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"We have to be ambitious": Ottawa mayoral candidate Mark Sutcliffe releases climate platform

Sutcliffe promises to take practical, immediate and achievable actions to make the workings of the city more energy efficient, reduce emissions, and preserve the natural beauty of our nation's capital.
2021-06-30 mark sutcliffe
Mark Sutcliffe. Photo/ Mark Sutcliffe on Twitter

Ottawa mayoral candidate Mark Sutcliffe has released his climate platform. 

The former CityNews Ottawa talk show host, entrepreneur and author is pledging to protect the biodiversity of the region, as he said our quality of life is directly linked to air quality, clean water and access to green space. 

"We are blessed to have beautiful green space and fertile farmland, while the Ottawa River and Rideau River Watershed makes it easy to get outside and enjoy nature," Sutcliffe said. 

He goes on to say the impact of climate change in Ottawa is real and immediate.

"We must work together to both reduce emissions, and mitigate the impacts of climate change, as adverse weather events such as storms and flooding become more common. I believe a clean, and green Ottawa is the foundation of a prosperous, growing Ottawa," he added. 

Sutcliffe said, as mayor, he would take practical, immediate and achievable actions to make the workings of the city more energy efficient, reduce emissions, and preserve the
natural beauty of our nation's capital.

"I'm not going to be shy or hold back on these kinds of commitments," Sutcliffe told The Rob Snow Show with guest host Derick Fage on Wednesday, Aug. 17. "It's going to be a stretch but we're all going to work together and get it done, because we have to be ambitious. I'm not going to hold back on stuff like this if it's going to make the city better."

Sutcliffe has made the following climate pledges:

For drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians:

  • Enable Hydro Ottawa to install 200 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across Ottawa, on a cost recovery basis.
  • Enable Hydro Ottawa to install 100 E-Bike charging stations across Ottawa, on a cost recovery basis.
  • Work with community groups to identify areas where there are missing links in pedestrian and cycling pathway systems to promote the use of active transportation and more walkable communities for inclusion in the long-term capital plan.
  • Ensure timely repair of sidewalks and cycling infrastructure.

For city-owned vehicles:

  • Phase out the city's gas-powered fleet to become fully electric or hybrid by 2030.
  • Champion the adoption of electric vehicle use by police services and other emergency response vehicles.

For businesses and building owners:

  • Facilitate the adoption of sustainable, renewable energy solutions with Hydro Ottawa and green technology companies, builders and building owners.
  • Work with the provincial and federal government to use their proceeds from carbon pricing and fuel taxes to incentivize Ottawa's largest private emitters to modify their operations for lower carbon emissions. The City will work with Hydro Ottawa to provide services and incentives when matched by senior levels of government.
  • Investigate and adopt proven technologies that are zero emission waste-to-energy systems, rather than add a new landfill site or expand the existing landfill on Trail Road.
  • Advocate to the province to raise standards for recycling and green bin usage for industrial commercial institutional (ICI) users.

For city-owned buildings:

  • Ensure new city buildings are constructed to a net-zero standard for maximum efficiency.
  • Retrofit city buildings with supportive funding from established federal and provincial programs, as well as through Hydro Ottawa. This includes
  • delivering an additional $100 million over four years of energy upgrades and retrofits
  • to city buildings.
  • Work with Hydro Ottawa and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to accelerate district heating initiatives such as heat recovery from sewers at LeBreton and elsewhere.
  • Work with PSPC and the Province on the feasibility of bringing district heating and cooling to Ottawa City Hall and the Provincial Courthouse to achieve cost efficiencies.
  • Immediately cease any purchasing of single use plastics such as straws and stir sticks upon taking office.

For public transit users and commuters:

  • Fix light rail transit (LRT) Phase 1 and deliver Phase 2.
  • Secure funding for Phase 3 LRT to Kanata, Stittsville and Barrhaven so we can get even more people using transit to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Continue the transition of the city's diesel city bus fleet to electric buses to reduce emissions.
  • Enable the City of Gatineau to bring LRT or electric buses into Ottawa, replacing diesel-powered buses that are noisy, pollute our downtown, and emit carbon pollution.
  • Invest in improving pedestrian and cycling connections to existing and future transit stations, and install more secure bicycle storage systems.

For those who love nature and the outdoors:

  • Double the city's annual tree planting goal to replace and enhance the urban canopy, helping to cool the city and clean the air. This would mean 250,000 new trees planted annually, or one million by the end of the first term.
  • Monitor the stormwater management and outfall rehabilitation programs to improve the water quality of the Ottawa and Rideau rivers with real-time reporting of sewage overflows and regular reporting on water quality.
  • Work with the National Capital Commission, the City of Gatineau and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to improve the health, biodiversity and water quality of our rivers and watershed, as well as on climate change mitigation measures and in developing adaptation strategies focused on addressing flooding and extreme heat.
  • Further develop the integrated cross-country ski trail network in cooperation with local communities and the National Capital Commission.

Sutcliffe is also committing to take the following actions at city hall:

  • Establish mayor's roundtable on the environment to include not-for-profit organizations such as Ottawa Riverkeeper, Ecology Ottawa and Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES).
  • Provide regular, public reporting on carbon emissions in line with the city's 2040 climate goals.
  • Establish robust disaster recovery plans to respond to extreme weather events.
  • Add emergency generators to more city buildings so they can operate as refuges in the event of an emergency such as an ice storm, flood, major wind event or in extreme heat.
  • Work with Invest Ottawa to encourage pilot demonstrations and projects that accelerate Made-in-Ottawa green tech innovations.
  • Ensure that city snow clearing teams and private sector providers use the appropriate amount of salt when clearing roads and sidewalks, without compromising safety. Excess use of salt can have detrimental impacts on plants, animals and humans.

There are currently 13 candidates in the running for the position of mayor, including Sutcliffe:

Brandon Bay
Zeb Chebib
Bob Chiarelli
Bernard Couchman
Celine Debassige
Gregory Guevara
Nour Kadri
Graham MacDonald
Mike Maguire
Catherine McKenney
Ade Olumide
Param Singh
Mark Sutcliffe 

Listen to the full interview with Mark Sutcliffe below:

 


 

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