Cumberland Ward Candidates respond to Ward Boundary Review

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The proposed Ward Boundary review continues to be a hot topic “on the streets”, however, since this topic was not addressed at all in the recent all candidates meeting hosted by Rogers, NCA President, Fred Hyde, followed up by email, to get all candidates’ opinions on the matter. A summary of their responses is below.

Question Posed (September 9, 2020):

Which of the six proposed options do you support and why? If none, then what would you suggest as the solution to the effective representation imbalance of the population differences between many wards in the city? For example, the forecast for the next election in 2022 has Cumberland at 57,100* and Osgoode at 31,200*

* (from the City’s Ward Boundary Review Backgrounder report)

Fred Hyde – President, Navan Community Association

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Candidate Responses:

Denis Labrèche (September 9)

Yes this is a good question and too bad Rogers Television did not include it in the debate, as it is an important question. I do not support any of the 6 current options. Adding Cumberland ward (rural) to Osgoode will not be fair to rural Cumberland (estimated at 15 000 residents vs 31200 for Osgoode). This option would create a super large rural ward with too much population so it does not make sense. The demand on the Councillor will be concentrated in Osgoode, as we in Cumberland ward will be the minority in the new ward. We need a 7th solution. Osgoode needs its own Councillor independent from Cumberland ward. We also need at least 4 rural Councillor at the Council table to represent the interest of the rural communities in Ottawa that is over 80% rural when it comes to the geography of the City. Rural issues matters.

My solution would be to keep a section that is suburban (maybe the current Cardinal Creek area? ) and to keep the population of the new Cumberland Ward at approx.. 25 000 with room to grow in the Navan, Vars and Cardinal Creek area where new homes are being built. The other suburban section in Orleans (Avalon, etc…) would become a new ward (Orleans Ward south) and have also a population of around 25 000 (and would still have room to grow as it expands south near Navan).

Navan, Carlsbad Springs, Vars, Sarsfield, French Hill, Cumberland Estates, Cumberland village, Bearbrook, Leonard and Cardinal Creek would be the NEW Cumberland Ward.

This way there would still be 4 rural Councillors and Cumberland ward would still have its own Councillor representation at the table. This is important. I hope the population will vote and propose this option.

Lyse-Pascale Inamuco (September 9)

Like many people, I have been disappointed at the lack of consultation by the City of Ottawa about this important issue. In the first round of consultations, the city received feedback about boundary review changes from only 483 people, and only 24 people in Cumberland Ward! It is even more unfortunate that this decision is being pushed forward while residents of Cumberland have been without council representation for nearly 6 months.

During my time knocking on doors this election, I have heard from rural residents that all 6 proposed options are not working for them because Osgoode has its own issues, that they feel like they will be just swallowed up by this already big ward, the budget will not be raised to serve Cumberland rural residents or maintain their roads. Some residents are especially concerned that the strong francophone community in this ward will be lost.

We must have more input from rural residents on this crucial issue. Any decision about merging the rural part of the ward with Osgoode Ward must be done on the basis of what rural residents in Cumberland want. Rural residents aren’t getting the services their taxes should cover. I encourage rural residents in Cumberland Ward to make their voices heard in the upcoming consultation sessions put on the city. In addition, I want to hear from your perspective on the ward boundary issue. Share your opinion with me at info@lysepascale.ca. I want to get as much input from residents as possible. If elected, I will be ready on Day One to take these concerns to City Council when we discuss the ward boundary review in December. I will be your voice at the council table.

Mark Scharfe (September 9)

First, the number of councillors have to be cut in half. Twenty two councillors are too many to effectively address city business. If everyone has a say, even if it is only a few minutes, there is endless debate into the early hours of the morning. In Toronto, the Premiere cut the councillor number in half to 25, and they have over 3 million in population. Ottawa has a million people. The ward boundaries can be doubled up to suit the number of councillors.

As elections come up every 4 years, the candidates can state what their platform planks are,,,,and the folks can then put in a councillor that ensures all of the needs of the ward are met. I do not have a problem with the boundaries the way they are. It is a good thing when wards are mixed…….rural and suburban for example….it ensures that the councillor has a good understanding of all the issues….ie, hydro, drainage, business, housing, traffic congestion, LRT, etc….

Please keep in mind that “Democracy” is a governance of the people, by the people, for the people. It is the people that rule on how they want city council to preform, not the Mayor, nor the other councillors as a whole. My platform planks are very easy to understand and direct. If you vote for Scharfe, my platform planks are what the good folks of Cumberland are going to get.

Patrick Uguccioni (September 14)

I oppose any option that sees the rural part of Cumberland joining with Osgoode.

It is my opinion this issue has not got the public airing it deserves.

Forcing this on the public during a pandemic is undemocratic in my view.

I see no reason why a decision can’t be delayed until the public can be properly consulted.

The first round of public consultation heard from just 500 people city wide out of a population of more than 1 million people and only a handful from the Cumberland ward.

Catherine Kitts (September 15)

I do not support it for the following reasons:

1) This will mean losing rural representation on council (down to 3 councillors from 4).

2) We will be merging Cumberland Ward, which has a large Francophone population, with a predominantly Anglophone ward. This decreases the likelihood that bilingualism will be a consideration in future elections, putting the Francophone community in Cumberland Ward at risk of losing representation.

3) Many people in the rural east end feel more of a connection to Orleans than they do to Osgood Ward, as Orleans is where they go to do their grocery shopping, eat at restaurants, do business, etc.

4) We will have one ward budget to support infrastructure, traffic calming measures and community associations in a ward that will include 800km of roads.

Contrary to the options that have been presented to council, I believe that there should be an increased number of suburban/rural split wards to increase rural representation on council, and make our wards more dynamic and representative of the entire population of the city.

As you will see in both my video position (posted on Facebook) and my blog post , I feel that Cumberland ward and the rural community has been left out of this very important conversation. We need to push for a better option, and if elected, I will be vocally against the current proposals. I have already spoken with Osgoode Ward Councillor, George Darouze, who is also against the merge, to let him know that Cumberland Ward residents are not happy with the current options and feel that better advocacy is needed. I want to be that strong voice that brings Cumberland back to City Hall on October 5th.

Yvette Ashiri No reply

Jensen Boire No reply

A. Bruce Faulkner No reply

Craig MacAulay No reply

Henry Valois No reply

HAVE YOUR SAY!

Note that consultations on the Ward Boundary Review are ongoing – an online survey is available on the City of Ottawa website until September 25th. Additional virtual consultations are being held now, with a Rural-focus meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 7 to 9 pm . To register for the virtual consultation or for more information, visit the Ward Boundary Review page. Questions and concerns may also be sent to wardboundary@ottawa.ca so be sure to share your opinions and have your say!