Looking aheadPlatform & Projects

10 things I will prioritize over the next four years

1. Stittsville Main Revitalization

In June 2022, the City’s Planning Committee approved the Stittsville Main Street Public Realm Plan. This plan will rejuvenate the street with new sidewalks and bike lanes, and beautification like new street lights, trees, and public art.

The total cost is estimated to be approximately $22.7-million, and I’ve already started to pursue funding through future city budgets, federal and provincial grants, and other partnership opportunities.

I’ll continue to promote the street for new businesses so that we can attract more independent entrepreneurs to join the likes of Ritual Café, Mavericks Donuts, Humen Kind Baby, Ivan’s Meat & Deli, and so many others.

I’ll keep working on solutions to traffic congestion too: Re-designing intersections, adjusting signal timings, prioritizing construction of Robert Grant Avenue to the east, and removing heavy trucks from the street.

Stittsville Main Street Public Realm Plan

2. Investing in transportation infrastructure

There are lots of roads that are priorities for upgrades and construction in Stittsville:

  • Carp Road – currently scheduled to be upgraded to 2-lanes in each direction by 2025.
  • Robert Grant Avenue – construction starts this fall on the next phase from Abbott to Hazeldean. Eventually the road will connect north all the way to Palladium Drive.
  • Fernbank Road – upgrades between West Ridge and Terry Fox
  • Maple Grove Road – between Maple Grove and Terry Fox
  • Stittsville Main Street – north extension to Robert Grant / Palladium, and connection to Maple Grove.

I want to see the City catch up with resurfacing of local streets, including Norway Spruce, Cloverloft, Lazy Nol, Caribou, Manchester, Stittsville Main, John Sidney, Old Orchard, and McCooeye (to name a few).

I’ll continue to champion upgrades to “missing links” in our sidewalk and pathway networks as well, to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to move around our community.

And we need to continue investing in transit, bringing light rail to Stittsville and Kanata, and improving local bus service in our community.

Robert Grant Avenue road sign

3. A "Health Hub" for Stittsville

I want to see a Health Hub established in Stittsville. It’s an innovative health care model that would bring a wide range of specialized and community healthcare services all under one roof. All residents, from newborns to seniors, would have access to integrated programs close to home.

We can bring together a range of services from hospitals like the Queensway-Carleton Hospital and CHEO, and other partners like Ottawa Public Health or the Youth Services Bureau. These partners could offer clinics, rehabilitation, medical imaging, mental health support, an urgent care centre, and more.

For example: Instead of traveling across town to the Riverside or General for specialized eye care, these services could operate out of a Stittsville Health Hub for one or two days per week.  Local, convenient health care.

I’m inspired by the Orleans Health Hub, a successful project that recently opened in the east end and pictured below.

Orleans Health Hub

4. Tree planting

We lost so many trees in the May 21 storm. Even before that devastating event, I started looking for ways to increase the number of new trees planted in our community.

We need to ramp up the City’s “Trees in Trust” and schoolyard tree planting programs, and introduce free distribution of trees for residents to plant in their backyards.

I also want to identify public lands that are suitable for larger replanting activities by the City and other partners.

From 2017-2021, about 575 trees were planted each year in Stittsville. I want to set a much higher target and see us reach at least 2,000 new trees per year in the community.

Maple trees at Putney Park

5. Fernbank District Park

There’s a large piece of land in the Fernbank area earmarked for a District Park, just north of the Trans Canada Trail between Rouncey Road and Abbott Street. Officially, this park is still a few years away but I want it built as soon as possible to serve this growing community.

District parks are large community parks that can include sports fields, tennis courts, pickleball courts, skateboard parks, splash pads, children’s play areas, pedestrian walkways, seating areas, shelters, skating rinks, and even swimming or wading pools.

I want to begin community consultations as soon as possible to determine the amenities and design of this park so that it can be built in the next 2-3 years.


6. Welcoming newcomers

Last spring we launched “The Diversity Project”, where we invited community leaders and residents representing diverse communities in Stittsville to participate in identifying challenges and service gaps for newcomers.

With the support of this group of community leaders, I want to establish a welcoming centre at CARDELREC where we can help introduce newcomers to the community and connect them with local resources.

I will also continue work with community members to address broader equity issues in our community, including race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and persons with disabilities.

Welcoming newcomers to our community

7. Pedestrian & cyclist safety

One of the top concerns I hear from residents is about road safety, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.

We need to invest more to improve sidewalks and pathways in our community. I will prioritize school safety, so that kids can be safe walking and biking to school. This can include safety audits, education campaigns, and reconstruction in these areas to address safety issues.

I also want increased police presence to enforce basic road rules such as speed limits, stop signs, and distracted driving. There are still too many people who are driving dangerously in our community.


8. A dog park at Shea Woods

In May 2022, City Council approved the purchase and acquisition of a 5-hectare parcel of Shea Woods. It’s located east of Shea Road between Abbott Street and the future Cope Road. The cedar forest has become a popular spot for dog walkers over the past decade.

