2022 Municipal Election Questionnaire – Question 6 Responses (Posted September 24, 2022)

Question 6
If elected, how would you react when the majority of Council takes on a position that is not aligned with labour or professional firefighters?

Brandon Bay, Candidate for Mayor
I would work hard as a strong advocate for our front-line workers, have conversations with opposing councillors to understand their point of view and seek compromise, and invite your membership to speak to council directly. No one can speak better to the important and often dangerous work than the people who do it themselves.

Nour Kadri, Candidate for Mayor
I will use my strong mayor powers to support you.

Graham MacDonald, Candidate for Mayor
My reaction when the majority of council takes on a position that is not aligned with labour and professional firefighters would be one of perseverance to find a middle ground by collaborating with key stakeholders, Fire chiefs, counsel, community and professional firefighters in the field.

Mike Maguire, Candidate for Mayor
Sorry, can't answer a hypothetical. I'd need to understand the situation and the issues before making a commitment. I can say that all Ottawa residents value their First Responders and are interested in keeping Ottawa safe.

Ade Olumide, Candidate for Mayor
This has to be a case-by-case decision, I expect Labour to where necessary challenge City staff and Council, the same way an opposition party is required to challenge government. I will not blindly side with City staff, I want to hear both sides, so that I can make better decisions.

In light of https://toronto.citynews.ca/2021/06/28/women-in-policing-share-stories-of-harassment-ask-why-is-it-so-hard-to-get-justice/ “It’s not just a few bad apples. It is culturally and institutionally embedded” … “Unions remain white heteronormative male dominated institutions … not always understanding or willing to understand what systemic sexism or racism looks like …Sexual abuse and harassment of female officers has been well documented”.

I may have to explain to labour that good, unionized employees are reputational victims and, in some cases, actual victims of bad unionized employees. The City’s “labour relations” position on page 26 of the PDF link below, implies that labour might be opposed to an anonymized transparency bill of rights, if that is true, I would need to explain to labour why ethics trumps the blue code of loyalty. For example, complaint cover-ups disproportionately affect Indigenous people, visible minorities, and caucasian female unionized employees and has led to suicides.

The status quo is that even though bad unionized employees are a very small minority, a broken complaints process means that the public cannot have 100% confidence in unionized employees, therefore just as Hockey Canada is promising transparency, labour should call for transparency.

Param Singh, Candidate for Mayor
Having worked on the frontlines, I know how hard it can be for anyone in our shoes. I believe in professionalism and the safety of everyone that dawns a uniform and goes out to protect our residents day in and day out. I thank you for your service and dedication to our residents. I thank you for being there when no one else could be. I thank you!

Rosemee Cantave, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 1 Orléans East-Cumberland
If elected, whenever the majority of Council takes on a position that is not aligned with labour of professional firefighters, I will start by investigating the reason of disagreement and then rely on expertise of professionals to take position and make my voice heard. I will work hard to convince them.

Tessa Franklin, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 1 (Orléans East-Cumberland)
In my personal experience with supporting union labour, oftentimes the best thing you can do in a situation like this is to educate and engage colleagues and the community. Amplifying the concerns and needs of professional firefighters and allowing them to express how this impacts the community would be a first step. Above this, rallying support through community organizations can increase the visibility of a topic.

Taayo Simmonds, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 3 Barrhaven West
I believe City Council should regularly consult and listen to our firefighters on all issues relating to our fire service and emergency preparedness.

Christine Moulaison, Candidate Councillor - Ward 4 Kanata North
Answering open ended hypothetical questions can be risky and dangerous for both the person who’s support you hope to have, as well as the group in which they typically support. I’m hoping my above answers show that I have nothing but the utmost respect for all members and staff of the OFS and will do everything I can to support them and keep residents safe. 

Stephanie Maghnam, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 5 West Carleton-March
I would be a strong and vocal voice on behalf the Ottawa Professional Fire Association to members of city council. I am prepared and committed in working with all levels of government including Ottawa City Council and community residents in addressing the need for vital support for our Ottawa Fire Services. The safety of our residents is of absolute paramount to our city and community. Better planning is needed to ensure current and future growth in our communities is balanced in which communities are well served by the vital services needed to support them.

Greg Patacairk, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 5 West Carleton-March
I will work to discover the reasons why a majority was taking that position, and if reasonable, would vote with council. If the position is unreasonable, then I would vote with labour or the firefighters and would try and convince my fellow councillors to change their votes.

