Born and raised in Ottawa, I have been living in Somerset Ward for almost 30 years. I have been involved in my community from the moment I moved here. I have extensive community experience from all my volunteer work, many of which are listed on my LinkedIn page. In fact, I have continued to live up to my commitments with some of those organizations throughout the campaign. Over the years I have built great working and personal relationships with a number of our current councillors which will be an asset while at the council table fighting for the needs of Somerset Ward.
There are some good candidates in the race for Somerset Ward there is no doubt about that. But here is how I stand out from all the others. It is all about going the extra step and thinking about the community as a whole and not just the popular vote getting issues. Let me explain.
Somerset House: Most of my fellow candidates including myself want Somerset House redeveloped once and for all and as soon as possible. I am the only candidate however that has gone the extra step with a strong voice for not only the popular main street building but have named off a long list of other abandoned buildings across the ward that must also be dealt with. I will work on amending the current by-laws giving the city a much heavier hand on the issue to ensure buildings are not simply left to sit and rot away.
Harm reduction: Almost all candidates support harm reduction programs and a supervised injection site for Ottawa. I on the other hand, after taking an extensive and personal tour of Vancouver’s Insite in 2009, have since said that Ottawa needed a model of its own and not necessarily what they have out West. That said, I am the only one who has also gone the extra step in discussing the important need for more long-term recovery centres to be located across the Capital. Harm reduction is absolutely crucial to our city but it is just a small step on the long road to recovery and freedom from addiction.
Main street revitalization: Some of us agree that many of our main streets need to be revitalized such as Bank, Sparks, Somerset to name a few. However, refacing buildings such as Barrymore’s won’t do it. I am the only candidate to commit to developing a co-operative plan to work with our BIAs, local businesses and the community in promoting the City’s core as a viable place to open a business. We must work together in bringing in new businesses to not necessarily compete with those we already have but compliment them. Wouldn’t it be great to have our very own butcher shop, hardware store and once again a movie theatre?
Public safety is one of the biggest concerns at the doors throughout the campaign. Residents simply do not feel as safe as they would like living downtown for a number of reasons, one of which is the increasing number of shootings and stabbings. I am the only one of the candidates who attended the Somerset Community Police Centre monthly meetings. I am also the only one who has been asking for the community centre to be re-opened over the past few years. One of my top priorities will be to work with the Ottawa Police Services Board and the Ottawa Police Service to bring back the Somerset Community Police Centre.
I hope this has given you a better idea as to who I am and the strong voice I would be for our community in Somerset.
Somerset Ward is a great place to live, there’s no doubt about it. But together we can make it even better. I know that I am the right person to take on this challenge and with the voters trust and support on October 27th, we can get to work and make it happen.
Candidate, Somerset Ward 14