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Two weeks ago, we learned that 70 hectares of forested land had been stripped bare in the southeast end of Ottawa. While the City initially issued a stop-work order, they ultimately lifted it, allowing this clear-cutting to continue—as it does today. Approximately 25,000 trees have already been destroyed; how many more will be destroyed if the City doesn’t act?
We need you to take action.
Here’s how. The Tewin clear-cutting is on the agenda of the City’s Environment and Climate Change Committee meeting on Tuesday March 21—which happens to be International Day of Forests. The Committee won’t discuss this topic, however, unless two-thirds of Committee members vote in favour of discussing it. Here’s where you come in: we need you to contact councillors to ask them to vote for this.
We’ve made contacting councillors easy by providing a suggested letter that you can send (see below). Feel free to also copy our text and modify it. If you don’t want to contact the entire committee, feel free to contact individual councillors—particularly your own or those in italics, whom we think may vote against considering the topic. We’ve provided a list below.
Why is this issue so important? First, we need to stop the ravaging of our precious ecosystem. Second, we need landowners to be held to account; we can’t afford to send the message that such destruction is allowable. Third, we need to prevent further clear-cutting: there are similarly vulnerable forests across the city.
Looking for other ways to take action? Here are a few:
- Sign our petition or our form letter to stop the clear-cutting
- Make a delegation at the Environment and Climate Change Committee: reserve a spot by contacting the Committee Coordinator
- Watch the meeting on Tuesday at 9:30 on the City’s YouTube channel
Many thanks for your action to stop the clear-cutting of Ottawa’s forests.
Environment and Climate Change Committee (website)
- Shawn Menard, Ward 17 Capital (chair)
- Marty Carr, Ward 18 Alta Vista (vice-chair)
- Riley Brockington, Ward 16 River
- Cathy Curry, Ward 4 Kanata North
- Rawlson King, Ward 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe
- Tim Tierney, Ward 11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville
- Matthew Luloff, Ward 1 Orléans East-Cumberland
- David Hill, Ward 3 Barrhaven West
- Theresa Kavanagh, Ward 7 Bay
- David Brown, Ward 21 Rideau-Jock
- Sean Devine, Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale
Please also CC us ([email protected]) so we may count how many people have emailed councillors!
Dear member of the City of Ottawa’s Environment and Climate Change Committee:
I ask that you vote to lift consideration of the clear-cutting of Tewin lands onto the agenda of the meeting of the Environment and Climate Change Committee on Tuesday, March 21—which happens to be International Day of Forests.
I was shocked to learn that 70 hectares of these forested lands—approximately 25,000 trees—have already been stripped bare, and that after considering the matter, the City permitted this destruction to continue. This is a clear failure of City legislation to protect our precious ecosystems.
In addition to voting to lift this item onto the Environment and Climate Change Committee agenda on Tuesday, I also ask you to pursue the following questions during the discussion:
- Why did the City lift the stop-work order and accept the agricultural exemption when the landowners are not farmers, nor have they indicated any intention of farming to this moment?
- How will the City implement the no-net-loss policy for forest cover in rural areas in this situation?
- How does the City plan to restore our tree canopy and plant one million trees over the next four years, as promised by Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, when trees are being cut down by the tens of thousands?
- How will the City prevent future destruction of this nature and protect Ottawa’s peri-urban woodlands and wetlands?
Thank you in advance for your consideration. I look forward to your reply.