If one would ask to identify the most important characteristic of Orleans, how would you respond? How do you describe Orleans? For example: Kanata might be characterized by technology. Ottawa Centre may be characterized by Parliament, maybe the market, and even the canal. Orleans however, is characterized by families, by over 3000 kids in soccer, by growing traffic congestion into the city, by jobs which are elsewhere.
How do we define the good life in Orleans? How do we describe our identity? Who are we? What do we want to be? Given all our potential, what is possible? What do we care about?
WE CARE ABOUT THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN ORLEANS. This is a great place to raise families. It is a good place to live. We have beautiful surroundings, education, health care, safety. We have good recreation opportunities, a growing arts community. We are a multi-lingual and multi-ethnic community. We have all major services in Orleans, such as the growing Innes road retail services and Place D’Orleans. We are surrounded by nature, the Greenbelt, Petrie Island, the Ottawa River, the Mer Blue conservation area. We do not want to worry about air or water quality for our kids. We do not want to worry about our health. How often is swimming closed at Petrie Island due to unsafe water?
WE CARE ABOUT JOBS. What about jobs? This is an important issue. We live in Orleans but generally work in Ottawa Centre or Ottawa West. We have a huge community of public servants and defence employees. We need to work where we live.
WE CARE ABOUT TRANSPORTATION. We do not want to see the “good life” turn this community into a traffic nightmare. We work elsewhere. Traffic congestion is growing.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS? Is the solution in developing mass transit into the center? Is it to build more roads and create a nightmare of highways, and more pollution? Is it to bring new jobs to the area? Is it to relocate existing jobs back into Orleans? Is government tele-commuting viable? Is working at home two days out of five feasible? Is the future of Orleans to become a model green community in Canada? Do we plant more trees, recycle more, restore and appreciate nature on bikeways and walking trails? Do we reduce carbon emissions more, pollute less, be more energy efficient? Which of the above will do you vote for?
HOW DO WE GET THERE? We get there together. This is about change, growth, commitment, and values. This is about knowing clearly what we care about. There is no stopping an idea whose time has come. This is the time for quality of life, for integrity, for the environment, and for a healthier and balanced economy.
Change is never easy but is very possible: just recall the resistance to the smoking ban, seatbelts in cars, helmets in minor hockey, blue box recycling, the fitness craze, tackling the ozone layer, and species protection.
Change is the coordinated task of all levels of government. But we also must have local business and citizen engagement in these issues. Positive change is about finding a balance that does not compromise the environment, our economic progress or our social progress. It is not about sacrificing our social well-being, our environment or our economy.
This is about a hopeful future. This is about our grandchildren. To work for this balance is a commitment of our Green Party EDA. We will do our part. We will exercise leadership. We need to work together to succeed. To succeed is to be moving in the right direction and hold to our values and our most precious resource, our families. We plan to be an important part of the future of this community. This is creating the future.
To do all this we need your support and help. Vote. Volunteer. Donate. We need your views, comments and ideas!!