Responses from Municipal Candidates to “Good Food for All” / Réponses des candidats municipaux à la lettre « Aliments sains pour tous »

See the Good Food for All Letter / Voyez la lettre Aliments sains pour tous

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Candidates for MayorPersonnes qui se sont déclarées candidates – Maire

Candidates for Councillor / Personnes qui se sont déclarées candidates – Conseiller

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Candidates for Mayor /Personnes qui se sont déclarées candidates – Maire

Bernard Couchman
Mike Maguire
Rebecca Pyrah
Michael St. Arnaud
Anwar Syed
Jim Watson

Robert White, September 5:

Healthy nutritious food for all is a right for all Canadians. The Food Banking industry has my full support to supply all in Ottawa and region with the best quality food and protein that support will allow. People need our help, and under any administration I would run they would certainly get it. As one formally trained in Social Work at Carleton University I am well aware of the research that lends well to provide empirical support for the policy recommendations that contemporary food support groups are promulgating. As one with an Honours B.A. in Experimental Psychology from Carleton University I can assure all that I follow Canada’s Food Guide to Health and Nutrition and would certainly advocate for balanced healthy nutritious diets for all in our society. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires amendments to include food and nutrition rights for all Canadians. Funding from all levels of governance must be guaranteed under our Charter Rights. If elected I will do my utmost to lend full support to the support groups that are assisting our most needy residents in all areas of health care which would include social food groups that distribute food to those on social assistance or in need of food support 24 hours per day. There is no excuse for malnutrition in any part of CANADA let alone our Nation’s Capital.

Darren Wood


Candidates for CouncillorPersonnes qui se sont déclarées candidates – Conseiller


Quartier 1 Orleans Ward

Gordon Jensen

Bob Monette, September 24:

In response to your questions, I believe that good food for all is important for everyone. This is why I worked closely with Just Food to create the first ever community garden in Orléans on St-Joseph Boulevard. Not only does this garden provide good food to the gardeners but it also provides thousands of pounds of food to the Ottawa Mission every year.

Having my wife grow up on a farm, we have always been very aware of good food and ensuring that no food goes to waste. On our small property, our back yard is 70% garden and our side yard is 100% garden. We grow everything from tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, rhubarb and peppers. We also make preserves for the whole family which is freshly grown and made at home.

One of the problems with today’s generation is obesity and education is very important to ensure that kids of future generations exercise properly and eat properly. As far as how will I include these ideas in my platform, this is not only in my platform; I support fresh food and gardening on a regular basis and I will continue to do so. I am also looking at creating new community garden plots in my ward in the very near future.

Because your questions were vague, I hope I have answered what you are looking for but if you need more information, please feel free to contact me. In closing, I am a strong supporter of freshly grown and healthy product and I always support local markets and farmers whenever possible.

Jennifer Robitaille, September 25:

1. Good Food can already be found in Ottawa.
I embrace the idea of buying local and in season to help our local farmers.

The support of community is key in ensuring that resources for good food is sustained for many more generations to come. To do this, good food needs to be integrated at part of Ottawa’s infrastructure. So Councillors, such as myself, need to embrace this concept and ensure that viable farms lands are not readily rezoned for light industry or residential housing.

As well, the variety of programs offered will continue to need support in areas of resources (land, space, people), funding and expertise across community groups, program providers, elected officials, municipal staff, residents and the business community. It is not the responsibility of one group, but the City as a collective, to embrace this in order to ensure that our farms remain sustainable.

2. Good Food and local economic development need to work hand in hand.
The cost of nutritious foods continue to increase. My family of four, consisting of 2 growing teenage boys, saw our grocery bill increase over $1000 this year. And this included using coupons and purchasing items on sale. We are very fortunate to be able to provide nutritious meals, even with these increases. However, families and individuals surviving on minimum wage or social assistance would be facing increasing hardship requiring them to make difficult choices in areas of providing nutritious meals versus paying for other living expenses. I would support initiatives that would provide the tools for families and individuals to not be forced to choose between fixed expenses and nutritious foods.

3. Good Food requires having a Good Food Lens
I promote a three level approach to my decision-making: economic, social, and environmental. One area should not be sacrificed for benefit of the other. For example, if there is a debate on the issue of re-zoning land for a garbage dump and the land for the dump would sacrifice access to clean well and surface water, I would vote against it.


Quartier 2 Innes Ward

Laura Dudas
Eldon Holder

Chantal Lecours, September 25:

I am Chantal Lecours and I am running for City Councillor in the Innes Ward. I am currently a School Board Trustee for the French public school board. The school board has introduced a healthy foods policy in all our schools. Cafeterias and vending machines only provide healthy foods for our children and staff. We also offer a student breakfast program in all our schools. This program makes sure our children can enjoy a healthy breakfast every morning to help them learn throughout the day.

Furthermore, I fully support the Meals on Wheels program. My platform includes more age friendly services and meals on wheels is an important service providing seniors with healthy nutritional meals every day delivered by dedicated volunteers. I support your excellent work and initiatives


Je me nomme Chantal Lecours et je me présente comme Conseillère municipale dans le quartier Innes. Je suis présentement Conseillère scolaire pour le CEPEO (Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est de l’Ontario). Les écoles du CEPEO ont adopté une excellente politique de bonne bouffe dans toutes nos écoles. Seuls des aliments sains sont servis dans les cafétérias et les machines distributrices. Nous avons aussi un excellent programme des petits déjeuners à l’école qui permet à tous nos enfants de bien manger tous les matins, ce qui leur permet de mieux apprendre toute la journée.

Dans mes objectifs électoraux, je préconise une société amie des aînés. J’appuie le service de repas à domicile (popôte roulante) qui permet à nos aînés de bénéficier de repas savoureux et nutritifs qui leur sont servis chaque jour par des bénévoles dévoués. Je vous félicite de votre bon travail et je vous appuie.

Jody Mitic
Andrew Mordray

Fred Sherwin, September 25:

As a supporter of developing Sustainable Communities I would champion investing in the development of more community garden projects, more specifically I would love to see the city enter a partnership with one or two local farms and even the Central Experimental Farm to lease acreage to residents and organizations interested in growing their own food on a much larger scale, and having the farmers act as mentors. I would also like to see the City investigate the possibility of building a series of municipal greenhouses in which space would also be leased out to residential “farmers”.

I support the Meals on Wheels program. I support the Just Food program in Blackburn Hamlet. I support initiatives to eliminate sugar-based soft drinks and candy from vending machines on municipal property and would encourage the increased availability of healthy foods in corner stores, food banks and school nutrition programs.

François Trépanier
Teresa Whitmore


Quartier 3 Barrhaven Ward

Ian Bursey
Jan Harder
Syed Hussain


Quartier 4 Kanata North Ward

Matt Muirhead
Jeff Seeton
Marianne Wilkinson


Quartier 5 West Carleton-March Ward

Alexander Aronec
Eli El-Chantiry

Brendan Gorman, September 25:

Supporting organizations like the Ottawa Food Policy Council is one of the major reasons I’m a running for elected office. You will not have much difficulty convincing me your organization is extremely important and must be supported to the furthest extent a councillor can do so.

Jonathan Mark
James Parsons


Quartier 6 Stittsville Ward

David Lee
Shad Qadri


Quartier 7 Bay Ward

Alex Cullen, September 11:

Yes, please put me down as a supporter (champion) of your Good Food for All campaign. I have the following item in my campaign platform:

Adopt a bold food strategy: Ottawa should develop a robust food policy that expands access to local food and reduces barriers to increasing urban agriculture on private and public land.

George Guirguis
Brendan Mertens

Michael Pastien, September 25:

Hale Healthy Greetings,

I applaud your multifacetedly inspired journey to ongoingly feed and holistically educate the Ottawa community in genial pragmatic fashion!

Visionary Cheers

Trevor Robinson
Mark Taylor


Quartier 8 College Ward

Guy Annable
Rick Chiarelli

Craig MacAulay, September 9:

I PROMISE to actively engage with the community on decisions related to food at the municipal level.

I PROMISE to ensure a food lens will be used in City planning to assess equitable access to Good Food in all relevant growth, environment, and development plans.

I PROMISE to consider neighbourhood access to Good Food in all new development applications, zoning and by-law amendments, and social services/community planning.

I PROMISE to champion sustained funding for initiatives that ensure Good Food exists for all, economic development focused on food and farming, and the use of a Good Food lens for planning and policies.

I added these promises to my platform at

Scott McLarens


Quartier 9 Knoxdale Merivale Ward

Keith Egli, July 28:

Thank you for your email raising these important issues. Let me start by saying that as a member of Council and also the Board of Health I take the issue of accessible healthy food seriously. For example I have worked very closely with residents in Parkwood Hills to bring in Good Food Markets  and make an effort to publicize each and every one.

Recently I attended the launch of the Mobile Food Bus in Councillor Chiarelli’s ward. I think that both of these initiatives are important ways of creating a healthier environment for our communities. They are simple ideas that create real results for residents.

I am big supporter of the community garden in my ward and worked with them to increase the size of the existing location.

If re elected I will continue to support such initiatives and work with organizations such as Public Health to keep them looking at innovative ways to tackle the basic concern of getting healthy and reasonably priced foods to our communities.

I am pleased to discuss further.

Cristian Lambiri


Quartier 10 Gloucester–Southgate Ward

Meladul Ahmadzai, September 16:

Hi there,
Thank you very much for your email.
I am a nominated city councillor in Gloucester-Southgate Ward and I wanted to invite you to visit my website at to view my election platform.
If you have any questions please contact me.

Rodaina Chahrour

Diane Deans, September 25:

Diane Deans is supportive of initiatives that promote the availability of good food for all and of the efforts of the Ottawa Food Policy Council. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of requests, and given the time constraints during the campaign, Diane is unable to outline the ways in which her platform will specifically address this issue. Diane remains supportive of your efforts, and feels that her voting record is representative of her position on this important issue.

George Marko
Lilly Obina
Brad Pye
Mohamed Roble


Quartier 11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville Ward

Tim Tierney
Michel Tardif
Rene Tessier
Francesca D’Ambrosio, September 26:

I have just read about this very ambitious and much needed initiative for our community. I was just speaking with fellow constituents about how far reaching the implications of good food can go to benefit the community. Not only from an economic viewpoint, by sustaining our farmers and the local production industry, but also by reducing the instances of childhood illnesses borne of poor diet (which in turn puts a strain on our healthcare system). My platform is residents deserve to live in a healthy and positive environment regardless of our postal codes. My ward sees many newcomers to Canada, who are still struggling to gain financial footing in this community. Unfortunately, that also means that the types of food choices available to these families are what they can afford. And most often that is cheaply made, cheaply sourced pre packaged and preservative and sugar heavy. All huge factors in childhood diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and allergies. I support this initiative a hundred percent , and would make the suggestion that we implement community gardens to start. That would help to start a conversation about fresh and local, and also be a community building exercise, to lessen some of the marginalisation (or at least begin to even address it).

Education programming is key as well. Many people would like to change their diets and eating habits, but are daunted by making it from scratch. Cooking classes for parents and children to take together with food supplied locally could be a wonderful learning and team building experience. Having food fairs where local farmers could open the doors and have children come out to explore and learn about what they do and why choosing local is so important to a community. Having a component included in the school curriculum that really educates on the health benefits and environmental aspect too. Now in terms of the production of said food, the city could benefit from quite a few more outdoor markets/farmers markets. Our government needs to recognise the farm to table method and encourage this through subsidies and or grants that are realistic for our farmers to sustain their families on. I am not as informed as I would like to be on that topic, however I am a quick study and feel very strongly about championing this cause. I feel as though I could go on and on with fun and inclusive ideas about how to push this amazing initiative but I don’t want to send you a novel, I realise you asked for an email lol!

Anytime you would like to have more of a conversation about this I’m always open to meeting with and discussing exactly how I as city councillor could best represent this common sense initiative.

Nicolas Séguin


Quartier 12 Rideau Vanier Ward

George Atanga
Marc Aubin

Mathieu Fleury, September 16:

Dear Ottawa Food Policy Council,

I understand the importance of ensuring that all residents of Ottawa have access to food that is wholesome and affordable. As a member of the Ottawa Board of Health, over the last four years I supported numerous initiatives that ensure that all residents have access to nutritious food, including the Healthy Eating, Active Livening Strategy and the Good Food Markets and Food boxes, among others. But, much work remains.

