Every election we survey all candidates in Ottawa-Vanier about community issues and issues that face our City.  We believe it is an important way to inform voters and also to ensure that candidates and parties take a firm position on issues we face in Lowertown, Sandy Hill and Vanier. 

We have canvassed all candidates and can confirm participation of Mona Fortier from the Liberal party, Lyse-Pascale Inamuco from the New Democratic Party of Canada and Christian Proulx from the Green Party. We have not received answers from Heidi Jensen from the Conservative Party.

Don’t forget to vote on Monday October 21st.  Where to vote: https://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&document=index&lang=e

Mona Fortier – Liberal party

1. It has been decades of an unresolved issue concerning the 6th crossing, having interprovincial trucks going through our City’s downtown streets – this is not a new question – regardless of changes in traffic patterns due to a recent pandemic, the question remains – if elected, define what actions you will put in place to finally resolve the issue of:

a. Truck traffic in our downtown core 

b. Choosing and building a 6th crossing option – please define if this would be the tunnel route, or another bridge and why 

c. Ensuring whatever route is built will indeed solve the issue of truck traffic in our downtown core 

Answer: As we all know, interprovincial transportation has been a hot topic in our community for many years. The federal government has a responsibility to maintain and manage interprovincial crossings that meet the transportation needs of the region.  As many of you know, our Government committed to refreshing previous studies looking at a broad set of criteria and impacts an additional crossing would have.  The initial stage of that work is now done with a presentation that was made to the NCC Board in June 2020.

The government is still in the process of reviewing all information that it has and no decision or recommendation has been made at this time. As part of the Government’s responsibility to maintain and manage interprovincial transportation, PSPC conducted an additional study that relies on 2011 and 2013 data.  The Department and the Minister responsible is still in the process of reviewing this information as much has changed since 2011 for example. As I have discussed before, we must ensure any plan forward respects our Government’s commitment Indigenous consultations, proper environmental impact assessments, and is made using accurate and updated transportation flows.

Two other important studies continue to be conducted including a Long-Term Integrated Interprovincial Crossing Plan led by the National Capital Commission with support from provincial governments and the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa, as well as the once-a-decade Interprovincial Traffic Study. This information is necessary for, among other data points, to properly understand the traffic impacts of the two public transit systems. These additional studies along with extensive and comprehensive community and public engagement will serve to support the Government in any ultimate decision.  It bears repeating that no decision or recommendation has been made at this time.

While I understand there are many concerns about any additional crossing, the Government is also responsible for maintaining the existing crossing and is currently working on the Alexandra Bridge.  That is why PSPC is working closely with the National Capital Commission and the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, to ensure that federal bridges in the National Capital Region are safely and effectively serving Canadians, and that lane closures are properly coordinated.

As we discuss transportation challenges in the region, we must ensure it addresses the root causes and does not simply transfer an issue from one community to another.  That is why our government has taken the approach of reviewing the transportation and transit needs of the region.

2. The City is working to progress its 10 year housing and homeless plan – yet we are faced with ongoing challenges of homelessness, lack of affordable housing and the outdated shelter model. Can you define: 

a. What you feel is the main issue and how you can help resolve it? 

b. A plan that will help give every family and individual experiencing homelessness (close to 2 000 in Ottawa every night) a key to their own affordable home

c. A plan that will help to provide affordability to the many Ottawa-Vanier residents currently paying above and beyond 30 % of their income to live in their current homes (Importantly, this includes those living in rental housing)

Answer: Every Canadian deserves a place to call home. And for many – young people in particular – the dream of owning their own home feels like it’s moving further out of reach. You also shouldn’t lose a bidding war on your home to speculators. And you shouldn’t have to move far away from your job, your school, or your family just to afford your rent.

That is why a re-elected Liberal government will include:

  • Introducing a new rent-to-own program to help make it easier for renters to get on the path towards home ownership while renting.
  • Introducing a tax-free First Home Savings Account will allow Canadians under 40 to save up to $40,000 towards their first home, and to withdraw it tax-free to put towards their first home purchase, with no requirement to repay it.
  • Permanently increasing funding to the National Housing Co-Investment fund by a total of $2.7 billion over 4 years, more than double its current allocation.
  • Working with municipalities to create a fast-track system for permits to allow faster conversion of existing buildings, helping maintain the vibrancy of urban communities.
  • Creating a national Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights so that the process of buying a home is fair, open, and transparent.
  • Stopping “renovictions” by deterring unfair rent increases that fall outside of a normal change in rent.
  • Working with provinces and municipalities including the City of Ottawa to develop a framework to better regulate the role of foreign buyers in the Canadian housing market so that this money does not deter housing from being available for, and used by, Canadians.

Since 2019, the Liberal government has launched over 1,200 projects to work towards our commitment to end chronic homelessness and reach our commitment of reducing chronic homelessness by 50% by 2027. As outlined in Budget 2021, we will move forward with a $567 million investment to grow our efforts – in addition to $2.2 billion previously committed – to support communities across the country. Our Liberal Party will also end chronic homelessness by supporting communities across the country in delivering locally-oriented homlessness prevention and reduction programs.

As your Liberal Candidate in Ottawa—Vanier, I will ensure that we can all move forward, together.

3. The COVID pandemic has highlighted an already growing problem of opioid addiction and overdoses, the effects of which are largely concentrated in the Ottawa-Vanier area of our city. If elected, define what your plans are to address the community an individual effects of addictions and overdoses and your plans to modernize health and addictions responses in Ottawa.

Answer: The opioid overdose epidemic has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tragically, in 2020, there were 6,214 opioid overdose deaths in Canada. To save lives, we need a whole-of-society approach to the opioid epidemic that addresses the main causes and supports people who use drugs with the respect and dignity they deserve. We will continue to take an evidence-based approach to problematic substance use and work with all orders of government to support innovative approaches so that Canadians have access to the care and support they need.

A re-elected Liberal government will introduce a comprehensive strategy to address problematic substance use to end the opioids crisis. We will invest $25 million for public education to reduce the stigma associated with problematic substance use, and $500 million to support the provinces and territories in providing access to a full-range of evidence-based treatment, recognizing that successful treatment is not determined by long-term abstinence.

Additionally, our Liberal team will provide support to provinces and territories in creating standards for substance use treatment programs so that Canadians can access quality and evidence-based support when they need it most. We will also support the many lower-risk and first-time offenders by reforming the Criminal Code to repeal relevant mandatory minimum penalties requiring police and Crown prosecutors to consider diverting individuals out of the criminal justice system.’

We need to ensure that mental health care is treated as a full and equal part of Canada’s universal public health care system. Since 2015, the Liberal government provided crucial funding to help with mental health care all over the country including:

  • $5 billion to the provinces and territories to increase the availability of mental health care.
  • $500 million in support during the pandemic for Canadians experiencing mental health challenges, homelessness,or substance use.
  • $45 million for the development of national mental health care standards.
  • And more than $600 million to address the opioid crisis, including $182 million for the Substance and Addictions Program.

A re-elected Liberal government will establish a new federal transfer to provinces and territories—the Canada Mental Health Transfer—to assist jurisdictions to expand the delivery of high-quality, accessible, and free mental health services. Building on the principles of universality and accessibility in the Canada Health Act, this transfer will help establish standards in each province and territory, so that Canadians are able to expect services that are timely, universal, and culturally competent. This will help each jurisdiction focus on and solve critical backlogs in service and provide help to those who need it, according to the unique needs in each region. We will also fully fund a national, three-digit mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline. This funding will mean more access to psychologists, therapists, social workers, counselors, and other community support. It will mean the millions of Canadians who struggle with their mental health—many of whom often don’t seek treatment—will be able to access the services they need.

4. The Byward Market is the top destination in our City. And as you know, we have a City approved public realm plan that will see the district and public spaces rejuvenated and refreshed. But, a plan without a commitment of funding is just a plan. As the face of our Capital City, will you commit to funding the ByWard Market Public Realm Plan to support the City’s most important district?

