On Monday April 3rd, residents of Ottawa-Vanier took to the polls and elected Liberal Mona Fortier as their new representative in the House of Commons.
I very much look forward to working with Ms. Fortier on the issues that concern us the most in Beacon Hill-Cyrville.
During the campaign period, I met with Ms. Fortier to discuss several issues.
Below are the results of that conversation:
- 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’m fully committed to finding a solution,” said Fortier, who would not be opposed to the addition of a parking tower for CSEC employees. One option would be to build and off-site complex, which would see a shuttle service bring employees to and from work to their cars.
Fortier added she would also ask the federal government to do more to promote the use of OC Transpo by employees to alleviate parking issues until a permanent solution can be reached.
- 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.
“I would commit to pushing for new infrastructure for Jasmine Crescent,” said Fortier, who indicated her support of federal funding to help build a community centre in Jasmine Park, which would offer programming like youth basketball camps.
“I would also like to see arts, leisure and community programming offered in the area,” she said.
- 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.
“We need to push to make sure [new Canadians] have a place to continue to thrive and not only with ESL (English as a Second Language)” said Fortier, who mentioned that while out campaigning she had heard from many new Canadians that they need more time to adjust and more services would help them do that.
Fortier suggested the creation of a community hub for new Canadians, saying children were having an easier time adapting as they were in a school environment every day, while parents were often isolated.
“I would be supportive of pushing for more funding for ESL and French SL through the Francophone school boards,” said Fortier.
- National Strategy for Drug Prevention
Fortier said she would support the creation of a National Drug Prevention Strategy.
“I support supervised injection sites when they are combined with proper social and medical supports,” said Fortier, who does not want to limit possible safe injection sites to just Sandy Hill. She said they could be built in other areas of the city where drug use is a concern. However, she pointed out she does not feel that Beacon Hill—Cyrville is an area where a safe injection site is needed.
“The most important thing is public health,” said Fortier, adding the proper model must be researched and put in place to keep safe injection sites secure.
I strongly believe 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.
Fortier said she would support the creation of a new space for the GSAC.
“Whoever the next representative is for Ottawa-Vanier will need to work to address this serious issue. I look forward to working together with my municipal and provincial counterparts to find meaningful long term solutions.”
She said one way to do that would be to expand the senior’s centre and provide them with more space of their own or space they can rent for activities.