Ottawa East Deserves a Federal Employment Campus

OTTAWA — Shawn Hamilton, Managing Director of CBRE, called on the federal government today to shift a portion of its office space into Orléans, closer to where a significant portion of its workforce lives. Hamilton was addressing a group of business leaders at the annual CBRE Real Estate Market Outlook event in Ottawa.

Every workday, the Orléans community exports most of its workforce. During peak hours, in the morning, Orléans sees a surging outflux of their residents — an estimated 80 per cent exiting versus 20 per cent entering Orléans — to travel to work. The opposite holds true in the evening hours.

“Ottawa’s east end is home to a significant number of federal government employees who are required to commute to their jobs in other areas of the city,” said Laura Dudas, City Councillor for Innes Ward and Deputy Mayor, City of Ottawa. “The City of Ottawa’s substantial investment in extending light rail transit (LRT)to Trim Road must be used as the catalyst for bringing federal jobs east, reducing commute times, easing traffic congestion, and providing environmentally sustainable transportation options. Now is the time for the Federal Government to take note of this opportunity and establish a workspace in the east.”

The statements were applauded by the Capital 2020 Task Force, a group of volunteer business leaders on both sides of the Ottawa river, who are promoting strong economic development in the National Capital Region, and a federal employment campus in Orléans.

“We need to capitalize on our bilingual, highly-educated workforce in Orléans,” said Doug Feltmate, Sub-committee Chair of Orléans Employment on the Capital 2020 Task Force. “With Ottawa surpassing one million people on June 1st this year, it’s time for the federal government to do the right thing and support an employment hub in Orléans.”

The Capital 2020 Task Force has prioritized the issue, citing the fact that every area in the National Capital Region has sustained growth in population, employment and diversity — except for the east end communities of Ottawa.

The Capital 2020 Task Force, local business owners and private sector employees, have raised serious concerns that the new light rail transit scheduled for completion in 2025, will be empty coming in to Orléans except at rush hour in the early evening.

“Orléans is ready to be the home of a Government of Canada collaborative workspace,” agreed Mathew Luloff, City Councillor for Orléans and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa. “Thousands of our residents spend precious hours away from their families sitting on the highway in traffic, forced to cross the Greenbelt twice a day. Together, we can change that. With five LRT stops coming, a new Community Improvement Plan in the works and significant attention being paid to economic development, the table is set for public servants to have a productive, inclusive and collaborative work environment close to home.”

Please contact: Kathy Hendrick, 416-277-6281, khendrick@gbassociatees.ca, Capital2020.ca

– Capital 2020 Task Force