Transportation, environment policies takes centre stage in mayoral election
Transportation and climate policies took centre stage as each candidate unveiled major campaign policies.
After completing our municipal election poll, readers like you told us to focus on breaking down election policies and how they affect you. The top policies you said want covered were housing, transit and the environment.
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Robert’s taking a little break, so you’re stuck with me this morning. Luckily Robert’s always available to read everything over, and fix my constant they’re, their and there mixups.
It was a jam-packed election week, and we’ve got it all covered. We also share a list of fall-based events, and why you need to get your rollerblades out of storage.
- Geoff Sharpe
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Monday: 16 🌡️ 9 | 🌧
Transportation, environment policy takes centre stage in Ottawa
What happened: Two of the major mayoral campaigns have now released their transportation and environmental policies, two of the top election issues.
In a survey of Lookout readers, transit and environmental issues were ranked number two and number three most important issues respectively.
Duelling transportation and transit priorities
Sutcliffe’s plan: This morning Mark Sutcliffe announced his transportation plan, saying he would “let people choose how they get around the city.” It included an additional $100 million over the next four years to deal with road and winter maintenance. Other major policies:
Freezing senior, youth and EquiPass fares;
Creating a pothole line to report them on the web;
Doubling traffic calming budgets for each ward.
Plan for transit: According to the Ottawa Citizen, Sutcliffe said he will secure funding for phase 3 of the LRT for Kanata, Stittsville and Barrhaven and oppose’s McKenney’s plan to bring LRT maintenance back under the city’s purview.
When asked by the Lookout what he would do if RTG, the LRT maintenance operator, was found to be in default of its contract, a spokesperson for the campaign said they would find “private providers with the expertise who can perform the job and the additional costs will be billed to RTG-RTM.”
Catherine McKenney’s plan: They will fast-track cycling infrastructure financed by a $250 million green bond. They also previously announced they would freeze transit fares, increase transit operations by 20 percent, make the LRT more reliable, and initiate a top-to- bottom review of OC Transpo.
Contrary to Sutcliffe, McKenney promised to take maintenance of the LRT away from RTG if they were found in default of their contract.
New environmental plan announced
Today McKenney released their environmental plan. The highlights:
Zero emissions by the city by 2050, with net-zero emissions building in all new construction by 2030;
More electric charging stations across the city;
Speeding up bus electrification;
Divesting from fossil fuel investments.
Earlier this week they promised to turn the Greenbelt into a national urban park.
Unclear bus timeline: The McKenney campaign didn’t have a timeline to speed electrifying all OC Transpo buses before the current plan to do it by 2036. When asked by the Lookout, McKenney said they would move up the timeline after seeing how the first generation performed.
Fossil fuel divestment: When asked how the amount of fossil fuel investments the city currently has in its endowment fund, McKenney told the Lookout fossil fuel investments represented about 7.5 percent ($15 million) of Ottawa’s $200-million endowment fund.
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OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
People’s Commission on convoy begins
What happened: The Ottawa’s People’s Commission heard from many local residents affected by the convoy, according to CBC, and was designed to let residents tell their stories.
Commissioner Alex Neve laid out the purpose of the Commission: “Our sense is that the human rights realities — faced by the neighbourhoods, faced by the individuals who lived first-hand … during those difficult nights in February — has not received the attention it required,” he said, according to CBC.
Opposing view: One woman from Centretown expressed support for the convoy, and accused the commission of refusing to hear other viewpoints, according to CBC.
The commissioners responded that the event was designed to give voice to those who felt “their rights were violated by the protest”.
What’s next: The first set of public hearings wrapped up yesterday. Dates for future hearings haven’t been announced yet. Once the meetings are concluded, a report will be shared next year near the convoy anniversary.
Tis the season to get outside the city
Fall season has arrived and you know what that means — pumpkin picking and fall farmers markets.
What’s happening: Organizations across the city have started rolling out fall events for you and your family.
