Responses from candidates

On September 28th, 2014, we contacted every municipal candidate via e-mail.

We sent them our 5 election priorities and asked them: How do you plan to end gender-based violence in Ottawa?

Below you will find the responses from candidates. NOTE: These are unedited and we post them as we receive them. We are a non-partisan, volunteer-run organization with no funding, staff or space. We do not endorse any individual candidate.

Our goal is to help residents make the most informed decision come October 27th.

Ward 1: Orleans

Bob Monette: “I support all forms of awareness and protection for all residents of our community and I strongly support having more education and action on preventing any identified problem areas. As far as hiring more OC Transpo special constables, I am willing to consider that but it would have to fit in with the overall budget expectations. I encourage Hollaback to be active during the budget consultation process to bring these issues forward.
Since I could not see an actual question asked, I wanted to give you my comment that yes, I do support all forms of protection against harassment, bullying and ensuring the safety of residents on all properties. In my own community of Orleans I held a youth forum dealing with bullying and harassment with the four English High Schools and four French High Schools where two forums where held on how to ensure that we have a safer and more respectful community”

Ward 2: Innes

Ward 3: Barrhaven

Ian Bursey: “As a candidate running in Ward 3 Barrhaven, public safety is one of the top issues on my platform. Most people consider public safety a ” buzz issue” @ election time, but I take it very seriously. There have been several sexual assaults and public harassments in Barrhaven in recent months, and if elected, my first priority is to increase Police patrol after dark, and also talk with the powers that be @ OC Transpo about assigning Special Constables to late night bus runs.  I will have zero tolerance for public violence and harassment in the Nations Capital.”

Ward 4: Kanata North

Ward 5: West Carleton-March

Eli El-Chantiry: “I’ve read through the information you provided. I’m happy to see this becoming a topic at the forefront and appreciate your efforts in raising awareness. In terms of your top 5 priorities, I could support them, but please keep in mind that any commitments from the city in terms of funding (whether it be for advertising, special constables, or more resources for OPH) needs to be addressed via the city budget process. It’s only during that time that Council can determine how much, if any, funding can be earmarked for you initiative. This is certainly something you should address and keep at the forefront when the budget consultation process is happening so Council as a whole is made aware of the importance of your work.”

Ward 6: Stittsville

Shad Qadri: “As current Chair of Crime Prevention Ottawa we will continue to monitor and work with our partners as we have previously. That is of course if re-elected.”

Ward 7: Bay

George Guirguis: “We are writing you today on behalf of George Guirguis. Mr. Guirguis will continue to work on behalf of the taxpayers to make sure you get the respect you deserve.” 

Alex Cullen: “Thank you, Hollaback Team, for this. I am happy to endorse your 5 priorities and, if elected, would like to work with you to bring these about:

1. Fund public service ads to raise awareness about harassment in public spaces
2. Hire more OC Transpo special constables
3. Prevent sexual assault at mass gatherings
4. Promote comprehensive sexual health
 5. Show commitment to making public transit safer for women & LGBTQ* folks”
Trevor Robinson: You can read his response here.
Michael Pastien: “I am much aware of Hollaback’s proactive honourable efforts in Ottawa via ongoing media coverage. The considerate multifaceted public service voice messages which have been broadcast on OC Transpo buses (such as asking passengers to report suspicious activity, in addition to those which advocate being humanely considerate of fellow passengers) are much appreciated; as well as bus ads promoting healthier mental/sexual habits. Providing better lighting at key public transit stops, as well as more obvious signage “positively” informing individuals that the areas are watched 24/7 via surveillance cameras, will also be additional very important deterrents.”

Ward 8: College

Craig MacAulay: You can read his response on his website.

Ward 9: Knoxdale-Merivale

Keith Egli: “Thanks for this email and for the role you play in raising public awareness on this issue. I believe that we need to have more and better education programs set up and running in the school system. The earlier these issues are raised and discussed the better. I think of the Jer’s Vision model of programming in this regard.

I also believe that large festivals should be posting PSA’S or notice at events and perhaps creating safe spaces at the events similar to the program at local universities. Such spaces could have trained staff to assist festival goers.
I believe that OPH has some really effective programming around sexual health issues. A discussion could be held next term of Council via the Ottawa Board of Health regarding whether it could do more or different ‎programming. Perhaps a joint education program with OPS.”

