Council debates necessity of obtaining green building status
The City of Ottawa is deferring its decision on whether to end the practice of certifying its buildings to a common environmental standard.
Because of delays in the approval process, the city's environment committee recently recommended scrapping the current municipal policy that required all newly constructed facilities of a certain size to be certified under the international environmental ratings system known as Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design, or LEED.
The motion, however, called on the city to continue to construct facilities "that meet the intent of the LEED criteria."
Several buildings have already been LEED certified, such as the headquarters for Ottawa paramedics on Don Reid Drive, just south of Walkley Road.
However several completed projects are still awaiting certification because the organization responsible for approval has “had trouble with meeting the quantity of projects,” according to a report from city staff.
These include the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans and 14 other buildings.
City council, however, was apparently unconvinced that the committee motion was the best way to deal with the problem and referred the issue back to city staff.
Mayor Jim Watson wants to address the litter on city streets that he believes, if left untouched, will keep visitors away from the nation’s capital.
Mr. Watson made the remarks about the “little things” such as cigarette butts, paper litter and old pop bottles that affect visitors’ perceptions as part of his annual “state of the city address” at Wednesday’s council meeting.
“When you visit a city, regardless of how much fun you had, people will always notice how clean a city is,” said a text of his speech provided by his staff. “Far too often our streets and sidewalks are strewn with litter.”
He wants to “substantially increase” the number of recycling bins on the city’s streets and create a new public awareness campaign about the issue in 2013.
His speech did not say how much the initiative would cost.
PROVINCE EXPECTED TO COUGH UP INNOVATION COMPLEX CASH
The province appears to have come through with funding for a new home for the Ottawa’s lead economic development organization.
Bob Chiarelli, member of provincial Parliament for the Ottawa area, has called a press conference at Invest Ottawa’s offices Thursday to discuss the proposal for an “innovation complex” at Bayview Yards.
Mr. Watson said this week he was optimistic the province would come through with $15 million for the project. The city needs the money to help make the proposal to renovate the former garage on Bayview Road east of downtown a reality.
Invest Ottawa wants the space so it can house start-up companies and researchers to connect with one another. It believes that will create better companies and ultimately lead to more jobs.
City council passed a motion at council Wednesday agreeing to support the proposal in principle.