Candidates make their pitches for city council: Catherine McKenney, Somerset

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 editor@obj.ca.

Today’s response is from Catherine McKenney, candidate in Somerset ward.

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Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your question: Why should the business community vote for you?  

Living in Somerset ward means living in a place where you can spend your entire day without having to go anywhere else.

And that means different things for different people. It might mean being able to walk to a grocery store, or jump on a bike to meet our friends for a coffee, or use public transit to get to work.  

The local business sector is key to the economic and social health of any great city and in Somerset ward our businesses are strong.

Ottawa is also fortunate to have new business incubators like Shopify and the Hub that are creating exciting new opportunities for collaboration and innovation in our business sector.  

And thanks to the tireless work of our Business Improvement Areas - Bank Street, Chinatown, Little Italy, Somerset Village, and Sparks Street – we not only have a variety of shops and stores to choose from, but we also have vibrant and interesting streets to visit.

As Councillor, I would be a strong supportive member of all five BIA Boards and would continue to work closely with local business to promote new festivals and events  and to maintain the character and strength of our main streets.  

My family have always been avid supporters of local businesses and we make a point of shopping at our local shops for everything from groceries to entertainment and food, to clothing and coffee!  

Local business is successful when the neighbourhood it is located in is successful.

In Somerset ward that means safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists, sufficient parking for residents and visitors, good inner-city transit, plenty of greenspace and trees, housing that meets everyone’s needs, good planning that respects low-rise and heritage neighbourhoods, and thriving main streets with festivals and events that draw people to them.   

We must also work to attract new businesses to reoccupy the downtown office space being vacated by the recent federal government moves out of the downtown core.

As Councillor I would continue to support our new Ottawa Centre Eco District in the important work that they do to attract new ‘green’ businesses into our downtown core.  

Our local businesses will have my full support to ensure their continued growth and success if I am elected Councillor for Somerset ward.

Catherine McKenney

Candidate for Council

Ward 14  

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Previously published

Aug. 29 -- Katherine Hobbs, incumbent, Kitchissippi

Sept. 2 -- Jeff Leiper, candidate, Kitchissippi

Sept. 3 -- Marc Aubin, candidate, Rideau-Vanier

Sept. 4 -- Thomas McVeigh, candidate, Somerset

Sept. 5 -- Cam Holmstrom, candidate, Rideau-Rockcliffe