Ottawa City Council meeting: a good day for Troster

ABOVE: Councillor Ariel Troster at today's Council meeting. (Photo: screen capture via Rodgers TV)

The Council meeting began with Mayor Mark Sutcliffe thanking Councillor Catherine Kitts for her strong and quick response to the gas explosion in Orleans on February 13th. The meeting continued with a motion brought forward by Councillor Glenn Gower, seconded by Councillor Ariel Troster, asking Council to approve posting the Ottawa People's Commission Report next to the Public Order Emergency Commission on the Disclosure of Executed Reports page on the City of Ottawa website.

The Ottawa People's Commission produced an independent report supported by advocacy groups like Horizan Ottawa. It is not tied to the federal Emergency Act Inquiry report by Justice Paul Rouleau released last week. Instead, it focuses exclusively on the experiences of downtown Ottawa residents during the 2022 convoy protest. The motion was carried.

Councillor David Brown brought forward a motion to clarify the process of approving new energy and infrastructure projects in Ottawa. The motion states that the process requires streamlining due to the rising demand and projected growth of the city's power distribution and generation infrastructure. Brown noted he had been working on the policy since December with staff from Hydro Ottawa and that Ottawa Hydro CEO Bryce Conrad supports the motion. The motion was carried.

A motion to create a city working group to look at how to encourage a conversion with the federal government and private office buildings in downtown Ottawa owner was brought forward by Councillor Troster and Mayor Sutcliffe. The group would look at converting buildings left empty due to the Covid Pandemic into living spaces. Troster stated that the development community has already come out in support of the idea. She added that, if successful, it will significantly expand Ottawa's affordable housing, an issue Troster advocates for. The motion passed.

Councillor Troster and Councillor Theresa Kavanagh also brought forward a motion asking that a Renfrew County inquiry into domestic partner abuse be referred to city staff for the city's Community Safety and Well-Being Plan and that the city declare intimate partner violence an epidemic. The two would also like the city to write Premier Ford in support of declaring an epidemic of partner abuse and drafting legislation addressing family violence. The motion was carried.

The meeting ended shortly after that. Councillor Troster was by far the most active participant at today's Council meeting and appears to be following her predecessor’s (Catherine McKenney) legacy of social advocacy.