eNews – Bill 23 and other Greenspace Issues

Many of these first-elected members of Council have expressed a high level of interest in the environment (some specifically on trees and greenspace) and we hope it develops into a Council focused on forward-leaning decisions on the City’s approach to climate change resilience and sustainability, and our issue too.

November is warm, sunny and our Greenspace is ours once again.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

And it has been incredibly busy too!    On Tuesday this week, wearing our other hat, Community Association for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES), we were down at City Hall helping to host a light luncheon for the City Council newbies on all matters environmental.   We welcomed Mayor Sutcliffe and 8 of 11 of the new Councillors for our review and Q&A which included high-level presentations by Ecology Ottawa, Greenspace Alliance, Ottawa Riverkeeper, Waste Watch Ottawa and CAFES.  A really tasteful  😉  way to focus a new four-year term of Council on the many challenges Ottawa’s environment is facing.   Many of these first-elected folks have expressed a high level of interest in the environment ( some specifically on trees and greenspace) and we hope it develops into a Council focused on forward-leaning decisions on the City’s approach to climate change resilience and sustainability, and our issue too.

Our inbox overflows.   Check out Councillor Cathy Curry’s first update of her new term.  It reaffirms what we knew all along… Greenspace matters to you.  So much so, that it was your number one issue at the door during the City election.   Check out too yesterday’s National Post article on urban golf courses.   The dial is moving quickly in favour of the unheralded climatic value of these  few expansive plots of accessible urban landscape.   Past golf green opponents shouted about pesticides and fungicides and don’t we know it.  But we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  Protect our Greenspace at all costs.  Keep the mercury quiet and settled underground.  Value all that is above it.   On to the news…

Support our current Funraiser!  Greenspace ROCKS!

It’s time to learn to curl.   Here’s your opportunity!

Join us for a fun day of curling, food and friends and support the KGPC!
Date:   Saturday, December 3, 2022
Where: The Ottawa Curling Club at 440 O’Connor Street
When:   4pm until close
Registration via EventBrite
Deadline:  November 28 for tickets     $100 + HST per person
All you can Eat – Pizza and Salad Bar ( Gluten free pizza available)
Cash Bar

Whether you’ve never curled before or you’re an expert, we’ll mix up the teams and play a few games.   Instruction provided if you need it.  Curling equipment provided too.  Comfortable warm clothing, hats and gloves are recommended and please wear clean, indoor running shoes.

Stay for an optional Euchre night:  $20 to play, half back to a prize pot.
There is a limited amount of free parking on site.  Street parking is available as is a paid parking lot across the street.

Many of us send the new family on the block a Welcome Wagon or fruit basket or something sweet.  Not the Ford government though.  
They send Bill 23.

To say the City and its new Council contingent are a little shell-shocked is an understatement.   The Ford government’s Bill 23 is a behemoth and City staff are wading through it for a path forward.  Simply getting an opportunity to speak to it is incredibly difficult.  No physical hearing outside of Toronto.  Limited hearings beyond that.  As was said by one present at our luncheon     “The landscape seemed to change every morning this past week.”   It is far-reaching and here, we give you a high level of some of what’s wrong.  There is a ton of coverage out there.  Here are a few specific and informative articles.

4 ways the PC government’s new housing bill could override city powers. Joanne Chianello, CBC, October 29, 2022 

Unpacking Bill 23 – More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 , Association of Municipalities Ontario, November 2, 2022

And from some lawyers….
Bill 23: Seismic Changes to Ontario’s Land Use Planning Framework Proposed, Goodman’s LLP, November 2, 2022

Do not miss the changes however to the oversight and powers of the Conservation Authorities (CAs) across Ontario.   As you know, on our issue of the development of 175 acres of our greenspace, the expertise and oversight of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) given our location within the Mississippi and Kizell watersheds,  continues to be meaningful to the city’s assessment of the stormwater management implications of the ClubLink/Minto/Richcraft development.   And in our neighbouring municipalities and counties, certainly lacking the size and in-house knowledge of a large urban Ottawa, where do they then get their  SWM expertise?  From the CAs of course.   Clearly the power of water is completely misunderstood at Queen’s Park – without controls, it will run where it wants at a volume controlled only by Mother Nature.

