As part of the Peoples Official Plan, we have submitted our Ottawa City Budget priorities to Councillors, the Mayor and City Staff. Our key funding priorities on the environment are set out, as well as areas that we do not want to see funded: fossil fuel infrastructure and road widenings, to name just two. The letter also sets out fundamental changes that need to be made to the budget process so to allow meaningful public participation in setting the City's funding priorities.
This year, we are calling on Ottawa City Council to commit to funding agreed climate action in 2023. This means that we need to see these existing policies fully funded:
- Protect our urban forest by fully funding the enforcement of Ottawa’s Tree Protection Bylaw as well as Ottawa’s Urban Forest Management Plan.
- Fund Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy, Energy Evolution and Ottawa’s Climate Change Master Plan
These plans and bylaws are key to shaping different elements of Ottawa's climate response, from climate mitigation to adaptation. Yet they are at risk of budget pressures and implementation delays. Poorly funded plans, or ones where improvements are not being actioned, will fail to protect our future in Ottawa. To follow through on the plans' many important recommendations, City Hall needs to prioritize sustained funding and direct action follow through. Historically, Council has been tepid and tentative when it comes to climate action. We can't afford to continue the status quo and with our new, energized Council and Mayor, we need to ensure these important protections are funded.
The full letter to Councillors, the Mayor and City Staff can be found here: