arbitration has failed, providing protection from criminals, and providing protection from foreign invaders. Let the provincial and municipal governments have more control over their jurisdictions because they understand the needs of their residents better than a centralized government in Ottawa.

This will be my fourth time running for office. My day job is Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, and I have worked in the private and public sectors both as an employee and a consultant. I pride myself on being incredibly reliable, resilient, and resourceful and can accomplish amazing results with limited support. I enjoy traveling, cooking, gardening, and golfing. I am a Redblacks season ticket holder and share my home with my husband and our dog and cat.

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ANGELA KELLER-HERZOG GREEN PARTY OF CANADA

My platform: Healthy People. Healthy Economy. Healthy Planet.

I’ve lived in Ottawa Centre, on unceded Algonquin, Anishinabek territory, for over 30 years. I never considered running for office until, on December 18th, 2018, the Liberals announced an additional $1.6 billion subsidy for the oil & gas industry. This was well after the Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion pipeline purchase decision and the release of the IPCC report. I was appalled. Fighting the climate crisis means dramatically reducing emissions, not expanding fossil fuel production.

We need action. A pivot to a cleanenergy, low-carbon economy (with lots of new jobs) is critical for the health of the planet and the health of the economy.

The old parties are simply incapable of turning the ship; too beholden to oil & gas and financial sector interests, and too embedded in the very small Canadian corporate elite. Elizabeth May will not lose sight of the Paris target and break her promises, and neither will I.

I’m an active member of the community and have a track record of getting things done. I’ve served on the Glebe Community Association Board since 2013; co-chaired the Ottawa-wide CAFES (Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability); cofounded Ottawa Centre Refugee Action, and led the Glashan Schoolyard Greening project. On the Hill I would continue to advocate for local issues, notably:

• Managing intensification to create livable communities with affordable housing.

• Increasing urban canopy coverage to 40%.

• Investing in comprehensive public transit and cycling infrastructure.

• Keeping the Ottawa River free of nuclear waste. • Eliminating single use plastics with ready alternatives.

As an economist, I aim to address the wealth disparity by ensuring the highest corporate and private income earners pay their fair share of taxes to improve the well-being of all Canadians. Greens support a guaranteed livable income and many other social and health policies designed to end systemic poverty and quality of life issues, such as nationalized pharmacare, free post-secondary education, affordable and energy efficient housing, and indigenous reconciliation. Social justice, economic justice, and environmental justice are inextricably linked.

In this election you have an important choice to make. Not a choice between political parties, but a choice between futures – for us, for our children, and for our planet. The climate crisis demands greater political courage, leadership, and will than the old parties have shown, but there is a solution. It’s time to step up. We can do this together.

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CATHERINE MCKENNA LIBERAL PARTY

A vote for me is a vote for a candidate who listens and delivers on the issues that matter most to you.

Residents in Ottawa Centre consistently tell me the environment is among their top priorities. In 2017, the federal government invested in the second phase of LRT, to grow clean public transit.

New fund to increase safe pedestrian and cycling infrastructure – on NCC multi-use pathways and our streets – including the West Rideau River Pathway, from Lees Avenue to Carleton University.

During the 2015 election, Old Ottawa East residents stressed that they wanted a midtown footbridge. Today, the Flora crossing is a reality, with average daily crossings exceeding 3,000.

As well, four new docks have been installed to improve access to the Rideau Canal. CityFolk, at Lansdowne Park, has received increased federal funding.

In the last election, I committed to fight for federal funding for a new central library for our city. Today, we have a partnership between the Ottawa Library and Library and Archives Canada to build a world class library, in Ottawa Centre.

Also, the Ontario tree planting program – cut by the Ford government – was saved this year.

And there is a national plan to eliminate single-use plastics.

Since 2015, $216 million in federal funding has been invested in new affordable housing in Ottawa Centre, creating new homes for more than 1,600 people.

In the last four years, federal support for student jobs in Ottawa Centre has doubled and Saint Paul University received funding to support some of their promising students and researchers.

For this election, my local platform has three themes: the greenest capital city, prosperity and job creation, and inclusion, to ensure our city remains welcoming to all.

If re-elected, I’ll work with government and housing sector partners to accelerate progress on more affordable housing.

