By Daniel Buckles, Ottawa Citizen Op-Ed, October 30, 2023
Ottawa’s mayor needs to become an eco-justice warrior. His legacy, and re-election, depend on it.
Two official emergency declarations hang over this term of city council, passed down by the previous council: the climate emergency and the housing and homelessness emergency. Both were declared by the City of Ottawa in 2019. Neither has gone away as emergencies or received the urgent attention needed.
Now is an opportunity to correct course. Premier Doug Ford’s government has acknowledged that public trust in provincial decisions affecting the Toronto Greenbelt has collapsed. Last week, provincial decisions on the urban boundaries of 10 cities and regions, including Ottawa, were also reversed as the result of deeply flawed decision-making.
Ottawa has 45 days to propose changes to the Official Plan that define the urban boundary. Our current council can now take its own stand on how it wants to invest in the city’s future climate footprint and affordable housing targets.