Letter to the Editor: Ward issues

To the Editor,

Thank you for the Municipal Election coverage of October 16. It’s too bad the next issue is only published on October 30, which comes after the October 27 election: thus, there is no time to be able to print feedback. Regardless, here is mine, anyway.

The main issues affecting communities appear to be: unbridled development; poor traffic management; little to no enforcement of Ottawa bylaws, particularly those governing development; lack of respect for residents and their properties by developers, their employees, and their contractors; and insufficient greenspace (parks, gardens, etc.).

I would have liked to have seen more reporting on the Cash-In-Lieu of parklands process, particularly in terms of dispensation, accounting, accountability, etc. It smells to me like a thinly disguised illegal payoff scheme.

Developers have no respect for the environment. This is not at all surprising, given that’s the exact same attitude as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I examined the City of Ottawa’s Greenbelt planning report: as an example of the plan’s positive impact on the environment, it cites environmental damage control efforts. This is similar to the ludicrous claim I’ve read that environmental destruction is good for the economy because people and companies are employed to rectify that situation. In other words, there is no benefit whatsoever to the environment in the Greenbelt plan—in fact, it would appear that the exact opposite happens, that is, tacit condoning of environmental damages, such as loss of biodiversity because of loss of Greenbelt land mass and also such as loss of soil fertility because of pollution resulting from unchecked development, to list only two obvious examples. It is unconscionable that all of the land mass taken from the Greenbelt goes to development, with no regard whatsoever for designating public greenspaces such as parks, school gardens, etc.

The poor traffic planning so evident in all of the Kitchissippi communities is merely an accident waiting to happen. Drivers routinely speed 30kph more than posted speed limits in areas where children and seniors require access intersecting these routes. How long before someone pays for this incompetence with their life?

Given what I’ve cited previously and that City Council candidates seem blithely unaware of these issues, I am unhappy with all of their political platforms. The very least the candidates could do is pay attention to the environmental needs of the children.

Yours truly,
Rolf Auer Woodgold

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