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Apt613 candidates survey: Ottawa-Vanier

By Apartment613 on April 23, 2011


Photo courtesy of Caro Lander on flickr

Survey by Natasha Mooney and Chris Connolly

Knowing a candidate’s favourite summer festival will not determine your vote. Revealing their guilty Ottawa pleasure will not set the pundits tongues a waggin’. And yet, the intrepid reporters at Apt613 still believe that the people have a right to know. Maybe knowing a bit about how the candidates would waste a Saturday afternoon will inspire us all to keep an eye out for other misuses of precious resources (cynicism alert!).

Towards that end, 0ur election correspondents Natasha Mooney and Chris Connolly sent out a questionnaire to local candidates in a number of Ottawa ridings, asking them to identify their favourite lunch spot, green space, etc. To give our little exercise a dose of heft, we added three bonified questions to the mix:
1) What are your roots in your riding and how have you been involved in the community?
2) Why should our readers vote for you?
3) How would you contribute to the vibrancy of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene?

First up are the candidates of Ottawa-Vanier, where the representatives of all four of the main political parties were kind enough to respond. (We tried to contact the representative for the Marxist-Leninist Party – Christian Legeais – but could not find his contact information anywhere. If you know how we could get in touch please let us know at

Fun fact: two out of four Vanier Ottawa candidates claim The Classic Killaloe Sunrise as their favorite beaver tail flavour. Which two? The answer may surprise you.

Mauril BÉLANGER – Liberal Party (Incumbent)
What are your roots in your riding and how have you been involved in the community

I moved to Ottawa in 1973 and have remained here ever since. I have been involved in the community since my twenties. More recently, my community involvement has included, among other things:

– Helping to fundraise for the STEP Program. The objective of this program is to help youth aged 13 to 17 years in the Ottawa area who are struggling with addictions.

– Involvement with the Franco-Ontarian Foundation, which provides financial support to local initiatives that fuel Franco-Ontarian cultural vitality.

Why should our readers vote for you?

I want to continue working for the people of Ottawa-Vanier and help them achieve their collective goals, which include:

-Ensuring that a new inter-provincial bridge puts heavy trucks in a corridor which is located far from communities and that does not affect the Greenbelt.

-Defending the work of our public servants and ensuring they are respected.

-Ensuring a sustainable approach in the development of the former CFB Rockcliffe. This should be more than residential. It should be focused on job creation to promote economic development.

How would you contribute to the vibrancy of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene?

For instance, a liberal government would double the annual budget of the Canada Council for the Arts and help Canadian artists exploit the digital revolution. We would also provide stable and predictable funding to the CBC and invest in cultural promotion programs. Having been involved with cultural and heritage files in both Government and Opposition, I understand the importance of ‘arts & culture’ and have always striven to promote it in our community.

Favourite Things

Lunch hangout: The Metropolitan – great food and great atmosphere, and a short walk from my office.

Coffee shop: Homegrown success: Bridgehead, of course!

Greasy meal: Bobby’s Table.

Healthy meal: Any sushi bar.

Community group: Ottawa-Vanier is lucky to be blessed with so many great community associations, but if I had to pick, I’d have to say I have particular appreciation for the work of Action Sandy Hill and the Manor Park Community Association.

Green space: I love my backyard.

Iconic landmark: The Eternal Flame is a precious reminder.

Summer festival: There are so many wonderful festivals that it’s hard to pick just one. So I’ll pick two: Le Festival franco and the Ottawa Jazz Festival.

Local product: Vanier’s maple syrup is one of a kind: it comes from the only urban sugar shack!

Beavertail flavor: The Classic Killaloe Sunrise.

Place to waste a Saturday:
At the ball park.

Ottawa guilty pleasure: A Mary Jane Maffini mystery novel.

Sporting venue: Hockey is king! Scotiabank Place.

Arts venue: La Nouvelle Scène for its talented artists.

Trevor HACHE – New Democratic Party
What are your roots in your riding and how have you been involved in the community

For over eight years, I have proven myself to be a community leader in Ottawa-Vanier.  As the full-time policy coordinator at Ecology Ottawa, I believe that Ottawa citizens want sustainable communities and that they care about public transit, pollution, green space, global warming, renewable energy, waste disposal and recycling.  I am the founder of the Sandy Hill Community Garden which aims to help provide families with healthy, affordable food, as well as sharing a portion of its food to the Youville Centre in Sandy Hill and the Partage Vanier Foodbank.
Why should our readers vote for you

I believe that Ottawa-Vanier voters deserve better. Mauril Bélanger voted in favour of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), a regressive form of taxation that is hurting middle class families with their home heating bills or each trip to the grocery store. Liberals and Conservatives have increased the gap between the rich and the poor, increased tuition fees and done nothing to effectively fight climate change. We can and must do better. I will not stop until the job is done.

How would you contribute to the vibrancy of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene?

I would work hard to ensure that Ottawa’s and Canada’s arts and culture thrive by fighting for a number of concrete, necessary policies. The NDP will promote the production and broadcast of Canadian content on Canadian television and in Canadian theatres, and will strongly support Ottawa’s and Canada’s performing arts, cultural institutions, and creators. We will re-focus the mandate of the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to promote and protect Canadian cultural industries and ensure it better reflects Quebec’s cultural and linguistic reality. We will provide sustained funding for the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada, enhance federal film incentives and develop a targeted strategy for the promotion of domestic films in Canada. We will increase public funding for the Canada Council and implement tax averaging for artists and cultural workers. We will strengthen public broadcasting with long-term stable funding for CBC, Radio-Canada and other public broadcasters. We will develop a digital on-line culture service to broaden access to Canadian content.

Favourite Things

Lunch hangout: La Bottega in the Market

Coffee shop: Bridgehead

Bar: Chez Lucien

Greasy meal: poutine

Healthy meal: anything at The Green Door

Community group: the Vanier chapter of ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now)

Green space: Rideau River

Iconic landmark: National Peacekeeping Monument

Summer festival: Bluesfest

Local product: Beau’s beer, Domaine Perrault winery, Le moulin de provence bakery in the Byward Market, produce from the Sandy Hill Community Garden

Beavertail flavor: the one with honey and cheese

Place to waste a Saturday: sitting in one of Ottawa’s beautiful parks

Locally grown celebrity: Jim Bryson

Arts venue: Galerie SAW Gallery

Caroline RIOUX – Green Party
What are your roots in your riding and how have you been involved in the community

I was born and raised here and I think Ottawa-Vanier is a great community in which to raise my family. I have been involved in community gardening, park cleanups and with the Sandy Hill Holiday Food Drive.

Why should our readers vote for you?

A vote for the Green Party is a vote for small and vibrant businesses, local food, walkable communities and an end to poverty. Send a message to the old-line parties: Ottawa is ready for change!

How would you contribute to the vibrancy of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene?

I would love to bring an “Art in the Park”-type event in Ottawa–Vanier! The Green Party has an extensive platform on how to restore the arts in our society, including funding for the CBC. Learn more from the Green Party’s Platform.

Favourite Things

Lunch hangout: Maroush (at Dalhousie and Rideau)

Coffee shop: Bridgehead (at Beechwood and Putman)

Greasy meal: The Works

Healthy meal: Perfection Satisfaction Promise

Community group: Local Eco-Action Families (LEAF)

Green space: Major’s Hill Park

Summer festival: Festival Franco

Local product: Bread and Roses bakery on Beechwood

Beavertail flavor: Killaloe Sunrise by far!

Place to waste a Saturday: Gatineau Park (hardly a waste!)

Ottawa guilty pleasure: Locally made maple taffy from the Richelieu Park Sugar Shack

Locally grown celebrity: Tom Green (not just because of the name!)

Rem WESTLAND – Conservative Party
What are your roots in your riding and how have you been involved in the community

My family has lived in the riding for over 20 years. I was coach of the local school’s soccer teams for five years and have been involved in a number of high profile local issues for professional reasons as well. As a resident I have participated in many neighbourhood events and, on behalf of a neighbour, I argued for protection of the heritage value of my community before the Ontario Municipal Board.

Why should our readers vote for you?

Vote for me because I have had a fully rounded career, I represent the Party which has steered Canada through difficult times and I can take us through the period of fragility ahead. After 16 years in office, the incumbent has proven his inability to achieve results on his own three priority issues (the bridge, base Rockcliffe redevelopment, and traffic). The Liberal Party has held this seat for over 76 years. It is truly time for a change.

How would you contribute to the vibrancy of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene?

My daughter has her diploma from Studio 58 in Vancouver. She has already brought me and my wife to a couple of innovative productions and will be certain to bring me to more. The NAC productions are wonderful. The vitality comes from those who are taking risks and introducing new material. The “fringe” theatres need our support.

Favourite Things

Happy hour: At home

Lunch hangout: Sconewitch and Hami’s

Coffee shop: The Second Cup down the street

Bar: New Edinburgh Pub and the Clocktower

Greasy meal: Same as above

Healthy meal: Fraser’s, El Meson, or Farb’s

Community group: I am a member of the Rockcliffe Park Community Association

Green space: the Rockeries at the end of Cloverdale

Iconic landmark: Gazebo by the river

Summer festival: Bluesfest

Local product: The Work’s pizza

Place to waste a Saturday: bike along the Rideau

Ottawa guilty pleasure: Happy Hour

Arts venue: NAC