Submitted by Yasir Naqvi, MP for Ottawa Centre
I hope you are enjoying the warm weather and taking advantage of Ottawa’s active transportation network. Opportunities to walk, run, bike, and roll are key parts to creating healthier, safer, and more environmentally sustainable communities. This summer, Ottawa will see the grand opening of the new Chief William Commanda Bridge, made possible by an $8.6 million investment by the Government of Canada, that will connect cyclists and pedestrians across the Ottawa River between Ottawa and Gatineau.
The NCC Weekend Bikedays are happening all summer long, encouraging residents to use our existing parkways to get around without their cars. These initiatives build on Ottawa’s growing active transportation network, which includes new paths across LeBreton Flats, the iconic Flora Footbridge and quite possibly in the near future, a fully pedestrianized Wellington Street. I encourage you to get outside and enjoy the nice weather by choosing to bike to work, walk to the grocery store or go for a stroll. You can find routes, maps and more information at the City of Ottawa and National Capital Commission websites.
Summer is also a great time to plant more trees. Increasing our urban tree canopy is an important part of our work to make Ottawa the greenest capital in the world. Tree cover works as a natural climate control by cooling temperatures during hot summer months, storing carbon dioxide and contributing to our natural biodiversity. Planting two billion trees over a decade is a crucial part of Canada’s climate plan. Last year’s summer update reported that approximately 29 million trees were planted across the country, amounting to about 97 percent of the 2021 season’s planting projection. More details willto come later this summer on planting numbers from the 2022 planting season.
We have started a local initiative to plant more trees in Ottawa Centre to help restore our urban tree canopy. Last month, I was happy to partner with Community Associations for Sustainable Environment (CAFES Ottawa), Forests Ontario and Forêt Capitale Forest to launch a pilot tree planting program for our community. We gave out free trees to residents over Mother’s Day weekend, along with instructions on how to care for their tree for years to come! Additionally, we hosted a community tree planting event for the whole family to enjoy. Together we have planted more than 120 trees in our community!
As always, my team and I are here to help. Let us know what issues are important to you, and how we can better support you and our community.