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: Catherine Kitts
Education: Bachelor of Journalism,
Occupation: Communications/Marketing Specialist (former editor of the Orléans Star)
Question # 1 – How will your past experience make you an effective city councillor?
I believe being an effective city councillor relies heavily on your ability to communicate. You must possess the ability to communicate with residents, fellow councillors, members of community groups and representatives of other levels of government.
If elected, I will lean on my work ethic and background in journalism and communications to research effective solutions, ask tough questions and make decisions based on fact. I am well educated on the issues, and I care deeply about this community. You can be confident that I will listen to you, advocate on your behalf and bring your voice to City Hall.
Question # 2 – Please list some of your volunteer activities.
• Heart of Orléans BIA, Marketing team
• Canadian Hemochromatosis Society – Ottawa/Orléans Chapter, Founding member
• Equal Voice Ottawa – NCR, Panelist/Member
Question # 3 – What is your position on whether or not the rural part of the ward should be merged with Osgoode Ward?
I do not support it for two main reasons: First, this will mean losing rural representation on council (down to three councillors from four). Second, we will be merging Cumberland Ward, which has a large francophone population, with a predominantly Anglophone ward. This decreases the likelihood that bilingualism will be a consideration in future elections, putting the francophone community in Cumberland Ward at risk of losing representation.
Contrary to the options that have been presented to council, I believe that there should be an increased number of suburban/rural split wards to increase rural representation on council, and make our wards more dynamic and representative of the entire population of the city.
Question # 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. Targeting dangerous drivers and speeding on residential streets and in rural villages (especially around parks and school zones) by introducing increased traffic-calming measures to keep families safe.
2. Uncovering inefficiencies and streamlining processes within the City of Ottawa to tackle our mounting city deficit and keep taxes low, without compromising services to our most vulnerable populations.
3. Investing in road infrastructure for
vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in both suburban and rural communities.
After knocking on countless doors, I have heard loud and clear that we need to do more to keep our roads safe. Even in communities where traffic-calming measures have already been introduced, it appears they are not working as effectively as they should be. I believe we need to rethink how we tackle this problem and leverage our partners in other Canadian municipalities to determine the best methods to implement and, ultimately, save lives.
For more information about the candidate visit www.catherinekitts.ca.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)