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 Wednesday March 9th, Tierney met with Green Party candidate Nira Dookeran.
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.
“As a Green, I can’t say that I’m going to support a parking tower,” said Dookeran, who said offering more reliable public transportation is a better solution.
“Running efficient, frequent public transport is so doable,” she said. “If public transport is efficient, reliable, etc. they will take it.”
Dookeran also said she would like to see more pedestrian and cycling paths.
“I’m a big believer that that’s a good place to put in safe cycling infrastructure,” she said, adding she would pressure the government to invest in and improve transit and pedestrian corridors in the area.
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.
“For sure young people need a place and a huge number of problems can be pre-empted if there’s a place for them to go,” said Dookeran of ensuring community space is available for Jasmine residents.
Dookeran suggested an unused portion of Gloucester High School be used as a community centre.
“Why can’t Gloucester High School be a multi use seniors centre, community centre for the kids and a school?” she asked. Dookeran said too often community groups are working in silos, and by working together instead of independently, more space for the community could be found without spending millions of dollars.
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.
Dookeran said she was absolutely in favour of providing more funding for newcomers.
“If the Federal Government is going to commit to bringing in more refugees, they wither extend funding or pass it along to the province,” she said.
Dookeran, who teaches ESL to Syrian newcomers said it is important to extend funding offered to new Canadians so they can continue their process of integrating into society.
She does not believe funding should be cut.
“Seriously dude?” she said of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “You want to cut funding to newcomers at a time like this?”
4. National Strategy for Drug Prevention
Dookeran said she supported the creation of a National Drug Prevention Strategy, one she said would be administered by Ottawa Public Health.
She also is in support of safe injection sites, saying the federal government must provide funds to help communities meet these needs.
“Housing, daycare, energy, poverty, the federal government needs strategies for all of these things,” said Dookeran.
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.
Doorkeran said seniors should have the space they need for programming and services.
“We owe our elders and if they need a place, then we fund a place where they can go,” said Dookeran, who emphasized the need for a national senior’s strategy to ensure all senior citizens are receiving the services they need.
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.