In the next term of Council, I look forward to expanding the initiatives currently offered, including increasing the number of Good Food Markets across our City, supporting organizations that provide accessible healthy food, expanding the number of community gardens, and by working on new initiatives to increase the affordability and accessibility of wholesome food to residents. It is important that we engage residents to understand their needs in their day-to-day lives.

We also need to work towards increasing the level of activity in our residents as an accompaniment to healthy eating, by providing affordable parks and recreation programming, building walkable communities, and expanding active transportation networks that serve our communities.

We need to build on the progress that we have already made toward Good Food by engaging our communities and providing the services that matter most. I look forward to continuing this work in the years to come.

Catherine Fortin LeFaivre, September 25:

L’accès à des options saines de nourriture est une importante composante d’une communauté saine et florissante. Actuellement, plusieurs communautés dans Rideau-Vanier ne possèdent pas assez d’options saines de nourriture.

De même qu’il y a des limites à l’influence du Conseil, il est important que la conseillère en question comprenne les conditions de marché nécessaires afin d’attirer ces genres de commerces, et qu’il ou elle travaille étroitement avec divers intervenants de la communauté afin de tenter créer ces conditions.

Spécifiquement, je vais lutter pour augmenter le nombre de bons marché offerts dans Rideau-Vanier. De plus, je vais appuyer un financement durable pour les initiatives qui garantissent l’existence des Aliments sains pour tous; appuyer le développement économique axé sur l’alimentation et l’agriculture; et appuyez l’emploi d’une perspective d’Aliments sains pour les politiques et la planification.

Je ferai ceci en travaillant étroitement avec des groupes au coeur de la communauté, tel que le Conseil des politiques alimentaires d’Ottawa.


Access to healthy food options is without a doubt an important aspect of a healthy and thriving community. Currently, many neighbourhoods in Rideau-Vanier do not have access to enough healthy food options.

While understanding the limits of Council’s influence, I believe it is important for a councillor to understand what market conditions are needed in order to attract these kinds of businesses to certain neighbourhoods. The councillor should then work closely with community stakeholders to create those conditions.

Specifically, I will champion an increase in Good Food Markets offered in Rideau-Vanier. I will also champion sustained funding for initiatives that ensure Good Food exists for all; champion economic development focused on food and farming; and champion the use of a Good Food lens for planning and policies.

Most importantly, I will work with groups such as the Ottawa Food Policy Council to advance these important initiatives.

David-George Oldham, September 26:

I endorse limiting our societies access to processed foods. I will endorse initiatives such as reducing fees for farmer’s who sell produce throughout Ottawa to increase access to locally produced food. I will tell everyone I meet that not supporting your local economy is a sure fire way to slowly degrade your community and that we can curb Ottawa’s issues through supporting local business intitiatives. I will campaign companies that do not support local and organic food from small restaurants to larger chains (example: smoke’s poutine).

 Marc Vinette, September 6:

I absolutely agree with every position you state and salute the activists that have done so much to bring this issue so far into the public consciousness. The reason I’m running for Council is to facilitate exactly the sort of grassroots, decentralized, democratic, pro-human and voluntary activities your members conduct.

Having lived in North East Asia for many years, I am very familiar with “Oriental Medicine” as a patient, and as an English tutor of OM doctors and their children. I have no doubt a holistic approach to health that views fresh, nutritious food as key to human wellness is necessary. I pledge to do everything within my authority to create grower/resident/business win/win/win synergies. I don’t use the word “synergy” as a policy wonk, but as a “student” of a 20th century saint of human solutions, Buckminster Fuller. As a father and teacher of thousands of children, I know as well as anyone the incredible potential inherent in our youth. If my efforts to empower residents by supporting initiatives like yours results in healthier, more confident, conscious and compassionate youth, how can I not make them? There’s are thousands of little “Buckys” in Rideau Vanier waiting to be unleashed.

In keeping with the holistic principle, I consider water quality a key issue and take a very strong anti-fluoridation position. There is also evidence mounting regarding the negative health impact of GMO and wireless technology, which I would like to see brought into public discussion. My positions here are only regarded as fringe by those with extremely narrow, lazy and archaic worldviews. In fact, if anyone’s bothered to, they can can find the facts. Meanwhile, I’ll be taking action.

If you require more specific answers to any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Quartier 13 Rideau–Rockliffe Ward

Peter Clark

Cam Holmstrom, September 24:

RE: Food Policy for Ottawa I am very proud to support the initiatives being taken by the Ottawa Food Policy Council and the great work being done every day in our communities by your members. In my professional life, at my start as a teacher right through to my current work as a political aide on Parliament Hill, I have seen first-hand the effects of having good food available at affordable prices to communities. In my teaching career, I saw first-hand the effectiveness of school breakfast programs and how they help to improve not only a child’s health outcomes, but their educational outcomes too. In my work on Parliament Hill in the past five years and as a Métis citizen of this country, I have seen directly the impacts of expensive food on communities and health effects that comes to communities with the inaccessibility of good healthy foods. It is experiences like those that stay in my mind when I think of the issue of access to good food in communities. So on council, I would be an active advocate in support of the work that the Ottawa Food Policy Council and members are doing every day and would look to partner with the council and members to try to expand opportunities to re-create successful programs across the city, like Good Food Markets as one example. But further to that, I will want to be an active advocate on the other issues that contribute to this problem. I am proud to support the calls by various groups like ACORN and the local labour community for the implementation of a minimum wage that is a living wage. I am equally proud that in my day job, that I work for a caucus that just proposed to great a $15.00/hour federal minimum wage. Finally, I support calls to increase OAS and CPP rates for seniors, many of whom are also struggling to get by and living and poverty levels. Increasing these rates and putting more money in the pockets of those who need it is one of the best ways to not only improve health outcomes, but to improve their all-around well-being. As a City Councillor, those are all things that would not in our jurisdiction but I believe that a councillor can use their platform to promote and bring pressure to make improvements to those issues. To me, that is what being an active councillor is. To me, it is using all levers that a councillor has at his or her disposal, both inside and outside of city jurisdiction. That is what I am proposing to do if elected.

Tobi Nussbaum, September 16:

Food policy: Response to Ottawa Food Policy Council

I endorse the mission of the Ottawa Food Policy Council (OFPC) which is to work towards a food system in Ottawa that emphasizes social and economic viability, and environmental sustainability through the entire food cycle and in which food is grown, shared, sold and enjoyed.

My vision for Ottawa includes making it a more sustainable city. Improving residents’ access to, and the availability of, local food are important to sustainability. Ottawa has the largest proportion of rural land within its boundaries of any city in Canada. The city and the nearby region are home to a local food system that contributes to food security and helps us combat climate change through local sourcing.

By strengthening the local food system, Ottawa can also pursue better health and nutritional outcomes and encourage local economic activity.  Community gardens and farmers’ markets enhance our neighbourhoods and their livability.  The availability of fresh and healthy local food can make an important difference for the health of residents with otherwise little access.

My goal for “good food” in Ottawa is to launch the city’s first Community Food Centre, with philanthropic and other partners like Ottawa’s Just Food. This model of addressing low-income family food needs has a demonstrated effective track record. The country’s first program, Toronto’s “The Stop”, includes community kitchens and gardens, cooking classes, healthy drop-in meals, prenatal support, a food bank, outdoor bake ovens, food markets, and community action programs. The concept is being scaled up to other Canadian cities. This proposal is included in my policy for children and youth, available here.

As the new councillor for the ward of Rideau-Rockcliffe, I would bring a “good food” lens to my work on Council. I can be counted on to promote sustainability through the City’s policies and programs relating to our local food system.

Jevone Nicholas, October 13:

Q: Will you champion Good Food for All? A: If elected, I will certainly champion the Ottawa Food Policy Council and its initiatives to promote good food for all in the City. I take the issue of accessibility to healthy food seriously because I volunteered at the Rideau-Rockcliffe Food Bank in the past. Being on the Board of Directors of the Vanier Community Service Centre, where thousands of Ottawa residents go for its food bank, among other things, I have a direct view of the challenges faced by many in this city but also of the opportunities to help them to get access to healthy food. Q: How will you include these ideas in your platform? A: I would advocate partnerships with several organizations and institutions to ensure the provision of good food is provided. I would want to see better coordination with the school boards to avoid overlap in courses. The City could also explore cooking classes for low-income citizens that would teach them about the importance of healthy food and of ways to better feed themselves. I support the community gardens. Ibelieve that the City could advance an intergovernmental policy on the use of public land. As major developments emerge on large sites currently in public hands, Ottawa can use this growth to address pressing social needs, such as promoting and providing good and healthy food. As the public sector allocates more land for redevelopment, governments have the opportunity to incorporate specific policy goals into these projects. The federal government is presently planning redevelopments on several large sites across the city, including on the former Rockcliffe Air Base in Ward 13. We could see new community garden projects on these public lands and lease parcels to residents or associations who want to grow healthy food on a bigger land. We have to make the best use of our existing assets.


Q: Allez-vous soutenir Aliments sains pour tous? R: Si je suis élu, je m’engage à soutenir le Conseil des politiques alimentaires d’Ottawa dans ses initiatives visant à promouvoir des aliments sains pour tous dans la ville. Je considère sérieusement la question de l’accessibilité à des aliments sains parce que j’étais un bénévole à une banque alimentaire dans le passé, (celle de Rideau-Rockcliffe). Étant administrateur au Centre des services communautaires Vanier, où des milliers de résidents se rendent pour sa banque alimentaire, entre autres choses, j’ai une vue directe sur les difficultés rencontrées par de nombreux dans cette ville, ce qui m’a permis de réaliser les opportunités pour les aider à avoir accès à des aliments sains. Q: Comment allez-vous inclure ces idées dans votre plate-forme? R: J’aimerais conclure des partenariats avec plusieurs organisations et institutions afin d’assurer que des aliments sains soient fournis. J’aimerais voir l’émergence d’un meilleur programme de coordination avec les conseils scolaires afin d’éviter des chévauchements des cours. La Ville pourrait également explorer des cours de cuisine pour les citoyens à faible revenu qui leur enseignera l’importance d’une alimentation saine et de moyens de mieux se nourrir. De plus, je soutiens le jardin communautaire dans le quartier 13. Je crois que la Ville pourrait faire progresser une politique intergouvernementale sur l’utilisation des terrains publiques. Étant donné les développements majeurs sur les grands chantiers en cours dans le secteur public, Ottawa peut utiliser cette croissance pour répondre aux besoins sociaux urgents, tels que la promotion et la fourniture d’aliments bons et sains. Comme le secteur public alloue plus de terrains pour le réaménagement, les gouvernements ont la possibilité d’intégrer des objectifs politiques spécifiques dans ces projets. Le gouvernement fédéral planifie actuellement la restructuration sur plusieurs grands sites à travers la ville, y compris sur l’ancienne base aérienne de Rockcliffe dans le quartier 13. Alors, nous pourrions inclure dans ces terrains des nouveaux projets de jardins communautaires et louer des parcelles à des résidents ou des associations qui veulent produire de la nourriture saine sur un plus grand territoire. Nous devons faire le meilleur usage de nos actifs existants.

Sheila Perry, October 4:

If elected as a City Councillor for Rideau Rockcliffe, Ward 13, I promise to champion Good Food for All. This involves supporting:
1. sustained funding for initiatives that ensure Good Food for all
2. economic development focused on food and farming
3. use of a Good Food lens for planning and policies

Congratulations to the Ottawa Food Policy Council for developing a mission, values, role, scope and membership. Ottawa should feel proud of the many Just Food initiatives, local markets, vendors and food stands available throughout this city. Some fine examples include :
· food trucks that promote culinary talent and employment · Good Food Box · Community Gardens · Projects that work ie. Farming funding and training · Savour Ottawa and outstanding culinary events · Local markets and small businesses · School programs · Mobile bus Market partnership

Healthy food is a priority for all. As a champion for healthy food, I have initiated the construction of 32 community gardens in my community of Overbrook in 2013. We have partnered with 5 schools, organizations such as the Rideau Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre Emergency Food Cupboard, and individuals in the community. With financial support from grants and Just Food Ottawa, we have constructed 32 boxes, a shed and support training for our garden members. Our project has been enthusiastically endorsed by the Overbrook Community and the City of Ottawa. It is a fine example for building capacity and bringing the community.

As a member of the City of Ottawa Community Development Framework in Overbrook, I partnered with Just Food Ottawa and led a workshop presentation “Connecting Neighbourhoods with Food” on October 28, 2013. Sharing our success of the Overbrook Community Gardens is important for encouraging others to expand community gardens in Ottawa.

These experiences, dialogue with many participants and researchers has been helpful for developing a platform for supporting the work of the Ottawa Food Policy Council Workplan. Good examples of programs are already in communities such as Kamloops, Prince Albert, Toronto and Vancouver. These examples include forming a task force, doing a food system analysis and inventory.

Planning goals for Ottawa include:
· Creating a just and sustainable food system plan for Ottawa
· Building capacity for an action plan
· Sustainable means a place to live, work and prosper for the short and long term in Ottawa
· Improving the economical, social and ecological well being of all citizens

Organization includes a review of the:
· Ottawa Food Policy Council
· Ottawa Food Policy Workplan
· Implemention and support system

Local Structures and Initiatives in Ottawa to be encouraged:
· Parks and Recreation – community gardens, farmers markets, community kitchens and food preparation
· Schools – school breakfast programs, lunch programs, school gardens
· Health Department, Food banks, Emergency Shelters, Food Cupboards, Churches and other partnerships

An Action Plan and Building Blocks for Ottawa:

1. Develop Community and food system assessment:
– What is the current state of food supply, gaps and community needs?
– What resources, services are needed to build a just system?
– What priorities require financial support?

2. Consider the Feasibility for Roof Top Gardens in Ottawa
– Zoning and bylaw development

3. Facilitate the expansion of Community Gardens:
– Identify underutilized city and NCC lands
– Encourage private developers

4. Create Farmer’s Markets on City land:
– Coordinate with City planning, health and recreation departments for zoning
– Stimulate the local economy and small business
– Eg. Beechwood Market at Desjardins Parking lot

5. Create a food processing and distribution facility:
– For low income citizens
– Include program coordination, shared resources, partners, job skills and training

6. Create a Support System:
– Two Staff positions should be created for Ottawa:
– A food policy coordinator and a social planner are needed

7. Celebrating and Expanding Best Practices:
– Savour Ottawa and Creativity events

8. Moving People Forward:
– Create win/win opportunities ie. Partner with Chef Rick Watson, Union Mission who offers skills training for second level cooks.
– Seek employment opportunities and partnerships with Algonquin College and culinary institutions
– Farmer program funding for farmer training
– Causeway – catering work involving helping people with challenges

Evaluation of the Building Blocks
Followed by final Recommendations

Background Information:

Penny Thompson, July 23:

Thank you for reaching out to me.

I sat on the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre Board until I registered to become a candidate. I only resigned from the RRCRC Board because the Centre receives City of Ottawa money and I did not want to compromise the Centre in any way.

I understand and I know the facts. I volunteered at the RRCRC Emergency Food Bank last year. In February I volunteered at the Good Food Market in Overbrook. Overbrook is a large portion of Ward 13: Rideau-Rockcliffe where I have registered as a candidate.

Please find my website here:

Please reach out to me if I can clarify my position on a particular issue.


Quartier 14 Somerset Ward

Martin Canning, September 18:

To: Ottawa Food Policy Council, Just Food, Ottawa Poverty Reduction Network, and the Coalition of CHC/CRCs

Please accept the following responses to the questions posed related to Good Food in Ottawa.

(1) Will you champion Good Food for All?
Champion sustained funding for initiatives that ensure Good Food exists for all.
Champion economic development focused on food and farming.
Champion the use of a Good Food lens for planning and policies.

After knocking on more than 20,000 doors since January, it is clear that access to good and affordable food is an important issue for Somerset Ward residents.

If elected, my focus will be on achieving the following six goals:
1. Cement an urban planning culture in Ottawa that reflects the fundamentals of community health and sustainability.
2. Expand municipal partnerships in the local economy.
3. Unlock new investment in social and community programs, services, and infrastructure throughout the city.
4. Encourage new heights of civic engagement in Somerset Ward and across Ottawa.
5. Position Somerset Ward and Ottawa as a model of urban sustainability through climate change leadership.
6. Prioritize safe, sustainable, and affordable transportation options at Council.

All of these policy areas are very close to me and take centre stage within my platform. They are also supportive of a Good Food agenda. The six goals listed above link to 14 clear policy objectives that can be found online, in my platform at

(2) How will you include these ideas in your platform?

Related to championing Good Food for All, here is a specific policy objective from  my platform that addresses this challenge:

Policy objective: With local non-profits, businesses and community stakeholders, convene two or more public stakeholder meetings with potential amenity providers and explore incentives and next steps to attract affordable, local, good food initiatives, and key amenities to underserviced areas of our community.

Outcome: A clear understanding of our community’s local purchasing and good food options, a path forward as a community, and a general consensus regarding reasonable expectations.

I support the efforts of community members working hard to meet these challenges in our community and in our city. Together, we will position Ottawa as the most livable, affordable, and sustainable city in the country.

Edward Conway

Catherine McKenney, September 6:

The City of Ottawa has shown leadership and been a supportive partner on food initiatives in both rural and urban Ottawa.

These initiatives rest upon the incredible time and energy put in by volunteer members of our communities.

Programs like the Good Food Market developed at the Nanny Goat Hill community garden and other neighbourhoods are one critical way that food access is increasing.

I am committed to being among the Councillors working with residents to increase access to healthy food.

I will do this by:

  • Advocating for food security for everyone to be able to access fresh, accessible and affordable food.
  • Increasing opportunities for community gardens
  • Committing to advocating for fair wages to allow for healthier food choices
  • Committing to finding ways to make it easier to get to affordable grocery stores
  • Promoting and advocating for more programs like Good Food Markets, the Good Food Box, Mobile Food Markets, and grocery buses
  • Advocating for the sale of healthy food in urban, suburban and rural corner stores
  • Supporting programs that promote buying local foods
  • Supporting food banks that meets community needs with healthy and culturally relevant food choices
  • Working to bring a grocery store to our community that is easily accessible by walking, cycling and transit

Thomas McVeigh, September 24:

I will be a champion for Good Food as the councillor for Somerset Ward. I am the General Manager at Absinthe, a restaurant that has a phenomenal record for supporting local farmers by being a customer, and for being supportive of programs like the Parkdale Food Centre and Cornerstone housing for women. That is part of why I chose to work there.

