Reevely: Ottawa's 2018 budget skimps on greening the city, for the fourth year in a row

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen, November 17, 2017

The city government is millions of dollars behind in its plan to save money by using less energy in its own buildings and is set to punt real work on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions past 2020.

Mayor Jim Watson drew attention to this corner of the budget when he gave his speech on the city’s 2018 spending plans last week. Harsher weather — hotter summers, wetter and messier winters — was a recurring theme, along with how the city’s adapting, and doing its part to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

He made the energy-efficiency part sound pretty dull: “Under the umbrella of our Energy Evolution leadership, the city’s Building Engineering and Energy Management team has introduced over 120 energy reduction initiatives since its inception,” he said. “In 2018, the BEEM group will receive $1 million towards new projects.”

(...)“It’s not … entirely truthful,” says Robb Barnes, the acting executive director of Ecology Ottawa. He’s glad the city’s doing what it’s doing, but argues it should be doing a lot more than “re-labelling” money that belongs in the fleet budget as an environmental move.

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