At our Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meeting on May 5th, members of the committee unanimously approved a motion that I brought forward asking the Province of Ontario to make the necessary legislative and/or regulatory changes to provide municipalities with a substantive and meaningful role in siting wind power projects. The motion further urged the Province to make the Municipal Support Resolution a mandatory requirement in the approvals process. This motion was also unanimously approved by Council on May 11th.
Municipalities are to have oversight over planning matters. Unfortunately, when it comes to items such as renewable energy projects, approved by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), no such oversight exists. It is an issue Province wide, especially in our neighbouring municipalities in Nation Township and North Stormont. While the prospect of a wind power project within the City’s limits is not imminent, there is a need for this, and every, municipality to have a voice.
Contained in the report that came to Committee and Council was the following comment from our Planning & Growth Management Department: “PGM considers the siting of wind power projects to have the potential for significant land use compatibility concerns. Early municipal input into the local constraints and impacts of these projects should be a priority for proponents seeking to establish wind power facilities in Ottawa and should be a significant deciding factor for the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) when approving wind power projects.”
This motion will be shared with the Chair of the Board and President of the IESO, the Minister of Energy, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association and all municipalities across Ontario. I will also personally send a letter for Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli for his response. Thank you to my Council colleagues and to Jane Wilson and Mike Baggott of Ottawa Wind Concerns for working with me on this item.
Truck Route Map
Over the last two years, there has been an effort to consider short and long term options at maximizing connectivity in the south end for trucks. I have spoken largely about the long-term options but a partial short-term solution has been implemented. After review of the suitability of Limebank Road for heavy vehicles, it was determined that the section of Limebank Road, between Rideau Road and Earl Armstrong Road, can be added to the truck route network. This change is effective immediately. Its status is for restricted loads, similar to River Road and Rideau Road. This change provides another option for accessing the Vimy Memorial Bridge.
Mayor’s Rural Expo & Food Aid
The annual Mayor’s Rural Expo and Food Aid BBQ is taking place at City Hall on Thursday, June 2nd. The Mayor’s Rural Expo helps urban residents learn more about what rural Ottawa has to offer. If your organization wishes to participate in the Rural Expo, please contact the Rural Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-580-2424 x25488.
The Food Aid BBQ will help the Ottawa Food Bank raise the necessary funds to sustain its food programs and support local farmers. For more information visit: http://ottawa.ca/en/news
Please note that, as a result of the Rural Expo, our June meeting of Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee will be held on Friday, June 3rd. While we are at it, I may as well mention that the July ARAC meeting will be held on June 29th instead of July 7th, there is no August meeting and the September meeting is being moved into August on the 30th. We get back to normal in October.
New Waste Collection Calendar is Coming
The City’s new 12-month waste collection calendar will be delivered by mail to residences across the city starting in May. Many of you have likely already received it. The calendar starts in June 2016 and runs until May 2017. It features information about regular and holiday collections schedules, Giveaway Weekends, Household Hazardous Waste Depot dates and locations and much more.
Residents can visit ottawa.ca to view the calendar online, and sign up to receive weekly collection reminders by email, phone or Twitter. They can also visit the City's waste explorer tool to learn which items go in the blue, black and green bins.
In next week’s column, I’ll touch on the recent vote at Council on the matter of photo radar. If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.