FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Ecology Ottawa thanks Dalton McGuinty for his leadership on lowering Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emissions

November 20, 2018

(OTTAWA) – The City of Ottawa’s most recent emissions report demonstrates that years-old provincial policy is having more of an impact on Ottawa’s emission reductions than any measures being taken by the municipal government. The report, “2012 and 2016 Community and Corporate Greenhouse Gas Inventories,” will be discussed as part of the November 22 meeting of the City of Ottawa Environment and Climate Protection Committee.

“Ottawa City Council and Mayor Watson should probably pause before taking credit for the emissions reductions observed in this report,” said Robb Barnes, executive director of Ecology Ottawa. “We should really be thanking Dalton McGuinty instead. Much more than any municipal action, the provincial coal phase out is behind the emission reductions observed in this report.”

The report indicates that community-wide greenhouse gas emissions declined by 11 percent between 2012 and 2016, on track to meeting the city’s short-term target of reducing emissions by 12 percent below 2012 levels by 2024. However, the report notes that the reductions are primarily due to the provincial coal phase out, which ended in 2014. In other major sectors such as transportation, emissions have barely changed since 2012.

“From an emissions reduction perspective, the coal phase out is a gift that only comes once,” said Mr. Barnes. “From here on out, it’s a mystery how the city plans to meet its long-term emissions targets. And the signs from the city are worrying – we’re seeing a delayed and piecemealed renewable energy strategy, infrequent emissions reporting, a lack of policy ambition, and inadequate funds for staff to implement the city’s vision.”

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For additional information, contact:

Robb Barnes
Executive Director
Ecology Ottawa
613-860-5353 (office)

Écologie Ottawa recrute !


Écologie Ottawa recrute !

Cliquez ici pour consulter l’offre

Le programme francophone d’Écologie Ottawa Les Amis des Parcs, lancé en mars 2018 en partenariat avec Park People et avec le soutien du Gouvernement de l’Ontario, a été un véritable succès jusqu’ici. Déjà six événements ont pu être mis en place, célébrant les espaces verts de la capitale et liant les personnes issues de la communauté francophone d’Ottawa.

L’organisatrice actuelle a d’autres projets vers lesquels elle souhaite s’orienter ; nous recherchons donc quelqu’un pour la remplacer ! Vous êtes intéressé.e ou connaissez quelqu’un qui pourrait l’être ? Cliquez ici pour visualiser l’offre d’emploi !

Post-election analysis: Did we elect a greener city council?

A little over a week ago, the citizens of Ottawa elected a new city council.

What does this mean for local environmental issues?  Before the new council casts any votes on environmental issues, we can get a basic idea by looking at the results of our all-candidates’ survey. Starting in June, this survey was sent to all candidates running for council and the mayoralty. The questions, which can be found here, cover a range of issues such as climate change action, sustainable transportation, green space protection and waste management. In every case, we were asking for clear commitments on areas in which Ottawa City Council hadn’t made sufficient progress in the last term of council.

On the positive side, most members of council who responded to our survey demonstrated overwhelming support on our issues. Depending on the subject in question, it is clearly possible that a majority on council will pass ambitious environmental policy. We are encouraged by this response, and look forward to making headway on many important files over the next four years.

On the negative side, 11 of 24 council members couldn’t find the time to tell voters where they stood. This means we have much more work to do over the next term. We must make environmental issues more relevant to councillors city-wide. This means much more resident engagement and face-to-face interactions with council leadership.

Mayoral leadership is critical to so many of these files. More than anyone else, the mayor directs council’s focus and shapes the tenor of its discussions. The signs from the survey and the election campaign are worrying. While the mayor responded to our survey, he didn’t commit to any of the 15 issues put to him. He then skipped our all-candidates’ mayoral debate on the environment, effectively avoiding vigorous public discussion of his record or his future plans.

We urgently need stronger environmental leadership from the mayor’s office, especially on the climate file. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes this abundantly clear. Climate change is escalating out of control worldwide. The window for action is extremely short – 12 years – and requires unprecedented ambition. It’s up to all of us to ensure that the City of Ottawa does not stand idly by.  

