Housing, OC Transpo and council accountability top of mind for Ottawa voters: poll

By Anil Jhalli

The cost of housing, the state of OC Transpo, and accountability at city hall are the top three concerns for voters as Ottawa enters a municipal election, according to a recent poll by the Broadbent Institute and conducted by Viewpoints Research. 

The survey also shows that 84 per cent of voters support disallowing mayoral and city council candidates from accepting donations from real estate developers.

“Ottawans have a lot on their minds when it comes to their municipal election ballots this fall, and not without reason,” said Clement Nocos, director of policy and stakeholder relations at the Broadbent Institute. “With the retirement of Mayor Jim Watson and several members of the current city council, there are opportunities for a renewed vision and we were interested in testing the public opinion waters.”

What Ottawa voters want

  • Seventy five per cent support increasing protections for renters to reduce evictions and improve building maintenance.
  • Seventy three per cent support expanding OC Transpo service into suburban Ottawa.
  • Sixty eight per cent support bringing light rail transit (LRT) operations into City management and control.
  • Fifty four per cent think Ottawa should invest to improve services, even if it means a small tax increase.
  • Fifty four per cent think Ottawa should invest now to fight climate change and adapt infrastructure.
  • Forty eight per cent of voters think the city is headed in the wrong direction, while only 29 per cent of voters agree that Ottawa is headed in the right direction.

“Ottawans are looking for change,” added Nocos. “A bold progressive vision that prioritizes equality over tax cuts, investments over austerity, and collaborative leadership instead of favours for well-endowed interests could win the day. “Electoral campaigns and social movements would do well to get together and fight for a better city that works for its residents.”

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