NCC Horizon 2067 Capital Conversations- Letter to the Chief Executive Officer of the NCC

11 November 2011

Dear Madame Lemay;

We attended your presentation at the National Archives on 8 Nov 2011 and certainly appreciated your leadership and personal interest in offering such an open invitation to participate in our future.  What a great example of participatory democracy.  You have our sincere thanks and best wishes.  We believe that together we can make a difference.

As decisions and directions will have far reaching consequences in our lives, we consider it important to contribute our voice and support.  In accepting your invitation, we suggest taking a page from our First Nations.  Of all possibilities, we may wish to ask ourselves what are the four directions that have the most heart for us and might yield the most benefit.  This may well involve directions towards becoming a vibrant international city, a city of community, a capital city, and a city of strong values.  We want to be a city that sets an example for Canadians and the world.

 We believe that becoming a community is more than roads, development, green spaces and festivals.  We are more than tulips, the canal and Winterlude.  We are more often people who relate to the NCC in terms of expectations and demands and who often insist that the NCC provide for their interests and needs.  At the level of residents, we believe community should be about respect, harmony and caring for one another.  It is about fostering the dignity of an amazing diversity of cultures and religions in Ottawa and about all residents being able to live well in the company of others. It is about a healthy partnership and relationship with government.

Perhaps our approach to dialogue, understanding, consultation, conflict resolution, consensus, or decision making needs to reflect a broader and more participative relationship.  We suggest that leading edge community development would engage its residents around three questions:

  •  What do you need?
  • What can you do for yourselves?
  • What help do you need from others? (such as from the NCC)

At this presentation, needs were expressed from Victoria island, Lansdowne, Marsh Highlands and the cost to use cross country ski trails.  The result seemed certainly a one way conversation to NCC who were pressed to respond to what are often no-win and multi jurisdictional issues, and in a future of declining funding resources.

For example, on the ski trails issue, what if the NCC had suggested that if resident groups could maintain the trails, it can be no cost or low-cost to them.   NCC could provide the space and access at no cost, and save on maintenance costs.  Now we have a partnership. On the Victoria Island issue, if the cost of a healing center on Victoria Island is prohibitive, what if we provide the First Nations the free use, or acknowledge their ownership, of Victoria Island? Could they fundraise and build whatever structures they need?  I’m sure they could.

We believe that for people to be a real community that we need to be able to connect, meet and talk. The contributions of NCC may be to provide the public square, where open and responsible expression can occur, where elected officials can comfortably participate, and where all are taken seriously.  We need to be a city where such occurrences as “Occupy Ottawa”, can be in the context of normal, peaceful, responsible and constructive dialogue.

 Becoming an international city is an initiative in which we feel NCC has touched our cherished values and needs for making a difference in the world.   We believe this is a tremendous opportunity and you have our complete support.  This aspiration speaks to our deepest values.  We noted the slide in your presentation of the monument that had inscribed “In the service of peace.”  This we feel is what this city is uniquely positioned to represent and offer to the world.  We can be a place where the global community can meet and talk in a safe and respectful community.  The challenge will be more than assertions or aspirations; it will require engagement and involvement.  We believe that this is worthy of what a capital city should mean.

We believe that activities relating to the reduction of conflict and the relief of suffering are cherished by Canadians. We are a city reflecting a Nobel peace prize for peacekeeping and peace building, a city with a tradition of voice and volunteerism in the cause of peace.  We are a city where the international community and its embassies are already in Ottawa.   We are a city of many peace groups, of many peace building NGOs and civil society groups, university conflict centers, the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative, an emerging Civilian Peace Service among many others.  We are a city with First Nations contributing strong traditions of peace, land and spirituality.  What if we engage the world by creating a Peace Centre, where dialogue, peace and conflict resolution conferences and events can be held? On Parliament Hill, we have a Peace Tower and we have an annual Mayoral proclamation of Ottawa being a City of Peace.  This should mean something concrete to our city and the world.

To summarize, we believe that the current relationship with residents, municipal and regional government and the world would benefit from such a sense of identity and balance in our city.

We are prepared to put our time and skills to the great possibilities that are before us.  We are prepared to offer our assistance to you in the cause of our shared future.  If you wish to further discuss any issues raised, we would be most pleased to meet with you or your staff at your convenience.

Our sincere thanks and best wishes for our future;

Paul Maillet

and

Pamela Schreiner

Joanne Mantha

Maya Bobrowska

Iman Ibrahim

Bill Bhaneja

Dr Peter Stockdale

Dr Qais Ghanem

Gord Breedyk

Dr Jason Bailey

Pierre Chénier

CC:  Mayor Jim Watson  Mayor of Ottawa

CC: Mayor Marc Bureau Mayor of Gatineau

CC:  National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo Assembly of First Nations

 Ref; www.horizon2067.ca

An election survey response by Paul Maillet

Name, party and riding:

Paul Maillet – Green Party of Canada – Riding Ottawa Orleans

Your Background: This is the second time I have run as a green party candidate in this riding.  I have lived in Orleans for over 17 years.  I am a retired military
Colonel with 33 years experience as an Air Force aerospace engineer and was the Director of Defence Ethics after the tragic Somalia affair.  Since 2001, I have developed a successful consultancy in ethics and governance relating to controlling wrongdoing and building integrity in Canadian federal government departments, aboriginal communities and international projects.  This election is about contempt for democracy, and I have considerable experience in
controlling corruption in government.

What are your reasons for running? The reason for this election is the ethical misconduct of the government.  I bring over 13 years experience in the field
of government ethics and feel I can be a strong and uncompromising voice on this issue.  If we can get the ethics right then all other issues become easy.

What are your riding’s biggest needs? Orleans is about 35,000 households and the business of Orleans is families.  We generally live in Orleans and work
elsewhere.  The local issues are improving transit, bringing jobs into the community and the quality of life of our residents.  We will be a strong voice for Orleans.

However, the community is concerned with both national and global issues and the place of Canada.  The government fell due to unethical behavior and people want honest government.  If we get the ethics right, all else will be dealt with fairly. I will work every day for accountability and towards a new politics of cooperation, compromise, courtesy and collaboration.

Canada has suffered a massive blow to its  reputation for peace, human rights and the environment.  I will work to rebuild our leadership and international
reputation for peace and human values.
We were one of the last countries to approve the UN declaration of Indigenous rights, and then not take it seriously.  The loss of the Security Council seat is a massive international statement of the lack of trust the global community now has of us. We are criticized for obstructing global environmental initiatives. This is unbelievable and not who we are as Canadians.

Why should voters vote for you?   I have the experience to be a strong voice for the local, national and international concerns we have in Orleans.  I am a long
time resident here and we are blessed with a wonderful community and a great place to raise families and I will work to make it even better.  My background in ethics in government is uniquely situated to deal with the corrosive and disrespectful climate of contempt and obstruction that currently exists in parliament.  My international experience will make Orleans a strong voice and contributor to the relief of suffering and reduction of conflict in the Mideast.

What brought about your reason for running in the upcoming election? My experience in government, my belief in strong values, the care for others above all and my belief that I can make a real difference for the better, led me to run in this election for the second time.  I am deeply concerned that democracy is at risk in Canada.

Tell our readers one thing they would be surprised to know about you: I enjoy the arts, and for over twenty years, am a visual artist, painting in acrylics.  I was a former Chairman of the Board of the Gloucester Arts Council, and former member of Arteast.  I won first prize in acrylics/oils in the Gloucester 10th Juried Art and Photo Exhibition in 1991.

2011 Election platform of Paul Maillet for the riding of Ottawa Orleans

Dear Friends

Welcome to the 2011 federal election . An election far too soon, and the result of the disgraceful conduct of the conservative party in parliament, and a parliament that does not understand that its role is to govern for all Canadians and not this culture of corrosive self interest.

Canadians have had enough.

Canadians are waking up to the reality that big change is needed.

