Vote for a Sustainable Ottawa on October 22 2018

What’s the most important thing you can do for the environment on Monday, October 22? Vote.

Our municipal government is responsible for many of the systems that affect our ecological footprint as citizens and determine the city’s environmental health.

The people we elect need to lead the creation of sustainable, equitable and safe systems in many areas: planning and management of our built urban and rural environment (including development, infill, and affordable housing); action on climate change (including renewable energy); protection of our environment (including greenspace, trees, flora and fauna, water sources and quality); transportation (prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists and public transit users); a strong local food system; and waste and recycling. They need to prioritize these in funding decisions. They need to value and support community engagement, local action, and accountability to residents as essential dimensions of our city’s governance. They need to work toward a different and better relationship with the Indigenous peoples on whose land we have built this city.

Some of the candidates for mayor and councillor have clear platforms on these issues (some may have even written the book on them). Others have positions or track records that indicate that these are not among their priorities.

If you need more information on the candidates for mayor, city councillors and school trustees before you vote:

  • Ecology Ottawa has done a survey of all candidates about their positions on local environmental issues.
  • The Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital has posted the results of a survey of municipal candidates on environmental issues.
  • The Ottawa Food Policy Council’s survey of candidates covers food issues.
  • OttawaStart has published a list of links to municipal candidate Q&As and debates.
  • The City of Ottawa website has lists of all candidates, including their websites, as well as information for voters about how and where to vote.

See you at the polls on Monday, October 22.

 

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Ottawa Election 2018

The municipal election is still a couple of months away (Oct. 22), but it’s time to be hearing from candidates about their plans for a greener Ottawa.

Ecology Ottawa has a useful tool to help understand candidates’ positions on environmental issues. They’re doing a survey of mayoral and councillor candidates about their plans for climate change action and an active and green city, and are posting the answers.

So far more than 50 candidates have answered the questionnaire, but more than 60 have yet to reply. You can help by contacting the candidates to ask them to make their views known by Friday Aug. 10.

There are additional questions that candidates need to be asked—about plans for cleaner rivers, and for restoring Chaudiere Falls and the islands, for example—but the survey covers a wide range of important issues.

“For example, in the last budget round, the city committed only $500,000 in new money for Energy Evolution while committing over 80 times that amount – $43 million – on new road building and expansion. …Environmental leadership is needed at City Hall. Ottawa needs a greener city council and the 2018 election on Oct. 22 is an important opportunity to make it happen.” – Robb Barnes, Executive Director, Ecology Ottawa in the Ottawa Citizen

See more about Ecology Ottawa’s municipal election campaign on their website.

Walk for Akikodjiwan

All are welcome to join the Spirituality Is Unity: Walk For Our Sacred Site, Akikodjiwan on Friday, Jun. 22, 2018.

The Walk will bring Indigenous leaders, settler faith leaders and other community members together to reinforce the call for the restoration of this important site at the heart of Ottawa.

“Akikodjiwan—the Chaudière Falls and the Albert, Chaudière and Victoria islands—is a sacred site for Anishinaabe and many Indigenous peoples. It was publicly promised to be returned to Indigenous Peoples for a natural sacred site and public forest by all levels of government.

…The walk on June 22, 2018 is to remind the government of its promises and responsibilities towards Indigenous Peoples and to bring together all faiths in Ottawa to support the right of Indigenous Peoples to their sacred sites and ceremonies.”

from It Is Sacred website

Read more here: http://www.itissacred.ca/

The Walk starts at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jun. 22 on Victoria Island, Booth St. entrance. See details on the Facebook event page or Anishinabe (Algonquin) Elder Albert Dumont’s website.

More Upcoming Events in Ottawa

 

Here are more upcoming events you won’t want to miss:

Emergency Rally: Separate Oil and State #StopKM

This rally is taking place to convey to the federal government that Canadians don’t want it to subsidize the Kinder Morgan pipeline with public funds. Join in on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 from 5-6 p.m. on Parliament Hill. Speakers include Elder Verna McGregor, Algonquin Community of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg; Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs live from BC, Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh(Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh(Tsleil-waututh) territory; Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP; Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party; Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson, Council of Canadians. See details and updates on the event page. There’s also a petition to sign on the Council of Canadians website.

Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale

This great community event hosted by Ecology Ottawa happens on Saturday, May 26. Check out our earlier post for details and volunteer opportunities.

Ottawa Race Weekend

The Ottawa Race Weekend happens Saturday, May 26-Sunday, May 27. Take part, cheer on your friends and/or donate to good causes.

Pub Night: Nuclear Waste Issues 101

Here’s a chance to discuss nuclear waste proposals that will affect the Ottawa River. The event takes place on Monday, May 28, 2018, 6:30-9 p.m. at Downtown Royal Oak (188 Bank St.).

