We Need Stronger Public Participation at Ottawa City Hall

Residents who reach out to municipal government through letter-writing, phone calls or other means are often ignored. I want to change that.

In the early days of the not-for-profit organization Synapcity, senior leadership met with a senior municipal political leader to talk about our work.

The organization’s goal is to increase civic engagement between Ottawa residents and the city government. A sincere commitment to civic education and building authentic relationships between a city and its communities will improve public participation and help residents develop a voice that can meaningfully inform decisions in the city.

The elected politician’s answer was curt. “We don’t need more activists,” he said.

Since then, and especially since being elected the councillor for College ward, I have been standing up for informed public participation in decision-making. Residents who attempt to reach out through letter-writing, phone calls, meetings, social media and especially through protests, can too easily be dismissed as noisy or messy — undeserving of serious consideration.

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Summary of August 10 2023 flooding in College Ward

August 10, 2023 produced an average of 60 mm of rain throughout the city over a period of 5 hours, with a peak recorded volume of 107 mm. At peak, 190mm/hour was falling. Due to the nature of the storm (high peak intensity and high volume), sanitary sewers, storm sewers and overland drainage systems were all affected.

In College Ward, several homes were flooded. This report looks at the reasons why and how flooding can be prevented in future.

Staff say that they are currently initiating a drainage study in the City View/Crestview area to control flow into the storm sewer system thereby minimizing the risk of sewer surcharge.  This study should be completed by early summer. They are also undertaking computer simulations of the of the August 10th, 2023 event in the Meadowlands Area using sewer hydraulic models to determine if additional tweaks to the infrastructure can be done to further reduce the risk of flooding.

SUMMARY REPORT

CBC: Councillors eye solution to keep community associations insured

CBC: Councillors eye solution to keep community associations insured

"I thought it was fairly inappropriate for city staff to have had two years of deliberations, ostensibly with community groups, and to come back with a report this past winter that says we're going to kill the program," said College ward Coun. Laine Johnson.

Full story: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/community-association-insurance-cost-ottawa-change-plan-1.7105303

Year One in Review:  A Progress Report for College Ward Residents

Year One in Review: A Progress Report for College Ward Residents

Click here to read the Progress Report

Dear Neighbours,

When I was campaigning to be your City Councillor for College Ward, I said I’d address the issues that you said were important to you. Here’s a list of those promises and an update on what we have accomplished so far.

I believe in accountability and transparency. I hope this Progress Report lets you know what we’ve done, what’s underway, and what we still need to tackle.

Warm regards,
Laine

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