Statement

Mark Sutcliffe: “I Will Make the ByWard Market Safe”

Mayoral candidate commits to measures to improve safety in one of Ottawa’s most cherished neighbourhoods and tourist destinations

Ottawa, Ontario - Today, Mayoral candidate Mark Sutcliffe promised to address the safety issues facing Ottawa’s Byward Market, so that it regains its status as one of the city’s most attractive destinations.

“The ByWard Market used to be the crown jewel of Ottawa, for residents and tourists. Under my leadership, we will restore it to its past glory,” stated Sutcliffe. “We can’t continue to ignore the safety issues that are acutely felt in this neighbourhood. I am the only candidate with a targeted plan and a commitment that is focused on the ByWard Market.”

Anchoring Sutcliffe’s ByWard Market revitalization efforts is action on safety in the community, including:

  • Creating a Storefront Neighbourhood Operations Centre in the ByWard Market where police, public health, and social services have a reliable and effective presence to prevent and respond to issues.

  • Increased funding for community service agencies as the first point of contact and intervention in helping people in distress through the deployment of Neighbourhood Resource Teams.

  • Supporting the targeted, limited use of CCTV cameras for investigative and deterrence purposes in at-risk areas, as a tool to support and monitor police work.

Sutcliffe cited the rise in violent crime, including recent shootings in the ByWard Market, and rising concerns of residents, visitors, and business owners as the reasons to act. “Unlike other candidates, I will not cut funding to police and emergency services,” he stated. “Next to Somerset ward, Rideau-Vanier ward has one of the highest crime rates in the city. As Mayor, I’ll make sure our emergency services have the resources needed to address these troubling issues.”

Sutcliffe noted that safety issues are having real consequences for Ottawa’s economy, specifically efforts to attract tourists. “Tourism leaders have told me that their efforts to bring more visitors and conventions to Ottawa are being hurt by concerns about safety in the ByWard Market and an increasing number of negative online reviews,” said Sutcliffe. “There’s an economic cost to our inaction, and that affects everyone in the city, especially workers in the tourism sector.”

In addition, Sutcliffe said businesses that operate in the ByWard Market are facing significant challenges, as are their employees. “A restaurant owner shared with me that they have had to ask security to walk restaurant staff to their vehicles or a bus stop at night out of concern for their safety. I’ve heard more than one story about harassment and assault of residents, tourists, employees, and business owners. We can’t allow any community in Ottawa to be unsafe for residents, employees and visitors. This problem has been ignored for too long.”

Sutcliffe also outlined specific action for vulnerable people and residents living in at-risk neighbourhoods. “We are facing a crisis in Ottawa around mental illness and substance use disorder, and a deteriorating system is not supporting our neighbours, family members, and friends who are struggling,” said Sutcliffe. “We must leverage the expertise of first responders, social workers, counsellors and others to deliver better results.”
Mark Sutcliffe will be announcing additional plans to revitalize the ByWard Market and downtown in the coming days. For full details of Mark Sutcliffe’s plan for a safer Ottawa, visit marksutcliffe.ca/safety.

Media Inquiries

Mark Sutcliffe Campaign
Liam Roche
+1 613-981-5426
media@marksutcliffe.ca