Welcome to the home page of Michael Kostiuk. I am a geographer, a teacher and an International Consultant based in Ottawa, Canada. I am a life long resident of River Ward.
I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education and Geography and a Diploma in International Trade. I hold the following professional certifications: OCT (Ontario Certified Teacher), CCEP (Canadian Certified Environmental Practitioner) and CITP (Certified International Trade Practitioner.
I have worked in a wide variety of jobs over the years including the Army Reserve with the Governor Generals Foot Guards, Researcher, Consultant, Planning Assistant, Map Maker, Geographer and a teacher both here in Canada and in several other countries such as in The United States, Ireland and Ukraine.
I am interested in promoting: Democracy, Inclusion, Public Safety, Health, Education, "Intelligent" Urban and Regional Planning, Use of the Prince of Wales Bridge for Rail-based Transit (and Freight), Commuter Rail on Existing Rail Lines, Affordable Housing, Public Transportation, Inter-Provincial Transportation, Transparency, Openness, Sustainability, Science-based Decision Making, Protection of the Environment, Quality of Life, Value for Money, Cost Effectiveness, Economic Development, Tourism, International Trade and a Commitment to Integrity and Public Service. If all of this seems complex you are right! That is because modern cities are dynamic and evolving centres of work and habitation. Cities are also not isolated from other parts of the world and while a councillor should be concerned with local neighbourhood issues they must also be capable of integrating global issues into local governance. And in Ottawa’s case we have the unique attributes of being a national capital that is surrounded by a greenbelt, as well as having to coordinate its activities with the City of Gatineau, the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and the National Capital Commission. This requires the ability to work with others, to consider other points of view, and to make compromises when necessary. I have these abilities.
Having research skills is important since a councillor can only do their job effectively if they have the ability to read and understand written reports. I can’t emphasize the importance of this point enough.
I have provided many years of volunteer service to a variety of community groups and special interest groups such as museums and heritage organizations. I was the president of the Carlington Community Association (in the north section of River Ward) for three years. I also participated in the monthly meetings of the Federation of Citizen's Associations of Ottawa (FCA). I am also a member of Canadem, which is Canada's Civilian Reserve. I returned from Ukraine in February, 2010 where I was a Canadian election observer for their Second Round presidential election.
One of my interests is Public Transportation and I am a proud member of the Sparks Street Heritage Streetcar committee. Our group is currently in the early planning stages of placing a heritage streetcar on Sparks Street. The main aim of the project is to boast the economic development of downtown Ottawa through this tourism initiative. This project has the approval of the Sparks Street Board, which gave our group a grant of $10,000. Please check the project link: www.ottawastreetcar.com. I am also a member of the EMRG (Emergency Measures Radio Group) whose purpose is to provide backup and auxiliary radio-based communications in the event of a prolonged emergency situation in the Ottawa Region. I recently took part in a two-day training event that dealt with providing emergency communication for local government during a “mock” disaster.
My training as a geographer gives me a very good understanding of how cities and countries should function and as such, I feel that my knowledge and experience can be an asset to this city. Cities that are dynamic and function properly are sometimes known to have "Synchronicity" or the ability to excel. Ottawa is not at this stage, but it can be with if we can get our "act together".
Geographers basically function along two lines of research: Analysis and Synthesis. Analysis is learning how things work. Synthesis on the other hand is putting things together to make them work. To do synthesis geographers are taught to obtain ideas, knowledge and expertise from other disciplines such as the sciences, architecture, mathematics, engineering, law, economics, computer science and so on. By reaching out and seeking advice from other disciplines, geographers will tend to incorporate other people's idea's in the planning and decision making process. These are good qualities for a councillor since geographers will tend to have an open mind to other ideas, which means they will be able to search for the best possible solution to a problem.
The management and organization style at the City of Ottawa needs vast improvement and I propose that the city should be organized along the “I.S.O.” management style. Basically ISO certification requires that an organization document all the steps that are required for each section, and each individual to perform in order to carry out their duties. What this does is force the organization's departments to justify WHAT they are doing and HOW they are doing their tasks. Redundant tasks and duplication is removed resulting in a more efficient and streamlined operation.
As a teacher I understand the importance of inclusion and life long learning. For Ottawa to prosper it needs to be a place where everyone is allowed to contribute their skills and abilities to their city. No one in Ottawa should feel that they are purposely being bullied or excluded from taking part in the democratic process. Unfortunately some people in Ottawa do feel they are being excluded or bullied and this behaviour must end.
In this information age Ottawa can, and should be a centre of innovation and knowledge. And this means supporting libraries.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words I assume that a moving picture must be worth thousands of words and therefore, I also use video via YouTube as means of explaining my ideas. Many of these videos are available on the following two sites
If you have any questions or suggestions please free to contact me via e-mail at: