Community Newspaper Columns

Councillor Chernushenko writes a regular columns for the local community newspapers OSCAR, the Glebe Report, The Mainstreeter, the Heron Park Herald and the Riverview Park Review.

Ottawa taking action on environmental front

February 2016

This year, the Environment Committee is set to advance several important environmental initiatives, including the City of Ottawa's Air Quality and Climate Change Plan (AQCCMP) and our Renewable Energy Strategy (RES). Both have taken on renewed importance since world leaders met in Paris to negotiate a global climate agreement.

These issues are on the agenda for the Environment Committee's Feb. 16 meeting, when we debate my motion to strengthen Ottawa's current actions on climate change. Central to this is a commitment to an emissions reduction target of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, which will bring us in line with long-term targets already set by the Province of Ontario, while sending a strong signal that the City of Ottawa is prepared to do its part to decrease human impacts on the Earth's climate system.

Bridging the gap could happen a bit sooner

January 2016

Many residents of Old Ottawa South are eager to see a new footbridge across the Rideau Canal at Clegg and Fifth. This would connect the pathways along both sides of the Canal and provide a safe and convenient alternative to the Bank Street and the Pretoria bridges. Indeed, your councillor, mayor, MPP and MP are all on record as supporting the construction of this bridge as a priority. So what's the holdup?

Well, there isn't actually a holdup. The bridge is advancing on schedule, and the City recently conducted geotechnical testing to determine requirements for road construction, support columns and the pathway ramp.

What does Draft Budget 2016 mean for Capital Ward?

December 2015

Budgeting for a city of nearly one million people is a complex affair. Doing it in as transparent and consultative a fashion as possible is an even greater challenge.

City staff prepare the Draft Budget based on extensive input from elected councillors and the mayor. We in turn based our recommendations on what we have heard from our constituents, on the priorities we have identified over the course of our time living in and representing our wards, and on new trends, challenges and opportunities we have observed.

This year, I once again sought input from Capital Ward residents well in advance. For a summary of what I heard, I invite you to visit capitalward.ca/budget2016.

How ‘world-class’ cities learn from each other

November 2015

Like most cities, Ottawa aspires to be world-class — or at least I assume that's what many of our residents, politicians and business leaders want, because I hear them express the phrase so often.

Whether we're comfortable with the term "world-class" or think it's hollow and overused, let's assume most of us want Ottawa to bear the title of National Capital with dignity, and to be viewed in a positive light both domestically and abroad. Let's also assume that we broadly define this goal as sharing many of the attributes of advanced cities: a high quality of life, excellent transportation infrastructure and transit systems, top-notch healthcare facilities, schools, parks, libraries, cultural venues and events, and plenty of thriving natural features, such as clean bodies of water and an extensive tree canopy. That list could go on, refined by each of us according to our own priorities.