Ellen Lougheed is the latest candidate to announce her intention to run for city councillor in the Kitchissippi ward.
Lougheed says her approach to city council would be collaborative. She wants Kitchissippi residents to tell her what’s important to them, and what they think could be improved.
“I’m very people oriented. I care about people,” Lougheed says.
Lougheed is especially concerned that some residents of the ward don’t feel they are being heard by the city about decisions that affect them.
“What I look for when dealing with any topic is who is being left out of this policy,” Lougheed says.
Her focus is on decisions that will work for the community in the long term. She lists a number of her own topics of concern, including accessibility, traffic control, and affordable housing.
Another one of the major issues she hopes to tackle as city councillor, is safety.
“Especially given the number of people in wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, parents with baby carriages, and the fact that seniors just don’t walk fast… what’s it going to be like during construction and with the buses?” Lougheed asks.
Due to a physical disability she developed as a child, Lougheed herself uses a wheelchair. The issue of safety has affected her directly on the streets of Hintonburg. She says she was once hit by a car while crossing the street and knocked out of her wheelchair.
This race is Lougheed’s first attempt to run for city council, despite having a long standing interest in politics.
“For a lot of my life I just didn’t have the self-confidence to pursue my dreams. Maybe I’ve just reached an age when I’m more brave,” she says.
Though she may be new to the city council race, Lougheed is already an active member of her community. She moved from her hometown of Montreal to Ottawa in 1990 while finishing her Masters of Social Work at McGill University, and has lived in the city ever since. She spent her first few years as a Centretown resident, before moving to Hintonburg about ten years ago.
During her time in Ottawa, Lougheed has worked in social policy, co-op housing and employment counselling.
She has also done volunteer work in areas including co-op housing and accessibility. She was president of the Co-op Housing Association of Eastern Ontario for several years, and has served on several other boards and committees.
Lougheed enjoys the diversity and neighbourhood atmosphere in Kitchissippi. Her favourite thing to do is go out into the community and visit local shops.
“I know a lot of people in my neighbourhood,” Lougheed says. “I am an outgoing person. I say good morning and hello to a lot of people, and my neighbourhood knows me,” she says.
She wants Kitchissippi residents to be proud of their community.
Despite her independence, there are certain aspects of campaigning Lougheed says she can’t do alone. She is looking for donations to her campaign, as well as volunteers to help with door-to-door canvassing.
For more information about Lougheed’s campaign, go to ellenlougheed.com.