We submitted the following questions to candidates for the position of Councilor for the Navan-Orléans South Ward of the City of Ottawa and the position of Mayor for the City of Ottawa. Unfortunately, we only received two responses, Yvette Ashiri for the position of councilor, and Catherine McKenney for the position of mayor.
Yvette Ashiri’s response is available in french only. Visit our french page to read her answers to our questions.
According to you, what are the main challenges faced by rural communities in the city of Ottawa? How are you proposing to manage those challenges and represent the interests of the rural communities in the city of Ottawa?
I have a plan for all of Ottawa, and while many of my other big promises like affordable housing will make life affordable in both rural and urban areas, I will also respond directly to the unique needs of our rural population, including Sarsfield.
As Mayor, I will work with community members to reduce the risk of storms, flooding and other weather related damage. Our rural communities have been hit hard by weather events over the past few years.
I know most rural residents rely only on cars to get around. As Mayor, I will prioritize the proper maintenance of our existing roads over road widening projects downtown and in the suburbs.
We also plan to invest in building demand for, and increasing supply of, locally produced foods. To that end, I will work with local farmers to develop a regenerative agricultural policy.
In my platform, there’s much more that applies to the challenges faced by rural residents.
According to you, what are the main challenges faced by the francophone community in the city of Ottawa? How are you proposing to manage those challenges and represent the interests of the francophone community in the city of Ottawa? If you are elected how do you propose to represent the interests of the francophone community at city council?
During my eight years on City Council, I have advocated for the rights and services of Francophones. I have long supported the movement to make Ottawa an officially bilingual city. The main issues for the Francophone community are access to municipal services in French, such as recreation, libraries, access to 311 service, and services for seniors so they can age in their community. My platform proposes an audit of municipal French language services to ensure that an active offer for French language services is present and that services meet the needs of Francophones. The City of Ottawa relies on current service data to assess the demand for French language services. However, Francophones often use English-language services because they are more accessible. Francophones deserve to be served as effectively as Anglophones. It is a question of equity. At City Hall, I will work closely with Francophone organizations and community members.
It is important for me to ensure that Ottawa is a good place to live, in both official languages.
What are your budget priorities for rural communities in the city of Ottawa?
My immediate budget priorities are keeping property taxes low while addressing the unique needs of all our rural communities, reducing the safety and property damage risk posed by weather events, including by taking bold climate action, properly maintaining our existing roads, and increasing municipal support for social services.
As you may be aware, certain wards of the city of Ottawa, in particular the village of Sarsfield, were recently impacted by the Derecho storm of May 21, 2022. Some residents still do not have any information from insurers or are waiting for damage repairs to start or to be completed. What is your plan regarding the management of the aftermath of the storm, in particular for the village of Sarsfield and surroundings, as winter is fast approaching and residents are still being impacted?
I understand how Sarsfield as well as other communities were hit hard by the Derecho storm. This has greatly affected many families’ livelihood, particularly in farming communities. I also understand many are awaiting insurance claims or hoping for aid from the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO). As you are aware, DRAO has a catch: The province has to specifically designate the jurisdictions that qualify for aid. Ottawa was not designated while other communities were. On June 8, Ottawa city council approved a plan to write to the province requesting that Ottawa be designated for DRAO aid, but has yet not had a reply. And then again, on Sept. 21, city councilors, including myself, voted to press the province on the matter. I have the skills, experience and drive to get results from the province on this issue.
As Mayor, I will provide resources for homeowners, renters and other building owners to reduce the risks of weather-related damages. Additionally, I will work to deliver adapted emergency response services to extreme weather events.