Gloucester-Southgate: Keays — Ottawa’s top issues are transparency, cooperation, housing, transit

Being stewards of this city is not a short-term project, and we must not let disagreements over the last vote compromise our ability to collaborate on the next vote.

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Le Citoyen invited the candidates for the October 24 municipal election to share their thoughts:

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Transparency, cooperation, affordable housing and public transit are our city’s main issues for the next municipal term. My name is Ron Keays and my goal is to help our city and Ward 10 serve our community as effectively as possible.

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I am the father of three school-aged children and have lived in the Ottawa area for over 30 years. I studied psychology and philosophy at the University of Ottawa and have spent the past 20 years in a customer-facing role in the telecommunications industry.

The most common complaint I hear from residents on nearly every proposal council considers is a lack of information and engagement before the vote. An informed population and council are absolutely essential to building a functioning city. When our SLR plan was presented to the board for approval, the councilor. It was Diane Deans who asked if the offer had passed the technical threshold. She received no response and, of course, the proposed offer had failed. Our transit system was approved without our council being told the basic facts about it. This must change.

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Treating affordable housing as a basic human right must be a priority of council. All housing developments must be considered in this light, as well as environmental impacts, public transport and access by foot and bicycle. With the unprecedented rise in housing costs, bold action is needed, and I support Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa and other organizations that have worked tirelessly to find solutions to the housing crisis.

Our transportation system faces challenges on all sides. Technical challenges and changing demographics risk paralyzing the system. I support the Alta Vista Corridor project to provide direct access to the University of Ottawa and downtown by bus, car or bicycle. Additionally, reinventing our bus routes around the hubs created by a working SLR will significantly improve efficiency.

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I support providing free public transit to new Canadians, youth, and people on ODSP to both improve ridership on our transit system and, more importantly, open up our city. so that all of our residents can walk through and experience all that Ottawa has to offer.

Cooperation is simple, but too often overlooked. Our last council was mired in conflict and our city suffered. There will be many new faces on the board on October 25, and it is of the utmost importance that the board enjoys a productive and open exchange of ideas and opinions.

I am committed to taking the time to understand what is important to the health and development of each neighborhood, and how that fits into the overall trajectory of the city. There will be disagreements, but at all times we must respect each other and behave gracefully in victory or defeat. Being stewards of this city is not a short-term project, and we must not let minor or major disagreements about the last vote compromise our ability to collaborate on the next vote.


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