Sharing local priorities with federal by-election candidates: NDP

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, Tierney met with New Democratic Party candidate Emilie Taman.
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.
“It seems to me like there’s some joint responsibility,” said Taman on finding a solution to parking concerns on streets like Leigh and Rainbow Crescent. Taman said she was open to looking into ways to alleviate parking concerns, whether it be through a new parking tower on site, or through the construction of a parking tower in another location that would provide a shuttle bus for employees to the CSEC building. She indicated that we need to continue to invest in and improve our public transit system so that fewer people are driving to work. She also suggested that more timely snow removal might alleviate some of the public safety concerns until a more sustainable solution can be put in place.
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.
“Jasmine would be a priority,” Taman said, confirming she would push for infrastructure funding for the area if elected. That could also include funding for the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard, which serves a large number of residents in the community.
3.      Donald Street
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.
Taman said offering more federal support, including funding for ESL is important. Her family helped sponsor one of the first Syrian families to arrive in Ottawa last year, and Taman said she knows firsthand the challenges that come with finding them secure housing and jobs.
Taman said while providing the supports through the education, health and social welfare system are a provincial responsibility, the federal government should be providing funding in a responsible way to help the provinces cope with the pressure.
4.      National Strategy for Drug Prevention
Taman said in terms of a National Strategy for Drug Prevention, the more drugs like marijuana are decriminalized the better. She said kids are more savvier than they were in the 1980’s and an approach that simply includes banners and advertisements reading “Say no to drugs” isn’t enough to persuade youth to stay away from drugs.
Taman is in favour of creating a supervised injection site in Sandy Hill and is also looking for criminal justice reform.
Taman said she is disappointed in the way the Liberal government has been handling the decriminalization of marijuana, saying it should have been immediately decriminalized as the government takes steps to legalize the drug.
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.
Taman reported that seniors and the aging population were among the top issues she hears from residents while out canvassing. She said she would like to see more infrastructure and programming for seniors, along with a National Housing Strategy that is implemented as quickly as possible, because it cannot take 10 years to implement something that is needed now.
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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