Mayor’s Questionnaire

Dear constituent,

Mayor Watson asked Ottawa-South candidates questions regarding our party’s plans for the city of Ottawa. Unfortunately our platform wasn’t fully costed at the time so we could not meet the Mayor’s deadline.

Last week our party released that costed platform, which the former Parliamentary Budget Officer graded with a triple A rating.

We believe it is only fair for the residents of Ottawa South to know where we stand on these questions that were of interest to our Mayor, and to everyone living in our consistently developing city.

Please read below our responses:

Transit and active transportation

1. Long-term transit funding certainty provided by a permanent, direct, allocation-based federal transit funding mechanism will allow for the continual build-out of major transit expansions in urban areas, building on transformative projects currently underway. Dedicated federal transit investments through the Investing in Canada Plan total $23.2 billion over the 2018-19 to 2027-28 10-year period. 

$34 billion is required over the subsequent 10-year period to maintain a consistent level of dedicated federal investment in public transit. Canadian cities, through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, are asking the federal government to commit to these investments. If your party forms government, do you commit to the creation of this permanent fund dedicated to public transit projects? 

JUNE 2010 – The Harper CONSERVATIVE Government announced its commitment to fund 1/3 of PHASE 1 of Ottawa’s LRT project. In full partnership with Ontario and the City of Ottawa!

JULY 2015 – The Harper CONSERVATIVE Government announced its commitment to fund 1/3 of PHASE 2 of Ottawa’s LRT project. In full partnership with Ontario and the City of Ottawa!

JUNE 16, 2017 – The Trudeau Liberal Government announced it fully supported the Harper Government’s decision to fund PHASE 2 by re-announcing that commitment!

The Conservative Party is completely supportive of the need for extensive, quality public transportation in Ottawa.  Encouraging commuting workers, students and others to use OCTranspo has the obvious positive effect on our environment. An efficient, well-run transit system will encourage less vehicle use, lower overall driving costs such as requirements for less gas, lower insurance rates and transitory parking charges.

The fully costed (by the Parliamentary Budget Office) Conservative Platform commits to “Reducing Commute Times to Get You Home Faster – we will prioritize infrastructure projects that shorten commute times.”

To additionally support this commitment a Conservative Government will introduce the GREEN PUBLIC TAX CREDIT which will credit transit users some of the direct costs of their OCTranspo fares.

Here in Ottawa, a couple buying monthly passes for OCTranspo will pay $240 or $2880 in 2019. With our GREEN PUBLIC TAX CREDIT, they will save directly $432; a seniors couple using OCTranspo at $45/month will save $162. A Conservative Government will be committed to keeping money in the hands and pockets of taxpayers and their families.

2. After the Stage 2 LRT project is complete, the City of Ottawa plans to extend the LRT west to Kanata/Stittsville and south to Barrhaven. Do you commit to funding 50 per cent of Ottawa’s Stage 3 LRT project?

JUNE 2010 – The Harper CONSERVATIVE Government announced its commitment to fund 1/3 of PHASE 1 of Ottawa’s LRT project. In full partnership with Ontario and the City of Ottawa!
JULY 2015 – The Harper CONSERVATIVE Government announced its commitment to fund 1/3 of PHASE 2 of Ottawa’s LRT project. In full partnership with Ontario and the City of Ottawa!
JUNE 16, 2017 – The Trudeau Liberal Government fully supported the Harper Government’s decision to fund PHASE 2 by re-announcing that commitment!
A Conservative Government will commit to continuing to work with the Province and the City of Ottawa to broaden the reach and efficiency of our public transit system. As an elected member I will actively encourage and support those discussions and action but, I will not support up front blanket financial commitments to every project by the City of Ottawa.

Taxpayers at every level are the same people, and they deserve to know the rationale behind commitment requests including transportation. Taxpayers and senior government deserve to have the technical scope and costed information before agreeing to funding requests.

The funding for Phases 1 & 2 of the LRT has been completely supported by the former Conservative Government as an equal investment by the three levels of Government. The commitment to establishing the LRT across Ottawa has been a massive one based on the need for vast improvements to an expensive transit system not capable of meeting the needs of our growing community, as well as an environmental commitment to decrease the need for individual vehicular use.

For the success of the LRT Project, Phase 3 is an absolute necessity to receive funding and I would fully urge a Conservative Government to commit as soon as possible to the provision of one-third of the costs of that project, as with Phases 1 & 2 —- in full and equal partnership with Ontario and the City of Ottawa.

3. A recent study by Ville de Gatineau for its structuring public transit project in the city’s west end found that the Prince of Wales Bridge does not have the capacity to be the main rail link between the train systems in Ottawa and Gatineau. This presents an opportunity to convert this bridge into a pedestrian and cyclist crossing, which would cost approximately $10 million. Given that the Prince of Wales is an interprovincial bridge, do you commit to funding the full cost of the work required to make the bridge suitable for pedestrians and cyclists in the area?

As Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, I will not extend my support for a $10 million-dollar federal expenditure to turn the Prince of Wales Bridge into a cycling and pedestrian crossing.

If this is a priority project for the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, then the Mayors should explain that priority to their tax bases and other non-priorities to finance it. The Ottawa share of $5 Million should be readily found in a City Budget which spends $3.7 Billion for a priority.

Infrastructure

4. Municipalities own 58 per cent of Canada’s infrastructure, yet receive only 8 per cent of the tax revenue. In its budget 2019, the federal government announced a one-time doubling of the federal gas tax transfer, which would allow cities and towns to make the necessary investments to properly maintain municipal infrastructure. Do you commit to support the proposal to double the gas tax transfers on a permanent basis and index it to the cost of living?