And then there is the Official Plan…

The approval of the October 2021 plan was finally issued by Queen’s Park last Friday.  It unfortunately also resonates as a minefield of “we want it all” when it comes to residential development.    They added back the west-March expansion to support Kanata’s expected future growth ( a logical idea in the minds of many given we are home to Canada’s largest high-tech park) but notably without an approved essential infrastructure plan.  At the same time, they left in the highly controversial east-end Tewin development, a 445-acre‘ plot in a bog’ development also, without a costed infrastructure plan.  In total, 500 acres of approved development land was added in Ottawa, holder of the unenviable title of the largest urban land mass in Canada.   If Ontario’s growth is to pay for growth, someone somewhere needs to start crafting and costing plans to pay for it.  Edicts from above, downloading these costs on municipalities should be a no-go in our province.

What to do about it?  

Support Ottawa.   Come out to a rally on November 15.

Welcome our new Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and our new City Council at a rally on Tuesday November 15  from 1-2 pm at City Hall.   Environmental and community groups in Ottawa are asking you to join in and stand up for our newly elected Mayor and Council and oppose Bill 23.    Details are here!    The weather looks promising!

And not just that.  From your seat with your notebook… join in support of the City and in  opposition to Bill 23.  Call on Doug Ford, his Ministers including Merrilee Fullerton, and his Conservative government to do away with this harmful legislation. 

What about a petition on our Greenspace you ask?

Many of you have reached out asking why we don’t write a petition.  We have.
The KGPC has been working on a petition on our issue for the Ford government including our own Merrilee Fullerton MPP for the past six months.  Councillor Cathy Curry is working along with us and we struggle to find the best time to issue it to ensure we engage the most support we can as well as ensure that our voices will be heard.  The 2022 calendar has been chock-a-block full since the spring with the provincial election (premiers and ministers don’t focus on emails when they’re knocking on doors somewhere else in Ontario), the summer vacation period ( and certainly a busy one for everyone given 2 years of Covid lockdown) followed up by an August to October municipal election window.  The stars have not aligned.

We were planning to release our petition in November (right around now) but recognize the unexpected Bill 23 and the Official Plan changes are creating a lot of noise.  We need to ensure our opposition on our specific Kanata issue breaks through.   Rest assured, we’ll make it happen.  Right now though, let’s help all of Ottawa be heard.

GIVING TUESDAY… Tuesday, November 29, 2022

        “We have two days that are good for the economy.
Now we have a day that is good for the community too.”
~ Giving Tuesday Canada

As you can see, our work to protect our greenspace continues.  Not only are we raising public profile of our issues, we continue to keep our opposition alive in the Courts.   The latter takes a lot of money.

  • Help KGPC secure your environmental rights and STOP ClubLink
  • Help KGPC protect our trees and greenspace to provide Kanata climate resilience and STOP the climate chaos going on around us   
  • Help KGPC  PROTECT OUR NEIGHBOURHOODS embedded in nature

Thank you for your donation to support the KGPC as part of GIVING TUESDAY.
Our goal of $25,000 will ensure our balance sheet stays in balance for 2022.  In respecting our commitment to financial transparency, our year-end will wrap up at the end of December and we will share unaudited results with you early in  2023.
In the meantime, please,

We are always pleased to hear from you.  Continue to reach out with your questions and concerns.
As always, please take care of yourself and those around you given the latest pandemic news and warnings for a Holiday Season tinged with flu and Covid.

Remember, you are not alone in this fight.   We’re ALL better if we stay together!

Barbara Ramsay
Chair, Kanata Greenspace Protection Coalition
T – 613-725-6595
E – chair@ourkanatagreenspace.ca

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