Councillors embrace "climate protection"

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Capital Coun. David Chernushenko convinced the finance and economic development committee to rename the environment committee to include "climate protection" in the title. PAT MCGRATH / OTTAWA CITIZEN

Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko sold climate protection to his colleagues today.

At first, he appeared to have lost his pitch to change the name of the environment committee he chairs to the “environment and climate protection committee.” It was an idea he came up with last February when the committee considered a report on climate change.

According to discussions the clerk’s office had with council members during the mid-term governance review, there wasn’t a consensus on changing the committee’s name and the proposal was destined for failure.

Since the governance review was up for approval at the finance and economic development committee, it was Chernushenko’s chance to force a vote on his idea. It seemed his inclusion of “protection” in the title swayed councillors like Jan Harder, Mark Taylor and Keith Egli.

Others, like Scott Moffatt and Allan Hubley, didn’t support it. As Moffatt explained, you don’t need to make symbolic changes to committee titles to actually do the work. What’s next, he mused, calling the transportation committee the “transportation and complete streets committee?”

We could go on.

Should the finance and economic development committee be called the “finance and economic development and Ottawa 2017 and brownfield applications and BIA boundary adjustment committee”?

Chernushenko argues, yes, it’s a symbolic gesture to have climate protection in the environment committee name, but so what? For him, it’s an important gesture since the city might have the most intimate role to play in climate protection.

Ottawa creates a planning advisory committee, full of the people it's supposed to advise

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David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

Because the provincial government thinks citizens should have more of a say in how their neighbourhoods grow, it’s forcing cities to form new advisory groups to advise politicians on things like rezonings and long-term neighbourhood plans.

Because the City of Ottawa thinks it gets quite enough public input on these things as it is, it’s stacking its new “planning advisory committee” with the very people you’d think would get the advice, not give it.

Pending city council approval, the group will include the mayor, the city councillors who chair council’s planning and rural-affairs committees, the manager who heads city hall’s planning bureaucracy, and two citizen members who will need to have some planning expertise.

So four out of its six members will be the people already in charge of planning in Ottawa.

It’ll have one job: To review the planning department’s work plan, its to-do list of policy studies and whatnot for each year. “Re-examine minimum parking requirements for new developments,” “Write neighbourhood plans for north Kanata, south Barrhaven and the new Gladstone O-Train station,” “Clemow Estate Heritage Conservation District Study: Phases 2 and 3,” that kind of thing.

The to-do list is set by the manager who heads the department, working with the chairs of the two committees he answers to. The plan is ordinarily reset after each election; the advisory committee will check in on it annually.

AIDS memorial could go up in front of Ottawa City Hall

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Coun. David Chernushenko introduced a notice of motion to seek city support to have the memorial placed in Marion Dewar Plaza in front of City Hall.

By Ryan Tumilty, Metro

A new memorial could be in place outside city hall next year to mark both those who have died from AIDS and the dark history of the disease.

After celebrating their 30th anniversary last year, the AIDS committee of Ottawa is hoping to install a new memorial for those who have died.

“We have recognized that Ottawa is one of the bigger cities in Canada that doesn’t have an official AIDS memorial,” said Khaled Salam, the group’s executive director.

On Wednesday, city Coun. David Chernushenko introduced a notice of motion to seek city support to have the memorial placed in Marion Dewar Plaza in front of City Hall.

A message to Good Samaritans on O'Connor

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The following is directed to those who stopped to help the cyclist who was hit by a driver on the O'Connor Bikeaway this week. Both the cyclist and his wife wish to remain anonymous. If you are the owner of the orange jacket, or if you know who is, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 613-580-2487 so that we can arrange its return.

To all those who came to the aid of the O'Connor cyclist on Tuesday late afternoon:

We'd like to thank you for your amazing kindness and generosity to a stranger who needed help. We were both very touched by it all and extremely grateful.

I suppose we are not really strangers, as I feel a certain camaraderie with other cyclists, knowing the potential dangers that can exist on even a daily commute.  We all have to look out for each other — pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. This is our community.

My husband is at home recovering, still in quite a bit of pain, but things should improve every day.  Cycling season is over for this year.  :-)

We would also like to track down the owner of the orange jacket pictured below so that we can return it. 

The good vibes we got from this situation will go towards the healing process, I believe that.

Our sincere thank you to everyone once again.