Another year has come and gone, and we’re now just a few sleeps away from 2015 – which makes it a great time to dust off the old crystal ball and make some bold predictions on what we think lies ahead for Barrhaven once the dust settles on 2014.
John Baird comes back home to Barrhaven – and crushes the competition
I’ve always been fond of John Baird. Despite his attack dog persona within the Conservative caucus, truth be told he’s a hard working MP who is guided by principles and values. When it comes to John Baird, what you see is what you get. He’s also one of the more progressive MP’s in the Tory caucus. Let’s just hope he can help the Conservatives revive the progressive side of the party, or else they might well end up leading a minority government in 2015.
Two mega projects will be announced, and one will be a Barrhaven Costco
Trinity developments will announce that a Costco store will indeed be coming to Barrhaven, but not until 2016. The store will feature a gas bar and raise concerns about traffic and light pollution with local residents. The second major announcement will be that of a much needed hotel that will also open in 2016, creating a significant number of new jobs for the community.
Rail issues will continue to dominate local headlines
A decision will be made to implement grade separation at both the Woodroffe and Fallowfield rail crossings. Costs will be shared between different levels of government and Via rail. But that will only be half the battle. With the widening of Strandherd Drive along the new Trinity development, the focus will shift to the rail crossing adjacent to this new retail hub.
Barrhaven councillors will be leading voices on the new city council
The results of the 2014 municipal election were very positive for Barrhaven. In Jan Harder, we elected not only a pragmatic voice and effective leader, but more importantly a person who loves her community deeply. I can’t help but wonder if she would have made the jump to federal politics had John Baird not switched electoral riding.
What Jan is to experience, Michael Qaqish is to energy and enthusiasm. I like the fact that we have such a balanced team representing us at city hall. Michael earned his spot at city council by knocking on hundreds of doors and listening to his constituents concerns. He comes across as a person with a strong work ethic who will connect well with the younger demographic in Barrhaven.
Watch Jan and Michael closely in 2015. I think they will be leading voices on our new city council.
UBER will lose it’s battle with city hall – and appeal it’s case all the way to the federal court
In a previous blog post, I came out in favor of UBER as long as they abide by the driver screening and car safety standards set out by our elected officials. What I did not support is anti-competitive rules that result in a lack of competition, poor service and high prices.
Just about every taxi company outside Ottawa has begun to use GPS technology to track car locations in order to offer better dispatch services. But guess what. Taxi drivers in Ottawa still refuse to allow GPS based dispatch services in their cars. It’s this flaw that UBER exploits in an effort to offer better service and lower prices.
The current taxi monopoly needs to come to an end. We need to be progressive, forward looking and embrace healthy competition that will benefit both consumers and service providers. Some politicians have recently introduced bills that will stifle competition in the local transportation industry. I predict that they will soon find out that they are on the wrong side of this issue.
The UBER court case will center around the right to compete in a barrier free marketplace. They might lose their case at both the municipal and provincial level, but will ultimately prevail at the federal level. UBER has deep pockets, and aren’t afraid to challenge unfair business practices that stand in their way.
So what are your Barrhaven community predictions for 2015? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.