Mayor Jim Watson’s questionnaire was sent to local candidates and their party leaders on September 2, 2021. Below are the unedited submitted responses:

 

Question 1:

As the construction of Stage 2 LRT continues to Orleans, Riverside South, the Ottawa International Airport, Algonquin College, and Moodie Drive, the City of Ottawa has now approved two Environmental Assessments that set the stage for the extension of LRT to Kanata/Stittsville in the west and Barrhaven in the south. As part of Stage 3 LRT, the City will bring the comfort and environmental benefits of rail to some of Ottawa’s fastest growing communities. Does your party commit to negotiating with the City regarding 50 per cent of Ottawa’s Stage 3 LRT project?

 

Liberal Party of Canada

Yes. The Liberal government has invested historic amounts in public transit across the country, including in Ottawa’s LRT project. Since 2015, the Liberal government has invested over $13 billion in more than 1,300 public transit projects across Canada, building more than 240 km of new public transit subway and light rail line. We also established permanent public transit funding of $3 billion per year for Canadian communities.

The LRT has been a great success since its launch. It is revolutionizing the way the residents of Ottawa are moving around and, when you consider that by 2030 it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 100,000 tonnes, it is the equivalent of taking 25,000 cars off the road. We invested $1.15 billion in phase 2 of LRT to continue building on the system’s success. We understand the importance of extending the LRT system via the Stage 3 project which will give residents of Stittsville and Barrhaven more convenient and cleaner options when they want to travel around Ottawa to work, shop and play. We believe strongly in local decision making through historic investments in public transit and we will continue to support local priorities. That’s why, working with partners, a re-elected Liberal government will immediately prioritize construction of the next phase of the LRT.

 

Conservative Party of Canada

Canada’s Conservatives are committed to improving public transit in cities across the country, including Ottawa. With Canada’s Recovery Plan, we will make investments in public transit projects that will put Canadians to work, cut commute times, and clean up the environment. A Conservative government will immediately prioritize the construction of the Kanata Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. This project would extend the track and add eight new stations from the Stage 2 LRT terminus at Moodie Drive to a new terminus at Hazeldean Road.

Canada’s Conservatives will also maintain the federal funding commitment to Stage 2 of Ottawa’s LRT project, which will add 24 new stations and carry up to 24,000 passengers per hour each way during peak periods once completed. We are also committed to the proposed VIA Rail high frequency rail project. The new routes will provide faster, more convenient travel to major urban centres on VIA’s Quebec City-Toronto corridor, including service from Ottawa to Toronto, Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec City, and other destinations in between. A Conservative government will also make repairs and improvements to Highway 174 between Orleans and Rockland to help reduce congestion and enhance road safety. When it comes to infrastructure projects writ large, we will return to the successful model of working in partnership with provinces, municipalities, and First Nations to encourage the use of public-private partnerships. We are committed to maintaining the Canada Community-Building Fund, which helps communities across the country build the infrastructure they need, from public transit to recreation centres to highways.

It was the previous Conservative government that made this program permanent and doubled its annual funding allotment. We believe the current government spent too much time announcing and re-announcing the money it planned to spend but has failed to get money out the door and shovels in the ground quickly enough. A Conservative government will reduce bureaucratic red tape in the application process for municipalities, so money can get out the door faster to where it’s needed. It’s time to put Canadians to work and start delivering important projects for the residents of Ottawa and for communities across the country.

New Democratic Party

New Democrats believe that LRT expansion is an effective way to improve public transit in Ottawa and boost economic development. Municipalities are already investing in improving their transit systems and making them more environmentally friendly – it’s time they had a federal partner to help them do it.

New Democrats will put in place a permanent, direct, earmarked funding mechanism for modern public transit which includes permanent operational funding across Canada for the long term. We will permanently double the Canada Community-Building Fund.

A NDP government will also modernize and expand public transit in communities across Canada and ensure that federal transit funding is delivered with a focus on implementing low-carbon projects, such as zero-emission buses and electric trains; all with the goal of electrifying municipal fleets and other methods of public transit by 2030.

 

NDP Candidate- Angella MacEwen, Ottawa Centre

Angella MacEwen and New Democrats know that the LRT expansion is critical to ensuring people in our city can get around. It is an effective way to improve public transit in Ottawa and boost economic development. Our city is heavily investing in improving our transit systems and making them more environmentally friendly – it’s time we had a federal partner to help us do it. New Democrats will put in place a permanent, direct, earmarked funding mechanism for modern public transit which includes permanent operational funding across Canada for the long term. We will permanently double the Canada Community-Building Fund. An NDP government will also modernize and expand public transit in communities across Canada and ensure that federal transit funding is delivered with a focus on implementing low-carbon projects, such as zero-emission buses and electric trains; all with the goal of electrifying municipal fleets and other methods of public transit by 2030.

 

NDP Candidate- Huda Mukbil, Ottawa South

Yes. It is essential that we quickly expand transit options and capacity in order to confront climate change. An NDP government would absolutely fund stage 3 of the LRT, and work to continue on an even more ambitious path to transit expansion. The NDP is also committed to working with all levels of government to ensure a more accountable and transparent procurement process. Ottawa residents deserve a transit system that works, and that should be the main priority in planning and devising a modern public transportation system.

 

NDP Candidate- Yavar Hameed, Ottawa West Nepean

Yes. The NDP is committed to expanding affordable rail services and creating a permanent, direct allocation-based mechanism for modern public transit. We are also committed to supporting municipalities that prioritize transit modernization in working towards fare-free transit.

 

NDP Candidate- Melissa Coenraad, Kanata-Carleton

Yes. The NDP will increase federal support for public transit projects across Canada through doubling the Canada Community Building Fund to support municipal transit projects (like LRT in Ottawa) and to electrify all public transit by 2030. This is an important component of our Green New Deal climate change plan. And this means an NDP government would support federal funding for LRT3 to Kanata.