I will be campaigning in this election on a platform of:

· A sustainable community for Orleans

· Responsible and honest government

· Rebuilding our international reputation for peace and human values

It is time for accountability. In this election I intend to engage in dialogue on:

What a sustainable community means to us. To quote Margret Wheatley “There is no power greater for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about”.  This is about how we can work together for a transit system that meets our needs, for local jobs, for the wellbeing of families.

What a responsible government means to us. It means above all ethics and integrity and accountability. It means respect for democracy. It means a new politics of cooperation, compromise, courtesy and collaboration.   It means building an economy that has a future. Why were we one of the last countries to approve the UN declaration of Indigenous rights, and then to marginalize it?  This is about respect for First Nations and Canadians.

What our international reputation for peace means to us. We need to regain our reputation for leadership and taking our place in the international community in a way that we can be proud. The massive erosion of our reputation as good international citizens is disgraceful. What are we doing in Libya and Afghanistan? Are we doing the right things? The loss of the Security Council seat is a massive international statement of the lack of trust the global community now has of us. We are criticized for obstructing global environmental initiatives. This is unbelievable and not who we are as Canadians.

We believe that if parliament can get the ethics right, then all other issues have a great chance of being dealt with fairly andrespectful of the highest human values.  My goal is to meet people and listen and engage the hard questions. I will engage heavily through my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube . All of these will be are accessible through my website.

I look forward to meeting you on the campaign. Please don’t hesitate to contact me any time.

Sincerely,

Paul

Email: pmaillet@magma.ca
Tel: 613.841.9216 Cell: 613.866.2503
Twitter @PaulMaillet

* Maybe it is about reconnecting the community

In my work with communities or government departments, in the world of governance and managing risk, strengthening ethics, social responsibility, controlling corruption or wrongdoing, I inevitably come face to face with the difficult community social issues, with an often common theme, whether it be inner city youth problems, drug or alcohol abuse, poverty, unemployment, or crime.  Such problems cannot be solved overnight or the near term.

So where is the hope for these communities?  More enforcement?  Perhaps, if possible.   But perhaps it is also time to reflect on different possibilities regarding the “ethic of care”, in finding options for doing what the community can do for itself.    Something possible is a “direction, engagement and results” initiative, where what is important is first finding a direction that has hope for the future.  Given a common awareness of this, of our values, and our future, the next question is that of engagement possibilities and building the future one result at a time.  The most significant engagement possibility is in reconnecting the community, through reconnecting the youth with the main community and with the elders.  In a commitment to accompaniment with our youth and our elders, with ourselves, in a more inclusive community.   It is time to sit and talk and get to know each other, to share our stories, and learn from each other. It is time to build a new shared identity.  There is an adage “I am who you are”, which means “when you suffer, I suffer”.  We need to be one family in this community, where our moral worth is measured in how we treat the most disadvantaged among us.

 We are a community that does not look the other way regarding any of our youth or our elders. It is time to do what we can do, one smile, one quiet word, one helping hand, one non-judgmental conversation at a time.

* Time for a new breed of green municipal candidates

A quick  look at various candidate platforms, reveals that candidates often define  themselves by taking positions on various issues.  Issues are one thing, but values are another, so is an overarching “people first” vision for the community and the city.  Some of the stances are not always consistent with a vision of a socially responsible government, i.e., integrity in governance, environmental responsibility, economic sustainability and societal beneficence.

 A subway or no subway downtown?  There is no city in the world that does not gravitate towards underground city core subways as growth occurs.  It is expensive to start, but the alternative is eventual gridlock and pollution. 

 More and wider highways?  Widening the 174 will only contribute toward more congestion and pollution and more incentive to take cars into the city.  A Los Angeles style freeway from Orleans or Kanata we do not want or need.  A tough problem no doubt, but mass transit has to become significantly cheaper and quicker than car transit.

 I think what we need are strong green councilors at city hall and all that this means in terms of social responsibility.  Perhaps the time is right for this.  It may be the advantage that distinguishes winning candidates from other candidates.  

best of luck