Randall Denley hit the nail on the head with his column in the Ottawa Citizen. Here is an excerpt from the column.

“Let’s stop pretending that most of the city’s future housing needs can be met by intensification. It’s part of the solution, but land in the core is expensive and little boutique projects won’t produce the required housing volume.
Instead of trying to figure out exactly where the housing should go, increase development land supply by allowing new development anywhere that is contiguous with existing development.”

Click here to read the entire article: Denley: Ottawa’s mayoral candidates talk housing, offer few solutions | Ottawa Citizen

Public Transit

I have been an Ottawa transit user since the 1960s so I’ve seen several transitions in the system. It was actually called the OTC (Ottawa Transit Commission) when I first started riding the bus as a youngster. Generally I think the system has served the city well during those years but there is always room for improvement in any municipal system across the country. Here are a few things I think could make transit more attractive to the citizens of Ottawa:

  • Invest in climate-controlled shelters near the tracks at LRT stations to make the wait for the next train comfortable
  • Trade less frequency for better reliability
  • Reduced fares for people 60 +
  • Free transit from 9:00 – midnight
  • Disposable transit card – good for 10 trips

Environmental Policies

There seems to be a special focus on environmental policies during this election campaign. While it’s admirable to work towards pollution reduction and creating a pleasant physical environment, council members must be realistic and only support initiatives that have been tried, tested before voting for multi-million green projects. A few things I could support are:

  • Redesigning some transit routes to make better transitions from east-west to north south.
  • Fewer one-way streets in the city center
  • Neighborhood recycling centers
  • Support for urban farming and agriculture

Crime and safety

I generally feel safe going about my business in the city of Ottawa but as the city population grows, so do the incidents of crime. Our police resources are stretched, and our officers cannot be stationed at every corner. It is up to citizens to be vigilant and participate in or organize, neighborhood watch programs to help keep our communities safe. Our Mayor and Councillors should also liaise with our provincial and federal elected officials to ensure that the penalties for committing crimes and assaults on citizens are severe enough to deter activity that hurts law abiding people.