Why this election HAS to be about the environment?
In recent years, Ottawa has seen drastic increases in extreme weather events such as floods, tornadoes, air pollution from forest fires in Northern Ontario and Western Canada, and the derecho thunderstorm in May 2022, one of the most impactful in Canadian history, which left at least nine people dead. These are NOT once in a lifetime events; they are and will continue to happen more frequently.
Municipal policies are the key levers for creating positive change in cities where there’s enormous potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With a new mayor and almost one-third of city councillors departing, we must vote with the environment in mind! Now is the time to build a thriving City with sustainable sources of energy, world-class public transportation, walkable and cycling friendly communities, clean water, a strong urban tree canopy, strong waste diversion policies and improved quality of life for all its residents.
What role does Ottawa play in fighting climate change?
Municipal elections have the lowest voter turnout as compared to federal and provincial elections. However, through municipal policy, the City of Ottawa has a major influence on things such as:
- Building efficiency standards
- Number of electric charging stations throughout the city
- Implementation of green infrastructure & tree canopy
- Permitting of naturalised lawns and planting pollinator gardens
- Transitioning diesel buses and municipal vehicles to an electric fleet
- Public transit infrastructure and price of ticket/monthly pass
- Retrofitting existing commercial and residential buildings
- Waste diversion policies and landfill management
- Wastewater and sewage infrastructure
- Urban boundary expansion and urban density decisions
- Protected bike networks that are interconnected to facilitate active transportation
- Construction of new natural gas infrastructure
How can City Hall build a better Ottawa?
According to the City of Ottawa in 2020, 46% of community greenhouse gas emissions came from heating, cooling and electrifying our buildings, and 42% came from transportation. If we want to fight climate change, we need the City to strike in the places where we can make the biggest impact.
When the next mayor and city council is elected, we want them to: