Council Watch Monthly Digest – May 2013

Transportation Committee: Cancelled

Planning Committee (May 14): Councillors approved the Bayview Station District Community Design Plan, which promotes transit, cycling, and pedestrian oriented development in the currently underused land just west of downtown Ottawa. The Design Plan includes the development of park and green space, multi-use bridges and pathways for cyclists and pedestrians, high rise buildings located close to the Bayview transit station, and well connected wide sidewalks on both sides of the streets. Ecology Ottawa awards the Planning Committee with a Thumbs Up for passing this progressive development plan which prioritizes all road users and promotes transit, cycling, and walking as alternatives to driving.

Environment Committee (May 21):  The Environment Committee held their first meeting since March this month. Despite the lengthy absence, the meeting was unexpectedly short and did not cover anticipated topics, such as the LEED accreditation process or discussion of the Greenhouse Gas Roundtable, held on March 23rd, 2013. The meeting passed the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee’s Workplan, which included an objective to review the Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan. Councillors’ received an update on the City’s increasing efforts on Solid Waste Services in City Facilities and approved a recommended expansion of the program to include waste generated within large City facilities, City parks, and right-of-ways. Ecology Ottawa awards Councillors on the Environment Committee a thumbs-up for diverting waste from landfills. The brief meeting ended with Chair of the Committee Maria McRae submitting an Inquiry and demanding a statement from the City’s solicitor, Rick O’Connor, on why Council has not yet received an audit on the Orgaworld contract that was requested in 2011. For more information and for Ecology Ottawa’s critique of this meeting please visit our blog.

City Council (May 22): City Council approved the Bayview Station District Community Design Plan put forth by the Planning Committee (from May 14) and for this Ecology Ottawa awards City Council with a Thumbs Up.

Planning Committee (May 28): The Planning Committee approved the O’Keefe Drain Environmental Management Plan (EMP) (Item 3). The O’Keefe Drain is located on 211 hectares of predominantly agricultural and natural land east of Highway 416, west of Strandherd Drive, and north of the Jock River. The O’Keefe Drain runs in a southern direction beginning in a residential area north of Fallowfield Road, through agricultural lands, and to the Jock River. The entire subwatershed of the O’Keefe Drain covers approximately 506 hectares. The City of Ottawa requested the development of an EMP for the Drain to create a stormwater management plan and to ensure that the natural features of the area, as well as the downstream system are protected with increased development. The O’Keefe Drain EMP was guided by the recommendations of the Jock River Reach One Subwatershed Study, a stormwater management plan that was developed to manage the watershed in light of increased urbanization and development. The O’Keefe Drain EMP features recommendations such as protecting the core woodlot as a wildlife habitat, planting grasses and trees, developing a 46 m channel corridor that will restore the existing Drain to better enhance the aquatic and terrestrial habitat, and having discussions with the Ministry of Natural Resources for guidance on sensitive species. The Planning Committee members are awarded a Thumbs Up for approving these recommendations to protect our City’s natural environment. 

Ecology Ottawa’s Rating of City Councillors:

Approved the Bayview Station District Community Design Plan
City Councillor Rating
Councillors on the Planning Committee* and on City Council** Thumbs-up

*R. Chiarelli, R. Bloess, S. Blais, B. Monette, J. Harder, S. Qadri, K. Hobbs, T. Tierney, A. Hubley, P. Hume **S. Moffatt, R. Chiarelli, E. El-Chantiry, R. Bloess, D. Chernushenko, S. Blais, S. Desroches, B. Monette, J. Harder, M. Wilkinson, M. Fleury, S. Qadri, P. Clark, K. Egli, D. Deans, K. Hobbs, T. Tierney, D. Holmes, A. Hubley, P. Hume, M. McRae and Mayor J. Watson. Absent: M. Taylor and D. Thompson

O’Keefe Drain Environmental Management Plan
City Councillor Rating
Councillors on the Planning Committee* Thumbs-up

*R. Chiarelli, R. Bloess, S. Blais, J. Harder, S. Qadri, K. Hobbs, T. Tierney, A. Hubley, P. Hume. Absent: B. Monette

Expanded the Solid Waste Services program
City Councillor Rating
Councillors on the Environment Committee* Thumbs-up

*S. Moffatt, D. Chernushenko, S. Desroches, M. Fluery, D. Holmes, A. Hubley, M.McRae. Absent: P. Hume

An Environment Committee Agenda lacking in substance
City Councillor Rating
Councillor Maria McRae Thumbs-down


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