Jide for Capital Ward

Bring Bold Back

Hello and thank you for taking a look at my platform page.

My belief in a bold Capital Ward at the core of a bold Ottawa is grounded on concrete policy proposals.

You can go through these proposals below, by clicking on each item. Each is explained using two videos, one recorded by me. Each is also explained using a brief write-up.

My proposals for Ottawa are, in many cases, happening elsewhere. They are improvements other communities have seized upon, to their benefit. I believe we can do the same.

For our city, better is possible.
  • A Green Roofs By-Law
    A green roof refers to the roof of a building that is partially or entirely covered with plant life, typically with the aid of a growing medium placed on top of a waterproof membrane. Green roofs are beneficial in multiple ways - they create a habitat for wildlife, absorb stormwater, act as gathering places, mitigate the well documented urban heat island effect, serve as gardens that can be put to practical use, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, act as building insulation, and of course, provide aesthetic benefits. These reasons are why Ottawa needs a green roofs by-law for large developments. Together, let’s make that by-law a reality. Let’s ensure our legacy, for ourselves and for future generations, includes this meaningful contribution to the health of our environment.
  • Zero Landfill Provisioning
    Imagine knowing the City of Ottawa, after a pre-set date and a pre-designated last garbage bag, will never send another garbage bag to a landfill. Landfills are, of course, the seemingly invisible final resting places of much of the non-recyclable garbage generated daily by Canada's cities. They are out of sight, and perhaps out of mind, but they do exist, and will continue to exist until residents demand a better alternative. It is impossible to think of them as environmentally friendly, just as it is impossible for cities not to generate massive amounts of garbage. The answer - that better alternative - lies in the incineration of garbage to generate energy, along with the liquefaction and use of the resulting emissions as a raw material in the strengthening of concrete. These are proven processes. The result would be no landfills, no emissions, and useable energy. Sweden is a leader in the utilization of waste to energy solutions, with virtually all of its garbage - that would be landfill bound in Canada - incinerated to generate electricity and heat instead. That which Sweden has implemented nationally is what Ottawa can perfect locally.
  • Ottawa Tree Corps
    Over the course of this campaign, I have witnessed genuine concern at the doors of our Ward about our city’s environment and biodiversity. In addition, as a person who has experienced the many downsides of a treeless urban landscape, such as dramatic flooding and a higher number of young asthmatics, I share that concern deeply. The City of Ottawa’s Urban Forest Management Plan calls, among other things, for steps to “improve the health, resilience and safety of Ottawa’s City-owned woodlands”. In addition, a key recommendation within that plan concerns the development of neighbourhood-level planting plans. I strongly believe a new “Ottawa Tree Corps” should be part of the solution. Let's bring together the desire to nurture and expand our urban forest as well as the desire to support students and youth in our city through the provision of summer jobs and life skills. Let's commit to planting 5000 new trees by 2022, and to inspiring Ottawa's next generation or arborists.
  • Phasing-Out Single Use Plastics
    Plastics are petroleum-based products, and they have become ubiquitous. They are in our bikes and cars, in our clothes and shoes, in our kitchens and lunch-boxes, in grocery stores and in packaging, and as a result, invariably in the environment. They are not biodegradable, and so can remain in the environment as pollutants for millennia, ending up in wildlife, and in us. In fact, our world is currently on pace to have plastics outweigh marine life in our oceans by 2050! Our dependency on plastics has been commercially induced, with little thought to consequence. Now however, as a planet, we have to start seeking viable alternatives. While this is not a problem Ottawa can singularly resolve, it is imperative that we start locally by halting the most egregious instances of our use of plastics. It is important that council mandate the phasing out of the sale or provision of single-use plastics in Ottawa.
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  • Community-Driven Counter-Variance Process
    Ottawa's process for the approval of new developments is in need of restructuring. Much too often, residents end up feeling like consultations were mere talking and listening events, resulting in little or no impact, while developers readily acquire the variances they seek. In many instances, these are variances that do not take the character of established neighborhoods into consideration. The recently approved 65-story tower set for 900 Albert Street shows what can result if this trend continues. Communities need a meaningful voice - the restoration of some balance in the development process. My proposal is a counter-variance by-law, requiring that variances that are the subject of a successful petition - signed by a pre-set number of residents within a pre-designated impact area - be squashed. Such a by-law would give power to communities, ensuring that Do-It-Yourself community builders can push for and secure change.