As Member of Parliament for Ottawa South I will actively encourage and openly advocate for the investment by the Federal Government into infrastructure projects in our City, but I will not support up front blanket financial commitments to every project by the City of Ottawa.

Taxpayers at every level are the same people, and they deserve to know the rationale behind commitment requests including transportation. Taxpayers and senior government deserve to have the technical scope and costed information before agreeing to funding requests.

A Conservative Government will be faced with the dual realities of massive shortfall in revenues couple with crushing debt well into the future. Canada will have a negative economic situation on a national scale equal to or worse than that left to the taxpayers and children of Ontario.

A serious inventory of Canada’s finances and indebtedness will have to be undertaken publicly and transparently to establish priorities with the limited revenues that will exist. Blanket approvals of transfers of revenues is simply not viable in a vacuum.

Affordable Housing

5. The City of Ottawa is working towards the goals of our 2018 Ten Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. The City will continue to implement the Plan’s key initiatives through a variety of funding opportunities and programs to increase the availability and affordability of housing through new development, the provision of housing subsidies, and to ensure that people are able to access the supports they need to find and maintain housing. Will your party commit to tackling housing affordability by funding access to social and affordable housing for low-income residents? Will your party engage directly with municipalities to tackle the specific municipal context which impacts rents, home prices and income levels?

As the elected Member of Parliament, I commit fully to working with the City of Ottawa, as well as the Government of Ontario to address all aspects of housing affordability – I see housing affordability as a major priority for all governments to focus on.
Affordable housing is a broad phrase encompassing a wide range of issues including subsidized housing, housing for special needs residents, medium-priced rental housing, new home ownership, mortgage provisions, necessary renovation support for homeowners to keep them in their accommodation and more.
A Conservative Government in the fully costed (by the Parliamentary Budget Office) Conservative Platform provides the following among other initiatives:

  • Eliminating the GST on Home Energy Bills
  • Extend Mortgage Amortization Period
  • Fix the Mortgage Stress Test
  • Introduce the Green Home Renovation Tax Credit
  • Investigate Money Laundering in the Real Estate Sector
  • Make Surplus Federal Real Estate available to leverage for use in encouraging housing supply

6. In 2015, more than 25,000 Syrian refugees settled in communities across Canada, where they were welcomed with open arms. Since then, the City of Ottawa and its residents have hosted thousands of refugees and refugee claimants, which has added to existing pressures on the City’s temporary and emergency lodging resources. Do you commit to continuing to financially support the City of Ottawa in its efforts to accommodate refugee claimants?

As elected Member of Parliament for Ottawa South I unequivocally support the City of Ottawa receiving complete repayment from federal government for all costs for ‘hosting’ refugee claimants! That it has not is a travesty undertaken by the Liberal Government.

The Trudeau Liberal Government supported by the silence of Ottawa Members of Parliament has consistently and systematically refused to repay the City of Ottawa and the Province of Ontario for the costs associated with ‘hosting’ the thousands of legal and illegal refugees. Since 2015, token sums have been given to Ontario and Ottawa for these costs, directly affecting the City’s financial priorities.

Ottawa taxpayers and residents have been penalized by Liberals for purely political reasons! The Government of Quebec and individual municipalities in Quebec – including those near the illegal border crossing – have been recompensed in full. Why Ottawa’s Liberal Members of Parliament supported this decision is one to ask them individually.

Environment and climate change

7. The National Capital Region experienced record flooding in 2017 and 2019 as well as tornadoes in 2018 that impacted residents and municipalities at considerable expense. A permanent funding source will help Ottawa fight and adapt to climate change and support to local projects that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Do you commit to providing a permanent, flexible, long-term increase the current funding of $2B for cities to protect residents from climate change and extreme weather events by investing in municipal adaptation projects?

The Mayor and Councillors have made presentations to an appointed Ombudsman who has been working to conclude a report of the disastrous flooding affecting Ottawa in the past years.

As elected Member of Parliament I will not commit to supporting increases in blanket funding without the recommendations of a transparent study into causes and effect. I do commit fully to working with Ottawa and Ontario officials towards the finding and provision of solutions, and funding for those findings.

As an elected Member of Parliament for Ottawa and a resident taxpayer, I would also encourage the City to review its land use policy regarding flood lands.

Public Safety

8. The City of Ottawa supports a multi-faceted strategy to combat gun violence, including a comprehensive approach that includes issues like housing, education, poverty and social infrastructure. Guns and gang related violence remains a top operational priority of the Ottawa Police Service, and Ottawa has a refocused strategy to address these issues. Is your party committed to a comprehensive strategy that includes additional funding for front line police officers to combat gun and gang violence 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?

As an elected Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, I support the City of Ottawa and a multi-faceted strategy to deal with all aspects of guns and gangs. The use of illegal guns and the intrusion of gangs into our communities must be a top priority for all of us. I will work with all levels of government and the community to support positive action enhancing youth programs, services and accommodation.

A Conservative Government acknowledges the need to strengthen support for front-line police which includes the need to end ‘revolving door’ courts. There are strong laws in place to deal with gun crimes and gang violence, but they are not being implemented.

Illegal guns coming across our under-controlled border is the issue. A Conservative Government will add measures to Secure our Borders. One commitment is to “deploy IRB judges to common arrival points to process arrivals”.

A Conservative Government includes among its commitments to our neighbourhoods:

  •  Make illegal gun possession a criminal offence with a 5-year automatic sentence
  • End automatic bail for gang members
  • Make it easier to prosecute gang members
  • Revoke Parole for gang members
  • Create a CBSA firearms smuggling task force
  • Fund police infrastructure

On four years the Liberal Government has concluded the main policy initiative in this regard has been to consider banning a specific automatic long gun. The results of Liberal inaction for four years are what the residents of our communities see and are forced to live with.

FR
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