Vote Miklos Horvath Councillor Rideau-Rockcliffe
My name is Miklos Horvath, and I want to represent you at city hall.
I believe the residents of Ottawa are not recieving the services they deserve or they are paying for.
My priorities would include having Safe & Reliable Transit, Accessible and Safe Neighbourhoods, Citizen focused services, Thoughtful Development, and An Ambitious and Connected National Capital.
Safe & Reliable Transit
Current on-time performance of OC-Transpo within the ward is approximately 61.5% (ranging from a high of 67% to a low of 52%) The average on-time performance for "Connexion" routes (express routes) was 75% from January to June 2018. John Manconi (the transportation general manager for the City of Ottawa) stated himself at the Transit committee on February 20, 2019 that “We have had a horrible reliability issue” and that he was waiting for the LRT to be up and running before any improvements can be made to the service.
As a candidate for Rideau-Rockcliffe I find this response is not good enough for the citizens of this Ward, nor for Ottawa as a whole. As your city councillor, I will advocate for a review of transit services in Ottawa, specifically for the local routes that have a lower on-time performance record, in order to identify the challenges, bottlenecks in order to determine the root causes of why the reliability of the service is failing its users. There are certainly fixes that could be implemented to improve the on-time performance of the system without having to wait for the completion of the LRT (Phase one or Phase two and three?). Additional buses may reduce some overcrowding, but this addition does not automatically translate into a better bus service if they do not run on time. Transit users cannot wait for the LRT to be completed, and then months and possibly years of working on the service to get it to where it should be. This issue needs to be addressed immediately.
Transit riders deserve at a minimum, the knowledge that they are riding a safe form of transport that will bring them to work and back in a safe and secure manner. As your city councillor, I will advocate that a safety audit be conducted of the entire bus-rapid transit system to ensure that safety issues are addressed immediately. I will also press for accelerated installation of driver shields on all busses in an effort to improve driver safety.
All youth aged 13-17 years of age should pay a reduced cash fare that seniors pay currently: $2.65
I support a pilot project for seniors (65+) where they are allowed to travel off-peak for free.
Fares on Ottawa's transit system should be frozen and a study should be carried out to determine what the optimal balance would be to entice increased ridership.
Accessible and Safe Neighbourhoods
During the 1990’s the Federal Government instituted an Act of Parliament that would ensure that all federally used buildings would be accessible to persons with a disability. Since that time, great strides have been made to ensure that buildings are accessible. However, during discussions within the community and observations over the past few years, it is evident that more needs to be done to ensure that persons with disabilities do not face barriers to accessing buildings and businesses, of their choosing, within the Ward. As your city councillor, I commit to reaching out to local businesses to work together to address the issue facing persons with disabilities. There are organisations within the city such as “Stopgap” who work towards bridging the gap between having no accessible ramp or access into a building and establishing a permanent fix, if feasible – their community built ramps have made several businesses accessible for all.
As your city councillor, I commit to working with communities to improve the safety and livability. It is a fact that Rideau-Rockcliffe has some of the safest neighbourhoods and some of the most challenged. I will continue to build upon the foundations already put in place to improve neighbourhoods and support the established youth strategy to help youth stay in school, have access to training and jobs and a future away from crime. I believe that all youth should be able to dream and have a future, and as a community we can support the youth now or deal with the difficulties later. Engagement and education are key.
A return to community policing along with supporting neighbourhood watch is a key component to making communities safer.
I fully support and will advocate for lower speed limits to make our avenues, lanes and roads safer for our children, and will push for Rideau-Rockcliffe to get its share of traffic calming dollars to make our streets safer.
I will advocate for a ban on single use plastics and work with likeminded councillors to meet with local food suppliers to presure them to take action to reduce plastic packaging. As you may be aware, this has already taken place in the UK at Thornton’s Budgens grocers within a 10 week period. One relativly small grocerery store insisting that its suppliers shift from plastic to cellulose, sugarcane and cornstarch packaging, that will biodegrade in 15 weeks.
We need to have more experimentation, such as piloting electric buses to determine if they are suitable in our climate – both winter and summer!
We must plant more trees with the aim of having lush, green streets and neighbourhoods.
In order to ensure these steps actually gain traction and to ensure they are working, we must also measure what we are doing. No measurement, no progress. I will also advocate for a clear and concise scorecard to keep council and the cities feet to the fire.
Citizen focused services
I will advocate for a review of service standards in order to reflect citizen focused standards that meet our expectations, while tracking key performance metrics to hold council to account.
The operational standards for winter maintenance were last updated in 2003, just after amalgamation. The City's Auditor General tabled an Audit of Winter Operations in November, 2015. Management had agreed with the 20 recommendations and committed to address the recommendation most closely aligned to a full-scale review of winter maintenance operations by the second quarter of 2016. Three years have passed with no follow-up published. The Transportation Committee met in early April 2019 to discuss the state of winter maintenance in Ottawa. Committee members asked for a major review of the city’s winter maintenance standards. The head of the public works department informed the committee that such a report would not be tabled until the fall of 2021 and that implementation would be slated for the winter of 2022-23.
Well, I think it is time that we looked around at other cities and pilot some of their practices starting this coming winter (2019-20). For example, when it comes to clearing sidewalks, Montreal offers a unique and uniform level of service. All sidewalks are cleared to the same operational standards. Clearing operations begin as soon as there is 2.5cm of snow accumulation on the ground. Here in Ottawa, only the downtown business district and the Byward Market recieve this level of service. The rest of us have to wait until there is 5cm of accumulation before clearing starts, and then we all know that the process can take days to complete.
Say no to the status-quo!
Ensuring communities are well designed and support local neighbourhoods is key to ensuring improved social wellbeing, increased economic opportunities and healthier environments. Establishing a healthy built environment framework that includes smart neighbourhood design, good transit networks, natural environments, access to affordable and healthy food and improved access to affordable housing is my goal. As your city councillor, I will work with the community and developers of infill developments to better respect the character of the community. I will advocate for smart planning of new developments such as the Wateridge Village, which is in its initial stages of development on the former Rockcliffe base lands.
An Ambitious and Connected National Capital
We are the nation’s capital, let us show the world who we are and what we are capable of!
Ottawa, as a city and the nation’s capital has changed a great deal over the past 20 years, and that has been good for the city. However, it’s time we were a bit more ambitious. The city is embarking on a new planning exercise: Ottawa 2046 that establish a new official plan for Ottawa, that will be the most important one for the next 25 years. As your city councillor I will advocate for a planning document that sets clear and legal criteria of what can be built and where – no more bait and switch of allowing the construction of huge towers more fitting in Toronto than in Ottawa. Intensification is necessary, but only when it is done right and recognises the community’s needs and expectations.