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.

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.

Ottawa must step up action on climate protection

October 2015

Following a summer of drought, forest fires and watering bans in Western Canada, while the East experienced mild, wet weather interspersed with severe heat waves, it seems appropriate to explore the increasingly critical challenge of climate change and how that touches on the work of City Council.

The provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, delivered a barnburner of a speech at the annual meeting of the Association of Ontario Municipalities (watch it at bit.ly/AMO-Murray). It was a remarkably cogent and compelling argument for why a city like Ottawa must assume its responsibilities for adapting to an increasingly unpredictable climate, for seriously curtailing the greenhouse gas emissions of its own operations, and for serving as the convening agent for similar action by institutions and individuals citywide.