Supporting our farmers in rural Ottawa is an important part of ensuring Good Food in Ottawa. Protecting farmland from development, working to ensure that they have markets to sell to, and protecting their irrigation water are all part of it. I will work with our rural councillors to make sure that our farmers continue to choose farming, and to make sure that farming is a good life for them.

I will be supportive of programs like the Good Food Markets initiated at Nanny Goat Hill that have expanded, and will promote the markets of the farmers to promote the local aspect of Farmers Markets throughout the city.

I will encourage developments that will make it easier for people to walk to supermarkets and corner stores that have Good Food. Stores in my ward like Bousheys and Kowloon Market, as well as the full supermarkets . I will push to get a supermarket in Little Italy, to make it more walkable.

I have a Good Food lens. My mother grew up during the Great Depression. As a result, she has always had a food garden. It has been part of my life that food is something that you grow, that has cycles and seasons. Gardening is so important to understanding food, and it is critical to be shared. Gail at the OCH building on McLeod has done a phenomenal job of introducing gardening to the building, and I see that as a pilot program that we would do well to expand.

I will be a Good Food champion as the next councillor for Somerset Ward.

Conor Meade

Jeff Morrison, July 23:

Will you champion Good Food for All?

JM:  Absolutely, and my record proves it!  As Past-President of Centretown Community Health Centre, in 2012, I approached the head of the Sparks Street Mall to offer our assistance when the idea of a Sparks Street farmers market was first raised.  The CCHC Board, and myself in particular, have consistently supported the Good Food Box, as well as the Nanny Goat Hill garden, the Lansdowne Farmers Market, and similar initiatives.  If elected, access to healthy, affordable food will continue to be a key priority towards creating healthier communities.

How will you include these ideas in your platform?

JM:  On July 17, I released my official platform entitled “Ottawa:  At a Crossroads”, which can be downloaded at  Among the proposals in my platform that relate directly to good food are the following:

  • Work with stakeholders to promote and create additional community gardens and farmers markets throughout the City (such as Nanny Goat Hill or Victory Gardens).
  • Work with the private sector to locate additional grocery outlets in the ward, particularly in the Dalhousie area.
  • Call for a green roof policy, similar to the Green roof bylaw of the City of Toronto which requires installation of green roofs on qualifying buildings (Note that green roofs can serve as a source of low cost, healthy food).

I’ve also included the following commitment regarding “Open Streets”.  Note that Open Streets could provide an opportunity to increase access to good food:

  • Work with local BIAs and other partners to promote the “Open Streets” concept, whereby such streets as Bank and Preston could be closed to vehicular traffic at least once per month in the summer months; look at the possibility of increasing that number as more information is gathered.  The June 2014 Glowfair festival on Bank was a good example of “Open Streets”.

I should add that my platform is not meant to be exhaustive; although I’ve included several specific proposals to address food insecurity, I’d be very pleased to discuss with organizations like the Ottawa Food Policy Council and the CCHRC other innovative ways in which we can promote access to and promotion of healthy and affordable foods.

Sandro Provenzano
Silviu Riley, October 2:

I support Good Food for All and the work that OFPC is doing.

My platform includes three points that overlap with OFPC’s vision for Ottawa: increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, which would allow residents to purchase healthy, culturally-appropriate, and local food. Building less condos, and more townhomes and rental properties, allowing residents of various income levels to live in Ottawa. Passing Sustainable Development bylaws, ensuring new and renovated buildings use environmentally friendly and energy efficient materials, so that residents won’t have high heating and electricity bills.

I think these policies would help address access to food by ensuring that residents can afford to live in their communities. I hope to work with OFPC in addressing access to good food in Ottawa.

Denis Schryburt, September 27:

Yes, absolutely I would be extremely proud as city councillor for Somerset Ward to champion good food for all. It is incredibly important to make sure we fully support our local farmers who offer us fresh produce at affordable prices for everyone. For years I have purchased my produce from local farmers. In fact, this past summer I enjoyed going to the Nany Goat Hill Good Food Market where with only $10 I was able to purchase produce for two that lasted most of the week.

In my platform I mention my full support of green roofs, more community gardens and local good food markets throughout the city.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions.

Curtis Tom

Lili Weemen, September 6:

If you go on my website you can see the photo of Nanny Goat Hill Good Food Market on the front page.  I tweet out their market day every other Saturday.  I try to promote the Good Food Market as much as I can.


Quartier 15 Kitchissippi Ward

Katherine Hobbs

Jeff Leiper, September 12:

My team and I have posted our answers to the Coalition’s survey to Thanks for this opportunity!

My response to the Good Food for All candidate survey

First, I want to congratulate the Ottawa Food Policy Council, Just Food, the Ottawa Poverty Reduction Network, and the Coalition of Community Health Centres for challenging municipal candidates on this extremely important issue: ensuring good food for all. Voters deserve to know how candidates intend to address it if they are elected. I’m please to provide my detailed answers below.

But the main answer is YES!
Yes! I will champion Good Food for All!

  • I will champion sustained funding for initiatives that ensure Good Food exists for all.
  • I will champion economic development focused on food and farming.
  • I will champion the use of a Good Food lens for planning and policies.

To me, there are two overall related issues:

  • The City strategy to support fresh, nutritious and affordable food for all.
  • The policies and actions the City must take to implement these.

Both must be effectively addressed. While there has been a lot of talk about food security by elected officials, there has been not enough effective action in our ward.

In Kitchissippi, we are fortunate that food issues are top-of-mind thanks to the work of dedicated people like Karen Secord at the Parkdale Food Centre and Bill Shields and his colleagues who have just successfully launched the West End Well. Front-line providers like these are inter-linked with multiple social agencies and NGOs such as the Somerset West Community Health Centre and its new Rosemount Ave. location, creating a ready-made network for discussion and action. I am proud of the constructive relationships I’ve built with these and others over the course of my 17+ years of work with the Hintonburg Community Association, and networking with other groups throughout the ward and city. The degree to which I and my Hintonburg colleagues continue to be committed to addressing food security is clear upon reading the Hintonburg/Mechanicsville Neighbourhood plan.

