Ward 1 - Orleans - Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Ecology Ottawa asked all candidates in the 2014 municipal election a series of questions on important environmental issues.

Complete Streets Many Ottawa streets are dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians and too many neighbourhoods lack affordable and convenient public transportation options. Badly designed streets discourage active and healthy lifestyles and limit transportation choices. In 2013, City Council adopted a Complete Streets policy that will put more emphasis on designing streets for all ages, abilities and users (pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users, as well as cars).



*indicates incumbent

If elected, will you commit to prioritizing pedestrian, cycling and affordable public transit infrastructure over automobile infrastructure in meeting the future growth in travel demand in the urban area? If elected, will you work to ensure that all new roads and road renewal projects integrate Complete Streets principles? The City's new transportation master plan increases funding for cycling infrastructure but delays many investments for over 15 years. If elected, will you work to increase the overall level of investment and accelerate the pace of implementation?
Gordon R. Jensen NO - For Orleans ward the greatest need is for the earliest possible implementation of rapid transit from Orleans through to Ottawa. Until this is in place, the priority must rest with improving the capacity of the 174 and other major routes to manage high density automobile traffic, and for the city to facilitate this traffic flow. We must meet the basic infrastructure needs first, before further exacerbating the problem with well-intentioned but premature projects. YES - In accordance with planned development for inner municipal roads but not in conjunction with major thoroughfare access routes between communities if it will further add to current traffic congestion. NO - The planned development takes into account the addition of transit changes that will help permit an increased cycling infrastructure. However well intentioned, advancing the cycling agenda ahead of the planned changes (such as full LRT access for Orleans) would have a negative effect on the communities.
Bob Monette * NO - I will commit equal prioritization because suburban communities continue to depend on automobile transportation and will continue to do so for years to come. YES - That is what the City has planned for by concentrating that new roads present a safe environment for cycling, pedestrians and public transit infrastructure. NO - I will support the continued growth level that we are facing. In fact, I will support as I have supported in the past multi-use pathways in my community such as the paving of the Ottawa River multi-use pathway, Safer Roads Ottawa as well as the Pathway Patrol.
Jennifer Robitaille NO - I will support a cyclist plan as well as promote transit use, but not at the detriment of automobile transit. NO - I am not familiar with this principal and cannot comment on this without further study. If this principal includes cycling lanes and pedestrian paths, then yes.  NO
Climate Change: About 75 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions come from activities that occur in cities, and municipalities have direct or indirect control over about half of these emissions. In 2014 the City of Ottawa adopted a new Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan.


*indicates incumbent

Do you agree that human-induced climate change is an urgent issue and all levels of government have a role to play in helping to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions? If elected, will you push for the full implementation of the City of Ottawa’s Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan, including items identified in the plan for the 2015 budget? The Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan establishes the modest goal of reducing Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent per capita by 2024, but leaves open a lot of space for new initiatives to emerge in the coming years. If elected, will you push for actions aimed at surpassing the current goal?
Gordon R. Jensen YES - Not Yes/No! For the most part I agree, however this plan is too comprehensive for me to accept all aspects and fully support without greater in-depth review, and full access to all budget related items to be tabled in 2015. YES - Not Yes/No! For the most part I agree, however this plan is too comprehensive for me to accept all aspects and fully support without greater in-depth review, and full access to all budget related items to be tabled in 2015. NO - I think the current goals are realistic in conjunction with the implementation of effective rapid transit throughout Ottawa. Implementation of phase 1 alone however will likely augment city-wide emissions as more people take their vehicle to LRT access nodes at Blair and Tunney's pasture, or on into the city until the LRT reaches their communities.
Bob Monette * YES YES NO - I support the present action plan and believe that we have to be realistic when moving forward to strive for achievable goals. At this time, I want to focus on our current goals and ensure that they are attainable.
Jennifer Robitaille YES NO  NO

Clean Water and Healthy Watersheds: Every time it rains, a cocktail of contaminants (including bacteria, chemicals, fuels and heavy metals) washes off our streets and runs straight into our rivers and streams via the underground storm-sewer system. Ecology Ottawa wants the City of Ottawa to follow-through on its commitment to develop a Water Environment Strategy that improves stormwater management, invests in green infrastructure, reduces flooding, protects our streams, and makes it safer to swim and fish in our rivers.