Evidently, there’s no shortage of work to be done in the months and years ahead. If you’d like to help us hold this council accountable to their environmental commitment, sign up to volunteer with us, donate to support our work and stay tuned for many opportunities to plug in in the coming weeks.

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2018 Ottawa Municipal Election

Photo Contest – 2019 Calendar

Button_French version

Ottawa is an amazing city; it’s a city well worth protecting and working to improve. We are blessed with gorgeous greenspaces, the beautiful Ottawa River, historic buildings, and vibrant communities. You don’t have to look far to find reasons to love our city.

This Valentine’s Day, Ecology Ottawa was launching our first ever photo contest. Show your love for Ottawa by submitting your photo today.

The winning photos will be featured in our 2019 calendar showing the beauty of Ottawa through the eyes of its residents. Each photo should have a story, and should capture a scene that is unique to Ottawa. The photos can be of nature, people, or buildings. There is no classification or category; the only requirement is that the photo shows Ottawa’s spirit.

The competition will last until Monday, November 5, but photos don’t have to be taken in 2018. Also, more than one photograph can be submitted per person. Each photo must be in landscape format and of at least 800 x 1600 pixel in resolution.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so get out your cameras and tell us your story!


To submit your photos, please send an email to:

Webinaire Les Amis des Parcs – 11/07

Cliquez ici pour vous inscrire !

Vous avez envie de vous impliquer dans l’animation, l’entretien ou la protection d’un parc que vous aimez beaucoup, mais ne savez pas par où commencer? Lors de ce webinaire, nous vous aiderons à vous engager avec votre groupe Les Amis des Parcs local existant et vous montrerons un processus étape par étape pour lancer votre propre groupe. Nous vous partagerons aussi des exemples concrets d’autres groupes travaillant dans leur parcs et leur communautés.

Venez avec vos idées et repartez avec des réponses grâce à nos conférenciers.ères :

Cliquez ici pour vous inscrire !

Executive Summary: All Candidates’ Survey on Environmental Issues


Help us get out the environmental vote

This is it!

After months of knocking on thousands of doors, hosting debates and surveying candidates to raise the profile of local environmental issues, election day is where it all comes together. The Ottawa municipal election will take place on Monday, October 22, and we need your help to get out the environmental vote.

The new mayor and councillors elected on Monday can play a key role in making Ottawa a green capital – it’s up to us to vote with the environment in mind and ensure that the next council is the greenest ever. The next council has a lot of work to do, from taking strong action on climate change, to protecting vulnerable green spaces, to enhancing transportation options for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users. With help from many of you, we have raised these local environmental issues among Ottawa residents and candidates over the last five months.

Now, we need your help for the final push.

We need canvassers to visit voters and encourage them to vote. We need phone volunteers to call into target wards. And we need drivers to make our ground game happen on Sunday, October 21 (from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Monday, October 22 (from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.). Whether you have one hour or eight, we need as much help as you can offer.

To sign up, please email and indicate which day(s) you can help out and in what capacity.

We’ll also be celebrating and watching the election results roll in on Monday night, 7:30 PM at Fox and Feather.

Green Infrastructure in Canada’s Capital: Launch Party!

You’re invited to our Launch Party and Information Session

Join us while we kick off our Green Infrastructure campaign in Britannia! In the coming months we’ll be working with homeowners, builders, local organizations, and government officials to integrate Green Infrastructure into our homes, public buildings, and public spaces.

Learn how green infrastructure solutions like downspout redirects, green roofs, rain gardens, and rain barrels can prevent flooding, save money and help us adapt to climate change by slowing down, soaking up, and filtering rain water.

Refreshments, light snacks, and free home-level infrastructure adaptations will be available for all attendees!

Monday, November 19th, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Carlingwood Public Library


Greeninfrastructure 101

Join us for the eleventh Eco Gala on October 11

An evening to celebrate the

environmental community in Ottawa

You are cordially invited to Ecology Ottawa’s eleventh annual dinner – Eco Gala 2018 at the Horticulture Building (Lansdowne Park) on Thursday, October 11 at 6:00 p. m. Tickets are on sale now!



