Ottawa Council Candidates: we want to know…

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Candidate’s responses to 350 Ottawa’s questions.

As we gear up for the Ottawa municipal election, October 27th, 350 Ottawa is asking Ottawa council candidates what their position is with regard to TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Pipeline  and Ottawa’s Climate Change Management Plan passed in 2014.   Below, for the sake of all voters, we are posting their responses.

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Candidates for Mayor Of Ottawa

Mr. Anwar Syed, Mr. Jim Watson, and Mr. Mike Maguire

respond to question from Ben Powless of Ecology Ottawa, September 24/14.

 

Statements from Candidates for Mayor

Mr. Bernard Couchman

I’m environmentally friendly.

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Mr. Mike Maguire

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

I’m hard pressed to see how the pipeline poses a risk to the climate – I think/hope you mean the environment? (I’ll proceed under that assumption) Then, yes, I certainly have concerns as I live in that watershed only a couple of kilometers downriver of the pipeline. However, I have to also say that I’ve reviewed the engineering of the proposal fairly closely and my concerns are somewhat mitigated.

re: independent risk assessment – I believe there are multiple independent risk assessments of this project already but, if I’m mistaken then yes, I’d be quite comfortable with an independent risk assessment.

re: Would I oppose a project if it was a significant risk? Of course. 

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

I’m not familiar with the City of Ottawa investment portfolio and it’s a shame that something so simple to reference wasn’t included in the body of the question – as such, I have no idea what the City holdings in “fossil fuels” are nor do I have any way of measuring the effect of divesting those holdings. It would be irresponsible for me to agree to a divestment without knowing the repercussions. W.R.T. investing in “sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings”, I believe I’d pass on that. Surely the larger objective should be to return the money to the taxpayers who contributed it in the first place and let them decide what the best investment strategy for those funds should be.

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Mr. Jim Watson

1. Energy East Pipeline

I have concerns but I do not support the City doing an assessment of its own. There is a process that will take place at the National Energy Board and I support the Province of Ontario being granted Intervenor Status but I do not want to see Ottawa’s tax dollars used to fund work that is already being done by other levels of government with greater expertise than the City’s on this file. If there is deemed to be significant risk to Ottawa’s natural surroundings and waterways I will oppose it.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

I am proud of the City’s climate change plan and I will follow through with it should I be reelected. It sets out clear goals that will be very beneficial to Ottawa and I look forward to ensuring they are achieved.  I don’t support politicians meddling in an investment portfolio that is managed by staff whose expertise lies in financial analysis. I recognize the signal that this move would send but I do not want to open up the City’s investment portfolio to political influence, no matter how well-intentioned.

 

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Candidates for Ward Councillors

 

Ward 1 Orléans

Ms. Jennifer Robitaille

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?  Yes

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?  Yes

 

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?  Yes

 

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Ward 2 Innes

 

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Ward 3 Barrhaven

 

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Ward 4 Kanata North

 

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Ward 5 West Carleton-March

Mr. Eli El-Chantiry

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region? If it becomes clear moving forward that this will be a concern, then yes I’ll be concerned.

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project? I could support this, but who is paying for this?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk? Yes.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years? I could possibly support this – but this would need to be reviewed as part of the City Budget process, to confirm the funding available for this type of initiative.

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Ward 6 Stittsville

 

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Ward 7 Bay

Mr. Alex Cullen

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

A: I have been following this issue and am concerned about this proposed piepeline. Ever since the Harper Government removed thousands of lakes and rivers from the protection of the Navigable Waters Act I am concerned about the lack of environmental protection measures (both evaluation and appropriate mitigation) for these lakes and rivers where the pipeline crosses them. I would support an independent risk assessment for this pipeline. And certainly, if there is a significant risk I would oppose the pipeline.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

A: Yes.

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Mr. Brendan Mertens

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

I am concerned, as I feel it will destroy wildlife habitats as well as kill thousands of defenceless animals with expect oil spills and accidents while constructing the pipeline.

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

I fully support and stand behind an independent risk assessment of this project.  I think it’s a great idea and I’ll fight for the assessment to be done.

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

I would 100% fully oppose the project if it shows any signs of significant risk. This is Canada, and I feel we still have a shred of democracy left.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

I would support a plan to divest these stocks, as we need to start leading by example. What Ottawa does echoes throughout not only the province, but also our nation. We need to start planning for the next generation, which hasn’t been done yet by our government.

 

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Mr. Michael Pastien

1. Energy East Pipeline

1- A wide array of studies have so far been carried out which raise the pros and cons in regards to the proposed Eastern Energy Pipeline. There are environmental negatives to whichever ways oil, gas & energy is derived from (by land, rail & water). If we as Canadians don’t get our oil from Canada, it must be sucked out of the soil from somewhere else (and who knows what sources  that money winds up being filtered to, and how environ-friendly their processes are); then it must shipped to Canada, PLUS transported across the country somehow (by oil truck, rail, or pipeline). I personally consume very little oil & energy, and preferentially support Canadian Enterprise & Job Growth, and am confident that Canada’s government does a remarkable job of ensuring leading global enviro-sustainable standards for going ahead with ambitious projects like the EEP, thanks to the additionally diligent concern of organizations such as 350 Ottawa.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

2- Any statement claiming that Fossil Fuels “ARE” the primary cause of Climate Change, is at the very least inadvertent far-fetched grand assumption. Volcanoes, Sun (flare) activity PLUS unpredictably seasonal, periodic intra-Galactic Cosmic fluctuations ARE unquestionably additional Primary Climate Change Factor considerations!

 

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Mr. Trevor Robinson

Thank-you for your e-mail.  My apologies for not responding sooner, as I do not have a large campaign team to write responses for me, it takes much longer to respond.

As I have previously stated in information requests as well as in social and mainstream media, I am not going to be making campaign promises, false or otherwise, simply to acquire votes.  My goal, if honoured to be elected, is to do my part to make Bay Ward and the City of Ottawa a better place, simply put.

That being said, I do believe that a healthy environment benefits us all.  Unfortunately decisions made by the city, or by others, will inevitably upset different people or different interests every time.  Unfortunately it is truly impossible to make 100% of people happy 100% of the time.  I believe it is the responsibility of city council to make decisions that are in line with the will of the majority of taxpayers, either in a specific ward or across the city, as the issue at hand dictates.

Regardless of who you may choose to vote for, I do hope that you will take the time to vote during these municipal elections.

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Ward 8 College

Mr. Guy Annable

1. Energy East Pipeline

No

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

No

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Mr. Craig MacAulay 

1. Energy East Pipeline

 Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region? YES!

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project? YES!

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk? YES!

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years? YES!

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Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale

 

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Ward 10 Gloucester-Southgate

 

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Ward 11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville

 Mr. Nicholas Seguin

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

Yes, independent risk assessment is critical. I would oppose any project that would jeopardise public health.

 

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

Thank you for the reflection. Yes, I would like to see the City’s stocks to be ethical and environmental (my personal portfolio reflects that belief). Fossil fuels companies are usually not in that category… 

As an information complement, you can also read ward 11 candidate’s answers for the Ecology Ottawa questionnaire regarding the 2014 elections

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Mr. Michel Tardif

I need more information pertaining to the dangers of this pipeline.

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Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier

Mr. March Aubin

1. Energy East Pipeline

 

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

Given the environmental risks of this proposed pipeline on the watersheds of eastern Ontario I would call on the City of Ottawa to take the effort to undertake an impartial risk assessment and I would support all efforts to oppose this pipeline until a clear understanding of the risks are widely known and considered acceptable.  I am also deeply concerned that the resources that are proposed to be spent on building this pipeline and the increased investment in tar sands development that it will facilitate is clearly not moving our society in the direction we need to be going at this time. I am dismayed by the lack of initiative from our senior levels of government to implement policies that are widely known to be needed in order to facilitate moving our world away from its dependence on carbon based fuels.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

I am aware of the opinion of many experts that in order to avoid catastrophic climate change that most of the known fossil based fuels will need to be left in the ground.  Most of the valuation of today’s energy companies is based on the value of their ‘proved and probable’ fossil fuel reserves.  With that understanding it only makes sense that a wise long term investment approach would be to avoid the shares of such companies.  I would support then the City’s divestiture of shares in these companies.

