19 August 2015 / #candidates #debates Ottawa and Gatineau mayors to ensure federal parties address local issuesAt a joint press conference today, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin outlined a three-point strategy to ensure local issues receive federal attention in the upcoming election. “You cannot have a strong Canada without a strong capital,” said Mayor Watson. “The future prosperity of Ottawa and Gatineau depends on a federal government that is an active, constructive partner on the issues that matter most to local residents.” “In the years ahead, we have big challenges and opportunities on issues such as affordable housing, infrastructure and transportation,” said Mayor Pedneaud-Jobin. “We will be encouraging any local candidate who wishes to be a Member of Parliament to engage in a constructive discussion about these issues.” The strategy includes: 1. ** Informing candidates about local priorities: ** All nominated candidates from each of the main political parties will be provided information on local priorities. Mayor Pedneaud-Jobin has already sent this information to Gatineau candidates. Mayor Watson will be holding in-person briefings at City Hall. Briefings will be held for each party separately, and will include transit, infrastructure and affordable housing, among other issues. 2. ** Questionnaires: ** The mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau will send short questionnaires on local priorities to federal party leaders and local candidates. Questionnaires will be sent out before the end of August and responses will be published simultaneously online before the end of September. 3. ** Debates: ** Parties will be invited to send one candidate each to a local issues debate organized at their respective City Hall. The Ottawa debate will be held at Ottawa City Hall on Monday, October 5. The debate will be moderated by Mark Sutcliffe and Véronique Soucy.