 

Green Party of Canada-

Yes.  Support for the LRT can be assessed and negotiated as part of an assessment of Ottawa’s entire transit plan. LRT is only as good as the web of bus routes connecting to it. We should aim for affordable, convenient, and accessible transit. The core and overriding issue is moving our city away from its current reliance on privately-owned cars to a system of mobility and transportation for residents in which active transport and public transit are primary and predominant for urban dwellers. For that to happen, public transit needs to be competitive with the private car.

To build a sustainable city, long term financial issues need to be managed in an integrated way. This includes operational costs of public transit, the costs of sprawl, stopping investments in fossil fuel infrastructure including road widening and expansions for cars.

Support for the LRT can be assessed and negotiated as part of an assessment of Ottawa’s entire transit plan. LRT is only as good as the web of bus routes connecting to it. We should aim for affordable, convenient and accessible transit. The core and overriding issue is moving our city away from its current reliance on privately-owned cars to a system of mobility and transportation for residents in which active transport and public transit are primary and predominant for urban dwellers. For that to happen, public transit needs to be competitive with the private car.

To build a sustainable city, long term financial issues need to be managed in an integrated way. This includes operational costs of public transit, the costs of sprawl, stopping investments in fossil fuel infrastructure including road widening and expansions for cars

 

Peoples Party of Canada- David Yeo, Ottawa West Nepean

The People’s Party of Canada would absolutely commit to negotiating with the city and the province of Ontario regarding funding 50% of Ottawa stage 3 LRT project. Further to this we would also enjoy discussing regional and provincial benefits to these extensions for both industry and local/provincial businesses.

 

 

Question 2

Will your party commit to discuss and negotiate on the required federal funding share of Ottawa’s Housing and Homelessness Plan?

 

Liberal Party of Canada

Yes. Housing is a top priority for the Liberal Party and Canadians. That’s why we launched Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy, introduced legislation recognizing the right of Canadians to access adequate housing, and tripled the federal government’s investment in homelessness prevention and reduction, and are on track to reduce chronic homelessness by 50% by 2027. In response to the immediate challenges of COVID-19, we launched the Rapid Housing Initiative, investing $2.5 billion to create at least 9,200 new units of affordable housing across Canada.

In this election, the Liberal Plan for Housing includes a $4 billion for a new Housing Accelerator Fund which will grow the annual housing supply in the country’s largest cities every year, creating a target of 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2024-25. This application-based fund will offer support to municipalities that: grow housing supply faster than their historical average; increase densification; speed-up approval times; tackle NIMBYism and establish inclusionary zoning bylaws; and encourage public transit-oriented development. This fund will support a wide range of eligible municipal investments, including red tape reduction efforts, and reward cities and communities that build more homes, faster. At the core of all of these measures is a commitment to building housing systems that provide permanent housing solutions to Canadians. We support the aspirations of Ottawa’s Housing and Homelessness Plan. A re-elected Liberal government will work with the City to make those aspirations a reality.

 

Conservative Party of Canada

Affording a home – to rent, let alone to buy – is slipping out of reach for Canadians across our country, and this is particularly true in Ottawa.

The primary cause is that supply simply isn’t keeping up with demand. Governments have not let Canadians build enough housing to keep up with our growing population. We need action – from all levels of government.

Canada’s Conservatives have a plan to make housing more affordable. We will treat this like the crisis it is. We will get shovels in the ground and build enough housing to get ahead of population growth.

With Canada’s Recovery Plan, we will swiftly address housing supply by building one million homes in the next three years. We will accomplish this by working with provinces and municipalities to build more housing near transit and releasing 15 per cent of the federal government’s real estate portfolio for housing.

We will also ensure that Canadians can afford the housing that we do have by keeping out foreign speculators, corruption, and laundered money that force up prices. We will ban foreign investors from buying home if they do not plan to move to Canada. Instead, we will redirect foreign investment towards purpose-built rental housing to help more Canadians find affordable housing.

To make mortgages more affordable, we will encourage a new market in seven- to ten-year mortgages to provide stability both for first-time home buyers and lenders and fix the mortgage stress test.

Our plan will ensure more Canadians can afford a home.

 

New Democratic Party

Yes. Canada is in the midst of a national housing crisis. Owning a home is out of reach for many Canadians while renters are paying more than 30 per cent of their monthly income on housing. And, in a country as wealthy as Canada, there is no excuse for allowing Canadians to live in poverty without a secure roof over their heads.

New Democrats believe that everyone has a right to housing. Here’s how we will resolve Canada’s housing crisis: we will start with providing up to $5,000 in immediate rental support to Canadians, which will help young people who make up a significant percentage of renters. New Democrats will also make it easier for young people to buy their first home by bringing back 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry level homes that allow young people to make smaller monthly payments.

A NDP government will create at least 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing to address our country’s housing crisis over the next decade. We will provide a mix of units available: from co-ops, social, and non-profit housing in partnership with municipalities and provinces. New Democrats will also fight money laundering, which drives up housing costs and makes it impossible for young people to afford to buy a home.

A New Democrat government will also implement our plan to end homelessness in Canada within a decade.

New Democrats commit to working with the City of Ottawa to negotiate federal supports to helping the city implement its Housing and Homeless Plan and meet our national goals for ending the housing crisis.

NDP Candidate- Angella MacEwen, Ottawa Centre

Canada is in the midst of a national housing crisis. Owning a home is out of reach for many Canadians while renters are paying more than 30 per cent of their monthly income on housing. And, in a country as wealthy as Canada, there is no excuse for allowing Canadians to live in poverty without a secure roof over their heads.

Angella knows that everyone has a right to housing. Here’s how we will resolve Canada’s housing crisis: we will start with providing up to $5,000 in immediate rental support to Canadians, which will help young people who make up a significant percentage of renters. New Democrats will also make it easier for young people to buy their first home by bringing back 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes that allow young people to make smaller monthly payments.

A NDP government will create at least 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing to address our country’s housing crisis over the next decade, which will amount to ten thousand units created in Ottawa Centre. We will provide a mix of units available: from co-ops, social, and non-profit housing in partnership with municipalities and provinces. New Democrats will also fight money laundering, which drives up housing costs and makes it impossible for young people to afford to buy a home.

A New Democrat government will also implement our plan to end homelessness in Canada within a decade.

Angella is committed to working with the City of Ottawa to negotiate federal supports to helping the city implement its Housing and Homeless Plan and meet our national goals for ending the housing crisis.

 

NDP Candidate- Huda Mukbil, Ottawa South

Yes. Our party is committed to vastly exceeding this plan, the NDP housing plan would build more than 30,000 units of affordable housing units across Ottawa over 5 years. We would fully fund and work to expand all models of affordable housing, including cooperatives and social housing. The NDP has a plan to eliminate homelessness in Canada over 10 years that would build on the hard work of local non-profits, community groups and municipalities.

NDP Candidate- Yavar Hameed, Ottawa West Nepean

Yes. Like the City of Ottawa, the NDP is committed to building affordable housing and putting an end to homelessness. The City of Ottawa’s proposed plans feeds directly into the NDPs housing strategy to create at least half a million units of quality, affordable housing in the next ten years. Our strategy also seeks to end homelessness by supporting the creation of more social housing and other affordable options while also enhancing other support services.

 

NDP Candidate- Melissa Coenraad, Kanata-Carleton

Yes. The NDP is committed to building 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing in the next ten years, with half of that done within five years. This will be achieved with the right mix of effective measures that work in partnership with provinces and municipalities, build capacity for social, community, and affordable housing providers, to provide rental support for co-ops. In order to kick-start the construction of co-ops, social and nonprofit housing and break the logjam that has prevented these groups from accessing housing funding, we will set up dedicated fast-start funds to streamline the application process and help communities get the expertise and assistance they need to get projects off the ground now, not years from now. We’ll mobilize federal resources and lands for these projects, turning unused and under-used properties into vibrant new communities.

 

Green Party of Canada

Yes. These are minimal goals. We favour first, more ambitious plans and building by the city; and secondly, negotiations with the federal government to finance large-scale building and much more supportive housing to replace shelters, so that shelter staff can transition to other supportive functions. The 500 spaces for the supportive housing do not begin to deal with the estimated 1,200 known homeless in Ottawa.

These are minimal goals. We favour first, more ambitious plans and building by the city; and secondly, negotiations with the federal government to finance large-scale building and much more supportive housing to replace shelters, so that shelter staff can transition to other supportive functions. The 500 spaces for the supportive housing does not begin to deal with the estimated 1,200 known homeless in Ottawa.

 

Peoples Party of Canada- David Yeo, Ottawa West Nepean

A PPC government will absolutely discuss and negotiate the required Federal funding for Ottawa’s housing and homeless plan. A PPC government would institute rapid decentralization down to provincial authorities and ensure that when it comes to Federal fiscal responsibility, we would engage with the appropriate offices both provincially and municipally to provide oversight and not overreach.

 

 

Question 3

Will your party commit to providing long-term, stable funding so municipalities can play a meaningful role in tackling climate change at the local level?

 

Liberal Party of Canada

Yes. The Liberal Party is committed to a National Net-Zero Emissions Building Strategy to chart a path to net-zero emissions from buildings by 2050 with ambitious milestones along the way that apply to retrofitting existing buildings and new construction. As a part of this work, we are committed to continuing to support municipal climate change related projects.

This will build on our success through the Investing in Canada Plan. Through this plan we are investing more than $25 billion in green infrastructure between 2016-2028, which includes funding to improve energy efficiency in existing public and private buildings and to construct energy efficient and net-zero new builds. More recently, our government established the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program administered by Infrastructure Canada, which is investing $1.5 billion over three years in energy efficient retrofits and net-zero new community buildings. We also established the Building Retrofits Program administered by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which is investing $2 billion over three years in deep and portfolio retrofits of public and private sector buildings.

In addition to these substantial investments, the Liberal Party has committed in our platform to:

  • Accelerate the development of the national net-zero emissions model building code for 2025 adoption.
  • Create a Low-Carbon Building Materials Innovation Hub to work directly with entrepreneurs,municipalities, provinces and territories, and Indigenous governments to ensure Canadianinnovations are best positioned to succeed.
  • Launch a community-led net-zero homes initiative that supports projects that pursue multiple concurrent retrofits in a community or neighbourhood, to reduce overall costs. This initiative will be modeled on the Dutch “Energiesprong” program.

 

Conservative Party of Canada

Canada’s Conservatives have a detailed plan to tackle climate change.

In addition to supporting significant investments in public transit for Ottawa, Canada’s Conservatives will work with the provinces to implement an innovative, national, Personal Low Carbon Savings Account. Canadians will pay into their account each time they buy hydrocarbon-based fuel. They will be able to apply the money in their account towards things that help them live a greener life, including buying a transit pass or bicycle, or saving up for an electric vehicle. Our plan will ensure that all Canadians can do their part to fight climate change, in the way that works best for them, and at a carbon price that is affordable.

Our comprehensive plan to tackle climate change also includes introducing a zero-emission vehicle mandate based on British Columbia’s, requiring 30 per cent of light duty vehicles sold to be zero emissions by 2030. We will work with provinces, territories, and municipalities to encourage the inclusion of a minimum number of EV charging spaces for new developments. We will also invest in transmission infrastructure to bring clean energy to where it’s needed and ensure the electricity grid can support the necessary growth in electric vehicles (EV).

When it comes to reducing transportation-related emissions, we will finalize and improve the Clean Fuel Regulations. We will reduce carbon emissions from every litre of gasoline (and other liquid fuels) we burn, turning them into a true Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Our Low Carbon Fuel Standard will be based on British Columbia’s policy to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in carbon intensity for transport fuels.

In order to kick-start building emissions reductions by 2030 and achieve significant, broad-scale reductions in building emissions by 2050, a Conservative government will introduce a Clean Buildings Plan.

