The provincial government has made clear its intent to give the Mayors of Toronto and Ottawa significant new powers.
The stated goal of this legislation is to enable Ontario’s largest cities to increase the housing supply in their cities. And indeed, more of both market housing and affordable housing options are urgently needed in Ottawa to keep up with population growth, increasing demand, and to grow Ottawa's economy.
More housing is needed, but special powers for mayors are not.
What the City of Ottawa needs is a fresh perspective on housing.
This is a generational issue, and the status quo isn't good enough. Too many politicians have said they support housing and intensification, only to oppose it when a new project is being debated in their ward or constituency.
That's not leadership, and aspiring homeowners, young people, seniors who are looking to downsize, and newcomers to the city cannot afford for their leaders to keep saying no.
I will say yes to more housing that is accessible and affordable.
I am the only candidate for Mayor who can build consensus to get more housing built, everywhere in the city.
I'll do it in a way that's balanced and engages all of Ottawa city council to solve this crisis, through effective leadership - not through unilateral decision-making. Other candidates for mayor cannot build that consensus. I can, and I will.
No one politician can fix the housing crisis and no amount of new powers from Queen’s Park can overcome the labour shortage or political games that often get played with building homes.
But we must elect leaders who want to build more homes. Who want the dream of homeownership to be one that every generation can achieve. Who understand that access to quality, affordable housing is both a social and economic issue.
We can’t build a strong, dynamic, and growing economy if we don’t have enough housing for those who want to stay in, or move to, Ottawa.
Other levels of government need to do their part, and I am hopeful today’s legislation signals a willingness from the provincial government to work together on this critical issue.
I look forward to sharing more information on my plan for housing in the coming weeks.
Mark Sutcliffe Campaign