Sharing local priorities with federal by-election candidates: Conservatives

On April 3rd residents of Ottawa-Vanier will head to the polls to vote for a new Member of Parliament.

Beacon Hill –Cyrville Councillor Tim Tierney is meeting with the candidates of all of the major parties to ask them how they will respond to five key issues in the community.

On Friday March 10th, Tierney met with Conservative Party Candidate Adrian Papara.

These are the results of their conversation.

1. Parking issues in the ward

We are all too familiar with the issue of parking in the Carson Grove and Crownhill areas, where CSEC employees have been parking on the streets day in and day out, making it difficult for residents to get down their roads and in and out of their driveways. Councillor Tierney has been asking for a new parking tower to be built on location for CSEC employees, and for the federal government to put more emphasis on promoting the use of public transit.

“I think at the end of the day CSEC needs to take leadership,” said Papara, who is in favour of building a parking tower or lot on CSEC or National Research Council land to accommodate employees who are currently opting to park on streets.

Papara added he did not feel the penalty issued by the City of Ottawa for people breaking the parking by-laws was stiff enough, saying many CSEC employees were running the risk of getting parking tickets instead of taking transit to work.

“People look at the punishment and think that a $40 fine is worth it,” said Papara, who added public transit would be a viable alternative if properly funded.

 

2. Jasmine Crescent

Work has been underway for months to create a safer community in this area, with the Jasmine Safety Committee meeting diligently over the past 10 months. Further to this, Councillor Tierney would like to see a new community centre built in Jasmine Park to provide after school programming for youth.

Papara is in favour of ensuring infrastructure is in place to offer community services to residents.

“I see the benefit of an initiative like that,” said Papara of creating a community centre on Jasmine Crescent.

“I think it’s a great way to keep children engaged,” he said, adding he would like to see a centre that offers programming like leadership skills.

He pointed out the federal government has money set aside specifically for community infrastructure and that he would request it be tapped into.

3. Donald Street & new Canadians

Beacon Hill-Cyrville – in particular the Donald Street towers – is home to the largest population of new Canadians, who recently arrived in Canada from Syria. A large concern for Tierney is the fact supports from the federal government to help these new Canadians integrate into their new community has run out.

“I’m an immigrant to Canada. My parents and my family went through the same situation,” said Papara, whose family settled in Vancouver when he was 13 years old. They are originally from Romania. Papara moved to Ottawa four years ago.

“I think I’m the best candidate to understand what the issues are when it comes to immigrants,” said Papara, who said he ensuring that support services are in place for new Canadians is key to ensure they thrive.

Papara said it was key to provide new Canadians – especially adults who do not speak English and French – with the opportunity to socialize, whether it be through community or school functions.

He said while language training is important, it is equally important to help adult new comers secure jobs. These can be jobs in the food service industry, for example, where they do not immediately need to speak English or French to get the work done.

Papara added he would also work to ensure communities aren’t working in silos. For example, he would like to see community groups in Rockcliffe work more closely with those in Beacon Hill so that newcomers are offered a plethora of services and work isn’t being duplicated.

 

4. National Strategy for Drug Prevention

Papara is in favour of a National Strategy for Drug Prevention, pointing to the one put in place by the Harper Conservatives in 2006. That strategy, which was renewed in 2012 and enhanced in 2014, focuses on three pillars: prevention, treatment and enforcement.

“The Health Minister now wants to change that plan,” said Papara, who said he believes the justice department should be working with Health Canada on the current strategy and have it implemented.

He said he was wary of proposed changes to the plan, saying right now the government is in damage control attributed to the rise in Fentanyl overdoses.

“I think we’re reacting too hastily,” said Papara.

Papara is also in favour of opening safe injection sites, as long as they follow the 26 conditions laid out by the Harper Conservatives in 2015.

Papara said he had concerns about using Sandy Hill as the location for a supervised injection site, saying he was concerned about businesses, tourism and the effect it would have on students and crime.

5. Seniors

Councillor Tierney strongly believes more supports and programming must be put in place for seniors. He would also like to see better infrastructure for groups like the Gloucester Senior Adult Centre, currently housed in the top floor of the Earl Armstrong Arena. Despite having a membership of some 600 people, the site only has a capacity for about 150 people, meaning there are many seniors who cannot enjoy full use of their membership.

Papara said he is concerned there are not enough services being offered to both seniors and veterans.

“I’m afraid even for my parents,” he said. “After 65 what are you going to do?”

He said if elected, he would work to ensure seniors have the social interactions they need.

“I want to keep them comfortable,” he said of seniors, pointing out that the current government does have money set aside for local infrastructure projects. “You promised money, let’s deliver.”

 

A note:

As Councillor Tierney meets with other candidates, this site will be updated to include their responses, so voters can make an informed decision when they go to the polls. 

These articles share the responses of federal candidates and do not reflect Councillor Tierney’s support for any one candidate or for all of their positions on any given topic.

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