Council Watch Updates

What do Ottawa City’s Term of Council Priorities Contain on Climate Change?

City Council recently approved its four pillars that will comprise the strategic priorities for this term, which lasts until 2026: affordable housing, safe, accessible transportation and mobility options, a prosperous and diversified economy, and creating a “green and resilient” city. While these priorities and their implications represent some worthwhile goals from the City, the presence of meaningful and proactive climate action is lacking. 

NIMBYism clashes with Ottawa housing goals

With a housing and homelessness emergency declared in Ottawa in 2020, it is no surprise that affordable housing was a major election issue last fall, with a campaign promise from Mayor Sutcliffe on creation of housing and a refreshed mandate for the Planning and Housing Committee that prioritizes housing affordability. However, when development applications for dense, car-lite residential buildings come to the Planning and Housing Committee, there is often a surprising amount of push-back.

The 2022 Derecho and Trees in Ottawa: Report

So just how many trees on City of Ottawa property were lost in the 2022 derecho?

City staff presented a report on this at today's meeting of City Council. Here's a summary, with the report below!

Ottawa set to sign Montréal Pledge on Biodiversity

The City of Ottawa looks likely to sign the Montréal Pledge on biodiversity. By signing this pledge, the City will make an important commitment to protecting biodiversity. However, along with the commitment, there needs to be accountability.

Transit Commission approves funding for electric transit buses

The circumstances behind the Transit Commission’s emergency meeting on January 27 gave cause for some suspicion. The meeting was called for the commission to approve the funding being directed to Ottawa’s planned Zero-Emission Bus (ZEB) acquisition, which includes a $350M grant from Infrastructure Canada and a $75M drawdown from the Canada Infrastructure Bank, before the city council draft budget meeting on February 1.

Evaluating climate in Ottawa’s draft budget

The city has tabled a tight new draft budget that contains several proactive investments in climate and just as many confounding steps backwards.

Rain Ready Ottawa - Protecting our watershed and our basements

When it rains, do you think about where that water is going once it hits the ground? Stormwater actually plays a large role in the health of Ottawa’s creeks and rivers. Where it goes once it hits the ground and what it picks up along the way can heavily impact the aquatic habitats and recreational activities that the Ottawa River provides. So, what is being done to manage it?

Pushing changes into the draft Official Plan

The Official Plan is Ottawa’s major land use and policy document, and will shape our city for at least the next 25 years. Something this big demands major public engagement, and Ottawans have stepped up in a big way. We’ve seen 500-person rallies to stop sprawl, packed Saturday morning Zoom workshops on neighbourhood design, and overwhelming public input into arcane city processes. We’ve seen community outrage at last-minute land use decisions like the Tewin development, and missives from senior city officials pointing to “unprecedented engagement” from the public.

Whose road is it anyway?

Ottawa is an excellent cycling city—how many times have you heard this statement while talking with neighbours and friends? Although Ottawa may have an admirable collection of multi-use pathways (MUPs) that are safe and accessible for all users, ages, and abilities, they rely on a safe road network to connect them. Unfortunately, many of our roads lack the appropriate infrastructure needed to make them safe, jeopardising the accessibility of our cycling network. 

The Future of Ottawa Parks and Recreation: My Very First Consultation

A few weeks ago I had the chance to attend my first series of consultations held by the city of Ottawa. These consultations were regarding the future of parks and recreation in the city and consisted of 6 separate 2-3 hour long sessions. I must admit, at first I felt very out of place as I am only 18 years old and was surrounded by citizens that were often twice my age. While thrilling, I do not think I would have participated in these consultations if it wasn’t for my involvement with Ecology Ottawa. Nonetheless, it opened my eyes to the importance of getting involved in the community to impact positive change. 

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