Ward 10: Gloucester-Southgate

Ward 11: Beacon Hill-Cyrville

Ward 12: Rideau-Vanier (The ward where we have received the highest volume of stories)

Mathieu Fleury: You can read his responses here.

Marc Vinette: You can read his responses here.

Catherine Fortin Lefaivre: She has posted her responses on her website. You can read them here.

Marc Aubin: You can read his response here.

Ward 13: Rideau-Rockcliffe

Cam Holmstrom: You can read their response here.

Penny Thompson: You can read her response here.

Tobi Nussbaum: You can read his response here.

Jevone Nicholas: You can read his response here.

Ward 14: Somerset

Thomas McVeigh: Responded to our priorities on his website in August. You can read them here.

Jeff Morrison: You can read his response here.

Silviu Riley: You can read their response here.

Catherine McKenney: You can read her response here.

Conor Meade: You can read his response here.

Martin Canning: You can read his response here.

Ward 15: Kitchissippi

Jeff Leiper: He responded to our top 5 priorities on his website on September 19th, 2014. You can read his responses here.

Michelle Reimer: You can read her response here.

Katherine Hobbs: You can read her response here.

Ward 16: River

Vanessa Sutton: “I support your top 5 priorities.”

Michael Kostiuk: “One of the things I have often complained about is how Public Transit stations are designed to be “un-safe”, particularly at night. There are too many hidden corners and hiding places near or in these stations. We need more open concept design for transit stations where attacks are then less likely to occur.”

Michael Patton: You can read his response here.

Ward 17: Capital

Scott Blurton: You can read his response here.

David Chernushenko: “With my apologies, I have been so swamped as both councillor and candidate that I am only now making my way through the 50-plus surveys and requests for positions, etc., such as yours.

Because of this enormous demand, I am going to keep my answer very short.
1. I support the five suggestions you make, and will work to implement them.
2. I believe one of the best ways to combat anti-social and threatening behaviour is to personally model acceptable behaviour — as a father, neighbour and public figure — by my own actions and by “calling out” inappropriate behaviour by others.
3. As a board member of Crime Prevention Ottawa, we have focused on a variety of related gender discrimination, violence and sexual victimization issues. I have proudly supported these, attended CPO’s events, and taken a public stance. You can count on me to keep doing this, and more, whether reappointed to the board of CPO or not.”

Ward 18: Alta Vista

Ward 19: Cumberland

Ward 20: Osgoode

Liam Maguire: “Thank you for the email and the information. I have no plan to address this during the last month of the campaign. It’s not an issue for our Ward and with eleven of us running I have to focus on the top core issues as I door knock. If you’re interested in making an impact on this topic in the Osgoode Ward I suggest you attend one or both of the upcoming all-Candidate meetings, this Wednesday in Osgoode, upstairs at the arena at 6pm or the following Wednesday at the Greely community center, 6pm. There will be questions allowed from the floor and I would suggest you attend and ask your question. You can only pick one councilor to answer and they’ll arbitrarily pick one if the one you preferred as already answered a question.  By doing this you’ll be in front of upwards of 250 people plus all 11 candidates and it’s your best option to have this issue heard.  If elected I’ll look at all the concerns from the dozens of groups and associations who have reached out to all of us and I’ll be better able to answer your questions then. I would have no idea on what budget money or resources currently exist that may allow for TV ads, etc.”

Ward 21: Rideau-Goulbourn

Ward 22: Gloucester-South Nepean

Susan Sherring: You can read her response here.

Ward 23: Kanata South

Mayoral Candidates:

Robert White: “I am well versed in terms of contemporary social sciences and I support the five points that Hollaback Ottawa sent over for Mayoral candidates to review. Hollaback can always count on my full support to ensure these progressive policies are endorsed by council and funded for research campaigns to educate the general public. I find Hollaback to be in-line with regard to research I have read in Social Psychology, and Sociology, as well as Social Work. I support Hollaback Ottawa for my campaign run this election round. The policy submitted is pragmatic from my perspective and makes good social sense proactively. Moreover, I consider Hollaback Ottawa to be more learned on the subject of social violence than myself given the mandate you have to look into these issues. In brief, I will defer to Hollaback Ottawa on these particular issues you are pointing out to myself and other candidates.”