Policy and Platform

Thank you for taking the time to visit and read through this portion of the website.

I was born and raised in Ottawa, and never before have I felt so compelled to change the direction of our City Council.

Developers and corporate money are in charge at City Hall.

The public engagement process is broken, often with predetermined outcomes.

In Heron Gate, the mass eviction of thousands of tenants represents a great injustice. In Bayshore, another developer has forced a childcare centre out of a low-income community.

Furthermore, council has taken little action to address the greatest threat we face as a society: irreversible climate change. Instead the city budget allocates tens of millions to destructive urban sprawl and road expansion.

Together, we can chart a new way forward and fight for our city.

Shawn with Supporters

Transparency and Accountability

Shawn Menard commits to:

  • Putting the interests of Ottawa residents first, and pushing back against the growing influence of big developers at City Hall. See our 6-point plan for development reform here.
  • Advocating for municipal campaign finance reform to remove developer influence from municipal elections
  • Creating a Ward council that will meet in the style of a town hall to bring local and pressing issues to the table at City Hall.

Transit

Shawn Menard will advocate for:

  • A plan to gradually move Ottawa toward universal free public transit.
  • Introducing pilot free-transit routes, such as one along Bank street, and an immediate reduction in UPass, and EquiPass fare rates, as first steps toward free transit.
  • Regulation of ride sharing services, with a focus on how the status quo puts women and non-male people disproportionately at risk
  • Equal gender representation on the Transit Commission.
  • Increasing funding for our transit system progressively in order to augment and enhance service.

Building an Equitable City

Shawn Menard will push for:

  • A ban on police street checks (i.e. the practice of "carding") which unfairly target racialized communities.
  • A bylaw binding the Ottawa police to the oversight recommendations of the Tulloch report (2017).
  • Expanding childcare subsidies geared towards those who need it most.
  • A city-wide harm reduction strategy, and support for safe-consumption sites.
  • An indigenous land acknowledgement to be read before every city council session, as has been implemented at the English public school board.
  • Greater accessibility standards for city planning and infrastructure, including winter sidewalk clearance.
  • Ottawa becoming a Sanctuary City.
  • Mandatory training for all by-law dispatchers and officers in order to recognize the warning signs of intimate partner violence.
  • Quarterly external case reviews for sexual and domestic violence as a method of quality-control and oversight of police, with city funding for the agencies involved.
  • Continuing the Urgent Safety Policy for women in crisis; Shawn will work with homeless shelters to ensure the safety of women in mixed gender spaces.
  • Full implementation of Now What Ottawa’s municipal platform, including their call for an empowered Women’s Bureau at City Hall.

Affordable Housing

Shawn Menard will fight for:

  • Increased funding for affordable housing, including co-operative units and the building and maintenence of social rental units.
  • Affordable housing geared to income rather than a discount on market rental prices.
  • A 25% inclusionary zoning bylaw, recognizing that an acute housing crisis exists in Ottawa.

Fighting Poverty and Gentrification

Shawn Menard commits to:

  • Fighting the largest mass eviction in Canada at Heron Gate, and pushing for the rescindment of the landlord’s demoviction permit.
  • Supporting a ‘Housing First’ model to end chronic homelessness.
  • Advocating for landlord licensing to improve housing standards and enforcement across the city.
  • Supporting the full implementation of ACORN’s Agenda for Change’s municipal platform, including their call for City Hall to licence and limit the distances between payday lenders (and other fringe financial institutions) to stop the proliferation of predatory lenders in the city.

Governance and Planning

Shawn Menard will support:

  • Enforcing community design and planning agreements.
  • A walkable city designed to promote community, accessible transit, access to healthy food, preserving green spaces, controlling urban sprawl, and proximity of affordable housing to transit and the necessities of life.
  • A living wage in Ottawa, beginning with city workers.
  • In-sourcing city contracts, to create local jobs and keep wealth in our communities.
  • Progressively penalizing owners of vacant and derelict buildings for doing nothing about them, through by-law changes.
  • A city-wide cycling strategy that includes the introduction of bike-sharing services, more bike lanes and a greater availability of accessible public bike racks.
  • Improving our winter snow-removal service and investing more in it.
  • Equitable standards of operation for recreational spaces throughout the city, regardless of neighbourhood or income.
  • Proper lighting in the streets, parks and public spaces.
  • More clean, safe and accessible public toilets in parks and public spaces.
  • Implementing Ottawa123’s call for electoral reform in Ottawa, including the introduction of a ranked-choice voting system.

Environment

Shawn Menard will advocate for:

  • A ban on single-use plastics.
  • Tree preservation and the introduction of a city-wide tree canopy planting strategy.
  • Green regulations on the construction of new buildings, including requiring energy efficient heating/insulation and solar panels.
  • Expanding the Energy Evolution initiative, dedicating money in the city budget towards reducing energy consumption in city facilities, including energy conservation retrofits of existing buildings.
  • Ottawa joining the C40 cities network, a global coalition of 96 affiliated cities such as London, San Francisco and Sydney, committed to take joint and concerted action against climate change.

Justice in Budgeting

Shawn Menard will fight for:

  • Introducing a second residential property tax class--Mansions as the top 1% of homes in Ottawa--and taxing them at a fairer rate.
  • Property tax rates that account for emissions of industrial properties.
  • Reallocation of funds dedicated towards building new roads--which is proven not to reduce congestion--to a real traffic congestion reduction strategy: the reduction of public transit fares and safe walking/cycling.
  • Higher developer fees outside the greenbelt.
  • Adjusting city fines for income; the poor should be fined less as a fairer proportion of their income.
  • Proper regulation of ride-sharing and hotel services such as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb, and taxation at a level comparable to their competitors.
  • Real participatory budgeting at City Hall.

Capital Ward Priorities

Shawn Menard commits to:

  • Create a ward council, which will have regular monthly meetings ward-wide and better represent residents at the council table
  • Hold a community forum on how to improve and properly fund snow clearance and winter safety, including for sidewalks and bike lanes
  • Fight back against the elimination of community fields, and a lack of proper due process and cooperation with communities
  • Supporting a new community centre in Heron Park with upgrades to Windsor and Brewer Parks
  • Working to secure more crossing guards, particularly along Bank street
  • Supporting improved connectivity and safety for cycling and walking in Capital Ward
  • Reversing the current councillor’s promotion of plastic bags in the green bin
  • Opposing the new road build through Old Ottawa East, the Alta Vista Transportation Corridor, saving us $70 million
  • Advocating for a free public transit route along Bank Street, following the lead of other countries and Canadian cities like Winnipeg and Calgary
  • Supporting the rehabilitation of Bronson Ave and make it more pedestrian, cycling and people friendly

Some of Shawn’s Accomplishments:

  • Infrastructure Investment in Ottawa - Shawn co-led federal campaigns to Invest in our cities which resulted in new affordable housing for Ottawa and Phase 1 Infrastructure funding for projects like the Clegg-5th Avenue Bridge and Ottawa’s LRT
  • U-Pass in Ottawa – Co-managed the campaign to establish the U-Pass in Ottawa
  • Voted against closing community schools in Ottawa and worked to make a community hub at Rideau High School a reality
  • Passed a motion at the OCDSB recognizing the UN Decade for People of African Descent and the need to enhance data collection and reduce systemic discrimination in our schools
  • Updated school board policy to ensure community schools remain accessible regardless of program language
  • Led community association support for the Village initiative on Bank Street as President of the CCCA
  • Worked to highlight the Lansdowne Park traffic difficulties before the development occurred as Vice Chair of the Pedestrian and Transit advisory committee for the City of Ottawa
  • Fought to keep alternative schools vibrant in Ottawa including Lady Evelyn Alternative School in Old Ottawa East

Showing 3 reactions

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  • Danny Handelman
    Your platform would be more likely to be enacted if the municipal legislature were enlarged, a larger proportion of the population were enfranchised (permanent residents and those aged 16-18, to be more specific), and if the apartment property tax rate were to decrease to the residential property tax rate. This would result in a more compact use of the land, and reduced influence of campaign contributors and lobbyists (due to lower cost of campaigning per ward and a greater number of city councillors needed to be lobbied, respectively), a shift in the tax burden upward, amongst other factors.
  • Cecily Lavoie
    I think free public transit is an excellent idea and i will be voting for you! Cecily Lavoie.
  • Christine Reid
    Great platform! Very informative and supportive towards your community.