Opinion

Today’s letters: Councillors should be elected, not appointed

Monday, Sept. 27: You can write to us too, at letters@ottawacitizen.com

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Let residents choose their own councillor

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Re: Community groups call for Marianne Wilkinson to be appointed to council to replace Jenna Sudds, Sept. 23.

As a resident of Kanata North, I sincerely regret the resignation of Coun. Jenna Sudds. There is a request to city council from a number of Kanata North community associations to appoint former councillor Marianne Wilkinson to fill the vacant position for the remaining term of council.

I recognize Wilkinson’s experience and local knowledge. However, it should be up to all the taxpayers of the ward to select the person they want to represent them council. I also understand that a byelection could be costly and may take a few months, but that is the fair and democratic way to select a councillor.

If an elected candidate, for whatever reason, decides to resign before the end of a four-year term, perhaps the option should be to offer the vacant position to the runner-up, and if that individual is not interested in it, council should consider another qualified person.

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Fernando Ribas, Kanata North

Help the ByWard Market be the best it can be

Re: Murray Street business owners decry increase in area crime, Sept. 15.

Recently, my wife and I booked in to The Château Laurier for two days to celebrate our anniversary. The architecture, ambiance and location is wonderful, as is the food and the service. We also enjoyed the historic ByWard Market and took a short boat tour of the area that was great. It is great to see the hospitality sector returning to normal.

We were taken back, however, by the sheer number of aggressive panhandlers, people sleeping on the sidewalk and substance abusers in plain view. We counted 18 in one area in a little over 30 minutes.

We were followed by one who demanded we buy him a coke and invaded our space without wearing a mask. He approached five more couples in the area. We subsequently decided against going out after 7 p.m.

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Surely, as the capital of the country, there must be a way to address these concerns, while still creating a safe space in this area in which medical and social assistance can be obtained.

I believe both concerns can be addressed with the proper focus, if there is the political will to do so. This can be a win-win to address social concerns and increase tourism in this area.

Ken Scott, Ottawa

Save the Alexandra and build a new bridge

Re: Should the feds ‘save’ the Alexandra bridge? Sept. 18.

The NCC has ignored multiple submissions aimed at preserving the Alexandra Bridge, a milestone cantilever bridge built in 1901 that is a a civil engineering heritage structure. While dated and not up to modern traffic demands, it is still viable for lighter loads such as pedestrian, bicycle and potential trolley usage. Furthermore, the NCC’s proposed demolition would remove a significant interprovincial transportation link without an existing replacement.

Instead, a new bridge should be built, likely at Kettle Island, before any steps are taken to repurpose the existing Alexandra. A new bridge, not at Nepean Point, is long overdue. Taylor Blewett’s piece was timely, and encouraging.

Bruce Morgan, Orléans

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