In an effort to provide fair coverage of the municipal byelection in Cumberland Ward, the Orléans Star sent a series of questions to each of the eight candidates in the race. The answers to those questions are being published in the lead-up to the Oct. 5 vote.
Candidate: Denis Labrèche
Education: College diploma
Occupation: Multimedia Producer
# of Children: 3 (ages 13, 15 and 19)
Question #1 How will your past experience make you an effective city councillor?
Since 2004, I have dealt with the City of Ottawa at every level for many reasons as a president of a community association. I have learned to understand the municipal system and how to solve many issues when dealing with the City of Ottawa.
Most of the time, diplomacy is the solution. I have worked with many councillors representing the Cumberland Ward for the past 15 years, to represent our community and to identify solutions to issues. Along the way, I have helped our residents, homeowners and business owners with numerous inquiries and provided them with guidance, information and suggestions.
I am very strong in communication and I find that communicating is an asset for many municipal inquiries.
Back in 2007 I had identified a need to acquire a better, larger community centre in south-east rural Ottawa. I organized many consultations, community surveys and meetings to identify the interest, the justification and the need for a new modern facility in south-east rural Ottawa. I solicited all three levels of government to identify the funding (total of $3.2 million) required for the new Carlsbad Springs Community Centre which was built in 2011 and now provides sports and leisure activities to many residents, to our youth and our seniors. The facility also has a modern gym, a large multi-service room and kitchen.
I really feel that my 15 years as a president of a community association has provided me with the experience to become an excellent and effective city councillor.
Question # 2. Please list the extent of your volunteer activities.
With a busy career and two young children, my volunteer efforts have been limited to helping coach my children’s sports teams and pitching in at school activities and outings.
3. What is your position on whether or not the rural part of the ward should be merged with Osgoode Ward?
My recommendation would be to not include all of Osgoode with the rural parts of Cumberland Ward and split Osgoode in half and create four rural wards with approximately 30,000 residents each. I think it would be a better solution of having four rural councillors and the other wards would be a mix of urban and suburban Councillors. Ottawa has such a large rural area that four councillors are certainly justified – we need the rural representation at City Hall for geographical reasons but to give a fair voice to rural residents.
4. Please list your top three priorities should you get elected; and B) Why is the first issue on your list your number one priority and what do you plan to do about it?
1- Communications. I find this is the bread of butter of a councillors’ office. Many times residents are frustrated with something because there is a lack of communication or slow communication.
2 - Restart the process of moving homeowners from Hydro One to Hydro Ottawa and find solutions for homeowners with poor Internet services.
3 - Roundabouts, more of them for rural and urban roads. They save lives, less acci-
dents and make our roads safer! Together let’s build a Better City.
For more information about the candidate visit Denis Labrèche’s website at www.denislabreche.ca.
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