Check out the livestock competitions and rides at Carp Fair this weekend.
Enjoy a beer at Orléans’ fourth annual Oktoberfest with games, prizes and live music.
Cannamore Orchard has cow-train rides, pedal cars and you can pick your fruit (and pumpkins!)
Enjoy the peace and quiet of Rideau Pine Farms where you can pick your own produce, including pumpkins.
Find all farmed foods, makers and bakers at Cumberland Farmer’s Market.
Grab some pumpkins and apples at Pinewood Orchard.
STORIES YOU MIGHT’VE MISSED
Two new monkeypox cases: As of yesterday, Public Health Ottawa registered 41 cases of monkeypox in Ottawa. There was one new case in Renfrew County and District Health Unit and two in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. [CityNews]
Daycare kids hazard: A daycare was evacuated as emergency crews responded to a hazardous material call. One child is in serious but stable condition. The cause is still undetermined. [CTV]
Storm funding still not addressed: Watson sent a second letter to the province, asking Doug Ford once again for disaster funding for the May 21 derecho storm. The province needs to designate the area as eligible for Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program for funds to be dispersed. [CTV]
Best leaf viewing: It’s almost Fall and that means changing leaves. Narcity has seven different places you can view them, including a chairlift and treetop hike. [Narcity]
Witness identification sought: Ottawa police are asking for help identifying a woman who may have witnessed an event that occurred on an OC Transpo bus. The person is not the subject of the investigation. [CTV]
SPONSORED BY BASIA VANDERVEEN
Spark something artsy this weekend
Back to Black - A Tribute to Amy Winehouse | Irene's Pub | Today from 9 to 12 pm | Celebrate the music of Amy Winehouse with Renée Landry & The Cool.
SPHERE from the NAC Orchestra | National Arts Centre | Tickets: $31.51 | A music, visual and scientific performance exploring the climate crisis.
Sparktoberfest | Sparks Street | Sept. 24 | Tickets: $35 | Sausages, music, giveaways and beer. What’s not to like?
Music in Dundonald Park | Dundonald Park, 516 Somerset St. | Sept. 24 1 to 3 pm | Free to attend | Live music with piano, violin and other instruments.
Want your event to be featured? Fill out this form.
Pull out your rollerblades from storage because a brand new 20,000 square foot roller rink is arriving in Ottawa in December. [CTV]
Until Sept 25, it’s Tim Hortons® Smile Cookie Week and $1 from every Smile Cookie sale in Ottawa goes to the Snowsuit Fund. Learn more.*
After reading Ralf’s latest review of Pine Lodge out near Bristol, you’ll be pining for a visit (sorry, couldn’t help myself).
Love books? Ottawa Public Library is increasing their hours after Thanksgiving. [Ottawa Citizen]
Craving vegetarian or vegan food? La Belle Verte is doing something really special.
Good news — warmer than normal temperatures are expected to continue into the fall [CityNews]
Are you older than the characters in your favourite books? Ottawa YA Book Club for Adults is seeking new active members! They meet virtually every month.
Canadian Tire fans rejoice! Ottawa now has the largest store in Canada. [CTV]
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Congrats to… no one. Sadly Wednesday’s OttawaGuesser might’ve been a tad too hard. The answer was Terry Fox Drive, near Walter Baker Park.
Today’s Wordle is longer than normal. You could say I’m “tossing” you a harder one. Yes, that’s the only hint I’m sharing. Play Ottawa Wordle now.
LATEST COVID STATS
Note: Ottawa Public Health is now only updating COVID stats twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Because of the Lookout’s publishing schedule, this means the numbers here may be out of date.
Active Cases: 632 | New Cases: 219 | Total Deaths: 885 | Ottawans In Hospital: 30 | Ottawans In ICU: 3 | Acute Beds Occupied: 101% | ICU Beds Occupied: 78% | ICU Ventilator Beds Occupied: 28%
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