Mid April to the beginning of May 2015 is when city councillors at the City of Ottawa will be discussing and deciding on what priorities the city should focus on for the next four years.
By the time this document, the Term of Council Priorities, gets to city council for a vote or to committees for public comment, the decisions will have already been made.
NOW is the time to tell your city councillor, the mayor (Jim Watson) or David Chernushenko, the chair of Environment Committee – or tell all three – that climate change MUST be a City of Ottawa priority.
The city failed to include money to implement it’s climate change plan in the 2015 budget but by making climate a priority it has a chance at money set aside for priority initiatives.
It’s never to late to give them your opinion – read on to see why.
Here’s the schedule as we understand it:
- April into May the councillors will negotiate what will be priorities in this document
- May 27th the document may become public
- June 2nd is likely the first committee of council meeting at which there will be an opportunity for public input in the form of public delegations (5 minute presentation to the councillors) but because all the councillors have agreed in advance what’s in the document, changes are very unlikely.
- June 3rd through June 18th five other committees will consider (and presumably approve) the document.
- June 16th is the most relevant of these – Environment Committee
- Likey July 8th full City Council will finalize the approval of the document
Whether or not the Term of Council Priorities document includes Climate Change, and whether or not your councillor hears from you before the document is finalized, it’s still worth telling them what you think. This is because any funding that might go to climate change action will be decided later – after the Term of Council Priorities document is approved – by drawing that money from a pool reserved for “priority initiatives.” Other priorities will be competing for climate so don’t stop reminding your councillor.