*indicates incumbent

The City of Ottawa is developing a Water Environment Strategy that will provide a framework for action to promote clean drinking water, reduce the toxins going into our rivers, and protect communities and streams from flooding associated with severe weather. If elected, will you support the development of a strong strategy and prioritize the investments necessary to realize the strategy’s goals? The April 2014 Ontario Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) instructs planning authorities to promote green infrastructure measures (such as parklands, stormwater systems, wetlands, street trees, urban forests, natural channels, permeable surfaces, and green roofs) in order to reduce costs, protect ecosystems and adapt to extreme weather events. If elected, will you prioritize green infrastructure in addressing the City of Ottawa’s water management needs?   The production of clean water for public consumption has been falling over the past decade in Ottawa (ie., we are using less water). Between 2004 and 2013, the amount of clean water produced and used inside Ottawa fell from over 125,000 million litres to about 100,000 million litres (not including private wells). If elected will you commit to continuing this trend by prioritizing water conservation measures that reduce usage by 3 percent per year?
Gordon R. Jensen YES - I am supportive of all of the goals noted as being included in the planned strategy framework. As with all new documents, plans and strategies, I would need to carefully review all aspects and ramifications of the documents presented to ensure the recommended ways ahead are feasible, desirable and affordable. YES - I would definitely support green initiatives and infrastructure in addressing Ottawa's water management needs where such inclusion is feasible and desirable. I applaud the implementation of the 17 projects of the Ottawa River Action Plan as championed by incumbent Bob Monette. I am a firm supporter of protecting greenspaces, and am strongly opposed to unrestrained urban sprawl, particularly without significant community consultation. NO - I think it is important to continue to educate the public on the benefits of water conservation, and support efforts to this end. That said, with the progress made to date, and the capacity buffer this should provide despite the significant population increase over the same period, I believe that ensuring the cleanliness of the natural water systems, and minimizing our impact on the environment as a whole by managing effluents and preventing accidental discharge should take priority.
Bob Monette * YES - Being the first person to identify and raise the issue of the gate malfunction and having championed the Ottawa River Action Plan, we brought Federal and Provincial governments at the table supporting the policy that the City has implemented. Important to note is that before my tour of ROPEC in 2007, 100% of raw sewage was flowing into the River. Today, we stopped 80% from the flow and I will work to ensure that the remaining 20% is resolved. We must ensure that Quebec is also on board. YES - Having been a member of the Planning Committee for the past two terms, the City of Ottawa has taken a major role in ensuring that these measures are put in place when applications come forward to Council.  YES - The City policy has always been to promote its drinking water and we will continue to do so. As far as 3%, we intend on continuing the present trend.
Jennifer Robitaille  YES  YES  NO - Not sure about the target amount.
Healthy Urban Trees:


*indicates incumbent

 The Emerald Ash Borer infestation is killing millions of trees across Ottawa, including about 25 percent of the trees in the urban area. In response, organizations and individuals, including the City of Ottawa, are coming together to set the collective goal of planting a million trees in our nation’s capital as part of our contribution to Canada's 150 birthday celebration in 2017. If elected, will you support and prioritize investments towards this goal?  The City of Ottawa has announced its intention to develop a new Forest Management Strategy. If elected, will you support the development of a strong strategy and the investments necessary to realize the strategy’s goals? 
Gordon R. Jensen YES - Certainly, replacement of trees lost to disease, development or any reason is a great cause and essential to the health of our future. I have been heavily involved with scouting and always fully supported their efforts to this end. I strongly encourage community involvement and corporate sponsorship to support and further this goal. I believe that the current active urban developers could demonstrate community awareness by supporting this effort as well, and minimize impact on the taxpayers. YES - I support the development of a Forest Management Strategy, and support in principle implementation of progressive and restorative goals toward the management and maintenance of trees in the city. I would however need to review fully the plans or recommendations before committing to supporting or opposing items proposed within, in order to maximize the benefit to the city and minimize the chance for unforeseen consequence.
Bob Monette * YES - The City of Ottawa has been very aggressive with the Emerald Ash Borer infestation and in fact we have identified it as a major priority for the City and this term of Council approved an extra million dollars in funding for trees to be treated. The City has also committed to replacing trees which must be removed and I support these initiatives. YES - I have stated yes but it will be on condition that a full report is brought forward and all financial and environmental implications are considered before a final decision is made.
Jennifer Robitaille  YES  YES

Proposed Oil Pipeline Threatens Ottawa Water and Communities

TransCanada wants to move more than a million barrels a day of tar sands oil through the City of Ottawa and across the World Heritage Rideau River on its way to export terminals in eastern Canada. The proposed “Energy East” pipeline puts communities and waterways in danger all along the pipeline route.

Candidate*indicates incumbent Do you think the City of Ottawa should conduct a thorough and independent assessment of the risks and costs that the proposed Energy East pipeline poses to the health of Ottawa's communities and water?  Would you oppose the Energy East Pipeline if it was demonstrated that it threatened the health of Ottawa's water, climate and communities? Should the City of Ottawa intervene in the National Energy Board review of the proposed Energy East pipeline in order to ensure that the interests of the people of Ottawa are well represented? 
Gordon R. Jensen  YES - I would like to see reasonable terms and control of the assessment set by the city, with the costs borne Energy East.  YES - Not Yes/No! Transportation risks must at all times be managed, mitigated and minimized, and yet our society remains dependent upon petroleum. I would oppose the pipeline if it were truly demonstrated it presented a real and present threat, particularly compared to alternative transportation means, and that it could not be mitigated or managed to negligible levels. I would however need to review fully the risks and benefits to Ottawa before committing to supporting or opposing the pipeline.  YES - Absolutely, the city of Ottawa should be openly and publicly involved in any and all reviews of the proposed Energy East pipeline as it affects Ottawa in order to ensure that the interests of the people well represented and preserved.
Bob Monette *  YES - I have grave concerns when it comes to putting oil pipes under our water system. Just as we have seen with infrastructure, everything deteriorates after time and we must find out the results of a deteriorated pipeline 30-40 years from now.  YES  YES
Jennifer Robitaille  YES  YES  NO -  I believe that the City should have input.

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