1. Sustaining good food initiatives
My first commitment is to re-establish active engagement with the experts in this sphere and with the community at large to promote good food programs. Indeed, this applies not just to food issues, but all issues. It is my pledge to have an ongoing, meaningful dialogue between the Councillor’s office and residents, NGOs, and businesses. A Councillor simply cannot be effective working in isolation without real consultation. My pledge is to be proactive, to use the Councillor’s budget to help study issues and facilitate consultation and to broaden important discussions.

I will work proactively to build on the rich potential for action and consensus-building across the ward and city on food issues, and to bring a strong voice to City Hall working with food advocates, not in isolation from them. I will actively help to promote good food initiatives in partnership with the various groups behind this survey. I promise to work collaboratively and behind-the-scenes with good food advocates and experts to make good food availability a priority of the City.

2. Good food and economic development
My second commitment is to help protect the sources of local food in Ottawa and ensure that local food in available and sustainable. I have long supported the Parkdale Market in my ward, which both supports local growers has supplied fresh food in the urban area since 1924. All suppliers of local fresh foods must be supported and sustained. One concrete step the city can take is maintaining the urban boundary to protect farmland from development and urban sprawl. Another is to support Business Improvement Areas in ways that help promote an environment for small businesses who provide good food to thrive. A third is to ensure that zoning does not promote the displacement of such businesses by chain stores and condos. Finally, the City must show visible leadership in supporting good food and local farming, including through Health Department programs and City food procurement policies. I promise to fully and effectively support these types of initiatives.

3. The “good food lens”
My third commitment is to very actively promote good development that considers food availability as a factor in whether a development proposal is appropriate and in City plans. While the City cannot force food providers to open in specific locations, we cannot just hide behind this as an excuse for inaction. We actually do have tools we can use in zoning and secondary plans. We also should not lose sight of the fact that the City owns land where it can control the uses that are allowed. Promoting food sources (e.g., businesses, community gardens) on city-owned land is certainly feasible, and must be pursued.

I am proud to have worked with my colleagues at the Hintonburg Community Association to ensure that the Hintonburg/Mechanicsville Neighbourhood Plan included a strong component of food security, and I would like to ensure that approach is made broader to encompass the entire Kitchissippi ward and City.

Furthermore, I have already committed to working with the community and businesses to explore the feasibility of a comprehensive planning approach called the “Development Permit System,” which is allowed by the Province but was never implemented by Ottawa as a planning tool. It allows zoning that requires certain uses.  If implemented, that could be an ideal way to ensure that food security issues are addressed.

There are limits to what can be imposed on developers with respect to the uses in new developments. Recognizing those, however, I believe it will be critical in development applications, zoning and by-law amendments to ensure that neighbourhood access to food is never taken off the table. My commitment is to proactive outreach to workers and advocates of food security when considering applications or new by-laws to ensure they have a chance to comment. I was on the advisory committee of the Centretown Community Health Centre’s initiative to develop tools that speak to the health outcomes of planning decisions, and will work to ensure those tools are more broadly disseminated and that their use is facilitated.

In social services and community planning, my commitment is to ensure a food sustainability lens. Further, I believe this lens needs to be extended to such important issues as transit planning and prioritizing cycling and pedestrian infrastructure (including accessibility for those with disabilities) to ensure that access to healthy food isn’t only available to those with cars.

I am also committed, if elected, to ensuring that my independent communications with residents, including social media, blog, and press communications, contribute to a collective effort to address food insecurity at higher levels of government.

Ellen Lougheed

Michelle Reimer, October 7:

Kitchissippi is an area where development and densification are leading to rapid change. My goal is to increase citizen representation and participation in decision making, to ensure that the well-being of residents and long term impacts on our neighbourhood are taken into account.

A food-lens is a great tool for decision making, because it not only speaks to food access, but to broader issues of health, community, and sustainability.

I know that the urban food security movement has been one of the most positive and dynamic municipal movements in Canada in recent years. It deserves support not only because of the practical impact it makes, but also because it’s become a great vehicle for civic engagement. Thousands of families and individuals in our city use programs developed and led by the member organizations of OFPC and for that I am grateful.

Yes, I will champion good food for all by supporting policies and programs that increase access to healthy foods, and that place a high value on the sustainability and livability of our city.


Larry Wasslen


Quartier 16 River Ward

Riley Brockington
Barbara Carroll
Don Francis
Antonio Giannetti
Jeff Koscik
Michael Kostiuk
Colin Pennie, September 26:

I support and believe in efforts to ensure access and continued infrastructure for good food. My family strives to eat good healthy food in our home as we feel it is an essential component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As Councillor, I would strongly support initiatives for good food in River Ward and across the city.

As my platform is focused on community building, I am aware that a healthy and vibrant community is rooted in healthy and vibrant households. I would address issues with access to good food through both residents and existing organisations to address their needs and facilitate availability of good food. I believe this is a great initiative and would be proud to support it.

Thank you for bringing this issue forward in our municipal election.

Mike Patton

Vanessa Sutton, September 25:

My campaign platform includes a desire to enhance health literacy in the City of Ottawa in collaboration with senior levels of government.

Bruce Winchester


Quartier 17 Capital Ward

Scott Blurton

David Chernushenko, September 9:

I definitely support the Good Food for All campaign and its specific goals.

At this early stage, my platform specifically mentions my support for the broad implementation of the Healthy Eating, Acting Living strategy.

Project and programs that I have specifically worked to support in my first term of office include finding space for and building community support for more community gardens; backing the Biodome pilot project in Brewer Park; supporting the Hidden Harvest program; supporting the ongoing operations and temporary relocations of various farmers markets; supporting the Breastfeeding Friendly Initiative as a proud father of two breast-fed children and husband of a breastfeeder; and on a personal level as a member of a local CSA, shopper at several farmers markets, and purchaser of local, organic produce from several neighbourhood grocery stores. There is much more to do, but that is what I have accomplished to date.

