Good afternoon,

Earlier this month, I contacted federal election candidates in Ottawa Centre, or their representative to seek their vision and commitment on two specific questions.

The questions I asked are as follows: (Question 1 is not relevant to the CEF)

Question 2:  The Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa’s jewel in the crown was recently in the news for having some of the cleanest air in the City.  The Farm was established in 1886 as the central research station for the federal Department of Agriculture. The Farm continues that scientific focus as the location for laboratories and research plots for the Ottawa Research and Development Centre.  The Central Experimental Farm is also a National Historic Site of Canada and home to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada headquarters.  Given the importance of the Farm to Canadians for the research that is conducted, will you lead a campaign to ensure that the Farm is not only designated a National Historic Site, but that legislation is passed to enshrine the lands as we know them from any future development.  Will you commit to protecting the Farm lands?

Below, you will find the unedited, unaltered replies from the candidates who responded.  I made every candidate aware that their replies would be publicly disseminated before election day.  You may share this information as well.

Sincerely,

Riley Brockington City Councillor, River Ward

Chris JONES

Answer 2: On the second question my answer is also affirmative.  I am an habitual user of the Farm lands, riding my bike through them on almost a daily basis in the spring & summer months.  I know directly of their health benefits and the fact that they provide a set of “lungs” for the residents of Ottawa.  Stopping development in the Farm lands and also enshrining them as a national historic site would be a firm conviction of mine should I be elected.  My platform speaks directly to the need to avoid the ecological costs of further tract housing development and the associated sprawl and single occupant vehicle use that it brings in its wake.

Marie-Chantal LERICHE  

Answer 2: Councillor Brockington, I understand the concern that is yours and of thousands of constituents in Ottawa-Centre. The farm has 500 precious acres of land dedicated to critical agricultural research.

To answer your question more fully, I would need to sit down with you and discuss all the parameters. Is it your intent to target only the part of the land that will not be used to build the hospital? Would it include the portion proposed by the City of Ottawa for rapid transit?

I always seek to build consensus and achieve a win-win situation whenever possible. I would work with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, as well as any others who would be able to assist in protecting the Farmlands. I join you in desiring this valuable resource be able to continue with its critical work and to be available to future generations of Canadians.

Catherine MCKENNA

Answer 2: Our Liberal platform is committing to introduce legislation on federally-owned heritage places. Current legislation offers little direction on how heritage places are designated and preserved, which can put these important places at risk. The Experimental Farm is an important part of the history of Ottawa and a National Historic Site, and I am looking forward to seeing the preservation of the Experimental Farm, and all other National Historic Sites, being better defined in legislation.

Merylee SEVILLA

Answer 2: As the People’s Party of Canada I would commit to protecting the Central Experimental Farm and to ensure that no body, public or private is able to build on the lands. It is important that we protect the green space and allow for research but to promote green space in the city. Legislation must be established to protect the land that no future governments or bodies is able to find loop holes to retract or change such policies. It is also important to ensure that the community have proper stake in the green space too.

Emilie TAMAN

Answer 2: The Central Experimental Farm is crucial to our city’s identity and serves an important national purpose in facilitating research. I’m committed to protecting the farm’s National Historic Site designation and prevent any future development on the land. We have let developers run amok in our city, giving them permission to develop over our history and culture, such as the Chateau Laurier fiasco, and we must be able to stand strong against developer influence. I will advocate alongside municipal and provincial elected representatives to ensure the Central Experimental Farm is fully protected.

Our platform also highlights the need to develop a system of urban national parks, and I see this as an innovative approach to not only protecting but also enhancing our riding to encourage more green space. As MP, I will proudly look for ways to protect and enhance the Central Experimental Farm, and parks funding could be one of those ways.

Angela KELLER-HERZOG

Answer 2: You raise the question of the status of the Central Experimental Farm. As you say, it plays a very important role not only in agricultural science but in making the environment of our City a greener one. Such spaces need to protected by whatever means are most effective in both the long and the short run, whether it is as a national historic site or by pressure from Members of Parliament.