City Hall Motion (by Elisabeth Arnold) : LUSENET : Ottawa School Closures : One Thread

The following motion was presented to City Council and unanimously passed. We are all highly pleased to see this pro-active leadership on the school closure issues. Moved by Councillor Arnold Seconded by Imard-Chabot

WHEREAS Ottawa school boards have been forced to consider closing dozens of schools located within the City of Ottawa in order to achieve provincially mandated cost reduction targets;

AND WHEREAS local schools are an essential service and an integral part of each neighbourhood;

AND WHEREAS local schools contribute greatly to the quality of life of residents and to their sense of community;

AND WHEREAS the City of Ottawa and its residents have a great interest in preserving this essential services to service future growth in the City and to meet Official Plan policies;

AND WHEREAS these provincially mandated reductions in service will not help alleviate the serious overcrowding in schools in new communities;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council formally request that all Ottawa school boards consider, when determining the need and value of a school, the five points outlined in the Memo signed by the Commissioner of Urban Planning and Public Works, dated November 13th, 1998;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council object to any school closure at this time and until the school boards have fully studied the long-term community impacts, taking into account the factors outlined. The following are the five points that were outlined in the above mentioned Memo:

1. Consider areas such as LeBreton Flats, the Rockcliffe Airbase lands, Tunney's Pasture, the Energy, Mines and Resources complex on Booth Street, and the Canadian National Railway lands in the vicinity of the Alta Vista postal terminal, all of which represent significant development or redevelopment potential over the next ten years that will have an impact on the demand for school closure space.

2. Take a broader view of the role of schools, as an integral part of a neighbourhood, providing community meeting places, day care facilities, recreational opportunities (both indoor and outdoor), and places of cultural exchange and seek creative ways to develop partnerships among the varied community interests to keep existing schools performing useful, and in many cases, key functions in our city.

3. Take into account the fact that the loss of schools and associated community services will have an impact on the ability to establish and maintain more compact communities and thus contribute to achieving the Official Plan's overall goal of sustainable urban development and energy efficiency.

4. Take into account the fact that the loss of schools will have an impact on the quality of life in our neighbourhoods by reducing the level of choice available to residents in the educating of their children and associated community amenities such as leisure, recreation, social activity, and, potentially, even in the choice of housing that will be available as a result. Quality of life in a community ranks high among the list of factors considered by the high technology sector when making decisions to locate or expand and is a key consideration for its workers in choosing where to live and raise a family.

5. Take into account the significant loss of green space that may result from the disposal and development of school site throughout the city.


E.M. Robinson, the Commissioner of Urban Planning and Public Works adds that "...we have established an inter-departmental committee to bring a co-ordinated approach to assessing the impacts of future school closings in the city. I will be advising when more information is available as to the relevant details and processes that will be used in dealing with proposed surplus properties. Should you wish to discuss any of the matters set out above, I would be pleased to do so..."

-- Anonymous, November 19, 1998

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