As a mother of three young children and as someone who has dedicated her life to justice issues, I could no longer stand by and watch a government that has all the wrong priorities. Successive Liberal and Conservative governments’ broken promises have left us all working harder than ever and falling further behind. I am running for office because I am committed to building the Canada I want my children and future grandchildren to grow in– a country with good quality jobs, where families are not forced to choose between their careers and childcare, and where our democratic rights are respected, including the rights of our public servants. Along with Tom Mulcair’s NDP, I will put the priorities of families first and build a Canada that is internationally respected, economically vibrant, and socially and environmentally responsible. I am ready to defeat Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and bring change to Ottawa-Vanier.
The last decade of Stephen Harper has called into question the integrity of our government and its commitment to social responsibility. Under his Conservative majority, we have seen a blatant disregard for our public institutions, our civil liberties, and our environment. Just last spring, with the help of the Liberal party, the Conservatives passed their anti-terrorism legislation– Bill C-51. They tried misleading Canadians into believing that we had to choose between our civil liberties and public safety in order to pass this flawed legislation, which weakens the fundamental freedoms of Canadians in a failed effort to advance a political agenda.
My experience working within Canada’s judicial institutions and the public service as a prosecutor and earlier as counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada has given me a profound respect for our judicial and political institutions. I am committed to restoring integrity and social responsibility in our government and I am not afraid to stand up for principle.
What are the two most important issues affecting our riding and what would you do to address them?
Ottawa-Vanier faces many of the same issues that are affecting the rest of our country– after years of Liberal and Conservative governments, middle class families are struggling to get ahead because they can’t find good quality jobs, and are frequently unable to find quality affordable childcare.
The NDP has a plan to become a reliable partner to our city and to work with community groups, city planners and local businesses to ensure they have the necessary resources to thrive. Our national public transit and affordable housing strategies will improve quality of life in a meaningful way for residents throughout this great riding. As a voice for Ottawa-Vanier at the federal level, I will never lose sight of the importance of having a vibrant and well-serviced local community.
Ottawa has approved the ByWard Market Revitalization Plan as a Term of Council priority. What would you do to enhance this jewel in our, and Ottawa's, community?
Ottawa’s historic ByWard Market is a core gathering space in our National Capital and home to many of our community’s businesses. We have an opportunity with Canada’s 150th anniversary just around the corner to build on what already makes the Market great and fix what isn’t working.
As a former resident of the Byward Market myself, I understand that it is also a place where people live. We need to keep that in mind when talking about what can be done to improve this Ottawa gem. I would like to see a more pedestrian-friendly market that is inviting to residents and visitors alike. While adequate and appropriate car parking infrastructure is important, let’s be more strategic about where we put it and ensure that active transit alternatives are supported and promoted.
The majority of Lowertown residents walk, cycle or take public transit to work, shop and play, but it can be dangerous given heavy truck and car traffic, especially on King Edward Ave. How would you work to improve active transportation infrastructure and safety?
I know from my own experience living in the area how the commercial traffic that generates on King Edward Ave. threatens the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on a daily basis. As your Member of Parliament, tackling the issue of interprovincial traffic, on King Edward Avenue and elsewhere in the riding will be one of my top priorities. I will engage with my provincial and municipal counterparts to ensure that an appropriate and cost-effective solution be identified and implemented as soon as possible. There will be consistent, long-term federal funding for municipal infrastructure projects under an NDP government. We will transfer an additional one cent of the gas tax to municipalities to close the funding gap and tackle the infrastructure deficit so communities can ensure safe bridges, modern roads and infrastructure that understands the needs of all users.