Ecology Ottawa calls on Mayor Jim Watson: Don’t cut out the core!
December 14, 2018
(OTTAWA) – Ecology Ottawa has launched a campaign to urge Jim Watson to fix Ottawa’s committee structure by adding more urban councillors to key committees such as the Transit Commission, Planning Committee and the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO). The letter-writing and social media campaign, called “Don’t Cut Out the Core,” seeks to make Ottawa a greener city through city-wide representation on key committees impacting the environment.
“At council last Wednesday, the mayor stacked committees with his friends on council, while pushing other voices to the sidelines,” said Robb Barnes, executive director of Ecology Ottawa. “Those voices are disproportionately urban. This means one fifth of the city’s population is cut out of major decisions impacting Ottawa’s environment.”
Three committees in particular – Transit, Planning and FEDCO – now have little or no urban representation. These committees will make critical decisions over the next four years in areas such as Ottawa’s urban boundary expansion, progress on light rail, and efforts to increase transit ridership and connectivity. Ecology Ottawa is calling on the mayor to add additional urban representatives in each case, without removing the inner-Greenbelt, suburban and rural councillors already in place.
“If we truly want a greener city, we need to hear from the diverse voices of every area of the city,” said Mr. Barnes. “Jim Watson is playing political games instead, with deep implications for the strength of local democracy.”
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