Federal electoral districts redistribution 2022

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Geoff Turner, President, Ottawa Centre Federal Liberal Association

See attached.

Monday, October 24, 2022

RE: Elections Canada Federal Redistribution

To Whom It May Concern,

On behalf of the Ottawa Centre Federal Liberal Association (OCFLA), please accept this input on the boundary proposal for Ottawa Centre made by Elections Canada as part of the ongoing federal riding redistribution process.

This input is based on careful consideration of two of the major social and geographic factors that Elections Canada must consider during the redistribution process - specifically, respect for communities of interest and historical patterns of previous electoral boundaries - and how those factors can be upheld in updated riding boundaries for Ottawa Centre. If adopted, the input would also result in new riding boundaries that respect the requirement for population equality in the redistribution process.

Please note that, beyond the following input, the OCFLA is satisfied with the boundary proposal for Ottawa Centre.

Input Regarding Carleton Heights

Contrary to the boundary proposal, the OCFLA believes that Carleton Heights (Courtland Park, Hog's Back, and Rideauview), which is a complete community bounded by Baseline Road, Fisher Avenue, and the Rideau River should remain in Ottawa Centre, because it is a community of interest to Ottawa Centre.

Firstly, Carleton Heights is a Rideau River-oriented community that has deep links to the local watershed and greenspace along the riverfront, including the recreational pathways along the River, Hog's Back Dam, and the recreational pathways along the Rideau Canal, leading to the Central Experimental Farm, the Arboretum, and Dow's Lake (all of which would remain in Ottawa Centre under the boundary proposal). These linked communities and greenspaces would be best served by having one Member of Parliament (MP), and by having that MP be the representative for Ottawa Centre.

Furthermore, the Rideau River is almost entirely bordering the eastern side of Ottawa Centre, whereas, under the current riding boundaries, Ottawa West Nepean borders on the Rideau River in just one location, and there only marginally. Under the boundary proposal, Ottawa West Nepean would still not substantially border on the Rideau River, so Carleton Heights would be out of place in the riding in that scenario.

Notably, the relationship between Ottawa Centre and the Rideau River has tangible electoral and political outcomes. For example, the MP for Ottawa Centre has historically been the primary elected Federal representative for Ottawa Riverkeeper, the charitable organization that works to protect, promote and improve the ecological health and future of the Ottawa River watershed, including the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal. The MP for Ottawa Centre

has historically also been the primary elected Federal liaison to the National Capital Commission and Parks Canada for issues related to the Rideau River. Therefore, it makes sense to keep all downtown Ottawa neighbourhoods bordering the Rideau River in Ottawa Centre.

Secondly, Carleton Heights is home to many Carleton University students and staff. Under the boundary proposal (and likely any future proposals), Carleton University would remain in Ottawa Centre. Therefore, Carleton Heights, as a primary area where Carleton University students and staff live, should as well. To that point, the Off-Campus Housing Cheat Sheet for Carleton University students lists Carleton Heights as amongst the most proximate and accessible neighbourhoods to campus for students to look for off-campus housing.

Finally, the Rideau River has been the Eastern border of Ottawa Centre (up to the Rideau Canal, which serves as the riding boundary north of the Highway 417/Nicholas Street junction) since the creation of the riding in 1968. Therefore, the boundary proposal does not respect the major historical boundaries of the riding.

Input Regarding Carlington

In accordance with the boundary proposal, the OCFLA believes that Carlington, which is a complete community bounded by Fisher Avenue, Kingston Avenue, and the Queensway (Highway 417), should be moved to Ottawa West Nepean because it is a community of interest to that riding.

Notably, under the current riding boundaries, 50% or more of the geographical area of Carlington is already in Ottawa West Nepean. Furthermore, under the current riding boundaries, most major Carlington community institutions, including the Carlington Community Health Centre, Caldwell Family Centre, Carlington Park, the Carlington Community Garden, and the J.A. Dulude Arena, are in Ottawa West Nepean. Meanwhile, under the current riding boundaries, Ottawa Centre is home to virtually no major Carlington community institutions, except for the Alexander Community Centre.

In that context, it makes good sense to unify the neighbourhood of Carlington and the aforementioned institutions in Ottawa West Nepean, so that the residents of Carlington only have to work with one MP to address issues in the Federal jurisdiction.

Input Regarding Carlingwood and Glabar Park

Contrary to the boundary proposal, the OCFLA believes that Carlingwood and Glabar Park - the areas bordered by Sherbourne Avenue and Maitland Avenue (North of the Trans-Canada Highway) - should remain in Ottawa West Nepean, because they are communities of interest to Ottawa West Nepean, and are much more interconnected with the west-end of Ottawa than they are with Centretown.

Firstly, many seniors living in this area mainly make use of community services offered in the west-end, for example the Olde Forge and Carefor Health & Community Services.

Additionally, many members of the retirement community, such as Carlingwood Retirement Community, previously lived in west-end condo buildings, such as Ambleside and Northwest One. They thus retain most of their social and community ties in those buildings, as well as having most of their family connections in west-end neighborhoods. On top of that, much of this area falls under the catchment area of the regional Community Health Centre (Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre).

Secondly, there is a community of interest around the Carlingwood Community Association that has more in common with the west-end than Centretown. The west-end community associations often work together on issues that matter to all of their members, such as the Ottawa River recreational river front, Britannia Park, and Mud Lake. The community in Carlingwood and Glabar Park looks more towards those issues than the issues that are relevant to Ottawa Centre.

Finally, the boundary proposal would cause Carlingwood Mall to be at the very edge of Ottawa Centre. However, Carlingwood Mall and Fairlawn Plaza form the primary shopping, social and recreation hub for Ottawa West Nepean, including residents living west of Sherbourne Avenue and Maitland Avenue. In contrast, residents living east of Sherbourne Avenue and Maitland Avenue tend to look towards Westboro for local shopping, socializing, and recreation. Similarly, under the boundary proposal, the Ottawa Carlingwood Library would end up on the riding border, meaning its service area would be cut in half. But this library is an important focal point for Ottawa West Nepean communities, not least because of its extensive youth programming.

Thank you very much for your consideration of this input, which, in sum, presents evidence that, under updated riding boundaries, Carleton Heights should remain in Ottawa Centre, Carlington should move to Ottawa West Nepean (and indeed, large parts of it are already in that riding), and Carlingwood and Glabar Park should remain in Ottawa West Nepean.

Please contact me at your convenience if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

Geoff Turner


Ottawa Centre Federal Liberal Association

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