FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is calling on Mayor-elect, Mark Sutcliffe, and the new council to speak up against surprise changes by the Ford government to Ottawa’s urban boundary, and do everything they can to challenge these changes, which would have significant economic, social, and environmental consequences for residents of the City.
Last week, the provincial government passed legislation amending Ottawa’s Official Plan, forcing the City to make thirty changes to its approved Plan. Most notably, these changes extend the urban boundary past where council had already approved, including the controversial Tewin lands development and large amounts of land around Greely, Orleans, Kanata and Stittsville. The amendments also increase the height limits set by council and remove protections for existing rental units.
“This is yet another attack on our local democracy by Doug Ford and his government” said Sam Hersh, Board member of Horizon Ottawa. “The City of Ottawa’s decisions are ours to make. The Mayor-elect and new council must do everything they can to oppose Ford’s shameful land grab for his rich developer friends.”
Ottawa has been struggling with the side-effects of urban sprawl for decades. As the city continues to expand outwards indefinitely, residents are burdened with high service costs for far-away neighbourhoods and increased traffic within the city, while also worsening climate impacts due to the loss of agricultural and natural lands. There is a desperate need for a shift to development that works for Ottawa, and that is planned by our elected representatives, not forced on us by the province.
Another unacceptable move from Doug Ford was removing section 4.2.3 of the Official Plan, outlining rental stock protections. These policies were designed by council to ensure that existing rental units couldn’t be removed without adequate affordable replacements, but the province has unilaterally decided that they can’t be implemented.
“The original decision by our City Council to expand our urban boundary in May 2020 was bad enough,” said Hersh. “This decision only exacerbates the harmful effects of urban sprawl and plunges our city deeper into climate catastrophe.”
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