The plan will provide a regulatory and financial framework that will facilitate Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC). This is a model that involves the private sector in financing and implementing retrofits and then being paid back through savings. Our program will be modelled after the SOFIAC program in Quebec. We will work with provinces and territories to promote ESPC for government and publicly funded institutional buildings. This includes a “2030 Bonus” that will provide an additional benefit for those buildings that complete their retrofits prior to 2030.

As part of our Clean Buildings Plan, we will also work with provinces, territories, and applicable utilities to put in place a Residential Building Retrofit Initiative. The initiative will provide an “efficiency concierge” service for homeowners that acts as a one-stop-shop to

access programs and information. We will also apply lessons learned from technology pilots and from government, institutional and commercial retrofits, to a residential context.

Navius Research independently reviewed the Conservative climate plan and found that it would be expected to achieve substantially the same emissions reductions by 2030 as the current government’s plan to meet Canada’s Paris commitment, while resulting in a boost to jobs and the economy.

The Conservative plan will reduce emissions and create good jobs in our advanced manufacturing sector, without making life harder for Canadians.

 

New Democratic Party

Yes. Canadians have been doing their part to fight an urgent public health emergency, but the need to tackle climate change has not gone away during the pandemic. We need a government that approaches the climate emergency with that same sense of urgency.

New Democrats are committed to fighting the climate crisis. New Democrats will provide $3 billion for disaster-related infrastructure to help municipalities proactively adapt their infrastructure to withstand floods, forest fires and other extreme weather events.

A NDP government will also create a National Crisis Strategy to support communities in responding to climate risks. We will scale up green infrastructure and work with local officials and all levels of government to ensure homes and businesses are prepared by retrofitting all buildings by 2050 and updating the National Building Code so that every new building built in Canada after 2025 is net-zero.

NDP Candidate- Angella MacEwen, Ottawa Centre.

Canadians have been doing their part to fight an urgent public health emergency, but the need to tackle climate change has not gone away during the pandemic. We need a government that approaches the climate emergency with that same sense of urgency. Angella is committed to fighting the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves.

New Democrats will provide $3 billion over 4 years for disaster-related infrastructure to help municipalities proactively adapt their infrastructure to withstand floods, forest fires and other extreme weather events.

A NDP government will also create a National Crisis Strategy to support communities in responding to climate risks. We will scale up green infrastructure and work with local officials and all levels of government to ensure homes and businesses are prepared by retrofitting all buildings by 2050 and updating the National Building Code so that every new building built in Canada after 2025 is net-zero.

Angella will also fight to develop a public alternative to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, to allow municipalities like Ottawa to borrow money to address the climate crisis.

Finally, Angella will fight to protect our local greensapces, trees and urban canopy so that we are not moving backwards on addressing the climate crisis. This will include ensuring we are not bulldozing our trees for parking lots and demanding federal funding when possible to protect our greenspaces.

 

NDP Candidate- Huda Mukbil, Ottawa South

Yes. The NDP wants to see Canada’s emissions drop by a minimum of 50% from our 2005 levels by 2030, that requires cooperation from all levels of governments, starting from the municipal level and up. I also realize however that there can be no climate justice without Indigenous voices, and here on unceded Algonquin land we can not build ourselves a greener future without the guidance of the land’s longtime stewards and protectors. On all levels of government, we need consistent cooperation with our Indigenous communities to protect and sustain our planet.

 

NDP Candidate- Yavar Hameed, Ottawa West Nepean

Yes. My party supports numerous initiatives to tackle climate change at the local level, including smart community planning (e.g. active or zero-emission transportation), green infrastructure and creating green jobs, made-in-Canada resources for infrastructure projects, support for community-owned and operated clean energy projects, improved local waste management, improved standards for recyclable material and green housing.

 

NDP Candidate- Melissa Coenraad, Kanata-Carleton

Yes. The NDP has an ambitious plan to fight the climate crisis by eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, undoing the Liberals’ decision to let big polluters off the hook, cutting emissions by more than half to meet the 1.5 degree target that scientists say is necessary to prevent climate catastrophe, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs by investing in clean energy, energy efficient affordable homes, electric transit, zero-emission vehicles, retrofitting all homes across the country, and creating a climate bank to invest in fighting the climate emergency. We see municipalities as important partners in achieving these ambitious but necessary goals.

 

Green Party of Canada-

Yes. The Green Party is fully committed to backing municipal climate action. It is unclear where the $2bn to reach the “City operations” target in your question comes from. According to Energy Evolution (section 5.2.4.1) $7.4B is required for the corporate target, of which $3.2B is required over the next five years to undertake priority projects.

Many of the investments proposed in the Energy Evolution plan are front-end loaded capital investments that will bear returns over time. However, to date the City of Ottawa has no long-term financial plan for climate finance, and indeed provides no climate funding on its own budget (Hydro surplus is off budget) aside from a handful of staff positions. It would be prudent for the City of Ottawa to establish professional capacity for climate finance in the Finance Department, plan for local contributions to the municipal climate budget and then use the current period of low interest rates to make proposals to other levels of government and the Infrastructure Bank of Canada.

The investments in local renewable energy generation (including partnering with community local investment), building energy retrofits (lowering utility bills), public transit (affordable!), and not least in the urban forest canopy will be well appreciated by the public. With awareness rising, the City must also ensure to do its very best to protect stands of mature trees, such as at the Dows Lake Experimental Farm new Ottawa Hospital site.

Lastly, the City of Ottawa should set up its own carbon budget, in order that citizens can learn what our fair share of emissions are and how we must flatten our local emissions curve.

 

Peoples Party of Canada- David Yeo, Ottawa West Nepean

First and foremost, the People’s Party of Canada’s position on climate is that, we believe Canada is only 2% of the climate problem. We further believe that China, India, and the United States of America are 98% of the global climate issue. Even if Canada were to go NetZero tomorrow for the entire country, we would still have a 98% issue globally when it comes to climate. Therefore, a PPC government would create a Nationalist approach to working with and being a part of those provincial and municipal discussions on how we can solve some of these issues locally within our own borders.

The PPC would further pull out of all Paris accords, we would provide oversight and add value to the negotiations, but we would no longer fund these international initiatives. This would repatriate billions of dollars back to Canada, so we could fund local and provincial innovation, along with industry inclusion, in finding ways to be more effective locally here in Canada.

 

 

Question 4

Is your party committed to a comprehensive strategy that includes additional funding for front line police officers to combat gun and gang violence, measures to control the influx of illegal weapons, and legislation to strengthen gun control? Will your government invest in programs and supports for youth and families at risk and other measures for building an inclusive city?

 

Liberal Party of Canada

Yes. Our communities should be safe and peaceful places to live and raise children. That is why, in May 2020, we took action to put a ban on the use, sale, or import of assault weapons most used in mass shootings and implement a buyback program for owners. Conservatives vowed to repeal this ban with the support of the gun lobby, which would legalize assault-style firearms in Canada. Liberals believe even stronger action is needed to get weapons designed for mass casualties off our streets and out of our communities.

At the same time, we are investing in prevention efforts and are providing $250 million directly to municipalities and Indigenous communities to give at-risk youth the opportunity to be engaged in activities to stop the spread of gang activity. This included funding to reduce border-related gang activity and prevent smuggled firearms from entering the country, enhance capacity for Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigations and firearms-related enforcement activities, and provided support to the Youth Gang Prevention Fund.

A re-elected Liberal government will:

  • Toughen our laws on banned assault weapons by making it mandatory for owners to either sell the firearm back to the government for destruction and fair compensation or have it rendered fully and permanently inoperable at government expense.
  • Crack down on high-capacity magazines and require that long gun magazines capable of holding more than 5 rounds be permanently altered so that they can never hold more than 5 rounds
  • Ban the sale or transfer of magazines that could hold more than a legal number of bullets, regardless of how they were intended to be used by the manufacturer.
  • Set aside a minimum of $1 billion to support provinces or territories who implement a ban on handguns across their jurisdiction, to keep our cities and communities safe.

We would also continue to combat gender-based violence and fight gun smuggling with measures we have introduced such as:

  • Lifetime background checks to prevent those with a history of abuse against their spouse or partner from obtaining a firearms license.
  • “Red flag” laws that would allow immediate removal of firearms if that person is a threat to themselves or others, particularly to their spouse or partner.
  • Increased maximum penalties for firearms trafficking and smuggling from 10 to 14 years imprisonment.
  • Enhancing the capacity of the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency to combat the illegal importation of firearms.

We recognize that building strong communities requires supporting all Canadians at the heart of our communities. As a government we made historic investments to support youth and families at risk through funding for affordable housing, women’s shelters, and the Reaching Home Initiative. We will continue working with municipal partners to find new opportunities to further support youth and families at risk.

 

Conservative Party of Canada

Canada’s Conservatives will work tirelessly to make our communities safer.

The increase in crime, and specifically in violent crime, in large urban municipalities like Ottawa, is deeply concerning and must be addressed. Canada’s Conservatives will tackle the gang violence we’re seeing in our communities and keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

A Conservative government will hire an additional 200 Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers to help tackle gang violence and combat gun and drug smuggling in our communities.

We will amend the Criminal Code to make it easier for police and Crown Attorneys to go after gang networks and prevent unauthorized imports of firearms.

We will partner with the private sector to create a Gang Exit Strategy program to provide those trapped in gangs with the opportunity to escape a cycle of violence. The program will allow them to start fresh in a new location with gainful employment and the support needed to leave behind a life of crime. We will also work with partner organizations across the country to develop and expand programs to keep youth out of gangs.

A Conservative government will further provide $100 million over five years to support training for non-provincial police forces in the areas of sexual exploitation, cyber-security and online offences, and investigation of sexual offences.

Finally, the recent rise of hate crimes has justifiably horrified Canadians, and action is needed. Canada’s Conservatives will double funding for the Security Infrastructure Program. We will simplify the application process and remove the need to demonstrate risk, which often means that an institution has to experience a hate-motivated crime before being eligible for the program. We will allow funding to be used for a broader list of expenses, such as paying security guards and training volunteers.

 

New Democratic Party

Residents in Ottawa deserve to feel safe in their communities. Prevention is an essential part of community safety. New Democrats know that building a sense of community safety is not just about the absence of crime – It’s about making sure that everyone matters, that we address the root causes of crime, and that the justice system treats everyone fairly.

New Democrats will know that our investments community programs that increase social inclusion, promote public health, ensure food security, improve access to education and affordable housing, and increasing youth engagement,

helps to reduce the risk of crime while building an inclusive city.

We also support allowing municipalities to ban handguns and crack down on gun smuggling at the border.

NDP Candidate- Angella MacEwen, Ottawa Centre.

Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities. When it comes to violence, prevention is an essential part of community safety. Angella knows that building a sense of community safety is not just about the absence of crime – It’s about making sure that everyone matters, that we address the root causes of crime, and that the justice system treats everyone fairly.

New Democrats will know that investments in community programs that increase social inclusion, promote public health, ensure food security, improve access to education and affordable housing, and increase youth engagement, helps to reduce the risk of crime while building an inclusive city.

Angella recognizes that the scope of policing has grown far beyond what Ottawa Police are trained to do, particularly in regard to responding to mental health crises. With the tragic death of Abdirahman Abdi right here in Ottawa Centre, it is clear that we need a shift in how we treat folks in crisis in our city, and a hard look at how budgets are being allocated towards policing versus social services.

 

NDP Candidate- Huda Mukbil, Ottawa South

Yes, in part. I will always fight for greater investments in at-risk communities. Housing, education, and social infrastructure are the keys to solving violence related issues in our communities. We need greater access to social and economic support services and should enable municipalities to ban handguns. More police funding is simply not the solution to the issues we face here in Ottawa. Increasing police funding does nothing but perpetuate the very same systemic failures of the force that disproportionately impact marginalized communities.