  • Pedestrians, Cyclists and Drivers - Roads for All
    According to the Ottawa Cycling Plan, “active transportation has vast potential to improve population health, as it is physical activity with a practical purpose.” Yet, dangers for pedestrians and cyclists on our roads remain all too real. The absence of full model separation means that all too often, pedestrians and cyclists must concern themselves with survival and drivers must concern themselves with not being the cause of a grievous occurrence. I propose full modal separation as a default, starting with barriers on existing bike paths. As well, I propose integrated bike and pedestrian bridges beside the Bank, Billings and Bronson bridges, or as an alternative, fully separated bike lanes, with barriers, that take a little from existing pedestrian sidewalks. When we ensure roads for all, we call get home safely.
  • Tackling Potholes - Asphalt and Plastic Composite Roads Pilot Project
    Ottawa's roads can be challenging, and especially so in the spring. After months of free-thaw cycles, we are often left with sizable potholes, large cracks, and other indications of road surface deterioration. While this has been the case for years, bad roads need not be as certain as the weather. Instead, they ought to be seen as an invitation to try different approaches to paving. In a number of jurisdictions, asphalt-plastic mixes are being used to lend some added resiliency to paved surfaces. Plastic is perhaps an easy choice as it is ubiquitous as waste, and melting then locking it into asphalt takes it out of the environment. There may well be other options for strengthening our road surfaces. My proposal is that we set about a pilot project - investigating those options under real-world Ottawa conditions. This should be done with the clear intent of implementing a new approach to paving our existing roads - one that would see us concern ourselves with poinsettias rather than potholes come every spring.
  • Study on the Carcinogenic Effects of Artificial Turfs
    It is obvious that the process and outcome regarding the new sports field at Immaculata High School has drained the goodwill between residents with homes close to the school and the OCSB. The process, I believe, is one that cannot repeat. It is important that consultations touching both on the enjoyment of homes and the usability of school facilities be thorough and meaningful. In addition, recent reports from various quarters have highlighted concerns about the carcinogenic properties of artificial turfs, leading to real anxieties, real fears. Young athletes and weekend turf warriors may not be concerned about any cancer-causing effects immediately, but as a lawyer I know this is the kind of stuff that class action lawsuits are made of. With the drainage of goodwill, the loss of use, the loss of home enjoyment, and possible litigation against the city by the OCSB, cases of cancer and a class action years from now would rank this sad saga as the "gift" that keeps on taking. As a ward and as a city, we need to get ahead of this possibility. My proposal is for an independent study, with recommendations, on the possible carcinogenic effects of artificial turfs.
  • Tomorrow's Ottawa Today - Smart City Pilot Project
    Ottawa is experiencing a growth rate faster than Ontario's, as well as Canada's as a whole. It is an ongoing migration that makes our city more vibrant and prosperous, but also enhances existing urban challenges - transit and traffic congestion, road maintenance, greenhouse gas emissions, petty theft and safety, and so on. We face a fundamental question - how can these challenges be meaningfully addressed in the face of unrelenting growth? It would be trite to remark that technology must be part of the answer. In many ways, it already is. Traffic lights are a “smart” solution from an earlier era. Tomorrow’s solutions, however, must be smarter still. They must focus on the provision of technologically-aided services to residents in innovative, reliable, inclusive and sustainable ways, and cover everything from library information to activities in community centres, events around the city, infraction payments, air quality advisory capabilities, accident alert systems, water leak detection, energy utilization trends, transit, and much more. There are no limits to the improvements the implementation of a "smart city" strategy could deliver. In addition, with the high level of smart technology adoption among millennials and the "i" generation, it is clear tomorrow's global talent will seek out smart, livable cities. Ottawa's population growth, and its ability to deploy innovative solutions to urban concerns, will become increasingly key to our continued prosperity, and so it is that we cannot afford inaction. This is why I am proposing a smart city pilot project for our city - let's see what works for us; let's see how residents would like their city to function today, and tomorrow.
