Pat Daniels, President
Jason Burggraaf, Executive Director
The Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association 30 Concourse Gate #108,
Nepean, ON K2E 7V7
Dear Mr. Daniels and Mr. Burggraaf,
There has been a great deal of discussion in the media and elsewhere about the clearing of nearly 70 hectares of land owned by the Taggart Group of Companies and the Algonquins of Ontario and known as Tewin.
To date, there has been no comment on this situation from the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association (GOHBA) despite the affiliation of Taggart with GOHBA through its member companies Tamarack and Tartan Homes.
The GOHBA website says the Association is “proud to be good civic partners, and make meaningful changes in the community we live in by implementing sound municipal policies” and that it expects “Professional conduct from our members in all business affairs”. It also posts a Code of Ethics:
- Members shall plan their sites and homes to conform to the principles of good community planning.
- Members shall deal honestly and fairly with their customers.
- Members shall uphold the professional image and reputation of the Association, avoiding all conduct or practice likely to discredit or do injury to the residential construction industry.
The need for more housing to accommodate present and future needs is clear. So is the need to retain treed lands to help reduce temperatures and absorb carbon that contributes to climate change. This will not only make our neighbourhoods healthy and resilient, but pleasant, desirable and valuable. We need builders that work with residents to create liveable communities that incorporate trees and other forms of biodiversity.
A prominent GOHBA member clearcutting at night with little warning to local residents or the City does not align well with the Association’s ethics, and certainly does not epitomize good civic partnership. There has been some recent welcome progress in improving dialogue between the building industry and the community under the Ottawa Climate Action Plan. Taggart’s actions undermine this initiative and the reputation of the building association. Where does GOHBA stand on this? Your silence means we simply don’t know. We hope that your stated commitment to partnership, communication and ethical practices is more than window dressing. We are calling on GOBHA, and its members, to demonstrate you share the community’s desire for meaningful tree protection.
123 Slater Street, 6th Floor Ottawa, ON, K1P 5H3 www.popottawa.ca firstname.lastname@example.org
3 May, 2023
The Peoples Official Plan Coalition
The Peoples Official Plan (POP) coalition is composed of over 20 not-for-profit organizations representing tens of thousands of Ottawans. We advocate at Ottawa City Hall for better transit, greater walkability and active transportation, greenspace for all, housing equity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, equity and inclusion, sustainable waste management, and food security, all sought through ethical city planning practices.