Ottawa declares a climate emergency

By Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen, April 24, 2019

Canada’s capital city, which has been fighting rising river waters in its outlying communities, declared a climate emergency on Wednesday.

Ottawa’s city council voted overwhelmingly to make the declaration as a way to show how serious the municipality is about protecting people from the impacts of climate change.

It was a big win — and a somewhat surprising one — for Coun. Shawn Menard, who first brought the proposal for a climate-emergency declaration to the environment committee last week. On a council that doesn’t care much for making symbolic gestures, Menard managed to push through a motion that won over most of council’s leadership.

Councillors who voted in favour of the climate emergency seem to like that the declaration also comes with actions.

However, it’s likely that many council members followed the lead of the environment committee chair, Coun. Scott Moffatt, who worked with Menard on crafting a winnable motion.

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