 

NDP Candidate- Yavar Hameed, Ottawa West Nepean

Yes. Our commitments to increasing police funding are strategic. The NDP will work to keep assault weapons and illegal handguns off our streets, and to tackle gun smuggling and organized crime. We will also ensure that communities have access to finding for anti-gang projects that help deter at-risk youth from joining gangs. Additionally, we will work to ensure that every major city has dedicated hate crime units within local police forces.

 

NDP Candidate- Melissa Coenraad, Kanata-Carleton

Yes. The NDP is committed to keeping assault weapons and illegal handguns off our streets permanently and will commit more resources to stop the smuggling of guns across the border from the US. As well, an NDP government will work with its partners to prevent violence at its roots by ensuring all young people in Canada have options for success and hope for the future.

 

Green Party of Canada-

You have written a jumble of a preamble and 4 questions that are not answerable in a yes/no reply.

We would re-phrase the questions as follows:

Is your party committed to a comprehensive strategy that includes (a) additional funding for front line police officers to combat gun and gang violence, (b) measures to control the influx of illegal weapons, and (c) legislation to strengthen gun control? Will your government (d) invest in programs and supports for youth and families at risk and (e) other measures for building an inclusive city?

Our answers are as follows:

  • We support items (b) through (e) above.
  • We oppose (a) as it is written.
  • We propose instead “funding for interprofessional and collaborative teams [NOT just front-line officers] to deal with violence

 

Peoples Party of Canada- David Yeo, Ottawa West Nepean

The People’s Party of Canada is committed to a comprehensive strategy that includes funding for frontline police officers. Our strategy would take a more Federal approach whereby we would concentrate on the source, working with organizations like Canadian border protection services, our national and our intelligence agencies, we would go after the importation of these guns to further limit their availability on the streets.

The PC would then work with provincial and municipal offices to ensure, with oversight, that we reach the common goal of getting these guns off the street, is nullified and working with the provinces and municipalities guns and gangs units at the street level to ensure they have the tools required to conduct effective control of the situation

 

 

Question 5

As we start to rebound from the pandemic, is your party committed to supporting the hardest hit sectors in the coming months and years? If so, how?

 

Liberal Party of Canada

Yes. When we support Canada’s businesses, we support the workers, families, and communities that rely on them. Supporting businesses and their workers is at the heart of our plan to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and grow the economy. We know that SMEs and not-for-profit community organizations have been hit hard by the pandemic. That is why we introduced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which has helped employers across the economy keep their workers on payroll. We also created the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) which has provided interest-free loans to almost 900,000 businesses.

In addition to these emergency programs, we have made sure that Canada has the lowest combined small business tax rate in the G7, and have moved forward on a plan to lower credit card fees for small businesses. We also successfully renegotiated a new NAFTA deal that safeguards tariff-free access for Canadian goods and introduced the Accelerated Investment Incentive to provide accelerated capital cost allowances for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and boost investment in Canada.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of businesses keep the lights on and protected over 5 million jobs. But we know that for some areas of the country and for certain sectors, the recovery remains uneven. That is why we have put forward a comprehensive package of support programs for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to help them recover from the pandemic and build back better and stronger in the long run. This includes extending the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to March 31, 2022 so businesses can hire more workers and Canadians can get back on the job and providing Canada’s hard-hit tourism industry with temporary wage and rent support of up to 75% of their expenses to help them get through the winter. It also means providing microgrants and zero-interest loans to SMEs and improving the Canada Small Business Financing Program to increase annual financing by an estimated $560 million and expand borrower eligibility to include non-profit and charitable social enterprises.

 

Conservative Party of Canada

Through Canada’s Recovery Plan, a Conservative government will secure jobs and help businesses get back on their feet.

Our detailed plan to get Canadians back to work includes four major initiatives to create jobs:

  • The Canada Job Surge Plan: paying up to 50 per cent of the salary of new hires for six months following the end of the federal wage subsidy.
  • The Canada Investment Accelerator: getting companies spending money and creating jobs by providing a five per cent investment tax credit for any capital investment made in 2022 and 2023, with the first $25,000 to be refundable for small businesses.
  • The Rebuild Main Street Tax Credit: providing a 25 per cent tax credit on amounts of up to $100,000 that Canadians personally invest in a small business over the next two years, to get money flowing into main street businesses and create jobs.
  • The Main Street Business Loan: providing loans of up to $200,000 to help small and medium businesses in hospitality, retail, and tourism get back on their feet, with up to 25 per cent forgiven.

Canada’s Recovery Plan will provide additional targeted supports for the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sectors by introducing a Dine and Discover Program. The program will:

  • Provide a 50 per cent rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks purchased for dine-in from Monday to Wednesday for one month, once it is safe to do so. Thi initiative will pump nearly $1 billion into this sector.
  • Launch the Explore and Support Canada initiative with a 15 per cent tax credit for vacation expenses of up to $1,000 per person for Canadians to vacation in Canada in 2022, helping our tourism sector get back on its feet.
  • Eliminate the Liberal escalator tax on alcohol.

Ottawa is also home to a growing number of innovative software and technology companies and start-ups. To help unleash Ottawa’s innovation, we will:

  • Introduce a “patent box” regime to cut the tax rate in half on income earned from patents on innovative products developed here in Canada. This will effectively make Canada a low tax jurisdiction for innovation and new product development.
  • Cover up to $10,000 of the administrative and legal costs of each of the first five patents filed by any Canadian small or medium-sized businesses to protect Canadian innovation.
  • Introduce the use of flow-through shares, based on the model that has made Canada a world leader in mining financing, to make it more attractive to invest in small tech start-ups.
  • Fix the broken Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) program by moving it from the CRA to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, simplifying the application process, and making it easier for software development to qualify.
  • Review all of the Government of Canada’s research and development programs to ensure that Canadian tax dollars benefit Canada and Canadian innovators.

Canada’s Conservatives have a comprehensive plan to get the economy firing on all cylinders, in every sector, and every region of the country, including in Ottawa.