Planting for Pollinators: Saving our Bees

The Hintonburg Community Association is hosting this event on how to create a pollinator-friendly garden. Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton will share information on what to plant in order to attract bees and other pollinators. It’s on Sunday, Jun. 3, 2018, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. See the event page for details.

Stay tuned for #100in1Day Ottawa, Doors Open Ottawa, Ottawa Veg Fest and more happening the weekend of June 2-3, 2018.

Eel Walk for Biodiversity in Ottawa

Eel Walk image via Free the Falls (Facebook)

An upcoming Eel Walk is intended to raise awareness about the importance of a key and remarkable species in the Ottawa River—the American Eel—and to promote biodiversity and respect for Indigenous environmental knowledge.

Coinciding with the International Day for Biological Diversity, the family-friendly event includes art—participants can decorate windsock eels and meet a 27-foot long puppet eel—as well as walks between Victoria Island and Parliament Hill, ceremony and a feast.

Leading the walk is Algonquin knowledge keeper Larry McDermott, founder of Plenty Canada and co-author of The Recovery Strategy of the American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) in Ontario (2013) produced for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, a report still awaiting official action.

The American Eel, which at one time comprised half of the fish biomass within the Ottawa River and provided 70% of the nutrition for Indigenous people living along the river, is endangered. The American Eel population has declined since the 1980s to less than 1% of its former abundance, due to human activity and habitat destruction.

Find out more about the problem and what needs to be done from the 2013 study and the Ottawa Riverkeeper’s campaign.

The Eel Walk, organized by Plenty Canada and Free the Falls, takes place from 8:30-1 p.m. on Monday, May 21, 2018; see the Facebook event page for the schedule and location details.

 

Support for the Environment and Sustainable Energy

Some upcoming events to check out:

Parliament Hill Rally for Nuclear Safety, Monday, Apr. 23, 2018 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. (meet at the flame). Hosted by Concerned Citizens, this event to protect the Ottawa River against a planned nuclear waste dump at Chalk River includes statements by First Nations and citizens groups, songs and drumming, and a walk to the Ottawa River. A Ceremony for the Ottawa River, led by Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont South Wind, will follow.

Minister Carr: climate + Indigenous rights > Kinder Morgan takes place on Monday, Apr. 23, 2018 from 4:30-6 p.m. at Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa. It’s a response to an address by Jim Carr, federal Minister of Natural Resources on energy.

Emergency Rally: Separate Oil and State #StopKM will take place on a day to be confirmed after April 24, after the federal government announces legislation to be tabled on the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Organized by the Council of Canadians, in solidarity with Indigenous-led opposition to the pipeline.

The Basics: Water

A Tale of Two Cities film – via The Story of Stuff CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 on Twitter

Essential for our survival: water. Learn more this week about the threats to water globally and locally, and what we can do to address them.

A Tale of Two Cities and Water Warriors

This film screening and talk presents A Tale of Two Cities and Water Warriors, which look at community action to protect water from industrial development and privatization. Speakers are Algonquin Elder Verna McGregor from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui, and video appearance by one of the Story of Stuff filmmakers. Free event (donations welcome) to mark World Water Day, organized by Council of Canadians’ Ottawa Chapter, on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 7-8:30 p.m. at 251 Bank St. (2nd floor).

World Water Day Fast and Celebration

The Mamidosewin Centre hosts this gathering to honour the water we rely on. The fast, which takes place on Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 12:01 a.m.-11:01 a.m., will be followed by sharing of soup.

Protecting your Rights to Swim, Drink and Fish the Ottawa River, a talk by Riverkeeper Meredith Brown

Hear from Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown about the work that the Ottawa Riverkeeper, along with an array of other organizations and community members, are doing to protect rights to a clean and safe Ottawa River. This World Water Day talk will be held on Thursday, March 22, 2018, 2:45-3:45 p.m. at 182 University Centre, Carleton University. Organized by the Global Water Institute and Carleton University’s IWA/WEAO/OWWA Student Chapter. (Check out this and other upcoming GWI “Water Conversation” Series events on their website.)

World Water Day 2018 / Journée Mondiale de l’eau 2018 Event – Blue Drinks Ottawa

Blue Drinks Ottawa hosts this evening of refreshments and discussion on nature-based solutions to water challenges. Pizza and networking start at 5 p.m., followed by a panel discussion with James Brennan (Ducks Unlimited), Sara O’Neill (Smart Prosperity) and Eva Katic (National Capital Commission) at 6 p.m. The event takes place on Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 5-8 p.m. at the Ottawa Public Library Main Branch Auditorium, 120 Metcalfe St.

Also check out Council of Canadians’ suggestions for action on World Water Day here, and The Story of Stuff campaigns here.