Kevin O'Donnell's blog

Ottawa: Lansdowne, the Urban Boundary & OMB Reform

The Green Party of Ontario platform for the 2011 election calls for the OMB to be significantly reformed. Green MPPs would change the mandate of the OMB so that it can only be used to strengthen the community development and planning processes at the municipal level, and ensure the OMB is not used to end-run planning at the local level.

That's quite a mouthful - so let's look at a concrete example of how a judicial system can be restrained from overturning local decisions.

eWaste Depot Day 2011 - Five Carloads

Today's eWaste recycling project was a total success. I collected a bit of stuff last night and added it to my own driveway pile, then the team was out from 8am to 2pm collecting eWaste from across Ottawa for delivery to the Foxy Recycling depot. Being a first-time project I wasn't sure how many people would want to participate, or how best to organize everything, but it all worked out well enough.

Laurier Segregated Bike Lane: First Impressions

This morning was my first chance to ride the new Laurier Segregated Bike Lane (SBL). After dropping my daughter off at daycare my usual pattern is to walk a bit further to Carling & Churchill and take the 85 downtown. It's good downtime in a busy schedule. But with the bike lane open it made much more sense to bring my bike along then ride to Westboro station and catch a bus downtown (see Rack and Roll). I got off at Slater & Bronson then crossed over to Laurier via the school parking lot.

Ted Talk: Bill Gates on Energy

In this TED Talk Bill Gates clearly lays out the case that we need to drastically reduce our CO2 emissions. While I do not agree with him 100% on every point, I do agree with him that today's nuclear technology is not affordable and is not a solution to our long term energy needs. Ontario's current plan to build two new nuclear reactors based on decades old technology is a terrible idea.

Gates also considers a tax on carbon emissions as a required part of the solution. Until there are market incentives to improve efficiency we'll never be able to cut emissions.

On non-partisan cooperation: Christine Quinn on Charlie Rose

Christine Quinn is the speaker of the New York City council. In this interview with Charlie Rose one of the interesting insights she discusses is how important changes can only be brought about when politicians (and their parties) are able to set differences aside and choose to work together. Being able to work together, while "disagreeing agreeably", is vital.