Around the Nation

By Tom Van Dusen, National Valley News, May 30, 2020

The passion radiated by Moe Garahan from the Zoom screen this week was inspirational, almost palpable.

Executive director of Just Food Ottawa, Moe was participating in an online session which drew more than 100 participants mainly opposed to extending Ottawa urban sprawl to satisfy growing housing needs in addition to filling gaps within the existing urban sector.

Linking her comments to COVID-19, it was Moe who spoke for preserving agriculture in the remarkably agricultural capital which became that way following absorption of neighbouring rural municipalities such as Gloucester and Cumberland.

Organized by Ecology Ottawa and other groups under the Hold the Line campaign, the session was entitled: “The Cost of Urban Sprawl”. Whatever that cost, city council went ahead the next day and by a majority vote took the easy route, the one preferred by developers, to expand as well as infill the urban area providing the expensive infrastructure that goes with it.

Ecology Ottawa was quick to respond, firing off a “profoundly disappointed” missive as soon as council’s decision was known. EO’s Robb Barnes said the decision will define the environmental legacy of most councillors for the remainder of their careers.

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