The new city council has already begun crafting its first budget of the term. City Council will table a draft budget on February 6, and vote on the final version on March 6. That means from now until the end of February, Ottawa residents have the chance to provide their input to the budget process.
As cities across the world and in Canada step up to the climate challenge, Ottawa has yet to demonstrate the level of ambition or action that match the urgency and scale of this crisis. Investing in climate solutions also means building more a vibrant, liveable and healthy city where beautiful greenspace, walkable communities and thriving low-carbon economy take centre stage.
This budget will set the tone for this new term of council before City Hall decide on its Term of Council Priorities. Until March, you have the chance to let your councillor and the mayor know about your concern and priorities.
You can participate in the budget process and call on your councillor to invest in climate solutions and make Ottawa a climate leader by:
- Sending them an email using our quick email tool,
- Attend one of many councillor-led budget consultations,
- Join others in your ward at a meeting with your councillor to discuss the need for climate action.
What does climate leadership look like?
At Ecology Ottawa, we have laid out what climate leadership in this budget could look like. Ottawa City Council can ensure that the 2019 budget prioritizes climate change action through the following actions:
a. Funding staff and programs to accelerate initiatives to reduce Ottawa’s community greenhouse gas emissions, including Energy Evolution;
b. Accelerating Ottawa’s transition to more sustainable modes of transportation by significantly increasing funding for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, as well as public transit;
c. Dramatically reducing wasteful, environmentally damaging and costly road expansions, especially in sensitive areas such as the Greenbelt; and
d. Implementing smarter urban planning and curbing sprawl.
e. Enhancing Ottawa’s resilience to a changing climate by funding the Urban Forest Management Plan, continuing land acquisition efforts, and dramatically ramping up implementation of green infrastructure;