A Plan that Enables Good Food for All

With rising food costs, serious global food supply instability due to climate and political uncertainties, and thousands of Ottawans who want to buy food locally and have access to viable land to grow food, including plants, poultry, and livestock, we need an Official Plan that prioritizes conditions and policies that ensure Good Food for All. Agriculture and Food Service need to be understood as key drivers within Ottawa’s economy and supported as such. Building food secure conditions cannot wait until the next Official Plan.

We need to build food resilience now.

1. We need this Official Plan to adopt a food lens throughout, providing integrated policy solutions with requirements for collaboration across all City departments to support integrated and protected foodlands, equitable access to both affordable and locally produced food, and protection of agricultural land throughout all neighbourhoods within the urban, suburban, and rural areas of the city.

2. We need this Official Plan to prioritize building an edible landscape across Ottawa, including on public lands, with ability for households to grow food and raise poultry in their yards, and the ability of community members to have access to food assets at a neighbourhood level including community gardens, community greenhouses, community composting, community orchards, community food stores and community farms.

3. We need this Official Plan to prioritize and value agricultural land as a unique peri-urban resource that is preserved for the food security and livelihoods of future generations. We need this value to be embedded in the Official Plan, with a firm commitment to NO further urban boundary expansion on any viable food-producing land outside of the most recent urban boundary. Solutions to density requirements must be found within the current boundary.

4. We need this Official Plan to preserve all current Agricultural Resource Areas designated through the most recent LEAR process, clearly establishing the principle of ensuring that prime farmland (Class 1, 2 and 3 soil) is protected for agricultural use as a first priority in Rural Countryside, with further protection for all farmland (noting Class 4-5 is used for livestock, crops, etc.).

5. We need the Official Plan to include a monitoring function on farmland preservation, urban foodland integration at a neighbourhood level, and percentage of food eaten by residents that has been produced within City of Ottawa boundaries, such that it increases to 10% by 2030.