After a second delay, the LRT system is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2019. Assuming this happens as expected, the Stage 2 expansion will be a main transit focus for the upcoming term.
If elected, McConville would introduce "safety strips" along bus and transit routes to help people feel safer when travelling.
Watson has requested that further research be conducted on truck side guards and other safety measures that would reduce fatal collisions between cyclists, pedestrians, and heavy trucks.
Doucet thinks the process required to report violence is “agonizing.” If elected, he would make information about the reporting process as public as possible.
Not only has there been an increase in emergency shelter use by Ottawa families, but a recent report revealed that more affordable housing is needed in all of the city's neighbourhoods. With 55,000 households living in poverty and only 24,000 affordable unit options in the city, more options are needed.
If elected, Doucet would prioritize affordable housing. He would introduce zoning rules to compel developers to include affordable units in new builds, and bylaws to ensure existing rental units are replaced with more rental units when redeveloped.
Watson says the councils he's headed for the past two years have added $16 million to the affordable housing budget. If re-elected, he will prioritize repairing existing social housing and will leverage local innovation to ensure long-term sustainability. He will also continue to turn his attention towards the light-rail system as a way of allowing students to "move farther afield from campus" to find cheaper rents.
City council has approved a controversial plan to build a total of 350 storeys in 11 new buildings along the Albert Street corridor. Ottawa residents expressed a number of concerns, including that the project ignores a critical piece of the city's formal planning policy that supports a maximum height of 30 storeys. The project's tallest building is expected to reach 65 storeys.
Watson has supported the project. He believes the location near the Bayview LRT station not only supports the demands for rental properties in the city, but is also the perfect place for intensification. He also said that "staff anticipate that this development will add 1.6 million transit trips per year."
Doucet opposes the development of the Albert Street Corridor, citing that the tower application was at odds with an official plan endorsed by the community, but the mayor encouraged councillors to approve it. If elected, he promises "a city that respects community development plans, that respects its own zoning..."
Bruce McConville has expressed opposition towards this development, saying “I believe the current mayor and council do not respect communities and they do not give them voice in major development decisions. The mayor is not listening to the concerns of the communities and he is forcing them to accept development they don’t want.”
McConville wants taxes to be as low as possible, but states that if he "felt the projects and investments the city was making were worthy, I wouldn’t mind paying 2.5 or 3 per cent."
City council has approved a 350-bed homeless shelter on Montreal Road. Among the concerns voiced by Vanier residents are threats to property values, crime and the overall integrity of their neighbourhood.
Watson supports the plan for the Salvation Army to build a shelter in Vanier. He believes it will ease pressure on the ByWard Market, which is already home to three emergency shelters.
Doucet is opposed to moving the Salvation Army shelter from the Byward Market to Vanier. He believes that "creating this crushingly big place in Vanier, is like council wants to put all the poor people in one tiny corner of the city.”
The provincial Progressive Conservative government is allowing municipalities to choose whether or not private cannabis stores are allowed within their boundaries. Ottawa's city council will turn to public consultation shortly after taking office on December 1st.
Watson believes pot shops are better kept in government hands, stating that public agencies are "more receptive to making sure that everyone is carded and ID'd."
Watson is opposed to weekly garbage pick-up. He says this solution is costly and harmful to the environment. Instead, residents should recycle more and use their green bins, which are collected weekly, in order to reduce the amount of waste going into Ottawa's landfills.
In response to concerns over garbage odor in the summer months, Doucet would reinstate weekly pick-up during the months of June, July and August. He believes landfill management policies can handle the increased service.
Among the most contentious issues in the upcoming election is the safety of the ByWard Market, one of Ottawa's most popular tourist attractions in the heart of downtown. Residents also question how the city will draw people to Parliament Hill once renovation of Centre Block begins next year. The billion-dollar project is expected to keep the capital’s most famous structure covered in scaffolding for a decade.
Watson concedes that it will be a "challenge" to ensure crowds continue to flock to Parliament Hill during renovations. However, he sees it as an opportunity to draw attention to other nearby attractions, such as the Government Conference Centre that will house the Senate for the next 10 years.
If elected, McConville would increase police foot patrols in the ByWard Market and push to get rid of emergency shelters in the area. He would call on the city to invest in more affordable housing options in other parts of the city for low-income and homeless residents.
The future of supervised injection sites in Ottawa hinges on the provincial Progressive Conservative government. Today, there are five locations in Ottawa’s core that have federal exemptions to run a supervised injection site. If harm-reduction programs are allowed to grow, there could be more agencies in Ottawa interested in offering the service.
Watson was hesitant when the idea of establishing supervised injection sites in Ottawa first came up. He has since let Ottawa Public Health steer municipal policy.
If elected, Doucet would build a community health centre in Lowertown that would include Ottawa Inner City Health's supervised injection services, currently delivered in a trailer at the Shepherds of Good Hope.