Ecology Ottawa Praises the NCC’s Greenbelt Expansion Plan, Denounces Developers Opposed to the Idea

Jan. 26, 2012 (Ottawa) — Ecology Ottawa praised the National Capital Commission (NCC) today for its plan to further expand Ottawa’s greenbelt and denounced members of the development community who are already working to undermine this responsible move.

“The NCC’s intention to add a 10 per cent expansion beyond the existing Greenbelt over 50 years is exactly that type of visionary idea that Ottawa needs more of,” said Graham Saul, chair of Ecology Ottawa.

The local environmental organization denounced those in the development community that are speaking out against the plan.

“These businesses and associations seem to be acting like the opposite of good corporate citizens,” said Trevor Haché, the group’s policy coordinator. “Greedy agendas driven by vested interests should be outright rejected by the National Capital Commission, Ottawa city council, and Ottawa’s citizens.”

“Developers already cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars appealing the previous council’s decision to limit the expansion of the urban boundary,” added Saul. “And now they are suggesting that we should pave over our parks and farms instead of focusing on building a world class city that we can all be proud of.”

Ecology Ottawa believes that the NCC’s plan will further allow the city to become both environmentally and financially sustainable. Indeed, sprawl’s destructive effects are well known. It promotes pollution and excess energy consumption from car traffic, and increases run-off of polluted water from miles of asphalt. It is also expensive, creating far-flung infrastructure that is costly to service and maintain.

“The success of the city’s light rail plan depends on greater density inside the Greenbelt—not more sprawl,” Saul said. “Compact and walkable neighbourhoods, a concentration of residential development around public transportation corridors, and the preservation of green spaces and rural areas are critical to ensuring our nation’s capital realizes its full potential.”

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