 

New Democratic Party

Yes. The pandemic has changed the way we work and, as a result, impacted the workers and small businesses at the heart of our local economies. New Democrats have a comprehensive plan to kick start economic recovery by create over a million jobs while helping Canadians rebound.

We also recognize that tourism, hospitality, small businesses have been hard hit by the pandemic. We will support these sectors by making sure that small business wage and rent subsidies continue to flow until the economy is fully re-opened. New Democrats will also implement a long-term hiring bonus plan to pay the employer portion of EI and CPP for new or re-hired staff. We will cap high credit card merchant fees at a maximum of 1% to deal with longstanding issues that have hurt these sectors. We will foster entrepreneurship by providing dedicated support for the tourism sector.

New Democrats also want to ensure that workers, who are the backbone of these sectors and local economies, have supports regardless of where they work. We will provide paid sick leave, prescription drug coverage, and access to mental health supports to help workers. These efforts will stabilize the workforce and help accelerate economic recovery.

NDP Candidate- Angella MacEwen, Ottawa Centre.

The pandemic has changed the way we work and, as a result, impacted the workers and small businesses at the heart of our city and riding of Ottawa Centre. Angella and the NDP have a comprehensive plan to kick start economic recovery by creating over a million jobs while helping Canadians rebound.

She also recognizes that tourism, hospitality, small businesses have been hard hit by the pandemic, including some of our beloved festivals that make Ottawa the festival capital of the world. We will support these sectors by making sure that small business wage and rent subsidies continue to flow until the economy is fully re-opened. New Democrats will also implement a long-term hiring bonus plan to pay the employer portion of EI and CPP for new or re-hired staff. We will cap high credit card merchant fees at a maximum of 1% to deal with longstanding issues that have hurt these sectors. We will foster entrepreneurship by providing dedicated support for the tourism sector.

Angella also wants to ensure that workers, who are the backbone of these sectors and local economies, have supports regardless of where they work. We will provide paid sick leave, prescription drug coverage, and access to mental health supports to help workers. These efforts will stabilize the workforce and help accelerate economic recovery.

Finally, Angella will be a voice for the hundreds of downtown businesses that are struggling, and will demand that the Federal government come up with a plan for our downtown businesses that rely on federal employees. She will ensure BIAs like the Sparks Street BIA and the Bank Street BIA have a voice through her as the MP for Ottawa Centre in fighting for these small businesses.

 

NDP Candidate- Huda Mukbil, Ottawa South

Yes. We will continue supporting small businesses by expanding the current emergency financial support measures until the crisis is over, and to build back from COVID-19, we have to invest where it matters most  – in communities and families. Our plan will make historic investments to jump-start economic growth, get people back to work, and make life better for everyone. By making bold investments in priorities like community infrastructure and transit, affordable housing and energy efficient retrofits, pharmacare, long term care and training, we will create more than a million new jobs in a first mandate alone.

 

NDP Candidate- Yavar Hameed, Ottawa West Nepean

Yes. My party is committed to various initiatives that will support the sectors indicated in the question. The NDP will set up as a partner to foster entrepreneurship with dedicated support for Canada’s tourism sector. We plan to support many local businesses by means of Community Benefit Agreements. We will also put in place long-term hiring bonus to pay employers a portion of EI and CPP for new or rehired staff. Additionally, we are committed to protecting our heritage by funding Canada’s arts and culture industry.

 

NDP Candidate- Melissa Coenraad, Kanata-Carleton

Yes. Jagmeet Singh and the NDP has won more help for millions of Canadians in this pandemic, by increasing the wage subsidy to 75%, doubling and extending CERB, fought for and won support for youth, renters, small business, seniors, and sick workers. As PM, Jagmeet do what Justin Trudeau won’t do: make the ultrarich pay their fair share for the recovery and deliver on the things that people need: affordable pharmacare, dentalcare, housing, cellphones price caps, expanded sick pay, clean water, and climate action.

It’s about a future we can look forward to – more affordable, equal, hopeful and secure.

 

Green Party of Canada-

Yes. We will work with the City and regional partners to rebuild a tourism and hospitality sector grounded in the first instance in low-carbon tourism. We do not support a return to “business as usual” — a return to tourism fed by high-emission transportation will not contribute to reducing Canada’s GHG emissions.

More generally, small businesses in particular should be nurtured and supported. Such programs need to target those most in need and whose contributions also serve the community socially and economically, as well as promoting a net-zero carbon footprint by 2040.

 

Peoples Party of Canada- David Yeo, Ottawa West Nepean

The People’s Party of Canada are absolutely committed to supporting the hardest hit sectors of this pandemic. We are committed to the fact that our recovery is dependent largely on our Fiscal Policy. After the repatriation of billions of dollars in international spending, we would aggressively work with provincial and municipal offices to ensure oversight in these areas that were hardest hit, allowing the provinces and municipalities to put a plan in place for their ability to rebound and be sustained.

Ottawa being largely a government town, we would work with the large departments like the CRA, the defense department and Shared Services Canada to ensure they have capacity plans in place that are receptive to ensuring that sectors that were most affected are also able to grow and prosper.

 

 

Question 6

Do you commit to doubling the gas tax transfers on a permanent basis and index it to the cost of living, so that municipalities can maintain their infrastructure in a state of good repair?

 

Liberal Party of Canada

Yes. We know that essential infrastructure Canadians rely on such as bridges, roads, water-systems, and community centres are the backbone of our communities. We also know that many municipal projects faced delays or cancellations due to the negative impact on municipal revenues from COVID-19. The Liberal government stepped up, and brought forward legislation to invest $2.2 billion to address infrastructure priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities. A re-elected Liberal government will continue supporting municipalities.

 

Conservative Party of Canada

NR.

 

New Democratic Party

Yes, when it comes to getting around, the people in Ottawa should be able to count on convenient and affordable public transit. New Democrats will permanently double the Canada Community Building Fund to support municipalities in meeting their transit priorities. New Democrats also commit to putting in place a permanent, direct, allocation-based funding mechanism for modern public transit across Canada for the

long run.

New Democrats believe that public transit is vital to boosting local economies, tackles climate change by taking cars off the road and cutting congestion and reducing systemic inequities that disproportionately hurt people who live in marginalized communities and rely on public transit as their primary commuting option.

NDP Candidate- Angella MacEwen, Ottawa Centre

The pandemic has reaffirmed for us all how close municipalities are to the daily lives of Canadians, and how significant the risks are of not ensuring they have the tools and resources they need to support Canadians.

Investing in municipalities and public infrastructure creates good jobs, makes our communities more livable, and helps fight climate change.

Angella’s vision as the MP for Ottawa Centre is one where our city can afford to build the infrastructure we need to thrive, from roads and bridges to community centres, long-term care, child care centres and everything in between. These investments will create good jobs for our community, and to get there, the federal government must partner with municipalities to deliver reliable public infrastructure funding that puts people – not profit – first.

The gas tax transfer is one of the few ways the federal government can directly support municipalities, and we want to ensure this is a reliable source of support from the Federal government. During the last Parliament, Jagmeet Singh called on the Liberal government to double the gas tax transfer for the next four years, because we are on the side of municipalities.

 

NDP Candidate- Huda Mukbil, Ottawa South

Yes. Municipalities shoulder a massive burden of cost without an adequate tax base, New Democrats will act immediately to increase transfers to municipalities to greatly expand their ability to act on the needs of their communities. Many of our plans, like moving toward free public transit, can only be implemented with the help of local governments. We are prepared to fund it, but need to work together to get it done. Large projects like expanding and maintaining wastewater treatment plans and storm drains require a consistent federal partner.

 

NDP Candidate- Yavar Hameed, Ottawa West Nepean

No. My party has not committed to doing this, but it is worth discussing at the federal level. If elected, I will bring this as a possible policy regardless of the government in power.

 

NDP Candidate- Melissa Coenraad, Kanata-Carleton

Yes. The NDP’s Jack Layton understood the importance of maintaining municipal infrastructure and was responsible for proposing and winning acceptance of transferring a share of federal gas tax revenues to municipalities. Today’s NDP will continue and expand this important program.

 

Green Party of Canada-

Yes. Once again, the “YES” above has to be qualified. The “gas tax” proposal can surely be no more than a temporary measure, given the federal commitment to phasing out vehicles powered by fossil fuels. A better example of federal funding would be an escalating and reliable Municipal Fund, a mechanism which is necessary but which does not now exist. We would work with municipalities and provinces to explore and implement more permanent forms of financing, such as municipal green bonds or the proposed Municipal Fund.

 

Peoples Party of Canada- David Yeo, Ottawa West Nepean

There are a number of initiatives that are going on within the People’s Party of Canada’s fiscal policy. One of those areas is the rapid decentralization down to the provinces so they have more autonomy to work both with the municipalities and jurisdictions that are underneath them and also with us at a federal level. To answer your question on investment specific to gas transfer taxes, we cannot at this time, commit on a permanent basis to a gas transfer tax that is indexed to the cost of living. A a number of initiatives like abolishing the GST and pushing that aspect of collection down to the provinces to help handle Healthcare transfers is one example of how the PPC would handle and help funding many of these initiatives. In the context of gas tax transfers, the PPC would need to look into alternate aspects at a federal level that could then delineate down to compensate for a commitment in infrastructure spending at the municipal which would involve also that commitment from the province.

 

 

Question 7

Governments can get more done for their residents when they work together. A number of projects underway in Ottawa depend on the collaboration of the federal government and the City, such as the revitalization of the Chief William Commanda Bridge, the new Ottawa Public Library/Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, and the conversion of our OC Transpo bus fleet to electric buses. Does your party commit to proceeding with these projects that will greatly benefit our community and its residents?

 

Liberal Party of Canada

Yes. The Liberal Party agrees, important projects for building our communities and supporting Canadians require close collaboration between the federal and municipal governments. We have supported key projects of the City of Ottawa including a substantial investment to support the Ottawa Public Library/Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility of $34.5 million. We also invested over $8 million in the Chief William Commanda Bridge through the Investing in Canada Plan. And, thanks to leadership from the City of Ottawa and the federal government including local Members of Parliament, we reached an agreement with the Canada Infrastructure Bank to invest up to $400 million to support the conversion of the existing bus fleet to electric buses. A re-elected Liberal government will continue supporting the City of Ottawa’s priorities through the many municipality focused infrastructure programs the Liberal government will continue.

 

Conservative Party of Canada

NR.

 

New Democratic Party

NR.

 

NDP Candidate- Angella MacEwen, Ottawa Centre.

NR.

 

NDP Candidate- Huda Mukbil, Ottawa South

Yes. Our plan to electrify all buses across Canada by 2030 are ambitious, and we support any new projects that are sustainable and meet the needs of the local community. There is no doubt more work to be done to properly honour the vision and life of the late William Commanda.

 

NDP Candidate- Yavar Hameed, Ottawa West Nepean

Yes. This project aligns with the NDP’s platform and we support them all.

 

NDP Candidate- Melissa Coenraad, Kanata-Carleton

The NDP’s commitment to increase federal support for public transit projects through doubling the Canada Community Building Fund includes electrifying all public transit by 2030. This is an important component of our Green New Deal climate change plan. Federal commitments to the Chief William Commanda Bridge and to the new joint Ottawa Public Library/National Library-Archives Canada project will be honoured.

 

Green Party of Canada

A number of these projects are under way and should be continued but should also be part of overall plans with the other levels of government, and not be treated as one-off projects. They should contribute to both systemic change and to the other priorities noted elsewhere in this response and be part of long-range plans reflecting local engagement and feedback.

 

Peoples Party of Canada- David Yeo, Ottawa West Nepean

The People’s Party of Canada understands that there are a number of ongoing projects for both revitalization and conversions at the municipal levels and we would be more than committed to discussions on how to best approach the funding of these very important projects that are beneficial to the local Ottawa community. The PPC would work tirelessly with both the province and the municipalities to provide required oversight but not overreach in these community-based projects.