Building the healthiest city: McKenney announces plan for municipal services supporting people

Catherine in a community health centreTo build a healthier city, McKenney has unveiled a robust plan for recreation and social services — in order to take better care of people in Ottawa

OTTAWA, October 4, 2022 — Today, Mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney announced their plan to make Ottawa the healthiest city by investing in recreation and social services. This announcement includes increasing availability of pools and beaches, opening libraries on Sundays, and increasing support for social services agencies. 

McKenney’s plan to build a healthier city will benefit everyone across Ottawa.

“As Mayor, I will make our city a healthier place to live, with the municipal services you need,” said McKenney. “Access to libraries on Sundays, pools when you need them, and crucial social services will help make Ottawa a healthy and vibrant city.” 

Libraries are a safe place for many people; a place where kids learn to read and where everyone can find a safe place to access internet — but not enough branches are open on Sundays. As Mayor, McKenney will fix this — so people can get to a library on Sundays. McKenney’s plan also includes recreation, including auditing access to French recreation programming and improving access to outdoor pools and beaches.

“When summer rolls around every year, people ask for greater access to outdoor pools and beaches in Ottawa, but the reality is that our city doesn’t have enough lifeguards. As Mayor, I’ll fix this by helping youth who are facing financial barriers become lifeguards, in order to keep our pools open longer and help youth find meaningful employment,” said McKenney.

McKenney’s plan to build the healthiest city also pledges to support social service agencies in addressing rising inequality in Ottawa. McKenney’s announcement builds on their commitment to end chronic homelessness in Ottawa, amongst other commitments aimed at supporting the people who need it the most — particularly with costs rising and more people and families struggling to keep up. 

As Mayor, McKenney will invest an additional $500,000 annually to support emerging and evolving community and social service needs.  

“From food security to mental crisis support, there are many types of services in our city that are underfunded. These services aren’t able to provide help to everyone who needs it,” said McKenney. “But with the right decisions, Ottawa can transform the health of our city, and support the people who live here.”

This announcement is in addition to McKenney’s comprehensive platform on housing, which will end chronic homelessness, prevent people from falling into homelessness, and end the practice of placing families in motels instead of adequate housing. “No one should be homeless or struggling to put food on the table,” added McKenney. “All levels of government must play a role in supporting people who need this kind of support, and that’s why as Mayor I will ensure we end homelessness and provide additional supports in our communities.”

Social services agencies in Ottawa support people dealing with a large range of challenges and situations, including poverty, homelessness, mental health challenges, addictions, and food insecurity. Many agencies also provide tailored support to specific communities, such as newcomers, refugees, and 2SLGBTQI+ communities. 

McKenney is running for Mayor on a platform of making Ottawa the healthiest, greenest, and best connected city.


Catherine McKenney is running for Mayor to make Ottawa the greenest, healthiest, and most connected city in Canada. For more information visit

Media contact:
Heather Badenoch via [email protected] or 613-518-3170.