FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is deeply concerned about whether our city will be able to deal with other substantial environmental decisions they are facing after today’s council vote on waste diversion.
Council was faced with two motions - one from Councillor Devine that would give residents a 2-item limit for garbage that included bag tags and another, less bold and unclear “compromise motion” pushed by Mayor Mark Sutcliffe that allowed residents a 3-bin limit. Our council predictably chose the latter, folding to political pressure to a small but loud minority who championed the status quo.
Ottawa lags far behind other cities in the rest of the province that have instituted successful bag-tag programs for years to reduce waste and encourage recycling. The bare-minimum proposal passed by our council will seemingly make little difference to the waste dilemma our city is facing, postponing an actual decision on a needed bag-tag program down the road.
How can we trust our city council to tackle the very real incoming impacts of climate change if they cannot even get the simplest decisions right?
Just one week removed from our city being covered in dangerous levels of wildfire smoke, and four months since the Rideau Canal Skateway was unable to open due to unusual seasonal weather for the first time in its 50-year history, the people of Ottawa are deeply concerned about what the climate crisis will mean for them and their families.
The City of Ottawa is falling behind on its goals to reach net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2040. The city is supposed to spend $1.6 billion per year for climate work - where is this in the new budget? We certainly couldn't find it, and neither could anyone last year.
If Mayor Sutcliffe thinks piecemeal solutions that only focus on satisfying certain city councillors, like his proposal for waste disposal, are good enough instead of real solutions that tackle the very real problems we face, then our city is in deep trouble.
At a crossroads when our new city council had the opportunity to show they are united and serious about tackling environmental issues, they once again showed residents of Ottawa that their backbone is missing, and as usual, it will be us, the people, who are on the hook.
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