On Thursday, Aug. 28, OBJ issued an open invitation to all candidates in the upcoming municipal election to answer one simple question: Why should the business community vote for you?
As the responses come in, one will be published online each day, and be included in our daily email newsletter. Send your response to email@example.com.
Today’s response is from Conor Meade, Somerset.
My name is Conor Meade, and I believe that I’m the best choice for our local business community in Somerset Ward.
Our current Councillor has neglected to build relationships with businesses in Somerset Ward. Many of the business owners with whom I’ve spoken have never even met their Councillor.
As your potential future City Councillor, I am eager and excited to bring a completely different attitude towards the relationship between local businesses and the City Councillor’s office. With your help, we can radically improve the quality of our relationship, and the strength of the Somerset Ward business community.
Here are the three key reasons why I think I deserve your support:
1) I Have The Right Experience
I’m a business owner with a degree in finance and a Master’s in Economics. My company provides marketing and business development consulting services to local SMEs. I know how to help individual companies grow, and I can apply that knowledge to the local business community as a whole.
2) I Have the Right Plan
One of my primary goals as Councillor is to create a more vibrant and more fun community in Somerset Ward. I want to support the ongoing revival of our creative community, by acting as a champion of our local business community, and getting things done to make it easier for our local businesses to serve residents.
I also have the most ambitious vision for the development and promotion of the Somerset Ward business community. I will be an enthusiastic proponent of redevelopment and smart growth in the neighbourhoods that will benefit from revitalization.
3) I Have The Right Priorities
I’m not on an ideological or political mission. I’m a centrist, pragmatic policy geek who wants to make Ottawa a better place. My job as Councillor is to provide opportunity and a great quality of life to residents of Ottawa and Somerset Ward, and I view our business community as a valuable partner in that job.
Here are a few ways that I will support our business community:
Active Transportation and foot traffic: Although I am a fiscal conservative by temperament, I believe that Somerset Ward is in need of massive revitalizations in our urban active transportation networks. Improved sidewalks and bicycle lanes are essential to downtown residents, especially as we continue with intensification. These investments will bring more street traffic and tourism, and I will work to ensure these revitalizations are minimally disruptive during construction.
Patios: I love summer patios and I want to see more sidewalk and rooftop patios in Ottawa. I will advocate for permits whenever it does not pose an unreasonable obstacle to sidewalk traffic or create noise that is unreasonable to nearby residents.
Tourism: Ottawa needs more tourist kiosks and walking tour guides that promote our Somerset Ward streets.
Special events and Summer Streets: I will advocate for more street closure festivals and temporary allowances of open alcohol, using the model of New York’s ‘Summer Streets’ program.
PPPs: I support Public-Private Partnerships as a useful tool for creating win-win outcomes in which the city gets to provide better services for a given cost.
Champion for our business community: One of the most common complaints I hear from our local business community is that our current Councillor is unavailable. Changing this impression will be my top priority. When you have a problem with permits, bylaws, zoning, or anything else that I could potentially solve, I want to be the #1 person on your speed dial.
Champion our innovative high-tech, creative, and sustainable companies: I used to work for Industry Canada, where I studied the factors which contribute to the formation of high-tech hubs in various places. I look forward to putting that knowledge to use as your City Councillor, and championing Ottawa and Somerset Ward as a great place for innovative businesses to locate and provide jobs for residents. Ottawa is the home to a variety of great companies and some great resources for innovative companies such as Invest Ottawa, The Hub, the planned Bayview Yards Innovation Complex, and L-Spark. I truly believe that we’re in the beginning of a major renaissance in our creative and high-tech sector, and I want to help Somerset Ward be the epicentre of that change.
I hope this was a good introduction to my views on the future of Somerset’s business community. If all of this sounds good to you, and you think I’m the right choice to represent Somerset Ward, please come out and support me on October 27th – and bring a few like-minded friends as well.
In the meantime, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-863-1519 if you would like to meet and discuss our shared future.
Aug. 29 - Katherine Hobbs, incumbent, Kitchissippi
Sept. 2 - Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi
Sept. 3 - Marc Aubin, Rideau-Vanier
Sept. 4 - Thomas McVeigh, Somerset
Sept. 5 - Cam Holmstrom, Rideau-Rockcliffe
Sept. 8 - Catherine McKenney, Somerset
Sept. 9 - Mathieu Fleury, incumbent, Rideau-Vanier
Sept. 11 - Jeff Morrison, Somerset
Sept. 23 - Marianne Wilkinson, incumbent, Kanata North
Sept. 24 - Jason Kelly, Gloucester-South Nepean
Oct. 6 - Susan Sherring, Gloucester-South Nepean
Oct. 7 - Tobi Nussbaum, Rideau-Rockcliffe
Oct. 8 - Meladul Haq Ahmadzai, Gloucester-Southgate
Oct. 10 - Catherine Fortin LeFaivre, Rideau-Vanier