Would-Be Mayors Out of Step with Council Candidates: Elections Survey


OTTAWA -- (October 25, 2014) A pro-environment consensus among candidates for city council is not shared by all candidates for mayor, raising the potential for conflict over issues such as transportation, climate change and the Energy East pipeline proposal according to an elections survey released today by local environmental organization Ecology Ottawa.

"City council candidates have overwhelmingly endorsed increasing investment in cycling, taking action on climate change, and speaking out about the risks associated with the proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline through Ottawa," said Graham Saul, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. "On the other hand, there are candidates running for Mayor that have turned their back on many of the most important environmental issues facing the Ottawa today."

Of the five mayoral candidates that responded to the survey, Anwar Syed, Jim Watson and Darren Wood echoed the pro-environment attitudes of the vast majority of city council candidates. Candidates Mike Maguire and Robert White largely rejected taking any meaningful action on the environment.

For instance, Syed and Watson say they take the issue of climate change seriously and want aggressive city action, while White and Maguire oppose city action to address it. Maguire seems to suggest that he does not believe climate change is even happening.

Watson, while being generally progressive on Ottawa's environmental issues falls short on one key issue; the Energy East pipeline. He opposes the City conducting an independent risks assessment of the project and Ottawa intervening in the National Energy Board regulatory process on the pipeline expected to begin next year.

Eighty percent of candidates for council polled by Ecology Ottawa think the City should undertake an independent risks assessment of the pipeline project.

"Cities across Canada are actively participating in pipeline reviews in order to protect the health and well-being of their residents, said Saul. "It would be a shame if the people of Ottawa went unrepresented."

A full report on mayoral candidates' responses on the environment can be downloaded here.

The report is the final installment of Ecology Ottawa's series of reports titled Your Decision, Your Vote - Towards a green and healthy Ottawa, Election 2014. You can find all six reports, as well as a ward-by-ward breakdown of candidate responses, here.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Graham Saul, Executive Director, Ecology Ottawa Mobile: 613-710-2819 [email protected]

Ecology Ottawa is a not-for-profit, grassroots and volunteer-driven organization, working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada. www.ecologyottawa.ca

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