  • Tackling Snow Windrows - Snow Plow Gates Pilot Project
    For many in our ward, winter includes snow clearance, which is all well. However, I would hazard a guess that there are few among us who have not turned their backs on a cleared driveway and frontage only to return in a few hours to see a snow plow "windrow" - that hardened lump left behind as the plow worked the street. So, out comes the shovel or the snow blower once again. For pedestrians, windrows can often be found at intersections, forcing people on to the already narrow streets to compete for the road with car traffic. For a city with a healthy amount of annual snow fall, there must be a better option. Snow plow gates have been around for some time. They can be operated by plow drivers to stop the creation of windrows. I am proposing a pilot project on their use. The questions residents ought to have answers to include any added costs of operation, whether they would slow down plowing operations, and ultimately, whether they should be narrowly implemented to the benefit of the elderly and housebound, or broadly implemented to everyone's benefit.
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  • Compulsory Mixed-Use Developments on Main Streets
    Vibrant main streets take planning. They result from the conscious designation of street-level commercial spaces, along with ideal transit solutions, a workable approach to safety, and the inclusion of residents in the planning process. Main Street, in Old Ottawa East, could very well be Ottawa's next vibrant main street, joining Bank, Elgin and Wellington, and learning from past development errors. It would be great to see a grocer or two, along with a pub or two, and certainly other street level businesses with possibly many owned by residents of the neighborhood - all resulting in the enhancement of community. For this to happen, it is not enough that the city allow mixed-use developments, in some instances mixed-use developments must be required. Without this requirement, developers may deem it more financially rewarding to place a condo unit where, for example, a grocer could be. This is why my proposal is for compulsory mixed-use developments on main streets identified as potential community hubs.
  • Transit: Funding, U-Pass Extension and User Design
    The funding of transit is a perennial concern in Ottawa, especially since the cost of operation appears to creep up yearly, and isn't fully covered through riderships. At the same time, the importance of transit to the livability of any city - the ability to move large amounts of people safely and efficiently on a daily basis - cannot be overstated. It is clear that on this question, we need to think differently. Fundamentally, we need new revenue sources. Ours is a city loved and visited by tourists, for obvious reasons. Ottawa welcomes over 5 million tourists annually - swelling our ranks roughly five times over within any given year. We welcome them with a plethora of sites, which they walk, bike, bus, drive, or in a few instances, take a boat to. Not all of those sites are in the core of our city. For instance, the Science and Technology Museum is kilometers away, as is Wakefield, the Billings Estate and Upper Canada Village. I propose a transit service specifically for tourists, with higher fares and premium buses, designed to raise ongoing revenues for city transit. Those revenues should also be used to extend the student U-Pass into an all-year pass, and to ensure that transit in Ottawa increasingly becomes a user-designed experience - which is critical if ridership is to go back up.
  • A Mega-Park to Replace the Alta Vista Transportation Corridor
    The Alta Vista Transportation Corridor is a dormant idea that remains on our city's official plan. It is a highway that would make a wasteland and a slab of concrete of the north-east corner of Old Ottawa East, creating a second option for highway traffic where one already exists. It is set to be expensive and of little benefit, and its placement would readily undermine LRT usage. For these reasons, the removal of the Alta Vista Transportation Corridor from the city’s official plan is a key objective of mine as councillor for Capital Ward. Instead, the substantial tracts of land in consideration for that highway would become the “crown jewel” of a contiguous Rideau River park corridor running from Sandy Hill’s Strathcona Park, through Springhurst Park and all the way to Old Ottawa South’s Linda Thom Park. A foot bridge across the rideau river at the eastern end of Clegg would enhance the usability of this mega-park. It would be a massive space hosting community gatherings, picnics, open air theatre, nature walks, snow-shoeing in the winter, and so much more.
  • A LEED Certified Community Centre for Heron Park
    Our community centers are treasured gathering places, rendering possible the many things we cherish - events, theatrical productions, classes, consultations, information sessions, rentals, and so on. In addition, they are places of memory, places of history, inviting us to write our chapters in a story of togetherness that can take the measure of a spent century, and weigh the hope in tomorrow's promises. Heron Park is the one neighborhood in our ward without its own place of gathering, without its own community centre. This is a fact I believe should be remedied. Of course, any such building put up today must demonstrate the possibilities we can already deploy with regard to the sustainability and low carbon footprint of our large structures. Which is why I am proposing the construction of a LEED certified community center for Heron Park, complete with a green roof.
