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Citizens challenge Ottawa’s climate and energy plans at Environment and Climate Change Committee hearing


On April 18, 2023, the 3rd meeting (since the election) of the City of Ottawa’s Environment and Climate Change Committee was held at City Hall. In the delegation period following the Annual Status Update of the Climate Change Master Plan, five members of the public presented testimonies that highlighted some of the many problems with the city’s climate and energy plans. Those “delegations” that opposed or questioned the plans are listed below, in chronological order. ICSC-Canada encourages anyone, from any jurisdiction, who is concerned about Ottawa’s plans (stopping them in the capital of Canada would be a boost to climate realism across North America) to contact committee members (Twitter handles and e-mail addresses below) to ask them to respond to the questions and points raised by the five delegates. Here are the councillors’ contacts:

Delegation #1 by Tom Harris, Ottawa resident and Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition - Canada

Watch Mr. Harris’ delegation here. He concluded: “As the seventh coldest capital city in the world, it is irresponsible for Ottawa to only prepare for warming when cooling is far more dangerous and, some scientists say, more likely. It would be like going camping in an area known to be infested with black bears and mosquitos and only planning for the mosquitos. Yes, the bugs can drive you crazy, but the bears can kill you. Similarly, heat in Ottawa is not fatal except for the elderly and other vulnerable citizens, people we need to protect. But everyone can die when it is -30 with no heat.”


“Consequently, I ask the committee to direct city staff to incorporate preparation for cooling into the Climate Change Master Plan.”


Learn more about Mr. Harris here.


Delegation #2: Robert Lyman, Ottawa-based energy policy consultant and Principal at ENTRANS Policy Research Group, Inc. 


Watch Mr. Lyman’s testimony here. He concluded, “Reducing emissions in Canada will have essentially zero effect in terms of temperature and climate… So you have a 52 to 57 billion dollar expenditure [for the City of Ottawa’s climate plan] and you have zero environmental benefits. That won’t pass any kind of a cost/benefit test in any government in the world.”


Learn more about Mr. Lyman here.

Delegation #3: Nigel Ellis, Ottawa resident and former project manager and VP of Research and Development for healthcare software products


Watch Mr. Ellis’s testimony here. He said, “…Ottawa’s almost $60 billion plan, if successfully implemented would result by 2100 in about one-ten-thousandths of a degree global temperature change. This is smaller by at least two orders of magnitude from what can even be measured.


“My conclusion is that Ottawa’s Climate Change Master Plan has no perceived benefit and will be a massive fiscal sink hole. So, my main questions is: ‘when the key countries of the world are not reducing CO2 emissions at all and Ottawa’s Plan doesn’t change the global numbers at all, why are you expecting us to pay an additional tens of billions of dollars for no benefit?”

Delegation #4: Karen Bourdeau, Ottawa resident and retired teacher


Watch Karen Bourdeau’s testimony here. Ms. Bourdeau told the committee: “As an educator, I am concerned that the City of Ottawa has not done its homework before announcing its climate and energy plans. I’ve seen no evidence that even the basics have been properly covered with respect to Ottawa’s plans for prohibiting ‘automobile-oriented land uses,’ whatever that means, in the downtown core.


“…If a student were to approach me with suggestions that the class switch over to radically new ways of learning, I would ask, “Have you tried it yourself?” If their answer was no, then I would tell them to try it out and let me know how things went. Similarly, I ask this committee to do your homework before further considering compelling the whole city to radically change the way we live.”

Delegation #5: Danielle Maillot, Ottawa resident


Watch Ms. Maillot’s testimony here. She said, “most of the sources of power that Energy Evolution promotes, mainly sun, wind, batteries, from cradle to graveyard, are among the dirtiest and most environmentally damaging energy technologies on the planet.


“Research shows that we do a far better job protecting the environment by continuing with our reliance on fossil fuel than by making a massive transition to so-called renewable power. I ask the committee, it is still time for courageous conversation to do your due diligence and properly investigate every aspect of this question before ruining our environment with a huge expansion of wind and solar power.”

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