Mathew Duchesne, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 6 Stittsville
All my decisions at council will be made with the people of Stittsville’s interest and that of our firefighters’, they go hand in hand - we cannot have a thriving community without adequate critical community infrastructure in place, which includes fire coverage. 

Tanya Hein, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 6 Stittsville
I favour case-by-case assessment and response to each situation.

Kevin Hua, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 6 Stittsville
I very much believe we should value the expertise and knowledge of firefighters on the issue of fire protection in our city and so long as there isn't any competing or contrary expertise and knowledge on a matter, I would very much advocate that City Council and myself follow the recommendations of those with experience on the issues.

Robert Hill, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 7 Bay
If elected, I will fight for what I believe in and I greatly believe that the fire department and our firefighters are incredibly important in every aspect of this city. I will be your advocate at the council table, Routinely meeting with our fire services to ensure that your voices are heard and your needs are met. It's time for Ottawa to move forward and we need to do that together.

Theresa Kavanagh, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 7 Bay
I support the regular development of strategic plans to guide all aspects of the City of Ottawa’s responsibilities. I take the annual reports that City Council receives from the OFS each year very seriously, and am an advocate of rigorous community consultation as part of developing, implementing and evaluating those strategic plans.

Theresa Kavanagh, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 7 Bay
I always vote according to what I believe will be in the best interests of the citizens of Ottawa. This takes into consideration the factual information provided by Ottawa Fire Services, professional firefighters, leadership of the City of Ottawa Emergency Services, members of Council’s Community and Protective Services Committee; all tempered by budget considerations and industry standards. I respect the role of unions and their importance in supporting workers in general and take collective agreements seriously. 

Laine Johnson, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 8 College
I have incorporated two federal non-profit corporations and as part of these initiatives, was responsible for building out two Boards of Directors. I sought out different skill sets, different life experiences, and different collaborative styles for the greatest breadth and depth of understanding of the organization’s mandate. I led the co-development of the Guiding Priniciples for these Boards, so that each member understood what was expected of them in their role but also the ethos in which we welcomed participation. This will be essential for partnerships around the Council table and with economic stakeholders. For any successful collaboration, we must first build trust by sharing transparently our objectives and defining our specific responsibilities and accountabilty to one another.

With the appropriate governance structure in place, disagreements can be supported. In making decisions about funding emergency services, I recognize that it is truly a matter of life and death. In a growing city, we will need to ensure that everyone can receive the care they need in a time of crisis

Sean Devine, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale
I can’t answer this question without knowing what might be the reason for Council’s decision. This question forces me to raise objections without knowing the cause. 

Myles Egli, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale
I would take the position that is in the best interest of the residents of the City of Ottawa and the firefighters that risk their lives every day to protect them.

Michael Wood, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale
As we know, Council can be divided at times on various issues. Having said that, it is also a democracy and if council votes in a direction that I do not agree with I will continue to advocate on behalf of organizations that I believe have the right stance and continue to work towards solutions to the better of Ottawa.

Taylor Houstoun, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 10 Gloucester-Southgate
This question is vague and nebulous. It depends on the issue, how critical the decision is, whether I agree with it or not, and why. Broadly speaking, I would be concerned about any safety issue that professional firefighters vehemently oppose given that they know their job better than anyone. The canary in the coalmine.

Hicham Boutaleb, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier
My response will always be — we can’t compromise on people’s safety.

Kim Leclerc, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier
In a context where elected officials are all independent of each other and my primary role is to represent my citizens, I will always make my decisions based on the best interests of the citizens.

I will listen to the various positions and build my opinion accordingly. I am not afraid to take a stand for what is right, even if it is unpopular.

Stéphanie Plante, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier
Although I have lived almost twenty years in Rideau-Vanier, which gives me a good understanding of the issues residents face every day, I grew up in Windsor - a union town and my father worked at “fords” as we say. I am strong believer in
the importance of unions in both protecting workers and strengthening Canadian society. As a federal public servant I am a proud union member. So when I talk to my colleagues I will be starting from that position. 

My professional and volunteer work to improve our democracy has taught me that democracy cannot exist without good governance, effective consultation and collaboration, and above all, transparency. Therefore, my commitment to Ottawans is to consult my constituents frequently, listen and learn about their concerns, vote on council for their best interests, be transparent and post why I voted a certain way, and accept feedback and criticism for my actions so that I am held accountable. 

Finally, to be an effective Councillor you need to be able to work with all people, whether they agree or disagree with you. Cultivating a collaborative and collegial relationship with all of the city’s decision-makers and stakeholders, including Council, labour groups and firefighters, is vital for city-wide leadership and stewardship. I will meet and work with anyone who has ideas and solutions that can make our city better for all residents

Laura Shantz, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier
I would share with other councillors the importance of having professional firefighters staffing our fire stations, ensuring that they are adequately resourced to do their work safely and effectively, and ensuring that they can meet the response times that residents expect. The asks outlined in this survey are based on pre-established criteria for level of service and best practices from other cities. These are the kinds of evidence-based decisions we need to make. Firefighting requires a high level of skill and involves significant risk. The skilled, essential labour of professional firefighters needs to be recognized as such and supported in accordance with best practices. 

Peter Karwacki, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 13 Rideau-Rockliffe
Council will not likely take a position that is not aligned with its workers needs. Financing the services and safety of the staff is paramount. Conflict is anticipated and natural even between two people and the real question you must ask is will you take every reasonable approach to conflict resolution when the time comes and conflict rears its ugly head. Lets talk about your concerns.

Rawlson King, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 13 Rideau-Rockliffe
I will always make it a key priority to support the interests of Ottawa's first responders.

Stuart MacKay, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 14 Somerset
Ottawa Fire Services performs an invaluable job for the citizens of Ottawa. On a daily basis, Ottawa’s firefighters face dangerous and hazardous situations that many of us will never experience. I will always support firefighters, and would work hard to convince my council colleagues to do the same. 

Ariel Troster, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 14 Somerset
If I disagree with a position taken by other council members, I will not hesitate to speak out. 

Riley Brockington, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 16 River
I would want to better understand why the two sides are at odds and what it would take for both sides to come together. I have appreciated the openness and willingness of Association reps in the past to reach out to me to discuss issues important to members and I welcome and encourage that practice to continue going forward.

Alex Dugal, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 16 River
This question is quite vague and tough to give a proper answer; but I will offer this - if a position of council is not in alignment with a branch of the city emergency services I will be vocal to try and help gather the support. What is the point of having SMEs give opinions & suggestions if they are not going to follow that advice?

Shawn Menard, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 17 Capital
I will be a voice for labor and professional firefighters. 

Yvette Ashiri, Candidate for Councillor - Ward 19 Orléans South-Navan
I believe to my core that we need to listen to people on the ground, therefore I would be disappointed in my fellow Council members who disagree with that sentiment. If this situation arises, I will stand behind labour/professional fire fighters and advocate for their needs.

Bob Masaro, Candidate for Councillor Ward 20 Osgoode
I would oppose strongly against Council as I am for the needs of professional firefighters. 

Patti Searl, Candidate for Councillor Ward 21 Rideau-Jock
I would be clear on our position and let them know I would continue to listen and learn and be your strongest advocate and seek higher levels of government to support you!!!!! 

Mike Dawson, Candidate for Councillor Ward 23 Kanata South
I would answer honestly and to the best of my abilities

Rouba Fattal, Candidate for Councillor Ward 23 Kanata South
From personal experiences, I will always advocate strongly for safety and for the support of our firefighters. If we are to densify and intensify properly, we need to make sure that we have the safety infrastructure in place to accommodate this growth. Especially for residents who are relying on low income developments. 

Patrick Brennan, Candidate for Councillor Ward 24 Barrhaven East
I would do my best to persuade other councillors to consider the merits of initiatives which promote safety and for them to consider supporting important objectives.

Richard Garrick, Candidate for Councillor Ward 24 Barrhaven East
As with any position and decision it must be met with open, transparent communication and a balanced approach to not only meet the needs of the fire services and residents but the ability to also compromise and plan for the future. 

Wilson Lo, Candidate for Councillor Ward 24 Barrhaven East
Professional firefighters keep us safe and labour as a whole keeps society moving. People who are not properly equipped (training and actual equipment) to do their jobs fail. For the OFS, the cost of that failure may be people’s lives. It would simply be outrageous and unacceptable to put people’s lives second to anything—homes can be rebuilt and possessions can be purchased again, but a lost life cannot be undone. I respect the OFS for the work they do at the front line and throughout their communities.

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