Ward 12 — Stephanie Plante

Our Rating — Green

Stephanie Plante answered yes to all questions in the survey. She would increase the supply of family, social, and affordable housing, lobby to retrofit federal buildings to housing units, and streamline for construction and renovation permits that include heritage, social, and geared to income concerns. She believes that the city should have the right of first purchase in areas without public housing, and that families in motels should be prioritized for housing. She also believes that large rental companies should have a minimum affordable percentage of units and endorses the Startswithhome campaign. She further supports the idea of a 15-minute neighbourhood. We are mildly concerned, however, with her negative comments about single-unit condominium high-rise development and her concern about “neighbourhood character”.

Survey Response

Q1: Do you support reforms that would make our zoning policies more simple, permissive, with an explicit goal of fixing our housing shortage, creating 15 minute walkable neighbourhoods, and building missing middle housing city-wide?

Yes. I believe in the 15 minute Neighbourhood. Imagine walking out your door and having access to all you need within a 15 minute walk – family doctor, groceries, public transit, schools, daycare, pharmacy, parks, community centres – all the necessities.

One of the most important issues facing the City is a lack of affordable housing. In Ward 12, many families making just enough to survive do not have the resources to afford a suitable home. Some in the most dire of circumstances have to resort to shelters making their living unpredictable and insecure. In order to cope many will turn to substances and feed a cycle of petty crime that makes our residents feel unsafe. In turn, we do not have enough doctors to serve all our residents, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Rideau-Vanier is special because we have a diversity of residents but it has become unaffordable. We need to ensure the longevity and vitality of our public housing options and ensure that those who want to live here can afford to do so.

We need to increase the supply of social, affordable and family housing. I endorse the #StartsWithHome campaign from the Alliance to End Homeslessness. Alongside these much needed recommendations, I will also advocate for the following:

Begin discussions with the federal government and other owners of under-used buildings in Rideau-Vanier to see if they can be retrofitted into housing units;
Streamline the process for construction permits and renovation for developers who include heritage conservation, social, family (3 bedroom) and / or geared to income housing in their development plans.

Bring forward a motion of right of first refusal so that the city has the right of first purchase on real-estate sales in areas that do not have public housing so we can diversity the Wards that have Ottawa Community Housing; and

Prioritize families living in motels for public housing and ensure that large rental companies (CLV, District, etc) dedicate a percentage of their units to low-income earners while charging geared-to-income rents.

I hear from many Ottawans how hard it is to get a family doctor. We hear about our emergency wards closing, our ongoing issues in long-term care and the offload times for paramedics. I also hear the same old excuse that this is a provincial matter. Doctors want to focus on their patients and their care. Yet much of their time and resources are spent on administrative matters. Other municipalities have put efforts into recruiting family physicians by making it easier to work there and those efforts have paid off. Ottawa Council needs to get in the game.

Q2: Do you support a target of 100,000 new homes in Ottawa in the next 10 years? This is the number that leading housing economists agree we need to build in order to restore housing affordability in our city. Our current Official Plan target is just 75,000 — far short of where we need to be.

Yes, please see answer 1 above for more details.

Q3: Do you agree we need to fix public consultations so that more voices are heard, and so they consider the benefits of projects to the people who will live in new homes — not just existing homeowners?

Yes.

My experience and activism in Ward 12 has set me up well to represent all our residents’ needs. I have spent my entire career promoting and protecting our democratic institutions and infrastructure and I am passionate about my community and the well-being of all residents, but particularly those struggling. As a resident of Vanier and Sandy Hill for almost 20 years and a proud francophone, I have volunteered and led numerous committees and organizations including Twice Upon a Time, Action Sandy Hill, the Parent’s Council at Francojeunesse, Take Me Outside, Run Ottawa etc.

My experience working to help 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, show up at community association meetings and community events, be transparent and post why I voted a certain way, and accept feedback and criticism for my actions so that I am held accountable.

Q4: Do you support ending mandatory parking minimums for new developments so that builders can decide if they want to build transit-friendly communities around transit stations?

Yes. Please see my response to question 1 for more details especially regarding right of first refusal.

Q5: Do you support a win-win inclusionary zoning plan that asks developers to include affordable housing in their developments, in exchange for lower fees, faster approvals, or more density?

Yes. Please see my response to question 1 for more details.

Q6: Will you ask the next Mayor and Council to invest in building deeply affordable housing in your ward and take a leadership role in reducing waitlists and repair backlogs for social housing across the city?

Yes. Please see my response to question 1 for more details.

Q7: Do you support ending exclusionary R1 zoning rules that keep renters, students, and working class families out of neighbourhoods in the name of “protecting neighbourhood character”?

Yes. Please see my response to question 1 for more details.

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