Written by guest blogger Denise Deby, who has worked in international and community development, and is currently trying to figure out how to connect the local with the global in her everyday life.
Ottawa City Council will start debating the city’s 2010 budget on January 25. It’s not Copenhagen, but Council’s decisions will directly affect the health of Ottawa’s environment and people.
Ecology Ottawa has examined the environmental implications of the draft budget. They identify encouraging aspects such as support for new cycling paths and investments in pedestrian infrastructure and in energy-efficient improvements in city-owned buildings. But they also point out areas of concern, including:
- service cuts and fee increases for OC Transpo
- cuts to forestry services including tree maintenance, and elimination of funds for the tree protection by-law which requires residents to acquire permits before cutting down mature trees
- reduction in funding for “Buy Local” initiatives that help fund the Ottawa Farmers Market and market local produce
- lack of investment in other areas, including air quality, water quality and climate change management.
Residents can express their views on the budget by:
- phoning the city at 311
- e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- registering as a public delegation at City Council by contacting 613-580-2424 ext. 12487 or email@example.com
- contacting a city councillor.
The draft budget is available on the City’s website or at public libraries and city client service centres.