Here’s Part 2 of our Q&A with Dave Lee and Shad Qadri, the two candidates running in Ward 6 for Ottawa City Council. StittsvilleCentral.ca sent out a questionnaire to both of the candidates, and their answers are included below. (Read Part 1 here.)
IF ELECTED, WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS?
LEE: I want to fix the culture at city hall. I want to change how we conduct business with developers and companies that provide services to the city. This is a ‘human’ problem and not necessarily a ‘process’ problem. We are in desperate need of change and we need new people in there with fresh innovative ideas. We certainly deserve better.
QADRI: Over the next four years, I will focus on the following four key platforms:
1 – Continuing to improve traffic safety through traffic calming programs to enhance safety on our streets for our children.
2 – Effectively managing growth by focusing on community planning so we don’t lose that wonderful community feel that makes Stittsville so special.
3 – Enhancing the governing of our City to keep property tax increases to inflationary levels.
4 – Working with partners on areas that affect our Community to enhance our influence on the decisions that will impact our future.
EARLIER THIS YEAR THE OLD BRADLEY’S GENERAL STORE BUILDING WAS TORN DOWN. WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE TO PRESERVE HERITAGE BUILDINGS IN OUR AREA?
LEE: That was an unfortunate incident, as the building burned and was beyond repair. Heritage buildings are an important part of the history of Stittsville and should preserved wherever possible.
QADRI: It was a sad day for our community when the old Bradley’s building had to be demolished. Unfortunately the damage from the fire made the building beyond repair and unsafe. There are some properties in our community that have historical and architectural significance that I would like to see protected as our city grows. Bradley Craig farm (Hazeldean Road) and the Boyd’s House at 173 Huntmar have already received Heritage Designation. These properties like the Cabottos Restaurant and the Hartin House are just two example of how Heritage buildings when preserved can work well with different uses. This involves working with the owners and developers to ensure that their significance is recognized and protected for future generations. It is very important for our community to protect its historical roots while developing additional character.
STITTSVILLE IS A RAPIDLY GROWING COMMUNITY, AND YET WE STILL SEE SOME BUSINESSES STRUGGLING – ESPECIALLY SMALL, LOCALLY-OWNED BUSINESSES. WHAT CAN THE CITY DO TO ENCOURAGE BUSINESS AND JOB CREATION IN THIS WARD?
LEE: We need to reduce the cost of doing business in Stittsville. The rising cost of hydro alone is a deterrent. Why is the City of Ottawa profiting from hydro? Hydro is a core service and has to be made affordable to all. It’s great that our taxes are only going up 2% (to match inflation) but if you increase core services like hydro, gas, water and sewage, you’re still out a lot of money. Being a small business owner myself, I am a big supporter of local business. I will be doing everything I can to encourage people to shop locally.
QADRI: In the short term, the City needs to continue to effectively manage the finances and infrastructure investment to ensure that taxes and fees are not crippling business opportunities and will attract new business and investment into the community and surrounding areas. We also have a fair and equitable procurement process for all major city investments that creates employment opportunities that enhance local employment, both through direct job creation and through the indirect favorable spin off economic effect of the job creation.
For the long term, we need to focus on “smart growth” and planning to make communities welcoming for people to live, work and play within the community. This includes creating economic “hubs” within the city to attract employment and residents. The City also needs to focus investment in the appropriate infrastructure to ensure that businesses are accessible and have the appropriate services to effectively and efficiently operate. This includes transportation, community safety services, and the appropriate utility infrastructure services.
I feel that creation of a Business Improvement Area (BIA) would really benefit the many businesses in Stittsville. This association organized by businesses would help to represent all businesses and their interests. It would also work towards promoting and advertising the local businesses, thus creating a strong business alliance.
We need to create communities that are attractive and viable to continue to attract the appropriate workforce to the area that will stimulate business development and growth. Over the past 8 years we have experienced a lot of economic growth in Stittsville and I intend to continue to support this.
DO YOU ACCEPT CORPORATE DONATIONS? WHY OR WHY NOT?
LEE: I do not accept corporate donations from any companies that do business with the city. This is just plain wrong because money drives ethics.
QADRI: At the present time I am not accepting donations from developers, as they may have applications for Stittsville developments. Having said that donations from any corporations are legal under the current election regulations.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SPOT TO RELAX OR HAVE FUN IN OTTAWA?
LEE: It would have to be on one of our many wonderful local golf courses in the area.
QADRI: This is a tough question. There are so many great things to do in Stittsville and the Ottawa area. Stittsville has nice coffee shops and a fabulous selection of restaurants to enjoy. At the end of the day, I tend to enjoy my home the most. Home is where the heart is.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE OTTAWA FESTIVAL OR EVENT?
LEE: I would have to say Bluesfest is my favourite festival. Being a musician, I love the fact that we have a premier music festival in our hometown. That being said, I want to bring an outdoor music festival to Stittsville ward with a country/rock theme. It’s time to put Stittsville on the map!
QADRI: The diversity of events in Ottawa is phenomenal. We are a community that roles from festival to festival but my favorites are the local festivals that give Stittsville a community feel. The Stittsville Parade of Lights, Village Fest, Art in the Park and Canada Day are my favorites.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN STITTSVILLE?
LEE: The people of course! I have lived here for over 18 years and have raised my three boys in Stittsville. The kindness and support of the people in this community is overwhelming. My family is very proud to call Stittsville our home.
QADRI: It is the people. I view Stittsville as my extended family, and family cares about each other. I am proud to say that this community always astounds me about how much the people care for each other and the community. I love this community.
OVER TO YOU READERS: What issues are important to you in this election? What do you think of the candidates’ answers to these questions? Add your comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org