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Excerpts from Ottawa Business Journal Article by David Saul. 2 Ocotber 2018
Ottawa’s mayoral challengers clashed over how to boost public safety in the ByWard Market and the need to regulate online accommodation platforms such as Airbnb during an all-candidates debate at the Shaw Centre. The Ottawa Board of Trade hosted the 90-minute event, which focused on how the candidates would promote and grow the city’s tourism industry. Among the most contentious topics was safety in the ByWard Market, one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
Candidate Bruce McConville told the audience of about 80 people he would increase police foot patrols in the neighbourhood and push to get rid of emergency shelters in the area, saying they did nothing to solve the underlying issues that cause homelessness. Instead, he called on the city to invest more in affordable housing for low-income residents to get people off the street.
“Funding more and more shelter beds that are unnecessary is kind of like putting an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff and not worrying about people jumping off at the top,” he said. “We can do much better.”