  • The Main Farmers' Market
    The Main Farmers' Market is a visible symbol of community in Old Ottawa East, and as someone who grew up frequenting open air markets, I am keenly aware of its role in the creation of neighbours, the provision of good food, and the nurturing of friendships. Old Ottawa East is set to grow considerably over the coming years. It is important that we get that growth right, and as it occurs, it is important that we be ready for the growth of the Farmers' Market. Being ready means, among other things, a new home for the market - a new place of community pride, of the celebration of locally grown nutritious food, and of access to sustainable living solutions. As councillor for Capital Ward, I will work on ensuring that new home is acquired - constructed to suit community and merchant needs.
  • The Elbow - Bringing the LRT to Lansdowne
    Imagine a future LRT train departing eastward from Carling Station and making its way across the Glebe, underground, all the way to a stop at Lansdowne. The LRT proposal I fondly call "The Elbow" is not currently in any official plan, but it ought to be, and my commitment as councillor is to ensure that happens. As someone who has lived "across the pond" in London, a place where every neighborhood has a train station, I strongly believe in the power of ubiquitous transit in reducing the reliance on automobiles. It is of course important that in the first two phases of a LRT rollout we focus on major nodes. However, in subsequent phases, we must consider the linking of neighborhoods to those nodes, resulting in the ability of residents to get "from anywhere to anywhere" on the LRT. This is a long term vision, one that can start with "The Elbow". Beyond our station at Lansdowne would be another at CHEO - for obvious reasons - before the mini-line arcs back west, with a second neighborhood stop in the Alta Vista area and a reconnection with the main Trillium line at the Mooney’s Bay Station. "The Elbow" would be well placed to provide a second linkage between the Confederation and Trillium lines - the start of a web of linkages connecting neighborhoods across our city.
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  • "Inclusionary Zoning Plus" to Combat Rental Affordability and Homelessness
    Ottawa has a homelessness problem, and it isn't all linked to mental health. As location after location experiences "gentrification", affordable housing options are reduced, forcing individuals and families on low incomes to make hard choices, such as the choice between food and rent. In addition, many in our city are just one pay cheque away from being out on the street - and job losses of course occur. Inclusionary zoning is a tool for effectively combatting homelessness and ensuring affordability. It can be implemented in a number of ways, but it would effectively mandate that new housing stocks include a small number of set-aside units. I believe what we need is "Inclusionary Zoning Plus" - combining this regulatory tool with smart financial tools that bring government funding, small investor and home-buying resident dollars into the equation, to ensure that we have the financial tools to drastically alter the affordability landscape in our city. This would also deliver the added benefit of creating mixed, eclectic communities, in place of homogenous, low income units that are often starved of city services or over-policed. I believe Inclusionary Zoning Plus is right for Ottawa, and so as councillor for Capital Ward, my commitment is to see it broadly implemented in our city.
  • Food Security in Ottawa - Commercial Food Waste & Vertical Agritecture
    Food security is an issue in our city. Much too often our fellow residents must resort to cheap, bad foods or pseudo-foods, to food banks, or they go without. Going without should not be an option, in Ottawa, in 2018. We must do better. The good news is that we have tools and options at our disposal to ensure the delivery of sustainably grown, nutritious food to those in need. Our options include more community gardens, a food diversion program to ensure our large grocers don't waste food, as well as a social enterprise project for the growing of food right in the heart of our city. Imagine a vertical "agritecture" project, bringing volunteers, including members of the Ottawa Tree Corp, together to plant, nurture and deliver fresh produce. Combined with a market, revenues could be raised for operations, as well as for donations to our food banks. This would ensure that all funds are plowed back into food security benefits; that food banks and homes in our city can secure fresh produce all year long; and that our food banks are additionally supported through funds raised at the market. As someone who has used our food bank system, I understand the critical nature of this week, and as councillor, my commitment will be to see our options implemented.
  • A Seniors Hub
    As our population ages, the question of an age-friendly society will only become more acute. It will be important that we focus on improvements to the full range of current solutions, which include aging-in-place, shared homes, as well as seniors’ residences. All of this, I believe, must be done while protecting the choice of seniors. As someone whose deeply loved father-in-law spent years in the system, I know only too well about its shortcomings, and about the worry that results for family members. With regard to aging-in-place, we need to enhance the practical and companion supports that currently exist. This would, for example, include regulating personal support workers, and ensuring adequate monitoring. In addition, I would seek the expansion of shared homes. That would include encouraging financial institutions to create tools and vehicles that would enable more people to utilize this option. A long term vision of mine is a hub bringing together aging-in-place, shared home and residence arrangements, along with service providers like repair folks, grocers and coffee shops, and enhanced municipal services such as heated sidewalks, to create a compact community for aging with dignity.
