“The government needs to partner with the people on the ground who are closest to the solutions.”
In the coming weeks, candidates will be on your doorstep. It will be your chance to ask them what they plan to do about issues that matter to you.
We asked Ottawa residents what they would like local candidates to address. Today, we spoke to Dennis Van Staalduinen, the executive director of the Wellington West Business Improvement Area.
Building a livable Ottawa should be a top federal priority, says the executive director of the Wellington West Business Improvement Area, which represents more than 600 businesses.
“In Ottawa, there is no real difference between federal and local. For us, federal is local,” said Dennis Van Staalduinen, who argues that for the federal government, a capital city that is green, accessible and beautiful will help recruit and keep the best public service workers.
But the city, the federal government and local organizations often work in silos, he said.
“The government needs to partner with the people on the ground who are closest to the solutions,” he said. “Don’t let jurisdictions get in the way. Ultimately we all share the same space.”
One example of this is Tunney’s Pasture, where 11,000 public servants work. When it came to creating a bicycle parking strategy, government entities had their own plans. Statistics Canada has a bicycle lockup, but it’s far from the LRT station.
“If we could pool ideas, we could have the best bike parking facility in the world,” said Van Staalduinen.