On March 15th, the WVCA sent a letter of support for the Mechanicsville Community Association and Big Trees Kitchissippi, in opposition to the NCC's Embassy Row proposal. The letter below was sent to Tobi Nussbaum of the NCC, our MP Catherine McKenna, our Councillor Jeff Leiper, and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, among others.
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The Wellington Village Community Association (WVCA) is writing to urge the National Capital Commission (NCC) to withdraw its plan to build six diplomatic offices and parking lots on prime greenspace along the Ottawa River and urge the City of Ottawa to deny the NCC’s application to amend the zoning for this parcel of land.
We fully support the efforts of the Mechanicsville Community Association and Big Trees of Kitchissippi to protect this open woodland area and habitat for rare birds along the Ottawa River for the benefit of the larger community and our environment. Its development would not only further reduce greenspace and the forest canopy in our neighbourhood, already under intense development pressures, but also create an electrified wall between the community and the Ottawa River and serve a potential source of contaminants in proximity to the Lemieux Water Treatment Plant.
The city declared climate change an emergency just two years ago following devastating floods in 2017 and 2019. The new Official Plan aspires to embed “public health, environmental, climate and energy resiliency into the framework of our planning policies.” It would be counterproductive to say the least to move forward with a development that increases the risk of flooding of shoreline communities. The NCC’s proposal represents a step backward in our efforts to address climate change and undermines the relationship between our community, the City and the NCC.
As Councillor Leiper noted in his newsletter, “While the City and NCC’s plans have for several years anticipated the kind of development now being proposed, we have an opportunity to take a pause and consider whether this is the right use for this valuable parcel so close to the best transportation infrastructure in the city.” We would be very pleased to participate in such a discussion.
President, on behalf of the Board of Directors
Wellington Village Community Association