Fix Public Consultations

Ottawa’s public consultations on development are broken.

Every new development should not be a political battle, waged between organized NIMBY groups and developers.

We see the same delegations over and over at city hall and the broader public’s voice is largely ignored.

First, we should make zoning broadly more permissive and simpler, to avoid triggering so many unnecessary public fights over new buildings.

But for new developments that require public consultations, we must fix the process, so it represents the broader community, and end pointless political fights.

Here’s what we can do:

  • Improve accessibility by continuing to hold online consultations, and advertise consultations to the broader community through social media and paid advertising
  • Consider future residents your biggest stakeholder — not existing homeowners in the neighbourhood. They are the ones who are most impacted by new developments. 
  • Apply an equity lens to public consultations to make sure we aren’t only capturing the voices of nearby homeowners when considering the impacts of a project
  • Make sure the voices of renters, first-time homebuyers, diverse communities, the working class, and other marginalized groups are represented in public consultations
  • Reform the DevApp portal to encourage balanced responses — the current system doesn’t even provide an option to support a project, and encourages people to complain about projects


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