Written by Denise Deby.
Now’s your chance to have an influence on the kind of city you want. Elections for mayor, city councillors and school trustees happen on Monday, October 27, 2014.
The City of Ottawa has election information on its website, including a list of candidates for each ward.
As well, several groups in Ottawa are asking candidates where they stand on key environmental and social issues, as a guide for voters (and to give attention to these issues).
Ecology Ottawa has been working to identify the environmental issues that are important to residents, and to raise these with candidates. Among the issues: sustainable transportation, healthy trees and waterways, action on climate change and stopping the Energy East pipeline.
Candidates’ positions on these issues can be found here.
350.org Ottawa has also compiled candidates’ answers to questions about the city’s climate change plan and the Energy East pipeline here.
Citizens for Safe Cycling has come up with an election platform, based on a survey of people’s priorities, to make cycling more accessible. The platform, “I Bike, I Vote,” calls for investment in cycling and infrastructure, measures to maximize safety and other initiatives. CfSC also suggests questions people can ask their candidates. Candidates’ responses to CfSC’s three biking questions are here.
The Ottawa Food Policy Council is encouraging candidates to support initiatives to bring healthy, accessible and sustainable food to all residents. The OFPC has outlined a set of priorities in a letter to candidates, and is posting candidates’ responses here.
The Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa and City for All Women Initiative have created a campaign to urge politicians to address the housing, food, employment and transportation needs of all citizens, including people living on low incomes. “Creating a City for All” is also encouraging people to vote.
Several non-profits have created Housing Answer, which asks candidates to pledge to invest significant new funding in Ottawa’s Ten Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. Any city resident can sign up, too, to show their support. As well, the Alliance to End Homelessness has identified questions for candidates on housing.
Protect Big Trees is a campaign to get candidates to commit to protecting Ottawa’s tree canopy.
Update: Greenspace Alliance has identified four propositions related to land use and to the city’s advisory committees, and has posted candidates’ responses on their website.
Update: Hollaback! has posted responses from candidates on how they would address gender-based violence in Ottawa.
Update: Acorn Canada has posted candidates’ responses on living wages, tenants’ rights, affordable transit, hydro costs, democratic rights and other issues of concern particularly to low income families.
A couple of non-official sites that have compiled general election information are OttWatch and OttawaStart.
Any other issues you think candidates should be addressing? Remember to vote on October 27 or at one of the advance polls.