This week we held the final City council meeting until September, and I am very proud of the work we’ve accomplished so far in this term of Council.
This week we adopted the Term of council priorities, our road map for the next few years.
These priorities include:
- A city that has affordable housing and is more liveable for all
- A city that is more connected with reliable, safe and accessible mobility options
- A city that is green and resilient
- A city with a diversified and prosperous economy
While we’ll need to ensure our budget supports these, we can be proud of these priorities, especially the focus on affordable housing, which includes increasing housing options for below market and deeply affordable homes, particularly near transit. We will also focus on the need to increase supportive housing, and our goal to end chronic homelessness by assisting homeless individuals with access to appropriate and permanent housing and supports to stay housed. In addition we will be working to reduce the inflow of chronic homelessness in our city.
As Chair of Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) Board, I am proud of OCH’s accomplishments of building more new affordable housing in a mixed housing format. Many new exciting projects are being planned that will provide energy efficient housing in a community setting. I will provide new information on these projects as they become available.
The goal to create a more connected and reliable city is an important one, and includes a focus on active transportation, including filling in the missing links in our pedestrian and cycling networks. We are only as good as the lack of gaps in our network, and filling in key connections will be important to help residents move around the city safely and provide more options to reach their destinations. This goal will help us as we work toward the Official Plan goal to have the majority of trips taken by sustainable transportation. I have heard loud and clear from Bay Ward residents that we cannot have 15-minute neighbourhoods without safe networks for pedestrians and cyclists and strong connectivity.
Another component passed at Council this week that I am proud to see moving forward is the first phase of a safer alternative response for mental health and substance use crises. This includes a new non-911 number to establish alternative call intake, triage and dispatch system for mental health and substance use crisis related calls, and a community-based multi-disciplinary mobile crisis response that trauma-informed and culturally appropriate crisis response service 24/7.
These will help residents have a number to call when they see someone in need or distress that is not a 911 emergency call in need of ambulance fire, or police services, but other supports for mental health and distress, leading to the dispatching of appropriate responses to residents in need. Having trained mental health experts on call will give a more appropriate alternative to mental health related calls including drug overdoses.
You can read more about this week’s council meeting the City’s press release.
Wishing everyone a relaxing summer, and I will look forward to ongoing committee and council discussions and debates in the coming months!
Please note that our office will have reduced summer hours starting Monday July 17th.
Monday to Thursday: 9am-3pm, Friday: Closed.