Quotes and notes from the Stittsville election debate on Rogers

Roger’s city council debate for Stittsville ward, between Glen Gower and Shad Qadri, has only been on YouTube for a few days and already has over 400 views. We’ve embedded the full debate as well as wrote down a few highlights, with additional notes where we could add context.

Readers have a right to know that Glen Gower is the owner and publisher of StittsvilleCentral.ca, but has withdrawn himself from editorial activities since May 1.

On transit

GOWER: “We’ve seen light rail going out to Orléans, we’ve seen bus rapid transit go out to Barrhaven, and Stittsville and Kanata always seem to be lagging behind. I would have expected a much stronger role from the west-end councillors, including Coun. Qadri, to advocate for transit to Stittsville and Kanata sooner (than 2031).”

QADRI: “I was fantastically ecstatic when I heard and found out that LRT is coming to Stittsville… All three west-end councillors (Allan Hubley and Marianne Wilkinson) worked very diligently in order to get an environmental assessment for LRT to come out to Kanata and Stittsville. We got that environmental assessment complete and will be moving forward in the next term of council… If the financing comes through sooner we’ve already had the mayor come and talk to us and say we could build it sooner (than 2031).”

(Gower also noted that more than 30 per cent of morning 262 bus runs are late. Qadri says buses are running late because of construction downtown related to LRT.)

On taxes

QADRI: “I want taxes to go up based on inflation.”

GOWER: “We have common ground on one thing: We both believe taxes should be tied close to inflation.”

On police service and traffic enforcement

GOWER: Concerned about apparent increase of violence in the west-end. Also says traffic enforcement is too lax: “You can’t just put up a speed limit sign and a flex stake and hope it works. You need to have real enforcement (and better designed roads).”

QADRI: Council has identified speeding as a city-wide issue and provided funding for temporary traffic calming measures in each ward. On police service: “I agree that the policing is maybe lagging a little bit in terms of their new model that they’re working with. We just haven’t gotten used to that new model… the issue is that the model may not be working in terms of community policing and that’s something that I’ve already talked with the chief about and that we need to review and look at.”

(The new police model Qadri refers to included cutting the number of community constables down to ten from 15. Here’s a story from 2017 about policing in the suburbs…)

On cannabis stores

QADRI: “My biggest concern is the location of these stores… let’s wait until we get the rules… I am in favour of cannabis stores but I am not in favour of cannabis stores at any cost, anywhere.”

GOWER: “I would have preferred to see a slow rollout, an LCBO model.”

(The last provincial government was going to sell cannabis in an LCBO model, but the new government under the PCs decided to use a private store system instead.)

On term limits

QADRI: “We already have a built-in term limit. It’s every four years, it’s called the election.”

GOWER: “I would actually support a maximum two-term limit… if there’s not a formal limit I’ll commit to only serving for two years (terms) if I’m fortunate enough to be elected.”

(We’ve filed Gower’s two-term promise under “we’ll believe it when and if we see it.” Qadri promised the same thing, but is now running for a fourth term. In fact, several incumbent councillors had made that promise but only Mark Taylor [Bay] is keeping it by choosing not to run again this election.)


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