It isn't often that I'm happy to announce that I was wrong, but I'm glad to say that the email I sent out this morning about where the Ontario parties stand on the dumping of sewage into the Ottawa River appears to have been inaccurate. So I'm sending out another one and posting it here.
According to communication today with local area candidates, the Ontario NDP, if elected, would also provide the $65 million in funding that the City of Ottawa needs from the provincial government to stop the dumping of untreated sewage into the Ottawa river (which means the NDP, the Liberals, and the Green Party are in agreement on this issue).
Nothing would make us happier than an all party consensus to support the City's plan. Ecology Ottawa wants all candidates AND their party leadership at ALL levels of government to help the City achieve its vision of a sewage-free Ottawa River.
It is our understanding that the Mayor of Ottawa has also posed a question on this issue to the provincial party leaders, so we'll be looking for good news when he unveils the outcome of his survey.
Yours for a clean river and healthy watershed,
Graham Saul, on behalf of the Ecology Ottawa Clean Water Team
Here is a corrected version of the message we sent earlier:
A few weeks ago the Government of Ontario announced $65 million in funding to support the City of Ottawa's plan to stop dumping sewage into the Ottawa River. This funding has been one of Ottawa's number one infrastructure priority for years, and Ecology Ottawa's petition calling on the provincial and federal government to support the plan now stands at over 10,000 signatures.
This is a huge victory!!! Right? Well…
Before they had even finished making the announcement the budget was rejected, the government fell, the $65 million was off the table, and Ontario was swept into another provincial election.
So where do the provincial parties stand today on one of our city’s highest infrastructure priorities?
- Liberal Party (Kathleen Wynne) – Has committed to fund the Ottawa River clean-up
- Progressive Conservative Party (Tim Hudak) – Has NOT committed to fund the Ottawa River clean-up
- NDP (Andrea Horwath) – Has committed to fund the Ottawa River clean-up
- Green Party (Mike Schreiner) – Has committed to fund the Ottawa River clean-up
Two more quick things about our rivers.
The City of Ottawa is moving forward with another one of its cornerstone efforts to clean up the 4,500 kilometres of streams, creeks and rivers that flow through our beautiful town - they are developing a comprehensive Water Environment Strategy. This will be Ottawa's overall framework for protecting and enhancing the health of our water resources, and they want to hear from you!
On June 14th, the City of Ottawa will be holding a Water Roundtable. The Roundtable is about bringing people together who care about clean water and healthy watersheds to provide input into the emerging Water Environment Strategy.
Here's how to get involved: Send an email to [email protected] and let them know that you want to participate in the upcoming Roundtable. Please also let me know that you've expressed interest so that Ecology Ottawa can keep you in the loop as the Water Environment Strategy unfolds.
And finally, Ecology Ottawa, in partnership with Friends of Petrie Island and Ottawa Riverkeeper, is hosting a spring cleanup of Petrie Island. The cleanup will be held on Saturday June 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We will be meeting near the nature interpretation centre on the island (at the north end of Trim Road), light rain or shine. We will supply garbage bags, and we recommend bringing work gloves and rubber boots. Please bring a rake if you have one.
We stand today at an important crossroads in our efforts to build a truly sustainable city and the next month is going to be key, so thanks for all you do.
Graham, and the Ecology Ottawa Clean Water Team.
P.S. On June 7th, join Cool It for the Kids and Ecology Ottawa at the first ever “Sing for the Climate” rally, starting on Parliament Hill at 10am! Organized by and for children and youth, this family-friendly event will feature a number of young presenters and musical acts before a small march to the Human Rights monument, focused on climate action and inspiring hope.