By Charlie Senack, Barrhaven Independent
Barrhaven resident David Hill has announced he is running for council, and is the first unofficial candidate to release a campaign platform.
Hill says his name will be on the ballot for Barrhaven West in this fall’s municipal election. It comes after longtime area councillor Jan Harder announced she’s retiring after two and a half decades in local politics. A number of residents have told the Barrhaven Independent they might run for the job, and so far four have confirmed they will be signing up this spring when registration opens.
The Barrhaven resident has worked for the Canadian Military since 1997, and is now hoping to bring his safety background to city hall. His career started during the ice storm of 1998 and more recently has been coordinating international COVID relief flights during the pandemic.
“I have served my country in uniform for the past 25 years,” Hill told the Barrhaven Independent. “It’s a natural transition for me to continue to serve my community as a city councillor. I have a proven track record of solving complex problems in adverse conditions – I want to bring these skills to city hall.”
The married father of two says one of his biggest concerns is with economic retooling which will need to be done in a post COVID world.
“Inflation will continue to erode wealth, especially for our most vulnerable, and the city has increased its debt significantly in the past decade,” he said. “This will further pressure the city to live within its means and strong leadership will be required to balance the budget. Transit will need to evolve to better meet the need to both get employees downtown and to support internal to Barrhaven transit.”
Hill, a transit rider himself who regularly takes the bus downtown from Barrhaven, says he understands the frustrations commuters have. He’s heard stories of people needing to call an Uber to take them to Marketplace Station because their bus either didn’t arrive or would add too much time to the commute.
“The hybrid work model is not going anywhere soon, and the public service will need access to a secure Federal building in the Barrhaven/Riverside South area in order to support the 15 minute community and future hybrid work concepts,” said Hill. “I will fully support our Business Improvement Area in order to posture Barrhaven to continue as the leading economic growth engine in the city.”
Another priority Hill would like to see fast tracked is the Greenbank Road bridge project which at this time won’t be completed until 2032.
It’s a safety issue, and it will unlock the economic potential for the Barrhaven Town Centre,” he said. “I will also advocate for better coordination with the National Capital Commission for smart development across the National Capital Region. There is a housing shortage and Ottawa needs to build, with densification focusing on the anticipated transit line. I know too many smart young civil servants who’d like to settle in Ottawa but have been priced out of the market. We need to fix this.”
Hill would also like to see more safety improvements made to Barrhaven following a recent influx of swarmings and car break-ins in the community. He wants to bring his safety background to the table and coordinate with Ottawa emergency services to ensure that Barrhaven is a safe haven for families.
Because of his career, Hill has moved around multiple times, but says he’s called Barrhaven home for about 14 years total. He’s actively involved with the Barrhaven United Church, and recently won a dedication award from Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod.
“This is definitely a new direction for me, but in some ways a fresh face will be a good fit with some new ideas at city council,” he said.
Council hopeful David Hill has lived in Barrhaven for 14 years.