Who will I vote for?

Candidates for Mayor give answers

 IMAGE posed the same questions to the mayoralty candidates as to the candidates for councillor but asked them to answer only one question of their choice.


Hamid Alakozai

When considering redevelopment proposals in Sandy Hill, what place do you think heritage considerations should have in the approval process?

I believe in partnership and consultation with different communities about the City’s action plan because, if the City of Ottawa has the most advanced and “concreted” plan, and, if the residents of that area don’t like it or have issues with the plan, then the outcome of project will be considered as a failure. Therefore, I will be consulting with the Sandy Hill community first about any city projects for a positive outcome.


Ahmed Bouragba

Age: 48, Occupation: OCDSB teacher

Residence: Sandy Hill

Languages spoken: French, English, Arabic and Russian

Would you support our current mayor’s 2% municipal tax increase?

Absolutely not, we are double taxed, one by the City and one by MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment); they add the value every year so it increases the taxes automatically. The other reason is that the city is getting enough money, but the major problem is the lack of wise and serious governance. I will re-structure many city departments, which will support a reduction of the property taxes by up to 4% with a significant increase of adequate services for the residents.


Clive Doucet

Some have suggested that all rental properties should be licensed. What is your position on this issue?

Landlord licensing is a practical, legal way for both landlords and tenants to protect themselves and I will support landlord licensing in Ottawa.


Joey Drouin

Age: 40, Residence: Westboro

Occupation: Co-Founder Reefertilizer (Cannabis Fertilizer Company)

Would you support our current mayor’s 2% municipal tax increase?

In an ideal world the property tax would increase in line with the rate of inflation. Unfortunately large cities have been over-burdened by an increasing infrastructure gap – and ultimately, a regressive property tax system is an inadequate way for cities of our size to fund themselves and the costs associated with fixing our crumbling infrastructure. In the long-term, the National Capital Region should be working towards solving these issues by working towards a one-city governance model that would eventually allow for a more progressive tax system.


Craig MacAulay

Age: 66. Residence: Bells Corners.

Occupation: retired OCDSB teacher/free bike-taxi pilot/blogger.

Would you support our current mayor’s 2% municipal tax increase?

I do not support the incumbent mayor’s 2% smoke-and-mirrors tax promise. We need honest squeaky-clean politicians who are not beholden to the developers in order to regain the trust that has been lost.

Many incumbents (including the mayor) flaunt the rules about using taxpayer funds and taxpayer-funded employees to campaign. They should stop using their million-dollar “office budgets” as gigantic slush funds to indulge themselves, reward their friends, promote their lucrative political careers and show their disdain for the taxpayer.

Municipal politicians should stop taking money from the 1%. I call on Mayor Watson (and all other candidates) to reveal the sources of their campaign donations over $100 before the election. This is important information that the voter needs before deciding who deserves a vote.

We need to elect independent councillors to clean up the corruption and waste at City Hall and make the wisest decisions for the common good. Council should limit car-dependent developer-friendly suburban sprawl and spend less on building new infrastructure to serve it.

We need a council that is working for the entire community, not just for the 1%. We need a plan for the future of our children, not higher short-term profits for the developers and other insiders.

Tax increases should be determined on the basis of need, not a fixed and arbitrary percentage like the current 2% cap. The City should be doing more to maximize alternative revenue streams before resorting to tax increases. Stop the tax giveaways and other incentives that too frequently get extended to developers.

How about a “mansion tax” for homes valued over $3 million that makes the wealthiest in Ottawa pay a little bit more?


Bruce McConville

Age: 56, Residence: Vanier

Occupation: self-employed, owner of McConville’s Garage, Vanier.

When considering redevelopment proposals in Sandy Hill, what place do you think heritage considerations should have in the approval process?

Heritage issues should be of primary concern when it comes to development proposals and issues within Sandy Hill. This community is full of built heritage gems that signify Ottawa’s historical roots throughout our growth before and after becoming the Nation’s Capital. Once lost, this heritage is lost for all time and it must be preserved and cherished as such. We have plenty of space to build and redevelop properties throughout our ward and our city without infringement upon our sacred treasures which are becoming less abundant through bad development and lack of respect for what is already there. Certainly, there are exceptions to every rule and sometimes compromise can help achieve better win-win results. What is vitally important is to have Sandy Hill residents’ community input and inclusion on all planning proposals within your greater neighbourhood. I protest the dictatorial style and the dismissive role that our city council takes in relation to our planning act regulations that are supposed to protect neighbourhoods like Sandy Hill. It seems that this document is viewed as no better than toilet tissue to be discarded whenever big interests plow their ill-advised planning projects through council with the support of our mayor, who  is adept at convincing duly elected councillors to trade their votes, and constituents’ voices, in favour of organizations that pay no heed to our built heritage. I intend to foster the creation of a new deal with developers which includes a template and full public disclosure and input before any new building proposals are submitted. It is imperative that we achieve consensus first, rather than a wasteful use of tax dollars and resources after the fact, in fighting appeals that ultimately favour big money and interests that can outspend our community voices. A case in point is the Salvation Army’s attempted imposition upon our ward with their ill-advised, archaic mega-shelter project. I have stopped it and aim to kill it whilst having Ottawa finally adopt Housing First (long overdue and supported by upper tier governments) so that we can start the process of ending homelessness and protect our vulnerable community.



Michael Pastien

Age: 63. Residence: ByWard Market

Occupation: developing dentistry ethics policy, Elections Canada and Government reform, and assisting with forensic fraud investigation cases.

Would you support our current mayor’s 2% municipal tax increase?

Ottawa taxes are amongst the lowest in North America. Our city debt is likely swelling at around $3 billion. I recommend an average property tax increase of 2.5% and perhaps higher in areas outside of the Ottawa core, and especially (high end) new development regions. Communities that clearly desire such amenities as paved roadsides and cycling lanes should generally be the ones paying for them. I’d like a provisional return of commercial property vacancy tax rebates, and feel there is way too much red tape for entrepreneurial business start-ups to thrive in the capital.


Moises Schachtler

Age: 23. Occupation: unemployed

Residence: Overbrook

Languages spoken: English

 Garbage is a problem in our neighbourhood. What would you propose to better manage the situation?

We pay the homeless to get educated. Some of the time, picking up this garbage would be an appropriate job for the homeless to get started while getting an education and being paid fairly for it.


Jim Watson

Would you support our current mayor’s 2% municipal tax increase?

When I was first elected as Mayor in 2010, taxes had risen by 14% over the last three years. Our economy was struggling as 25,000 jobs were being cut in the federal public service. This was clearly an unsustainable rate of increase during tough economic times.

I am proud that we have brought fiscal discipline to the city starting in 2010—with municipal tax increases capped at 2.5% from 2010 – 2014 and under 2% from 2014 – 2018.

I think that residents benefit from a stable, predictable and affordable tax increase. The lowest possible increase helps seniors on fixed incomes stay in their homes longer and helps first-time buyers who are having to budget for a whole new set of expenses.

My position on keeping Ottawa affordable for municipal taxpayers has always been clear and transparent. I have always said that as a city, we need to be watching the bottom line and only taxing for what we need.

Over the course of my campaign, I will be releasing details of my tax goal for the next four years, and I believe that this tax goal will allow us to live within our means while recognizing our rapid growth as a city.


Bernard Couchman and Ryan Lythall did not respond.