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Mr. Mathieu Fleury

1. Energy East Pipeline 

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

Answer: I am supportive of any initiative that will allow our city to better understand the risks and protect residents from any impacts of this project.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

Answer: I believe that it is important that our city invest in its sustainability for future generations. I would support initiatives towards that goal. 

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Ms. Catherine Fortin Lefaivre

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and inquire about my position and views on issues that impact the environment.

As a candidate for municipal office, I received numerous requests from individuals and organizations to respond to surveys and was not able to reply to all due to the rigorous demands of campaigning.

I encourage you to visit my website at www.cfl2014.com where you will find information on my skills and experience and my priorities and positions on many of the issues you have raised.

As councillor for Rideau Vanier, I look forward to working with you to address your concerns and to represent your views at City Council.

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Ward 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe

Mr. Peter D. Clark

1.  I would support intervenor status, and oppose if significant risk is demonstrated.

2.  Investment policy is a revenue generator, and the public is concerned about the level of taxation at present, and has limited tolerance for more increases…..if divesting can be done without harm to our taxpayers, it probably should be considered, but I do not have sufficient information to make that decision, which is after all a Council decision.

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Mr. Jevone Nicholas

1. Energy East Pipeline 

Q: Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

A: Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Therefore, I am concerned by any action that poses risks to our climate and water and I am willing to support any effort that helps assess the risk of this project and provide a better understanding of it.

If it is proven that the project poses a significant risk, I would support a sustained effort by the City to communicate these findings to the National Energy Board.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Q: Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

A: It is true that there’s some contradiction between the City’s climate change action plan and its investment portfolio given that fossil fuels are the major cause of climate change. If I am elected, I will support a plan to divest stocks in fossil fuel companies and reinvest that money in ecological fossil-fuel-free holdings.

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Mr. Tobi Nussbaum

Hello there,

I will fill out your questionnaire but also wanted you to be aware of my Climate Change Action Plan, which I released on Friday.

I believe I am the only candidate to date to have released a comprehensive climate change policy platform.

Here is the link:  http://www.votetobi.ca/tobis-blog/2014/9/city-must-do-more-to-combat-climate-change-nussbaum-says-

 

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Ms. Sheila Perry

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

Answer:   The issue of the Energy East Pipeline is very serious to our Ottawa Region.

I have pledged to Ecology Ottawa and to Ottawa taxpayers that I will ask for a risk assessment.

It is very important to know the implications and to satisfy safety first.  If the risk assessment is deemed significant, I will oppose the project.  Responsibility rests with local groups to be informed and to support final decision making with the National Energy Board.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

Answer:   Yes, it is important to be transparent in this entire Ottawa climate change plan.  Since the fossil fuels are the primary cause for climate change, then we need to examine alternative methods and move to more responsible companies.

This will require a transparent approach to make decisions accountable for all concerned.  Five years is a reasonable timeline for planning this .

 

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Ms. Penny Thompson

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

1. A. YES

1. B. YES

1. C. YES

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

I would like to brief myself to fully understand what this measure would mean, but, IF there were no negative financial repercussions to the taxpayers of Ottawa, then I would support a plan to divest those stocks over the next five years.

 

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Ward 14 Somerset

Mr. Martin Canning

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?
Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project? Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

TransCanada has deficiencies in its pipeline safety record, and there are serious questions about any spill response plan. So yes, I am concerned about the Energy East pipeline proposal.

Council and residents need to be informed about the risks of spills and their potential impact on our environment, including aquifers. With an independent risk assessment, Council can determine appropriate next steps.

Finally, yes, I would oppose the Energy East Pipeline if evidence demonstrates unacceptable risks to Ottawa’s water, natural capital, and communities.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

Whether it’s the #ottghg campaign, my time as vice-chair of the city’s Environmental Advisory Committee, or establishing Canada’s first EcoDistrict in downtown Ottawa, I have a record of driving sustainability in Ottawa.