  • Supporting Residents in the Adoption of Bird-Friendly Building Designs
    Our city's bio-diversity includes a sizable bird population. Their songs enchant us, and their flights induce whimsical thoughts of being carefree. Beyond the ways in which they enrich our lives, their own lives are of intrinsic value. Yet, every year in our city, the lives of a great many birds are cut short as a result of collisions with glass walls and windows. In the eyes of a bird, a pane of glass reflecting the natural environment is seen as an extension of nature, and one with absolutely no reflection is seen as fly-through. However glass is perceived, impact at top flight is often deadly for a bird. Our city is in the midst of finalizing bird-friendly design guidelines. My commitment is to ensure that the result is the mandating of the right treatments for glass included in residential and commercial developments, as well as the support of home owners in implementing those treatments. They can include mini dots, symmetrically arranged, which the human eye would hardly notice, but which would inform a bird that it is in fact in front of a solid surface.
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  • Periodic Community Forums
    For far too long the very idea of public engagement has been premised on developer proposals or city initiatives. That is, should a commercial builder be interested in putting up a structure in your neighbourhood, or should the city be set to introduce a guideline change or a new by-law, your Councillor will meet with members of your community, typically along with a representative of the commercial builder or city staff, to discuss concerns and impacts. It's a good approach to dealing with issues, but it is proposal-dependent and thus limited. What if you or your neighbours have issues to raise, that may not be but ought to be on the "radar" of the city or of a developer? My platform proposal on public engagement is based on this simple truth - by its very nature, municipal government is a form of government close to the people it serves. So it is that Councillor availability, regardless of city or developer machinations, should be the norm. I commit to starting and maintaining periodic community forums, to enable Ward residents to ask questions of, and raised issues with, their Councillor. It's that simple, yet, it's that powerful.
  • A Vacant Commercial Properties By-Law
    Most of us have seen derelict city areas elsewhere. I imagine it starts with one, then another, and soon enough, a beautiful place begins to look rather forlorn. Home values plummet, and vibrancy heads elsewhere. Our vibrant neighbourhoods rely on vibrant main streets. A developer holding on to a boarded up property without developing it - as is the case with the west coast video building in Old Ottawa East - is hurting a neighbourhood, not helping it. I believe Ottawa needs a Vacant Commercial Properties By-Law. I’ll work to secure that by-law. We need to use the tax and project approval powers we have to ensure development occurs or the property is sold to a those with a vision, and a willingness to contribute to the fabric of our neighbourhoods.
  • Halting the Above-Ground Nuclear Waste Dump at Chalk River
    Ottawa is just about a couple of hours from the nuclear facility at Chalk River, which sits alongside the Ottawa River. Nuclear facilities, of course, generate nuclear waste, and the billion dollar question then becomes what to do with the waste. In human terms, nuclear waste stays radioactive, and thus deadly, forever - anywhere from 24,000 to 15 million years. A nuclear waste dump is proposed for Chalk River, and it too is to sit above ground, alongside the Ottawa River! A nuclear facility is not the same as a nuclear waste dump. Due to its deadly nature and potential impact on human and wild life, the international standard in nuclear waste storage calls for sealing underground in impermeable rock. Not only is the nuclear waste dump to be above ground, it is to remain uncovered - for 50 long years of rain and snow fall - all of which will end up in the Ottawa River one way or another! Retired senior nuclear scientists have given this approach two thumbs down. The cities of Gatineau and Montreal have passed resolutions against it. So, why is the federal government proceeding with it? Well, a contract was given to a consortium of companies, asking that they seek "the fastest, most cost-effective means" to dispose of the radioactive waste. Read - cost savings over human lives. This is not going to be a small dump - it'll be up to 80 feet high and cover 27 acres - like a large skyscraper covering multiple city blocks. It'll contain one million cubic meters of radioactive waste. To bury it all, as the international standard dictates, would cost about a billion dollars. Here is the question - in a world in which the federal government can pay 4.5 billion dollars to buy a pipeline that may never be built, is it too much to have a billion paid to properly bury nuclear waste and thus protect not only Ottawa but our entire region? That includes you, your loved ones, other residents, the wildlife - the very future of the nation's capital. Nuclear waste and the water we drink cannot mix. Protect your water. Join me in the push to get the federal government to do the right thing.
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