The Ottawa Citizen recently published an article titled “Otto’s BMW withdraws application to build into Hunt Club Forest“. Just to be clear—Otto’s BMW did not withdraw their application. They only withdrew their issue for discussion from the scheduled City’s Planning Committee meeting, while they consider other decisions. The application is still active, and they could bring it back to the meeting table at any time.
While this could be a positive outcome, if Otto’s does find elsewhere for their storage and parking lot, the forest is still not protected from development. The Ottawa International Airport Authority (OIAA) currently operates this federal land, and have plans to lease this area for economic growth. Other businesses may not even need to apply for rezoning, if it falls under T1A Commercial permitted uses.
This presents us with an opportunity to focus on the root issue—as rejecting the parking lot application was only the initial, short-term goal of our campaign. More importantly, we encourage the OIAA to engage with their community, their respective associations and government representatives regarding the future of this land. Nearly 20,000 people have signed a petition to Save Hunt Club Forest as local, urban greenspace. This should be a clear sign that the community wants a say on what happens in this matter.
We ask for our federal MP’s to make sure their constituents’ concerns are addressed, and to help protect this woodland area, for continued community enjoyment. Ideally, a memorandum of agreement between the Government of Canada, the IOAA and the City of Ottawa to permanently protect the forest.
Please keep up diligence to help Save Hunt Club Forest. Write to your federal MP, and other candidates of interest. So far we have received support from NDP candidate for Ottawa South, Huda Mukbil.
Thu, 26 Aug 2021
Good Evening Save the Hunt Club Forest Team!
My name is Huda Mukbil, NDP Candidate for Ottawa South
Congratulations on your victory today! Your work has saved an urban forest that is vital to our community! But I know the work isn’t finished. I wanted to pass along that as your MP, I will commit to working hard for a permanent moratorium on development in our urban forests on airport authority lands.
From a broader perspective, The NDP has a number of exciting policies on conservation, such as expanding the urban National Parks program, our action plan on urban biodiversity and much more. I hope we’ll have a chance to discuss these and many issues in the coming weeks, and I look forward to making it out to your events in the future!