Espoir Manirambona, September 10:

i am in favor of guaranteeing good food for all as a basic inalienable fundamental human right. such a right can/will be respected by all levels of government and will be enshrined in our constitution when the time is right. i support all of the suggestions u brought forward. i think the key is building more community gardens/urban farms and empowering people to grow their own food and to share that food with all in need. i support immediate demands like raising wages/social assistance to ensure everyone has at a minimum economic access to good healthy organic, locally grown food.


Quartier 18 Alta Vista Ward

Adam Bowick
Daher Calin
Jean Cloutier
Clinton Cowan
Jeff Dubois
Hussein Mahmoud
Perry Marleau
John Redins
Brandon Scharfe


Quartier 19 Cumberland Ward

Marc Belisle, September 25:

Your food choices each day affect your health, how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future. Unfortunately many don’t have this choice. We then see an increase of health issues in people who are already having issues to just make ends meet each day.

For many without any virtues and accomplishments of our own have been fortunate enough to be born in our country under the most comfortable conditions. We, therefore, have a responsibility to others who are less well off. There are wrongs which need attention. There are people who are poor and need our help. And we have a responsibility to them and to this city.

Stephen Blais


Quartier 20 Osgoode Ward

George Darouze
Tom Dawson
Paul Jean
Davis Jermacans
Jean Johnston-McKitterick

Liam Maguire, September 5:

My name is Liam Maguire, candidate in Ward 20 ( Osgoode )    I have some familiarity of various foods being provided for schools in the Ottawa area but at this time, not enough to make a definitive statement. I don’t know what’s required, has been requested or where various budget restraints lie for the purchase of food externally beyond cafeteria supplied product, etc.  If I’m elected it’s certainly something I will get up to speed on asap but at the moment in the Osgoode Ward it’s not anything I’m hearing from our constituents. I appreciate you reaching out. I look forward to further dialogue if I’m successful in the election. Thank you,

Bob Masaro

Allen Scantland, September 25

Thank you for taking the initiative to provide this document in both languages, however my reply will be in English, as it is my primary language and I find it easiest to communicate. In honesty, this is the first I heard of your group, although many of the stated initiatives I’m aware of and support.

You have asked that I address which part of my platform speaks directly to the initiatives supported by the Ottawa Food Policy Council and I can say that my platform is too general to speak to specific initiatives, but that it also speaks directly to supporting local agriculture, the large and small producers as well as the enthusiasts. Although not part of my platform, I strongly support food independence for people and would work with other councillors and the city administration to remove and reduce impediments, such as fees, licencing, zoning and by-laws, to allow people greater access to local produce and food independence. In addition, I believe community planning should include greater allowances for local community based agriculture. My platform is mainly focused on the residents of Osgoode Ward but many of your initiatives, even titled as urban would still apply to many residents of Osgoode Ward because of the simplicity of city zoning. I found several of your initiatives interesting such as urban chickens and bees and urban community plots. For many residents in need Meals on Wheels allows them to continue to live in their homes and ensures greater health and wellness for these individuals, in addition to reducing demand for limited elderly homecare.

I am very impressed with the thought an detail that went into many of your papers and position documents, especially your consideration to redress city documents and planning. This is exactly what is needed to allow City councillors and administration to view your initiatives, and it doesn’t burden either with vague policy objectives. I would greatly enjoy speaking with you more and will take the time to review your publications and partnerships.

Mark Scharfe, September 25:

Hi, it would be my position to suspend the bilingualism services in the city, and with the money saved, send 10 percent to the food bank…..thank you very kindly for your efforts.

Kim Sheldrick, July 23:

Thank you for this overview.

Yes I am already a proponent of Good Food. From living in a rural area with my own personal garden to other items like Breakfast Club in my son’s school, almost weekly visits to Farmer’s Markets, assisting our local Food Cupboard, touring local organic farms with CSAs to my recent registration for the Urban Garden Bike Tour and to assist at Savour Ottawa’s Harvest Table 2014, I do have a solid background but I am also constantly trying to learn more. We cannot survive without food.  We need to protect our food and sources and those who produce our food.

George Wright

Quartier 21 Rideau-Goulbourn Ward

Scott Moffatt

Daniel Scharf, September 25:

Thank you for your request on my position on “Good Food.”

As a candidate in the mostly rural ward of Rideau-Goulbourn, I can approach this issue in two ways: yes, I support access to good food for all residents, and yes, I support access to fresh, locally grown food. As you likely know, Rideau-Goulbourn is home to many of Ottawa’s most successful farms. For example, Rideau Pines Farm allocates some of its gardens to the Ottawa Food Bank and the Parkdale Food Centre. And many of Ottawa’s best restaurants source their ingredients from the wide variety and specialities of our local farms – ensuring top quality, top freshness, and great taste. We need to not only continue these practices but ensure that we do everything possible to support our local producers and help our growers grow their business.

The City of Ottawa should facilitate the distribution of Good Food to the disadvantaged. The City of Ottawa should ensure that unnecessary or ineffective regulations are minimized in the growing, distribution and consumption of Good Food for our disadvantaged residents. The City of Ottawa should continue to publicly support the objectives of the OFPC.

Public support for Good Food helps our local growers, supports our local economy and contributes to the individual health of residents.

I will support policies at the City of Ottawa that underscore these basic principles.
Thank you again for the opportunity to present my views.

Quartier 22 Gloucester – South Nepean Ward

Kevin Fulsom
Scott Hodge
Jason Kelly
Michael Qaqish
Bader Rashed
Roger Scharfe

Susan Sherring, September 10:

Thank you very much for soliciting information in regards to my position on food policy.

I support access to fresh and healthy food across our city.  Ottawa has seen the establishment and success of several neighbourhood-based farmer’s markets, including markets in areas where fresh produce and products are difficult to find. There are also many community-based organizations with a focus on healthy food and food distribution.

I support a city government that works closely with those community-based organizations in terms of identifying needs and developing sustainable solutions and community programs that are effective and affordable.  That said — this is not a task for city government but rather an ongoing task for the community-at-large.  As for specific ‘food policies’ for the City of Ottawa, that is something that requires research and analysis on a case-by-case basis.

Quartier 23 Kanata-South Ward

David Abuwa
Bruce Faulkner
Allan Hubley