I will ensure that this cedar forest remains a protected natural area and continues to be used as an off-leash dog park. We’ll need landscaping, fencing, and other elements to ensure that the park and is safe and accessible.  I look forward to working with residents to ensure this forest remains healthy and cared for in the years to come.

I also want to find other locations to establish dog runs in our community so that dog owners have more local options for recreation with their pets, for example in hydro corridors, NCC land, and other public spaces.

One more thing: We need a better solution to manage dog waste at local parks, such as closed waste containers that protect against odours and pests.

Roscoe in Shea Woods

9. Affordable Housing

We have a housing affordability crisis in Ottawa and across Ontario. In Ottawa, there are over 10,000 families on a waiting list for a place to live.

Over the past four years, the City of Ottawa has invested a record $60-million in community housing projects, and we’ll need to maintain and increase this level of support going forward, matched by other levels of government.

We also need to implement housing policies to support more growth of affordable homes. I’ve supported a vacant unit tax as well as inclusionary zoning – just two examples of policies that can help us achieve our goals.

I am also working with local partners to identify public land and secure funding for an affordable housing project in Stittsville, joining other communities across Ottawa that already have projects underway.

Hollyer House in Bells Corners

10. Rethinking Transit

The pandemic and a shift to work-from-home is changing how people use OC Transpo. The traditional rush hour routes to downtown aren’t as busy, but there’s no doubt that there are still a lot of Stittsville residents using transit to get around the city.

We need a big re-think of local bus service to meet changing ridership demand. For example:

  • I see a need for more “off-peak” service (outside of rush-hour), especially in busy retail and employment areas like Hazeldean Road, Iber Road, and Carp Road.
  • It should be easier to get to the employment areas in Kanata North by bus.
  • We need to focus on frequency and reliability of the bus network, with upgrades to cross-town routes on streets like Hazeldean, Baseline, Carling, etc.
  • We need to continue improvements to benches and shelters at bus stops to improve the rider experience.
  • We need to get Stage 3 light rail to Stittsville as soon as possible to improve travel times to move across the City. Both the federal and provincial governments have indicated they will fund this project.

(For what it’s worth, I do not support across-the-board fare-free transit. However, I do support the elimination of transit fares for youth under 18, seniors, and targeted fare discounts for low-income earners and for the general population on certain days, events, or routes. Read more…)


Where I stand

Some answers to frequently asked questions from residents

Who do you support for Mayor?

  • I am not endorsing any candidates for Mayor, but to me the front runners are McKenney and Sutcliffe.

Do you support the “Strong Mayor” idea from the Province?

  • No.

In the past four years, property taxes have increased about three per cent each year. Do you have a target for future tax increases?

  • Around the same – approx. 3% yearly. It’s a good balance to recognize rising costs (construction inflation, collective bargaining agreements with staff, ability to maintain and improve city services) versus keeping taxes affordable and predictable for residents.

What can the City prioritize to address climate change?

  • First, the City should be looking at all of our operations and assets and showing leadership in adopting best practices for lower emissions. For example, we’re already converting our bus fleet to electric vehicles, and we should do the same with very other vehicle in our fleet, from firetrucks to garbage trucks. Our buildings should be powered by renewable energy, and built (or retrofitted) to be zero-emission buildings. I voted for two important initiatives to support this: a grant program to retrofit existing homes to be more energy-efficient; and more stringent buildings standards for new buildings (known as High Performance Development Standards (HPDS)).
  • Second, the City needs to invest more in transit and active transportation (cycling, pedestrians, etc.) so that residents will start shifting from vehicles to other modes of transportation.
  • Third, solid policy and action to encourage residents to divert more waste away from the landfill and into green bins and recycling.
Do you support “fare-free transit”?
  • I do not support eliminating fares. Transit fares should remain about the same for regular adult users, but we should target fare reductions for specific groups, for example: youth under 18, seniors, and targeted fare discounts for low-income earners and discounting fares on weekends when there is extra capacity on the buses. Based on studies from other cities, most transit riders say that more reliability and better frequency of service is more important to them than a discounted ride. I suspect that’s true for most Stittsville residents as well.

Do you support cuts to the police service?

No. In Stittsville, residents want more police visibility in the community, with a particular focus on addressing car thefts, speeding, and after-hours safety in parks and public spaces.

In the most recent budget, we found a balance between some councillors who wanted to cut the police budget, and others (included me) who see a need to hire more officers. We can’t accept the status quo of policing, nor can we just say we’re going to stop funding the police. Neither of those are sensible approaches.

Ottawa Police are stretched too thin for a city our size.  The 2% increase we approved in 2022 represented an $11-million increase for hiring new officers. We also shifted $2.1-million towards a new response system for lower-risk calls, including mental health and addiction crises.

Together / Ensemble. Glen Gower for/pour Stittsville
Glen Gower 2022 Campaign