January 24, 2023

Councillor Glen Gower
Chair, Transit Commission
Councillor Cathy Curry
Vice-Chair, Transit Commission

110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON
K1P 1J1

Dear Councillors Gower and Curry,

Congratulations on your appointments as Chair and Vice-Chair of the City of Ottawa Transit Commission.

New leadership at the City of Ottawa provides an important opportunity to set a higher standard of public engagement in making public policy.

To that end, we encourage you to consider the following recommendations regarding details of the proposed new transit advisory body. Details of this nature can make a significant difference to the potential of the advisory body to provide the City of Ottawa with advice that is grounded, thoughtful, and constructive. We recommend that the body:

  • Include organizations with local expertise in transit among its members, in addition to individuals from the general public and individual specialists such as academics and professionals associated with the sector. Organizations, by virtue of their public membership base, provide an advisory body with broad representation and organizational memory. Please note that the Planning Advisory Committee is organized on this principle, and allowed under the guidelines of the City’s Appointment Policy (Section 4.3).
  • Ensure the future transit advisory group has an OC Transpo union member and a Para Transpo rider, and includes at least 50 per cent women and/or gender non-binary members, as carried at the December 7, 2022 Council meeting.
  • Adopt an Advisory Committee format for the transit advisory body (Transit Advisory Committee), along the lines of the Planning Advisory Committee. The structure accommodates direct dialogue between councillors and appropriate representation from the public.
  • Convene the Transit Advisory Committee (TAC) at least quarterly, and at other times, as appropriate, at the call of the Chair or a quorum of one third of the members.
  • Ensure that the TAC has the administrative/organisational support needed to do what it is meant to do.
  • Ensure that the agenda, minutes of the prior meeting, and supporting documentation are circulated to TAC members on a timely basis and no less that 5 business days in advance of the next meeting.
  • Ensure that meeting minutes include a substantive summary of topic discussions; a record of any decisions taken; a list of outstanding items and/or queries to staff for follow up; as well as pertinent documents from the previous meeting.
  • To increase public awareness of the TAC’s meetings, include public advisories of TAC meeting agendas in the City’s weekly notice of upcoming meetings at City Hall.
  • As future TAC meetings are likely to be held online, ensure that livestream and recorded meetings are posted on the City’s YouTube channel.
  • Circulate the minutes of TAC meetings to the Clerk of Council’s Transportation Committee for distribution to Committee members, and make the minutes accessible to the general public.
  • At the request of the TAC, and with the concurrence of the Council Transportation Committee chair, include TAC recommendations on the agenda of the Transportation Committee for committee consideration.

We would be pleased to discuss any of the above with you at your convenience, and to provide a list of organizations with substantial expertise in transit for consideration when forming the transit advisory group.Best regards,Daniel BucklesOn behalf of the Peoples Official Plan Coalition

Best regards,

Daniel Buckles

On behalf of the Peoples Official Plan Coalition

About the Peoples Official Plan Coalition

The Peoples Official Plan (POP) is a coalition of organizations focused on bringing greater urgency and ambition on climate and social justice issues to the implementation of Ottawa’s Official Plan.