What’s one thing you’d like to see from Ottawa–Vanier’s next MPP, and why?

posted in: ASH in the News

Ontario has an election on June 2nd; the Ottawa Citizen asked the President of ASH “What’s one thing you’d like to see from Ottawa–Vanier’s next MPP, and why?”. Here is our President’s response:

 

Based on direction from the Board, we’d like the next Ottawa-Vanier MPP to restore balance in our community.

What this means is providing solutions to the interprovincial truck problem and the homelessness crisis that are impacting our community. The former has been a feature of Sandy Hill and Lower Town for decades, whereas the latter disproportionately and adversely impacts residents and businesses in the entire Ward. Both issues reflect decades of neglect.

We want a provincial MPP who decides to solve the problem of interprovincial trucks in the downtown and to make this a top priority. The issue is due to a lack of adequate interconnectivity between the freeways in Ontario (416/417) and Quebec (5/50). The appropriate interconnection of highway systems is primarily a provincial responsibility – not a federal one – and we expect the next MPP to finally resolve this issue. Right now, our community sees about 90 tractor trailers snake their way through Waller, Rideau and King Edward every hour between 9am and 3pm. This averages to about one truck every 20 seconds, and represents a health and safety danger to residents, businesses, and tourists. Accidents, including ones involving pedestrians, are common. We want to know what actions the next MPP will take to finally resolve the issue of interprovincial trucks in our downtown streets (e.g., tunnel, bridge, etc.) and specifically their concrete plan in support of either option.

Along with transportation, the province has responsibility for health and social assistance. Yet, our Ward has seen an increase in homelessness, mental health, and addiction disease. Action Sandy Hill supports affordable housing and supportive housing programs that manage opioid addiction or treat mental illness – not outdated shelter models. There are close to 2000 homeless individuals and families in Ottawa; the vast majority of those are living precariously or in shelters throughout this Ward. We want to know what the plan is to address the housing and homelessness crises in our community. How will the next MPP for Ottawa-Vanier help improve affordability for families and individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of losing their housing?

We are a G7 capital. We should have leaders who act on these serious issues.

Susan Khazaeli, PhD
Action Sandy Hill (ASH) Community Association, President

 

More about ASH’s position on these issues:

Overconcentration of Shelters and Services in Sandy Hill – learn about the issue and ASH’s position

Downtown trucks – learn about the issue and ASH’s position

Information on casting your vote:

Elections Ontario