What Ecology Ottawa will be watching for in today's Term of Council Priorities report.

In October Ottawa elected a new city council. At the time Ecology Ottawa approached councillors across the city and met with many of them. We told them clearly what our priorities were and offered to work with them.

Today the public gets its first look at the official document that defines the City of Ottawa’s priorities for the next four years. Will they reflect a priority for a city that’s healthy for citizens and the environment?

Here’s what we told the new council six months ago. It’s what we’ll compare their official document to when we report to you whether their priorities measure up. You can read more background on each of these issues here.

  1. We asked them to develop a strong new Water Environment Strategy, as the next logical step in the Ottawa River Action Plan. Such a strategy should emphasize green infrastructure. [click here for the most recent posts from our water campaign]
  2. We asked the new council to start implementing the complete streets policy and accelerate spending for cycling in the city budget. [click here for the most recent posts from our complete streets campaign]
  3. Councillors were encouraged to rally under the umbrella of Tree Ottawa to plant a million trees for Canada's 150th birthday. While this will be a responsibility shared by institutions and individuals across Ottawa, as the leading tree planter, the City would play a critical role and need to expand its tree budget and increase the tree-planting staff. [click here for the most recent posts from Tree Ottawa]
  4. We asked them to aggressively implement the climate change action plan by including allocations in the budget as was promised in the plan. We know that they have failed at this, though the priorities document that’s about to be released was promised as the new source of funding for this work. We also asked them to come up with new measures to achieve the climate plan’s goals; again as was promised in the plan itself. [click here for the most recent posts from our climate change campaign]
  5. And finally elected councillors were asked to assess the risks posed by the Energy East pipeline, and intervene at the National Energy Board process to oppose the pipeline if it threatens the health of Ottawa’s community and the environment. [click here for the most recent posts from our TarFree613 campaign]
The city’s Term of Council Priorities document is expected to be posted on the city’s website on or about May 27th and proceed through approvals at various standing committees before final approval at full City Council in early July.

Watch this space because as soon as we've evaluated what the official document means we’ll report back to you.

Thanks for all you do

Graham Saul Executive Director

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