Official Plan – cut and paste suggestions

Due Sunday June 30 2019

Suggested responses are below that can be cut and pasted for the Official Plan consultation (or adapt/add your own message).

Link to Consultation:

Suggested Input for Each Question on Link above: 

How important are the following elements to you in your neighbourhood?
Xs mark suggested items to identify as important
Housing is available to people at different stages of life and physical ability. X
Housing is affordable for a wide range of people. X
People can walk and bike in safety X
People can walk or bike or use transit to get to most daily services (such as grocery stores, schools or daycare)
People can use their cars to get to most daily services (such as grocery stores, schools or daycare)
Presence of a vibrant commercial area
Ability to walk or bike to greenspace and parks X
Good public transit options for commuting that are close to my home X
Ability to commute using my car
Healthy food is available X
Mature trees on public streets
My neighbourhood has a distinct character
Strong social connections to others in my neighbourhood X

Are there any elements that are important to you that are not listed above?

At a neighbourhood level, elements that are priorities to me, in addition to the above clear priorities on housing and transportation for everyone, include: 

  • urban, suburban and rural neighbourhoods/villages maintaining services that reduce the need to commute or travel for basic, daily household needs 
  • accessible social spaces that are maintained for me to meet with my neighbours to engage in community leadership, planning and activity 
  • places near to my home for me to grow my own food (including on municipal lands) and to access locally-grown whole food 
  • bioregional plants and biodiversity as priorities for all lands under municipal care, not just mature trees, with an emphasis on building an edible landscape throughout the city.
  In your opinion, what are the key issues facing the city? Xs mark suggested items to identify as important
  Affordable housing. X
Making transit accessible, affordable, convenient and comfortable. X
Road Congestion
The impacts of climate change X
Managing intensification (increasing the number of people that live in established neighbourhoods). X
Protecting the natural environment. X
Limiting the expansion of the city. X
Protecting Ottawa’s heritage
Protecting the character of Ottawa’s communities
Creating an inclusive city. X
Making Ottawa more exciting through arts and culture
Protection of agricultural lands. X
Rural economic development. X

Is there an important issue that is not listed above?

Not jobs – but rather purposeful work:  Focus on training, supports and models that invest in the community, including social enterprise, apprenticeship and incubation models, for people with barriers to employment, including youth and New Canadians, towards longer-term employment or entrepreneurship within a regional orientation to economic development.

The intersectionality of these issues must be at the core of the new Official Plan.  Without limiting the suburban expansion in Ottawa through intensification, farmland and natural spaces will be developed, which impacts rural economic development, food security, sustainable environment, and quality of life for all, etc.  Without creating a more inclusive Ottawa, access to employment, housing and transportation is not attainable by significant numbers of our neighbours.     

What would make the city better for you?

Shifting the overall policy lens to sound investment in preventive, proactive approaches, and away from the current ever-increasing investment into expensive band-aid responses.  With proper preventive investment in our social and community infrastructure and natural environment, we can avoid the inevitable social and personal fallout that comes from placing a priority on funding reactive cures.

A significant increase in affordable housing, with a priority along current and future transit routes, in both urban and rural neighbourhoods/villages, with attendant mid-sized, managed intensification that ensures no more farmland or natural spaces within the City of Ottawa boundaries are developed for housing or industry.  Housing, food security and urban/rural economic development have to be planned and supported together so that one does not undermine the other.  Having reached a million residents and growing, Ottawa has the critical mass to support a much more vibrant local economy that will reinforce the region’s quality of life and economic resiliency.

Do you have an idea for a dream project that would set Ottawa apart from other cities?

We have incredible, innovative talent in Ottawa, across residents, communities, businesses, organizations and government.  We can choose to use our municipal resources in Ottawa to ensure that EVERY resident:

– has good housing, good food, good work

– moves effectively throughout the urban, suburban and rural parts of the city and beyond 

– is included in a diverse, local economy based in the arts, food and farming, service industry, health, technology, energy, manufacturing and processing, etc. and that respects, operates within the limits of, and enhances the local environment.

– can access effective, affordable required health, social and community support from birth to death

– lives feeling part of safe, inclusive neighbourhoods/villages. 

Investment into this clear and shared mission must be set as the number one priority by Council as a whole, with permanent and significant increases in the City’s budget for social and community infrastructure to carry this out.    

Question on which papers you are addressing:

Don’t worry about checking any boxes.

What are the key takeaways that stand out to you in this paper?

A broader group of community, social, environment and economic stakeholders across Ottawa are continuing to develop the principles listed above and will provide further, detailed consensus re. strategic priorities this summer to feed into the presentation August 22nd at Planning.  

How do you think the City should address these issues?

The City needs to give more time for community stakeholders to influence details of what is being proposed as Strategic Directions than over the summer.  Ottawa agencies, businesses and residents do want to participate in, and need to be part of, setting the agenda.

We need the City to allow for sufficient time allowances and opportunities for community leadership to build out these solutions and present directly to policy decision-makers at City Hall.

We need more information sent out to community agencies, networks and residents on a regular basis about opportunities for input.

Any other thoughts on this topic?

Investment in community and social infrastructure must increase significantly.  

We can and must do better in Ottawa than continued focus of investment primarily into export-based economic development and physical infrastructure.

Thank you for the opportunity to engage.