6 Questions for your Municipal Election Candidates

The Gatineau election is well underway and you can make your voice heard! Not sure how? We’ve compiled a list of events you can attend, as well as some questions you can ask to make sure our river’s health and safety are a priority.

Across Quebec, municipal elections are now underway. With voting taking place on Nov. 5, now is your chance to make your voice heard and ensure that candidates have your priorities in mind. Municipal governments have tremendous power to safeguard our right to swim, drink and fish. No matter where you are in the Ottawa River watershed, you can take action – please help us shine a spotlight on issues around water quality. Below, you will find some sample questions for the candidates. We encourage you to use them in your municipality as you see fit.

Gatineau is the largest Quebec municipality along the Ottawa River. As such, we’ve also compiled a list of events you can attend in the area, as well as ways to submit your questions to the mayoral candidates. You can find those events below the questions.

1. Investments in infrastructures:
Our municipality needs funding to upgrade its filtration and wastewater treatment infrastructure. We all talk about infrastructure spending, but we want to know how you plan to prioritize water-related infrastructure expenditures, which  are extremely important, but not as popular as arenas, roads and libraries. Given that there are several funding programs available for water infrastructure upgrades, but Gatineau has not submitted any projects this year, how do you plan to fund the changes needed to address issues such as sewage overflows when it rains?

2. Real-time reporting of sewage overflows:
Whenever we have heavy rainfall or the snow melts, untreated sewage in our municipal sewer system overflows into the river. This poses a significant health risk to the public. For the past few months, Ottawa Riverkeeper has encouraged over 3000 citizens to write letters to the municipalities of Gatineau and Ottawa, asking for real-time reporting. The current system of reporting, with a delay of at least 24 hours and often longer, means that the information often comes too late – people could have already been exposed to the contaminated water. We believe it is essential that the public is made aware of these spills as they happen, thus reducing this risk. What concrete actions will you undertake to improve this situation?

3. Protection and naturalisation of shorelines and wetlands:
Wetlands are increasingly being filled and riverbanks artificialized to build new neighborhoods in Gatineau. This practice affects the health of our rivers and discourages individuals from reforesting their own shores. What do you intend to do to help stop this harmful practice and better protect the natural infrastructures of our wetlands and riverbanks?

4. Access to water:
The love of outdoor water sports is palpable in Gatineau. Whether it’s Brewery Creek, Sewer Wave or the Deschênes Rapids Ruins, there are more and more citizens and tourists who want to see the full potential of our water sports fulfilled. What is your plan in terms of investmenting in permanent and safe infrastructure to improve access to water in Gatineau?

5. Boat wash stations at public marinas:
Invasive species such as the zebra mussel are increasingly present in various sections of the Ottawa River. The compulsory washing of vessels is of great help in preventing the spread of these species. Given that there are many public boat ramps in Gatineau, what is your plan for installing boat wash stations for each of the municipal ramps?

6. Climate change and development:
Climate change is changing hydrological systems and posing a considerable risk to municipal infrastructure. It is very important that our municipality is prepared to deal with these issues. The unprecedented floods of Spring 2017 have shown us that we need to implement concrete measures that not only adapt to our changing environment, but also better manage risks to our citizens, our rivers and our taxes? How do you plan to do implement these measures?

Events

Weekly – Thursday mornings at 7:15 a.m. Ici Gatineau will have a mayoral candidate on their show each Thursday until the election

October 11th
Mayoral candidates debate
When: 5:00 p.m.
Where: La Ferme Moore

October 12th
Local and mayoral candidates debate
When: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Galeries Aylmer

October 12th
Candidates debate
When: 7:00 p.m.
Where: Salle Vidéotron, Maison du Citoyen, 25 rue Laurier, Hull

October 19th
Mayoral candidates debate
When: 11:30 a.m.
Where: Best Western PLUS Gatineau-Ottawa, salle Champlain B
131 Rue Laurier, Gatineau

October 25th
Brewery Creek Public Meeting, hosted by Ottawa Riverkeeper, with candidates in attendance
When: 5:30 p.m.
Where: Les Brasseurs du Temps

October 26th

Mayoral candidates debate

When: 7:00 p.m.

Where: L’Hotel British

 

One response to “6 Questions for your Municipal Election Candidates”

  1. Can the River keeper ask the Ottawa Citizen to do articles on the Mayoral Candidates asking them the same key questions:

    Re: Water, Environment, Ecology, Nature, Pollution and climate change where clean water needs to be a human right in all election campaigns.. One simple question in all policy decisions can you see yourself voting to put nature first before the need for money?

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