This year’s gala will take place just a few days before Ottawa votes for its mayor and city council. It will be an exciting opportunity to take stock of the people, community partners and big ideas that will transform us into a greener capital.
This year’s Eco Gala will feature:

  • A delicious vegan/vegetarian meal provided by Thyme and Again
  • A green silent auction featuring great items from local green businesses.
  • An opportunity to connect with the people and community groups growing the environmental movement in Ottawa.

At this year’s Eco Gala, we are also pleased to honour Paul Dewar for his leadership and contribution to the environment in Ottawa.

The Eco Gala is the largest annual gathering celebrating Ottawa’s strong, dynamic and growing environmental movement. Don’t miss it, purchase your ticket today!
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We look forward to seeing you at the Eco Gala on October 11.


Eco Gala Speakers Panel (2)How do we make Ottawa a world-class leader on green issues – from renewable energy to a healthier watershed and innovative local food policy? Find out by listening to a dynamic panel, named “The Next Four Years: Fighting for a Greener Ottawa” and moderated by award-winning journalist Mike de Souza, Managing Editor of the National Observer. This year, the Eco Gala speakers are:

  • Robb Barnes, Ecology Ottawa’s Executive Director;
  • Janice Ashworth, from Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative (OREC);
  • Meredith Brown, from Ottawa Riverkeeper;
  • Moe Garahan, from Just Food


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Here are some photos from previous Eco Galas in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

This National Forest Week, make trees an election issue

Ottawa trees and greenspaces need to be an election issue!

During this year’s election period, we are calling on Ottawa residents to bring focus to the importance of our trees — urban trees in particular — and to celebrate them! It’s vital that all candidates know how much we care about our trees and that we are willing to stand up to protect them. National Tree Week is a great opportunity to use the public stage as a way for us to support the messaging to candidates about specific actions and commitments we want to see in Ottawa.

Click here to see what the existing events are!

What are we looking for?

Passionate and engaged citizens to plan events in their communities that are centered around trees and greenspace. These would be public events and all candidates running in your ward should be invited to attend. The idea is to highlight how important trees and greenspaces are to you and their potential constituents, and to invite people to speak from the heart, as well as the head.

There are 23 Wards in the City of Ottawa, and we would love if there was at least one event in each ward! With that said, we are not limiting the amount of events people want to plan. There is a good chance there will be multiple events in multiple wards.

Interested? Here are next steps:

Is there a key Tree issue in your community? Is infill threatening your mature trees? Do you know if your parks and greenspaces are protected or slated for development? Each community in Ottawa has it’s own unique battles when it comes to trees and greenspaces and the event you choose to plan will reflect that. Your event could be a walk through a local park, a tree ID session, a meet and greet at a local community hub, a walk down a street slated for resurfacing or anything in between. Past what event you plan, it’s important that your event is public and that all candidates in your ward are invited. Don’t know who your candidates are? Find out using Ecology Ottawa’s Ward Map. Candidates’ contact information are also available on the City of Ottawa website.

You event doesn’t have to be a large gathering, it could be a small group of concerned citizens who want to have an in-depth conversation about how your candidates will prioritize trees and greenspace if they are elected.


  1. Organize an event during National Forest Week that invites people to learn more about trees, to celebrate them, to show our appreciation in some way.
  2. Create a Facebook Event and/or website description for your event.
  3. Register the event with Tree Action Now website.
  4. Invite your ward candidates.
  5. During your event, compose a message to your Ward candidates and send it to them with photos.
  6. Post a summary and photos afterwards.

Check what the existing events are!

How Tree Action Now can help:

  1. Suggestions for events — tree-planting, film screening, song circle, book talk, storytelling, Tree Talks, Tree walks, “postcard to a tree”.
  2. Specific resource lists and contacts for the above ideas: film titles, local singer-songwriters, etc.
  3. Calendar listing on websites.
  4. Promotion through various avenues.
  5. Contact information for the candidates in their ward.

For more information contact

Click here to see what the existing events are!