Answer: The Byward Market is an important part of Ottawa’s history and a large economic driver for our city.  We must continue to work together, to ensure that the city has the appropriate resources to fund its renewal and rejuvenation plans for the market area.

This past spring the Government of Canada supported the City of Ottawa in the first phase of this transformation, and I am fully committed to working with the City of Ottawa to continue to support these plans. 

Lyse-Pascale Inamuco – New Democratic Party of Canada

1. It has been decades of an unresolved issue concerning the 6th crossing, having interprovincial trucks going through our City’s downtown streets – this is not a new question – regardless of changes in traffic patterns due to a recent pandemic, the question remains – if elected, define what actions you will put in place to finally resolve the issue of:

a. Truck traffic in our downtown core 

b. Choosing and building a 6th crossing option – please define if this would be the tunnel route, or another bridge and why 

c. Ensuring whatever route is built will indeed solve the issue of truck traffic in our downtown core 

Answer : a b & c. I’ve lived at one time on the street next to King Edward Avenue (Nelson St and York St) for 8 years. I notice that there are two distinct problems; movement of people and movement of goods. The former is more easily addressable through further investments in public transit and better integration between the STO and OC Transpo. The federal government and the NCC can play a positive role in this. Movement of goods is a more challenging concern. No residential community (including Lowertown and Sandy Hill ) should be plagued with heavy transport trucks causing pollution, noise, mental health and safety issues. But building a new crossing would only spread the problem, not solve it. The most likely solution is a tunnel linking the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge to the 417, routing the interprovincial trucks underground. A study commissioned by the provincial and municipal governments concluded that such a tunnel would be feasible, and recommended a more thorough analysis through an environmental assessment. But the federal government has refused to fund one third of the cost of the EA and no progress has been made.

2. The City is working to progress its 10 year housing and homeless plan – yet we are faced with ongoing challenges of homelessness, lack of affordable housing and the outdated shelter model. Can you define: 

a. What you feel is the main issue and how you can help resolve it? 

b. A plan that will help give every family and individual experiencing homelessness (close to 2 000 in Ottawa every night) a key to their own affordable home

c. A plan that will help to provide affordability to the many Ottawa-Vanier residents currently paying above and beyond 30 % of their income to live in their current homes (Importantly, this includes those living in rental housing)

Answer: a. With approximately 12,000 Ottawa residents in need of housing, a 7-12 year waiting list for public funded housing, Canada has failed to address the ongoing housing crisis with efficient programs that do deliver results on the ground. What about The National Housing Strategy you’ll ask. In the Canadian Press news article Canada’s housing strategy having ‘limited’ impact on housing need, PBO says” written by Christopher Reynolds published on August 10, 2021 and updated on August 11, 2021 we can find out that “The federal government has spent less than half of the funding earmarked for a pair of flagship housing programs as the need for affordable homes grows along with a yawning “affordability gap,” says Canada’s budget watchdog. Program lags at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), expired community housing deals with the provinces and a shift toward pricier affordable homes have “limited the impact” of the Liberals’ national housing strategy, budget officer Yves Giroux said in a report. […] In April, housing advocates welcomed the budget’s one-year, $1.5-billion extension of the popular Rapid Housing Initiative. The year-old program funds construction of modular homes and conversion of existing properties into residences, creating 4,500 units so far – 1,500 more than planned. However, Conservatives say the report shows the Liberals failed to meet their targets or make homes more affordable, calling the programs “delayed, mismanaged and ineffective.”” The issue is that those programs can only create a few affordable homes than we need. I will fight as MP for Otawa-Vanier to get 500 units built a year in partnership with Ottawa Community Housing. That means investing $15 millions in equity they can unlock. Families will be a priority group obviously. When it comes to the outdated shelter model, I will fight to get the $38 millions we spend to keep people in inadequate motels and shelters in one year into building affordable housing instead by lowering pressure in operations. b. A New Democrat government will create at least 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, and to provide rental support for co-ops. In order to kick-start the construction of co-ops, social and non-profit 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. I will fight to meet our target in Ottawa. c. Average rents rose in every single province last year, and 1.6 million Canadian households spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing. While we are committed increasing our community and social housing stock, we recognize families do not have years to wait, when every day is a struggle and a constant worry. That’s why an NDP government will provide immediate relief for families that are struggling to afford rent in otherwise suitable housing, while we bring forward long-term solutions to the housing affordability crisis. In addition to a rent relief program, our ambitious plan to retrofit all buildings in Canada by 2050, and all buildings built before 2020 in the next 20 years, means that Canadians will have an easier time affording to heat their home.

3. The COVID pandemic has highlighted an already growing problem of opioid addiction and overdoses, the effects of which are largely concentrated in the Ottawa-Vanier area of our city. If elected, define what your plans are to address the community an individual effects of addictions and overdoses and your plans to modernize health and addictions responses in Ottawa.

Answer: It is tragic to watch the opioid crisis devastate families in our community while governments fail to adequately respond. There is much more we can do to save lives and support those struggling with opioids as well as organizations like Recovery Ottawa. In government, the NDP will declare a public health emergency and commit to working with all levels of government, health experts and Canadians to end the criminalization and stigma of drug addiction, so that people struggling with addiction can get the help they need without fear of arrest, while getting tough on the real criminals – those who traffic in and profit from illegal drugs. As MP, I’ll push the government to work with the provinces and health professionals to create a safe supply of medically regulated alternatives to toxic street drugs, support overdose prevention sites and expand access to treatment on demand for people struggling with addiction. The NDP is committed to launching an investigation into the role drug companies may have played in fueling the opioid crisis, and seek meaningful financial compensation from them for the public costs of this crisis.

4. The Byward Market is the top destination in our City. And as you know, we have a City approved public realm plan that will see the district and public spaces rejuvenated and refreshed. But, a plan without a commitment of funding is just a plan. As the face of our Capital City, will you commit to funding the ByWard Market Public Realm Plan to support the City’s most important district?

Answer: The NDP is committed to helping municipalities fund public infrastructure. As MP for Ottawa-Vanier, whether in government or opposition, I will push for the funding of the ByWard Market Public Realm Plan. The revitalization of the area is in the best interest of our city and the residents of Ottawa-Vanier. At the same time, I want to be mindful of the interests of anyone who calls the ByWard Market home, including the unhoused. All efforts to revitalize the space should be married to real commitments from the city increase supportive housing and affordable housing in all areas of the city and to pursue a “housing first” strategy, as everyone deserves a home. Of course, as I have explained above, a New Democrat government will be a dedicated ally in helping Ottawa to make that possible. Jack Layton built meaningful support for municipalities into the DNA of the modern NDP. That’s why our platform contain specific commitments to help municipalities adapt to the effects of climate change, improve their waste management and recycling systems, and electrify and expand public transport. It’s time the City of Ottawa has a real ally in Parliament.

Christian Proulx – Green Party

1. It has been decades of an unresolved issue concerning the 6th crossing, having interprovincial trucks going through our City’s downtown streets – this is not a new question – regardless of changes in traffic patterns due to a recent pandemic, the question remains – if elected, define what actions you will put in place to finally resolve the issue of:

a. Truck traffic in our downtown core 

b. Choosing and building a 6th crossing option – please define if this would be the tunnel route, or another bridge and why 

c. Ensuring whatever route is built will indeed solve the issue of truck traffic in our downtown core 

Answer: The interprovincial truck traffic on King Edward and other downtown streets is an embarrassment for our national Capital. Ottawa is a rapidly growing metropolis, and our strategy, planning and investments for interprovincial transport must be forward thinking. They must support a rapid transition to renewable energy over the next decade, including the shift to use of high-speed electric rail in freight transport. As MP I would insist that the NCC prepare a long- term interprovincial transportation strategy that proposes sustainable and innovative choices, and promotes the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient mobility networks and systems. Funding and co-operation with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, which are responsible for major highways, must be prioritized. The choice of a “6th crossing option” will depend on reliable measures and forecasts of needs and use. For truck traffic with destinations outside the Ottawa-Gatineau downtown core, I would push for a bypass route/ring road with bridges to Quebec East and West of Ottawa, away from currently populated areas. A tunnel linking Ontario and Quebec highways is likely the best approach for transport within the urban area.

2. The City is working to progress its 10 year housing and homeless plan – yet we are faced with ongoing challenges of homelessness, lack of affordable housing and the outdated shelter model. Can you define: 

a. What you feel is the main issue and how you can help resolve it? 

b. A plan that will help give every family and individual experiencing homelessness (close to 2 000 in Ottawa every night) a key to their own affordable home

c. A plan that will help to provide affordability to the many Ottawa-Vanier residents currently paying above and beyond 30 % of their income to live in their current homes (Importantly, this includes those living in rental housing)

Answer: There is an affordable housing and homelessness crisis across Canada. In Ottawa-Vanier, our most vulnerable and devastated citizens reside on the street, largely ignored, and deprived of the federal, provincial, and municipal funding that has already been mandated for their care in a transition to Housing First. The money is there but gets diverted to supposed “emergencies” that only exist because of mismanagement by key elected officials. The backroom plan is to clear the homeless from downtown and the Market districts and create a ghetto for them in Vanier and Lowertown. It’s no surprise that after almost ten years, Ottawa’s ten-year plan to end homelessness falls far short of its initial objectives. Some leaders claimed a state of emergency in approving this ill-advised, massive shelter for homeless men on Montreal Rd. It would be our biggest mistake and another national embarrassment. I would hold the City of Ottawa accountable for ensuring that federal funding for affordable housing goes to exactly that, not for new emergency shelter beds. Experts in the field of homelessness issues testify that “mega-shelters do not work”, but Housing-first policies do – and save public money (for health care, policing, etc.) in the long run. The terms of reference for the Mega-shelter mean that homeless men, too often with mental illness and addictions, would be sent not only from other parts of Ottawa, but from across a large area of Eastern Ontario, to Vanier. Hundreds of such people on the streets of Vanier do not support a safe, walkable, neighbourhood where people want to live, own or invest in properties and businesses. Canada’s National Housing Strategy Act, recognizes that adequate housing is a fundamental human right, yet more and more Canadians are struggling to afford housing. Many Ottawa-Vanier residents are struggling, and paying above 30% of income for housing. I support the implementation of a retroactive residential arrears assistance program to protect those at risk of eviction or of being driven in to homelessness. We can protect the existing stock of affordable housing by funding the purchase of buildings by non-profit and cooperative affordable housing organizations, and providing funding to ensure quality and energy-efficient housing. I would push to refocus the core mandate of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on supporting the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing, as opposed to its current priority of supporting Canadian lenders to de-risk investment in housing ownership.

3. The COVID pandemic has highlighted an already growing problem of opioid addiction and overdoses, the effects of which are largely concentrated in the Ottawa-Vanier area of our city. If elected, define what your plans are to address the community an individual effects of addictions and overdoses and your plans to modernize health and addictions responses in Ottawa.

Answer: The overdose crisis must be treated as a health-care issue rather than a criminal one. Personal possession and use of illicit drugs must be decriminalized to allow for more accessible medical and social support for those who need it. No one should be in jail for possession of small amounts of drugs, and this would allow communities (addicts/users) who have been heavily impacted by the federal government’s previous drug policy to reintegrate into society. Residents who need them must have access to a safe supply of government regulated drugs. The toxic supply of illicit drugs must be replaced, greatly reducing the risks of fentanyl poisonings and overdoses. I will increase funding to our community-based organizations to test drugs and support those who use drugs, and make sure that Naloxone kits are widely available to treat overdoses. I will expand support for mental health services and additional services for those who are seeking these services. National drug regulation with a public health focus, as is the case with alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis in Canada currently, could provide safer access while protecting individuals and populations. Depending on the substance and potential harms and benefits, regulation could range from prescriptions to regulated outlets to licensed premises, with the aim of providing safer access for adults, while protecting children and youth.

4. The Byward Market is the top destination in our City. And as you know, we have a City approved public realm plan that will see the district and public spaces rejuvenated and refreshed. But, a plan without a commitment of funding is just a plan. As the face of our Capital City, will you commit to funding the ByWard Market Public Realm Plan to support the City’s most important district?

Answer: The current ByWard Market Public Plan is a political failure which highlights the imbalance and leverage forced upon Ottawa-Vanier residents where we lose our voice in the development of our very own riding. We can do much better than this modest, boring attempt which primarily serves profit, pollution and parking, not people. Architects agree that the design vision presented is modest while its focus continues the tradition of prioritizing cars over people. The greatest flaw with the plan is that it specifically and intentionally excludes any discourse on homelessness or any other social issues on the Market, including crime. This public relations sham will only heighten the divide in planning what is mentioned as Ottawa’s most important district. The approved report is said to be driven by extensive public consultation, yet, it was conducted with four times as many meetings with business owners than the community. Read between the lines. Yes, this historic ‘hood needs a boost. As Diane Deans says, “If you kill your core, you kill your city.” People want a pedestrianized public space. Let’s create a bolder plan with respect to elements making it an environmentally attractive and people-centred, walkable destination. We need a re-draft that’s destination and people centered first. Yes, I would support funding a vision that showcases innovative, energy efficient building design and retro-fit with outdoor features such as tree canopies, permeable pavings, green roofs on new buildings and design competition. It can and should be a model for a sustainable future in Canada and our historic Market District.

Jean-Jacques Desgranges – People’s Party of Canada

1.It has been decades of an unresolved issue concerning the 6th crossing, having interprovincial trucks going through our City’s downtown streets – this is not a new question – regardless of changes in traffic patterns due to a recent pandemic, the question remains – if elected, define what actions you will put in place to finally resolve the issue of:

a. Truck traffic in our downtown core

  • Answer: The PPC understands that the federal government should not interfere in the jurisdictions of other levels of government — this interference always creates waste and inefficiency, reduces accountability, and imposes solutions that do not meet the specific needs of communities.
  • Canadians also need to understand that Justin Trudeau, with so much absurd and reckless spending, has left the country in a dangerous fiscal situation, limiting the scope for new investment even in essential infrastructure.
  • However, the federal government must take a very active part in funding inter-provincial transport and even more importantly, in advancing better solutions for the national capital region while working with provincial and municipal governments and the National Capital Commission. A lasting solution must be implemented.

b. Choosing and building a 6th crossing option – please define if this would be the tunnel route, or another bridge and why

  • Answer: A PPC government (and myself as an MP) would advance the long-delayed construction of a downtown bypass tunnel linking autoroute 5 and highway 417; this option is superior to the construction of another bridge because it makes best use of existing infrastructure for environmental reasons and avoids negative impacts on communities and environments outside the downtown core. The experience gathered from the LRT tunnel is invaluable to ensure the project is well thought out and well implemented ensuring proper safety measures are in place.

c. Ensuring whatever route is built will indeed solve the issue of truck traffic in our downtown core

Answer: It goes without saying that existing proposals will have to be reviewed to confirm that they will meet the NCR’s current and future needs, including with regard to emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles and changes in the urban environment.

  • A PPC government (and myself as an MP) would collaborate with the jurisdiction of other levels of government with regard to management of traffic in response to the demands and needs of residents but would also have a firm handle on the project and its implementation in regards to the actual present and future needs.

2. The City is working to progress its 10-year housing and homeless plan – yet we are faced with ongoing challenges of homelessness, lack of affordable housing and the outdated shelter model. Can you define:

a. What you feel is the main issue and how you can help resolve it?

  • Answer: Across the country, Canadians are struggling to maintain a decent standard of living, to find stable employment, and to secure adequate housing.
  • This crisis is largely driven by the policies of the federal government, including the mass immigration and unlimited foreign investment favoured by Justin Trudeau.
  • With 400,000 or more new immigrants every year, and with billions of dollars of foreign investment in residential properties that remain empty, it is not surprising that homes are being sold for astronomical prices in Canada’s biggest cities.
  • With mass immigration and excessive use of temporary foreign worker programs, it is not surprising that entry-level jobs no longer pay a living wage, and so many Canadians are forced into poverty, dependency on the State, and homelessness.
  • Since the Trudeau government has abandoned any attempt to select immigrants who will integrate successfully into Canadian society, it is not surprising that so many new Canadians are not able to support themselves and become homeless.
  • The mismanagement of the pandemic, and the inflation unleashed by the reckless printing of money to offset the unnecessary shut down of Canada’s economy, have of course exacerbated these trends.
  • A PPC government will set reasonable targets for immigration and will eliminate the deficit, setting the conditions for Canadians to see rapid increases in real income and putting a decent standard of living within reach once again.

b. A plan that will help give every family and individual experiencing homelessness (close to 2 000 in Ottawa every night) a key to their own affordable home

  • Answer: The federal government should not interfere in the efforts of municipalities to address homelessness. Cities must have the resources and the freedom to implement solutions that best suit their specific circumstances. However, it is not the role of the State to “give” affordable homes to Canadians who are capable of supporting themselves, or to become a landlord for even more Canadians.

c. A plan that will help to provide affordability to the many Ottawa-Vanier residents currently paying above and beyond 30 % of their income to live in their current homes (Importantly, this includes those living in rental housing)

  • Answer: The federal government should not interfere in the regulation of housing markets or attempt to manipulate markets to achieve specific outcomes. Provinces and municipalities must have the authority and the resources to act within their jurisdictions without federal meddling.
  • At the federal level, the priority must be to reverse the failed demographic, economic and fiscal policies of Justin Trudeau, which have made it so difficult for Canadians to achieve a decent standard of living.

3. The COVID pandemic has highlighted an already growing problem of opioid addiction and overdoses, the effects of which are largely concentrated in the Ottawa-Vanier area of our city. If elected, define what your plans are to address the community an individual effects of addictions and overdoses and your plans to modernize health and addictions responses in Ottawa.

  • Answer: Our healthcare system is one of the most expensive in the developed world, and at the same time is clearly not meeting the needs of Canadians. In particular, the current approach is failing to meet the needs of the most vulnerable — including Canadians struggling with addiction and mental health challenges and Indigenous Canadians.
  • In Canada, we have excellent health care workers, innovative researchers, and world-class facilities. Our problem is an absence of accountability for inadequate care and wasteful administration.
  • A PPC government will restore full responsibility for health care to the provincial level, where it belongs, and enable provincial governments to raise the funds required to meet the needs of residents.
  • Without interference from the federal level, communities will be free to develop and implement the health care solutions that best meet their local needs — in areas where opioid addiction is a priority issue, communities will have the resources and the authority to implement the solutions best suited to their specific circumstances.

4. The Byward Market is the top destination in our City. And as you know, we have a City approved public realm plan that will see the district and public spaces rejuvenated and refreshed. But, a plan without a commitment of funding is just a plan. As the face of our Capital City, will you commit to funding the ByWard Market Public Realm Plan to support the City’s most important district?

  • Answer: A PPC government would be fully committed to eliminating the enormous deficit that is the result of Justin Trudeau’s reckless and unnecessary spending. We should be honest with Canadians about the dangerous fiscal situation that the Liberal government has left us, the economic consequences if it is not addressed immediately, and how long it will take to undo the damage.
  • Even if this were not the case, a PPC government will not continue the practice of inserting the federal government into every high-profile infrastructure project in order to take the political credit.
  • Provinces and municipalities must have the authority and the resources to act within their jurisdictions, investing in the projects that are in the best interest of communities, without federal meddling.
  • However, the federal government does have a role in the development of the national capital. The NCC has also identified the Byward Market as a priority, and a PPC government (and myself as MP) would support the participation of the NCC in initiatives to improve and develop this important district.