I’ll champion more investments for safe pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure; increasing the tree canopy in Ottawa Centre to make our summers cooler and easier to bear, especially for seniors; and for our city to have more electric buses.

I will also work with the private sector to make Ottawa a hub for green tech innovation and to create more good jobs.

If you honour me with your vote on Monday, October 21st, I’ll continue to give everything I’ve got to represent your values and priorities – and deliver results – as the Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre.

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MERYLEE SEVILLA PEOPLE’S PARTY OF CANADA

I am seeking the support and ballots of Old Ottawa East because I am that candidate that will fight tooth and nail for the issues that matters. As a taxpayer, homeowner, woman of visible minority and a member of the LGBTQ community – I am relatable on all the levels that some politicians and political parties have lost touch with.

As someone who has worked with the NDP, believed in the Conservatives, and questioned the Liberals, the People’s Party of Canada takes the values these parties once stood for and fights to bring them back to Canadians. I want to be the change that I know Ottawa-Centre and Canadians want. From taking their concerns and being their advocate and voice, I want Old Ottawa East and surrounding areas to know that I would work with all levels of government to ensure there is accountability and transparency. For so long, I placed my trust and confidence in the MP’s and government that we as a democratic nation voted for; however, this last year has shown that our government has taken a shift towards catering to the highest investors and bidders. That is not democracy and that is not the government I remember and believed in growing up.

I want to bring back the values of a democratic system, a government that does not bend to corporate monopolies. Ottawa Centre, is a riding that has a population of over 118,000 residents, a riding with many NDP supporters. I understand that it may seem daunting to vote for the unknown, however, what the People’s Party of Canada represents and stands for are the same values and principles that we as a nation are taught to stand for. The unfortunate thing is these values have been lost over time because our present government thinks it’s okay to jeopardize these for a few millions or billions and, of course, votes.

A ballot cast for me this upcoming election is a ballot cast for representation, for democracy and for Canadians who are tired of being left behind. As the People’s Party of Canada candidate, I promise to uphold the values of my constituents, but also our fellow Canadians. Freedom, fairness, respect and responsibility – these are values for which I am fighting for this election and for all!

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EMILIE TAMAN NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY

The status quo isn’t working. Two Canadian billionaires have amassed as much wealth as 11 million other Canadians combined, while almost a million of our fellow citizens rely on foodbanks. Climate scientists say we have 11 years to avert climate catastrophe, but we continue to approve new pipelines and ramp up tar sands production.

I’m running for the NDP because I’m sick of governments that sell high and deliver low, that make lofty promises but fail to deliver. I’ve dedicated my life to public service, both as a federal prosecutor and as a former member of the Old Ottawa South Community Association board. I will bring this same dedication to Parliament if given the honour to serve as your next MP.

Real Action on Climate Change

Climate leaders don’t buy pipelines, especially the same week as Parliament declares a climate emergency. But that’s exactly what the Liberals did.

An NDP government will treat the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves. We’ll ask big polluters and the ultrarich to pay for a massive expansion of renewable energy, with net carbon-free electricity by 2030. We’ll embark on the largest home retrofit program Canada has ever seen, and invest in fare-free, electric public transit.

In making these changes, we will leave no one behind. Oil and gas workers are not our enemy, climate change is our enemy. That’s why we’ll implement a just transition for workers in high emitting industries, equipping them with the skills they need to help build a green economy.

Housing is a Right

It’s time to stop treating housing as a commodity and start treating it as a basic human need. An NDP government will build half a million affordable homes, including co-ops and other non-market options. We’ll also crackdown on money laundering and speculation that are causing housing prices to skyrocket.

The candidates of the five major parties faced off in what at times was a raucous all candidates debate on September 25th before a packed audience in the Glebe. Photo by John Dance

Making every vote count

We are committed to electoral reform, where no one’s vote is wasted. Our Prime Minister promised that 2015 would be “the last election under first past the post” but broke his promise when the committee gave him an answer he didn’t want. I’ve heard from so many who feel betrayed by the Liberals’ broken promise on electoral reform – it’s one of the issues that motivated me to run in this election. You can rely on us to never stop fighting for a more proportional voting system where your vote always counts.

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