The results are in! Click on the links below to find out which candidates have committed to our 2022 Ottawa Municipal Election Pledge - A City for All! Thank you to all the candidates who have replied. Keep reading for the full text of the pledge.
We invite all candidates in Ottawa’s municipal election to complete this pledge form to share your position as it relates to services and support systems for the city’s most vulnerable residents.
If elected I will work to:
Make housing affordability a priority in Ottawa. Ensure that Ottawa continuously increases the supply of safe and affordable housing, including deeply affordable private market and non-profit rental housing stock. To this end, I will support the expansion of Ottawa’s financial and policy tools to increase the amount of deeply affordable housing. To learn more about this work go to Starts With Home. This coalition of Ottawa leaders recommends to:
- Create municipal policies strengthening tenant protections against renovictions and demovictions;
- Create a non-profit housing acquisition strategy;
- Create inclusive, deeply affordable housing, accessible for all;
- Develop a strong Inclusionary Zoning policy ensuring new builds have permanent affordable units, based on a household’s income;
- Increase the municipal budget to house 1,000 households each year committing 30% to the For Indigenous, By Indigenous Housing Strategy;
- Preserve the quality of existing affordable housing;
- Require landlord licensing for more effective oversight and provide funding for repairs where needed; and
- Assign an independent Housing Ombudsperson to implement the right to housing.
Support ongoing transitions and equalization of funding between policing and upstream social services. Take a lead within City Council to better distribute existing spending and improve community safety by funding social services whose workers have the experience and relationships to respond to crises related to mental health, homelessness, violence against women and youth. To learn more read the Rethinking Community Safety in Ottawa report at Coalition Ottawa. The report highlights that:
- Community services offer a range of interventions that more effectively respond to communities in crisis, dramatically reducing arrests, incarcerations, and harms;
- With police interactions costing between $1,000 and $2,500 per incident, the opportunities to reduce costs are considerable;
- Funding for Ottawa’s social services has not kept pace with demand for services or the increasing complexity of residents’ needs;
- There are a wide range of relevant and effective services that could immediately be scaled up to better respond to, and reduce, crises in Ottawa at a lower cost;
- Grassroots organizations must also be proportionately funded in order to support under-resourced and marginalized individuals with lived and living experiences in taking a leading role. This can be one step to taking action to address racial inequity in working towards the City's Anti-Racism Strategy.
To learn more about alternative responses to communities in crisis also see the report Alternatives for a Safer Ottawa: Non-Police Mental Health Crisis Response Executive Summary.
Support decent and sustainable lives for low-income residents by using our municipality’s place at the current provincial/municipal social assistance modernization tables to advocate for adequate funding for municipal services, and for sustainable rates for Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients. The extreme inadequacy of OW and ODSP rates currently force recipients to live in deep poverty as determined by the Market Basket Measure (MBM), Canada’s official poverty line. Living on less than 75% of the MBM is considered “deep” poverty. Some key actions to take to improve the lives of low-income residents are to ensure social service agencies are adequately funded, directly or through transfers to municipalities; increase both ODSP and OW rates every year with inflation, increase investments in food security by supporting both immediate and longer-term solutions to end hunger and food insecurity in Ottawa, enhance City supports for community food sharing programs (Good Food Box, mobile community markets and farmers’ markets, community kitchens in each neighbourhood, community fridges); and provide more funding for community agencies that work towards ending food insecurity, particularly with economically marginalized communities.
Make our city more accessible to low-income and marginalized residents by supporting a freeze in OC Transpo fares for all, and free transit for recipients of the Ontario Disability Support Program, Ontario Works and seniors, and unify the low income passes. Commit to higher safety standards for our streets and infrastructure to build safe streets for all users, ages and abilities.
To learn more, read the Transportation Equity: Community Conversations report. It recommends actions to improve the lives of low-income residents, including:
- Building affordable housing near rapid transit and build more transit where people live;
- Expanding ParaTranspo services and starting a same-day booking system;
- Expanding rural transit services, creating more routes, making it more reliable and connected to people’s daily needs (i.e., grocery shopping, medical appointments, school, work, and play); and
- Develop a clear strategy to get Ottawa to its target of zero fatalities in active transportation - walking, cycling, etc. - by 2035.
Create a Gender Equity Advisory Body to advise and support City Council to incorporate a Gender Based Analysis when making legislative decisions relating to the budget, ordinances, motions and resolutions.
To learn more, read the Advancing Equity and Inclusion: a guide for Municipalities