I would support the City’s divestment in fossil fuel company holdings, in principle, however my support for a specific proposal will be contingent on an appropriate definition for what does and what does not constitute a “fossil fuel company,”and a general move towards an investment portfolio that avoids areas that comprise our ability to build a livable, affordable, and sustainable city.

Regarding the City’s Air Quality and Climate Change Action Plan, one of my platform commitments, which can be viewed at newottawa.ca, will be to work with councillors, staff colleagues, and city-wide stakeholders to maximize the City’s climate change commitments in the Term of Council Priorities, 2015-2018 — the new Council’s work plan.

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Ms. Catherine McKenney

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to respond to 350 Ottawa’s questions about climate change, which is a real threat with many implications in the municipal realm. In addition to my answers below, I encourage your members to check out my environmental platform at www.catherinemckenney.ca/green

1. Energy East Pipeline

Yes, I’ve already had discussions with residents about my concern for a pipeline cutting through the city and its impacts on residents, waterways and infrastructure. I would definitely support a study to identify the risks to our climate and to the water systems posed by the Energy East pipeline.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

I support the implementation of Ottawa’s Climate Change Action Plan.

Regarding the second part of your question, it is generally not prudent for councillors to micro-manage things like the City’s investments. However, there are many measures that I would support that would have a more immediate effect on the GHG emissions in the City of Ottawa. This includes converting our fleet of medium and small vehicles to hybrid and electric, increasing green building standards, and changing our procurement policies to encourage companies to provide the City with products and services that use less energy to operate.

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Mr. Thomas McVeigh

1. Energy East Pipeline 

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

I will oppose the Energy East Pipeline.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

I would support a plan to have the city portfolio divested from fossil fuel related companies.

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Mr. Jeff Morrison

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

JM:  I don’t think it’s the pipeline itself that poses a climate risk, rather the oil that flows through it.  But yes, there are risks to the watershed with a pipeline.  Yes, I would always support an independent risk assessment made by qualified, objective individuals – as well, the provincial and federal environmental assessment process has to be conducted thoroughly.  If the findings of such an evaluation demonstrated unacceptable risk to watersheds or other environmentally sensitive areas, then yes, I would support a re-submission.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

JM:  To be honest, this is the first I’ve heard of Ottawa’s holding ownings in fossil fuel stocks.  I think there are enough responsible investing choices that Ottawa’s investment holdings can be changed to reflect that fact.  Although not directly related to your question, I’d also add that my platform contains several specific ideas to reduce GHG emissions, such as increasing the city’s green building mandatory level to LEED Gold (it’s currently the much lower “Certified”), pursuing a mandatory green roof policy, and replicating innovation neighbourhood and/or individual development examples like the Beaver Barracks and the Chaudière Island redevelopment plan in other neighbourhoods across the city.

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Ward 15 Kitchissippi

Ms. Katherine Hobbs

1.  a. Energy East Pipeline Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Hobbs Response:  I am concerned with any threat to our water and to our climate. If an independent analysis of this project demonstrates risk, or general uncertainty, I would be concerned and would seek to use any resource within our powers as a municipality to reduce uncertainty and risk.

 

b.  Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Hobbs Response:  Yes, and I believe the proponent should be required to provide the funds to municipalities to pay for such assessment.

 

c.   Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk? 

Hobbs Response:  Of course.

 

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

Hobbs Response:  Yes, I would follow the lead of organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation to divest from these stocks. As it represents only 1.5% of the portfolio, there is little risk to doing this, and better investments can be found. 

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Ms. Ellen Lougheed

Hello.  If I am elected (and I have the fire in my belly to do so), I would certainly work on these issues and give my full endorsement and a mighty push.  I have very serious concerns on these issues.

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Mr. Larry Wasslen

Am I concerned about the energy east pipeline…yes

Would I support an independent risk assessment…yes

Would I oppose the project if deemed a significant risk…yes

In my view the extraction, transportation, and use of tar sands oil poses an extreme risk to the planet. I am opposed to this and will support local efforts to block tar sands oil from the greater Ottawa area.

Would I support the divestment of fossil fuel investments…yes

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Ward 16 River

 

Mr. Riley Brockington

Thank-you for your brief survey.

Q1.  I would want to study all documentation available before I make any such judgement.

Yes, I would be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project.

If there was a significant risk to the health and safety of Ottawans, I would have significant reservations supporting the project.

Q2.  I would like to study the investment portfolio, but yes, it is a contradiction to hold investments in companies that may be contributing to environment damage/climate change.  The challenge is to find a financially equal substitute that would yield similar returns.  I would support transferring the portfolio to align with the climate change action plan as best we can.

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Mr. Don Francis

I support an independent risk assessment of the project, in cooperation to one planned by Ontario. I would also oppose the project if there were significant risk in proceeding with it.

I would support a plan to divest Ottawa’s stocks in fossil fuels over the next five years.

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Mr. Mike Patton

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

I’m hard pressed to see how the pipeline poses a risk to the climate – I think/hope you mean the environment? (I’ll proceed under that assumption) Then, yes, I certainly have concerns as I live in that watershed only a couple of kilometers downriver of the pipeline. However, I have to also say that I’ve reviewed the engineering of the proposal fairly closely and my concerns are somewhat mitigated.

re: independent risk assessment – I believe there are multiple independent risk assessments of this project already but, if I’m mistaken then yes, I’d be quite comfortable with an independent risk assessment.

re: Would I oppose a project if it was a significant risk? Of course. 

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

I’m not familiar with the City of Ottawa investment portfolio and it’s a shame that something so simple to reference wasn’t included in the body of the question – as such, I have no idea what the City holdings in “fossil fuels” are nor do I have any way of measuring the effect of divesting those holdings. It would be irresponsible for me to agree to a divestment without knowing the repercussions. W.R.T. investing in “sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings”, I believe I’d pass on that. Surely the larger objective should be to return the money to the taxpayers who contributed it in the first place and let them decide what the best investment strategy for those funds should be.

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Mr. Colin Pennie

Thank you for your email. I have included responses to your survey below. Let me know if you need anything else.

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region? Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project? Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

I am very concerned about the risks to our climate and to our water with the proposed Energy East pipeline. I absolutely support an independent risk assessment of this project and would prefer residents in Ottawa, who have a long-term vested interest, would be directly involved through organizations who have already actively been researching the proposed pipeline.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

The City of Ottawa climate change action plan is a strong message of the growing commitment to address climate change factors. I would support divesting stocks if it made environmental and economic sense to divest city stock holdings. My support of oil, gas and coal city stocks would be dependent on the feasibility and recommendations of the experts who manage the portfolio.

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Ms. Vanessa Sutton

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?    Yes

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?    Yes

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?    Yes

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?    Yes

 

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Ward 17 Capital

David Chernushenko

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

YES

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

YES

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

YES

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

I would support a report on how much of the city’s investments are in fossil fuel holdings, and then a debate on how we might eliminate those investments.

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Mr. Espoir Manirambona

thanks for the email. im strongly for climate justice and building a sustainable, fossil free economy. i want Ottawa to remain tar sands free, so i do not support the energy east pipeline, we can focus on producing local green energy instead. im in favour of strengthening the city’s climate change action plan and divesting from fossil fuels. i look forward to working with ur group to make ottawa fossil fuel free. As Naomi Klein explains in her new book, in order to achieve climate justice we need to transform our capitalist economy into a more democratic, egalitarian and sustainable one.

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Ward 18 Alta Vista

Mr. Perry Marleau

Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Yes I would support an independent Environment Risk Assessment  to the Ottawa South pipeline region. However, the ERA would have to be subject to fiscal responsibilities afforded to the City of Ottawa.

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

Should there be reliable information available to demonstrate high Environment Risk Assessment, I would oppose the Ottawa South pipeline.

Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

I would consider a divestment into fossil fuels should we be able to sustain an alternate reliable source of energy. I would never divest fossil fuels and say invest into wind mill turbines.

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Ward 19 Cumberland

Mr. Marc Belisle

Hi,

I take environmental issues quite seriously. It’s unfortunate our current government doesn’t act more on issue it can resolve. You have my full support on these issues.

 

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Ward 20 Osgoode

Mr. Liam Maguire

I don’t have enough knowledge to respond to these questions at this time. If I’m elected I’ll look into it further…thank you.

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Ms. Kim Sheldrick

1. Energy East Pipeline

Are you concerned that the proposed Energy East pipeline, planned to cross the south of Ottawa, poses risks to our climate and to the water in the southern Ottawa region?

Would you be willing to support an independent risk assessment of this project?

Would you oppose the project if it is deemed to be a significant risk?

I can strongly state yes to all three questions. Of note, it is not just south of Ottawa but is to run through part of Ottawa’s southwest end.

After an openhouse in April, I created a list of questions and submitted them to Energy East. They have acknowledged receipt of the questions but have yet to respond. I have heard Energy East’s explanations as well I have spoken to some member of Ecology Ottawa in regards to the pipeline as well.

2. Ottawa’s Climate Change Plan

The City of Ottawa recently passed a climate change action plan. While this is a significant step, we consider that an important element missing from that plan is divestment of the City’s stocks in fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, a serious climate change plan should include selling off (divesting) stocks in fossil fuel companies (oil, gas and coal), and preferably reinvesting that money in sustainable fossil-fuel-free holdings. Approximately 1.5% of the City’s total investment portfolio is currently in fossil fuel companies.

Would you support a plan to divest these stocks, over the next five years?

I would support divesting the stocks but I would take care in where they are reinvested. While I support green energy, I do not support the provincial Green Energy Act. Research would need to be done before reinvesting and all aspects of the companies to be invested in examined.

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Mr. Mark Scharfe

Hi Paul, thank you very kindly for this email.  there is a TransCanada gas pipeline that runs through my farm, so I understand your concerns completely.  if they start pushing oil through it, and it ruptures, im finished.  However, I know how important oil is to us.  our family has  farmed in the Ottawa area  since the early 1800.  did you know that it takes 4 tonnes of hay to the  keep one cow over the winter.  can u imagine feeding her, when all the hay has to be drawn In with horses, forked by hand,  tohen fed by hand.. the physical work is unbelievable….all done in the hot sun.  Oil is a fact of our lives at this time.  we need it to survive, so if there is any way that we can make engines and the burning of oil more efficient, I will support is 100 percent, however, I just went through one of the coldest winders on record, with record snow falls, so I do not believe the burning of fossel fuels is causing any damage, and if elected, this will be my position.  thank you very kindly for your efforts.  I “hope” the gas pipeline can take the weight of the crude oil.  if it wont, there will be a break, and then all pumping will have to stop, and this idea suspended.  I think the pipeline went in our farm in the 1960s…hope this helps….mark

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Mr. George Wright

1) Yes to assessment. If the assessment is negative, would ask whether the specifications could be improved to reduce the risk. The current status quo of importing Venezuelan oil on ships and then pipelines to the refinery in Montreal, then back onto ships and more pipelines to get our oil, is in my opinion worse. None of the oil should leave Canada unrefined, either in Montreal or St. John.

2) Provided the investments could be decoupled without cost, yes.

Our farm is off grid with wind and solar for 25 years now, run most of our equipment on used veggie oil. But as a councillor, I cannot ignore the wishes of the citizens. They are my primary focus, not my personal agenda, something must be given up when representing others.

 

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Ward 21 Rideau-Goulbourn

 

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Ward 22 Gloucester-South Nepean

 

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Ward 23 Kanata South

 Mr. David Abuwa

1. Pipelines are much safer, inexpensive and carbon-neutral modes to carry large quantity of crude oil across the country.  Trucks are slow and costly.  Trains pollute and can derail, with disastrous consequences! How many pipelines are in use around the world? They are safe, because unsafe is just self sabotage of liquid money flow.  We need more refineries in Canada & Ontario, to lower oil costs, which affect all other goods and services that are oil dependent for transportation.

2. Climate Change: Highly doubtful. If it is real, this global warming… i mean climate change! Fearing Nature’s wrath, like acid rain? If you are right, delay the Ice Age.

I tell you truth as i perceive it, not what you want me to say.

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