On February 22, 2020, a workshop on Just Healthy Neighbourhoods, hosted by the Peoples Official Plan for Ottawa’s Climate Emergency (POP), was attended by over 125 people from community-based organizations across the City. The workshop was sponsored by:
- the Healthy Transportation Coalition,
- City for All Women Initiative (CAWI),
- the Federation of Citizens Associations (FCA),
- the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital,
- Ecology Ottawa and
- Just Food.
What really excited organizers and participants was that the workshop brought together three distinct but inter-related communities: equity seeking groups, environmental groups and neighbourhood associations. We all support the recent declarations of Council (Climate Emergency and Housing and Homelessness Emergency). And as Khulud Baig of CAWI said, “By working together, we can ensure that decisions made at the city are collectively driven by diverse voices across Ottawa and make Ottawa a city for all.”
Click here to see the flip charts from Table Conversations part of the workshop, which focused on organizing to influence the shape of the Official Plan and Council decisions on the urban boundary. You can also view the presentations shared by the outstanding speakers during the morning session. This and more to follow on the POP website. (Note: you have to cursor down each page quite a bit to see the relevant information.)
POP has put together a list of how they think Councillors may vote on the question of urban expansion. Workshop participants and others interested in this issue who live in (or know people who live in) a Ward with a Councillor sitting on the fence or favouring urban expansion are urged to continue to discuss and plan ways to influence their vote (with your/their Community Association, or other groups). If your Councillor is listed as opposing urban expansion, such as Riley Brockington (Ward 16), do encourage them to remain firm in their opposition. This work, started during the workshop, must continue.
Finally, POP is setting up a list serve to facilitate ongoing discussions on the shape of the Official Plan.