I sent the message immediately below to the candidates in my riding, Ottawa – Orleans, namely Royal Galipeau (Conservative), David Bertschi (Liberal), Martine Cenatus (NDP) and Paul Maillet (Green).
I am writing to you to get your opinions on various issues related to personal aviation.
First, I am a private pilot and owner of a light aircraft. I use it for personal travel. Although it is currently not flying, when it is, it is based at Rockcliffe airport here in Ottawa.
As a pilot I would like to confirm your disagreement with the proposed Kettle Island interprovincial bridge which may potentially make Rockcliffe Airport unusable, not to mention clearly putting truck traffic through the backyards of many families in Ottawa. I live in Orleans and support a new interprovincial bridge being built at Lower Duck Island. This location will remove truck traffic from downtown Ottawa and its residential neighbourhoods. Will you support this option and ensure the continued life of Rockcliffe Airport?
As well Canada lacks a clear policy on airports primarily used by personal aircraft, namely Local and Regional airports. This has lead to the announced closure of Edmonton City Centre airport and Buttonville Airport in Markham, On. Both relieve nearby international airports by attracting corporate and personal aircraft that would otherwise consume valuable capacity built to accommodate scheduled airlines at the international airports. Canadian cities tend to be poorly served by reliever airports when compared to other similar cities in North America and the World. This is largely because of a policy vacuum at the federal government level. Currently all levels of government neglect their airport infrastructure primarily in response to the early 1990s National Airports Policy, which was aimed at removing airports from the federal budget process.
Will you support development of a comprehensive airport policy, dealing with both large and small airports, by the Minister of Transport in consultation with stakeholders and the other jurisdictions?
Also, will you commit to supporting a review of Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELTs) regulations that currently require aircraft owners to install devices that have proven to fail in most accidents and hence save few lives? Better technology is available and government should consider alternatives to the current regulations. Will you support reviewing the Canadian Air Regulations as they apply to ELTs?
Captain: Flight 8 - Ottawa - Canadian Owners and Pilots Association
VP, Short Wings Over Canada Chapter (formerly Seaway Chapter) Short Wing Piper Club
So far, at 11:40 19 April 2011, only two candidates have replied to my message, the Greens (twice) and the Conservative.
Here are the responses in the order they were received:
Thank you for your message regarding a new proposed interprovincial bridge.
It is important to understand that this project has been in the making for over fifty years. I have been very clear that I support the conclusions of the Greber Report which acknowledges the need for an interprovincial bridge at Kettle Island. This is the most logical place for a bridge in the NCR.
That said, my primary concern regarding a bridge is that it not intrude on our Greenbelt. The Greenbelt is a treasure in our community and some proposals for a bridge intrude on it. These proposals should not even be considered.
I trust that this information will be satisfactory to you. Thank you for your time.
Royal Galipeau’, the incumbent, seems unwilling to consider other bridge locations, or even mention airport policies, or ELTs. This makes him appear to have a closed mind! Mike
GREEN PARTY: (3 messages)
18:40 18 April
(to Mr. Shaw)
We are for a fair solution that does not create any more fatalities on King Edward by thousands of truck going through the center of the city. This will require cooperation from all communities, but we must put lives first.
That is our position.
Green Party of Canada Ottawa Orleans
Tel: 613.841.9216 Cell: 613.866.2503
14:35 18 April 2011
To me from Rob Schmidt
I saw a response from Paul Maillet about the Kettle Island option and wanted to quickly clarify our position in Ottawa Vanier.
We are against the Kettle Island Bridge option. We believe there are alternatives that mean no new bridge will be built, but if there needs to be a bridge we agree with Mauril's preference: the Canotek Road idea that would preserve the Green Belt and reduce impact on residential communities significantly.
Campaign Manager for Caroline Rioux
Green Party Ottawa Vanier
Sent from my iPad
12:38 16 April
Dear Mr. Shaw
As a retired Air Force Colonel with 33 years service. I do understand the challenges of aviation in terms of rising costs, airspace management, flight safety, airport availability, and the regulatory framework.
The issue of the interprovincial bridge is primarily an issue of the Vanier riding, however, I firmly believe in the urban planning imperative that communities have a strong and significant voice in development decisions that most affect them. That voice I will support. The bridge decision is important in that the congestion and fatality incidence on King Edward is clearly unacceptable. The kettle island decision impacts residents of Manor Park, your airport and the Montfort Hospital. The road network to receive the bridge in Gatineau also deserves consideration. The economics and truck traffic patterns have their arguments. The challenge is to balance competing interests so that all are satisfied to the maximum extent possible. You are one of the stakeholders involved that deserve consideration. That I completely agree with and now we need to be able to make it heard.
Regarding comprehensive airport policy I do agree that a reasonable balance between large and small airports is essential for a country of this size and for the sustainability of large, small and recreational operators. We have the same problem in agriculture between family and corporate farming. Everyone deserves a fair share of the capacity, financial support and resources available. A policy is overdue.
Being a former aerospace engineering officer, the issue of flight safety is always a real concern. I am not aware of ELT failure incidence data, but would always be in favour of better solutions and advances in technology. I agree that air regulations need to keep up to date with advances and more cost effective alternatives. I would support CAR reviews periodically in this respect, and for other improvement opportunities available.
I do hope I am given the opportunity to represent aviation issues in the next parliament.
Candidate - Green Party of Canada Ottawa Orleans
Tel: 613.841.9216 Cell: 613.866.2503
The Green Party seems to have an open mind and potentially an understanding of the issues. Mike
LIBERAL PARTY: no reply
Their silence is deafening? Current National Airports Policy was developed under the liberals. Minister of Transport was Doug Young. Mike
NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY (NDP): no reply
Are they afraid to engage a citizen? Mike
Liberal David Bertschi's staff have repied,
"We've received over 300 emails and letters from constituents and David likes to respond to each of them personally. You'll get a response to your email soon."
This is a little scary, has David not heard about delegating work to staff. How will he manage his time if elected?
Below is the reply sent by David Bertschi, Liberal in my riding. It arrived last Friday after all advanced polls but just before Election day.
Hi Michael. Thank you for writing. First of all, let me apologize for taking so long to get back to you. It has been a very busy time in my life as I work very long days on my campaign. I believe it is critical to the residents of Ottawa- Orléans to have a more responsive and active Member of Parliament to represent them, and I am working very hard to get my message out.
My position on the bridge has been clear for the past two years: no bridge in Ottawa-Orleans. My review of the engineering and environmental studies conclude unequivocally that no bridge should be built in the geographical boundary of Ottawa-Orleans. I have also met with countless community associations and my colleague in Ottawa- Vanier, Mauril Belanger, all of whom are in agreement with me that there should not be a bridge in Ottawa-Orleans. I was very disappointed that the National Capital Commission re-opened this issue last year, right under Royal Galipeau's watch, and included Option 6 & 7 (Lower and Upper Duck Island), and yet nothing was done by Mr. Galipeau either to prevent this from happening or to have the NCC reconsider their position.
As for your other issues, thank you bringing these matters to my attention. Should I be given the honour of representing the residents on Ottawa-Orleans in Parliament come May 2, I would be more than happy to discuss further how I can assist with these issues.
Federal Liberal Candidate in Ottawa-Orleans/Candidat libéral federal d'Ottawa-Orléans
Campaign office/Bureau de campagne:
2746, boul. St. Joseph Blvd, Orléans
Follow me on Twitter @david_bertschi
Add me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/david.bertschi
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