Climate change is the issue of our times. Today, cities have great opportunities and assets that could reduce citizens’ carbon footprints, while empowering us to live more lightly on the land. However, these changes require concrete climate actions. I believe it is time for Ottawa to step up to the challenge.
I have always believed that green spaces are foundational features of a liveable community. As the President of the Glebe Community Association, I played an active role in ensuring that many of Capital Ward’s green spaces were protected. These projects include: the establishment of the Exploration Garden, the Glashan Schoolyard Greening project, protecting the Mutchmoor playing field, the creation and rezoning of Firehall Park, and the Canada 150 tree planting project.
Today, the City has a largely untouched Urban Forest Management Plan, and no concrete action plan to reach our carbon emission goals. I believe that City Hall should be playing a more active role in protecting our trees and rivers, implementing effective waste management practices, and guide the City’s transition to a low carbon economy. Here is how I plan on keeping our Capital green:
Trees, Green Spaces and Rivers
- Ensure that the Urban Forest Management Plan is fully costed and appropriately resourced, making sure that highest impact action items are implemented as soon as possible, and the entire plan is implemented in less than the currently projected 20 years;
- Manage new development in such a way as to maintain existing mature tree cover and focus on better technical quality of hardscape tree planting and maintenance along our streets;
- Develop a “Capital Ward Parks Plan” in consultation with local neighbourhoods and park users, enhancing green spaces and park facilities for all ages and to suit a myriad of park uses; explore creative solutions for increasing greenspace in the Ward, including making 160 Lees Ave part of Springhurst Park, working with the NCC to protect lands on the east side of the Rideau River (Smyth to LRT corridor) and establish micro-parks;
- Re-invest in water quality monitoring and reporting for rivers and streams in the City; increase trees and vegetation along the Rideau River, encourage & support green infrastructure, move from salt to soil in the winter wherever possible and work with Ottawa Riverkeeper to reduce plastic pollution in the Rideau River, Canal and Ottawa River.
Transitioning Ottawa to a Low Carbon Economy
- Champion action on climate change to achieve short and long-term carbon emission reductions. This includes building the transition to a low carbon economy into the next Official Plan and our economic development strategy
- Implement the Renewable Energy Strategy for Ottawa as a strategic priority. Working with provincial and federal to secure joint funding agreements.
- Measure, track progress and report on community and corporate greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis using open data
- Include, and report on, a climate lens in the City’s asset management planning process
- Support divesting of City’s Endowment Fund from fossil fuels
- Champion the development and implementation of a city-wide strategy to better manage all waste streams, including increasing rates of composting and recycling and better options for disposing of pet waste
- Working to reverse the 2018 Council decision to allow plastics into the green bin organic stream and find a better solution
- Actively explore and implement appropriate options for reducing single use plastics including bags, straws and Styrofoam in homes, businesses and at major events
We are living on traditional and unceded Algonquin territory and acknowledge the Algonquin peoples as traditional custodians of the land. We have a responsibility to be good & mindful stewards of the land, water & air for future generations.
As councillor, I will be a strong advocate for our City’s green agenda, ensuring that our parks, rivers and green spaces will be enjoyed by generations to come.