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New Year`s Levee hosted by MP Andrew Leslie and MPP Marie-France Lalonde


Cumnberland Township Agriculture Socirty (CTAS) annual general meeting


Blackburn Community Association Annual General Meeting


The Good Time Band performing at the Orléans Legion

(Posted 8:30 a.m., Sept. 16)
Innes Ward hopeful hopes second time’s the charm
By Wade Morris

When Innes Ward candidate Laura Dudas lost to Jody Mitic in the race to replace former city councillor Rainer Bloess in the 2014 municipal election, she had no idea that she would get a second chance just four years later, but that’s the position she found herself in when Mitic announced in the spring that he would not be seeking reelection for personal reasons.

The Blackburn Community Association president is considered one of the favourites to replace Mitic if for no other reason than the success she had the last time around when she finished second to Mitic with 19.5 per of the vote.

Her nearest rival was François Trépanier who’s also running again. Trépanier finished 561 behind Dudas. The other two candidates in the race are former Bloess assistant Donna Leith-Gudbranson and Tammy Lynch who has been Mitic’s assistant for the past four years.

Dudas says she would be “absolutely honoured” should the voters of Innes Ward elect her to represent them on the next city council. Her main motivation for running is to help the ward achieve its full potential as a community.

“I love the east end,” says Dudas. “I’m incredibly passionate about where we could go and the opportunities we have.”

Among those opportunities is repairing roads, supporting job growth and enhancing greenspaces.

“We need to repair our deteriorating roads, and we need to improve transit,” Dudas told the Orléans Star during a recent interview.

Dudas hopes to extend Brian Coburn Boulevard to Renaud Road; widen Ottawa Road 174; and ensure that LRT stations are equipped to handle users’ needs.

If elected Dudas says she will work with the mayor and other like-minded councillors to keep property tax increases capped at two per cent or less, and hold annual budget meetings to collect input from Innes Ward residents.

“Our property taxes need to be kept reasonable and affordable,” says Dudas.

She also wants the east end to see more economic growth, saying that it would reduce traffic congestion, increase property values, and benefit existing businesses.

Also included in Dudas’ platform is promoting community safety. She hopes to ensure that police are equipped with sufficient resources to keep Innes Ward safe. Additionally, she would add traffic calming and speeding enforcement mea-sures on residential streets.

Dudas explains that greenspaces are “essential to maintaining the quality of life” in Innes Ward. As councillor, she would ensure that greenspaces are considered in residential and retail developments, and that waste diversion initiatives are supported.

After working in the City of Ottawa’s communication department for the last seven years, Dudas says she has both the knowledge and the experience to get things done.

“I’ve been able to see how the city operates from the inside,” she says. “I have the unique experience of knowing how the city functions and how it can do better.”

As president of the Blackburn Community Association for the past eight years Dudas says she’s played a key role making the community a better place to live, work and play.

“I represented residents, worked with other community associations, and deliv-ered services and projects to the east end,” she says.

Dudas has been involved with various community activities. For example, she was the chair of the Harvest Moon celebration, an outdoor farm-themed event held last September in Barrington Park. She has served as a member of both the Orleans Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Good Shepherd School’s Parent Council.

According to Dudas, participating in these community projects has given her the opportunity to learn about the concerns and priorities of Innes Ward residents.

Ottawa voters will head to the polls on Oct. 22. A special advanced poll will be held from Oct. 4 to Oct. 9 at the François Dupuis Recreation Complex on Portobello Blvd. between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. A second advanced poll will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at various locations in the ward.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)




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