Climate protection is critical. Both reducing emissions so as to slow climate breakdown, and revising policies and standards to adapt to the changes already upon us. The city’s Energy Evolution strategy must be completed and then fully funded and implemented as rapidly as possible. The Official Plan must make true intensification — not mere massification — a top priority, but linked carefully to transit and active transportation investment, tree canopy and greenspace protection and expansion, and affordable housing promotion around transit hubs.
Tree canopy preservation and replanting. The new Urban Forest Management Plan has a series of actions, including bylaw reviews which must lead to stronger tree protection. The plan must be fully funded and implemented as rapidly as possible.
Housing affordability and Affordable/Supportive Housing
Many of our vibrant, convenient communities have become extremely popular — driving up the cost of ownership and rental, and driving out housing that accommodated many on limited incomes, notably seniors. That is a loss to us all, and we need to stop this trend from spiralling upward. I have worked to include an affordable housing component at Greystone Village. I will work to ensure the city meets its own target of 25% of housing being affordable by passing an Inclusionary Zoning by-law, notably around rail stations and using Section 37, where applicable. I will ensure the upcoming Official Plan revision includes strong affordability promotion, and that rail expansion is tied to affordable housing objectives. I will continue to champion supportive housing in Capital Ward, such as Ottawa Salus‘ Karen’s Place, and an imminent project on Carling Avenue. Nothing is more fundamental to physical and mental health than safe, healthy housing — built to minimize energy use so as to slash that expense also.
Planning certainty and compatible infill
I worked hard to reform the Ontario Municipal Board process. The new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal ensures Official Plans (OP) cannot be appealed and isolated applications for rezoning must be held to the Official Plan and Community Plans such as that in Old Ottawa East — which I was proud to help shepherd through. I contributed to passing the Infill I and II guidelines, worked to improve the R3 zoning and eliminated the loophole known as conversions. There is still much work to do to ensure planning certainty. The new OP is the chance to ensure it leads to a green and resilient city.
Recreation: Parks, greenspaces, paths and community centres are critical to community health.
I have made progress on new paths (and a bridge!) but we must complete our work of getting a new community centre at Greystone Village and for Heron Park, adding to and maintaining existing parks, and ensuring Springhurst Park absorbs the large greenspace on Lees Avenue when the outdated Alta Vista Corridor plan is removed from the next Transportation Master Plan, as I have worked to achieve. Sites for new small parks must be found wherever possible.
Thanks for the question! If you have a question of your own, please e-mail me directly at David@DavidC.ca