Peoples Official Plan (POP)

Memorandum of Understanding

1. Goal

○ The goal of the Peoples Official Plan (POP) is to achieve greater economic, environmental, social and climate justice in Ottawa, and more transparent municipal planning practices, by shaping the policies and implementation of Ottawa’s new Official Plan, Master Plans and other relevant plans and procedures.

2. Membership

○ Membership is open to organizations that share this goal and are willing to operate under the shared values, set of beliefs, processes and governance models outlined below.

○ Member organizations bring initiatives to the coalition when they believe collective action on major elements of the Official Plan, and attendant policies/plans, is likely to be stronger than what they could do on their own.

○ Membership does not preclude independent action by any member, including the formation of subsets of member organizations.

○ To become a POP member organization, a prospective member organization’s executive must read and agree to POP’s MOU, share our goal and values, then apply for membership using the form on the POP website. The organization’s membership will be deliberated at a POP meeting before the new member is added to the POP Google Group, shared Google Folder and invited to join POP meetings.

3. Shared Values and Beliefs

○ POP is mindful that the city of Ottawa sits on unceded Algonquin territory. POP actions will seek to advance reconciliation.

○ The strength of POP is the sharing of expertise, insight, information and sweat equity among members across all the policy domains they address.

○ We believe we can achieve more when we are united than we can separately.

○ Openness, free exchange and solidarity are shared values founded on building trust in each other and trust in our goal.

○ Diversity makes us stronger; we seek to include the diversity of Ottawa in our membership and to promote equity and inclusion in all our efforts.

4. Governance

○ POP is primarily a policy oriented coalition that takes “public facing” positions on policies and plans. The main vehicle for developing and agreeing on POP policy positions and general strategy is the online shared Google Drive editable by all members.

○ The adoption of POP policy positions and general strategy will be on a consensus basis. Where members firmly oppose a particular policy position developed collectively, they have a responsibility to make their concerns clear to the group by email or at a group meeting. If no accommodation can be found, the resulting policy position and related public statement will not use the POP logo and will instead list supporting member organizations.

○ In cases of policy positions and general strategy, members will be afforded sufficient time for deliberation. They will also have the opportunity to reconsider their vote, within a reasonable timeframe. Any organization can veto the use of the POP logo where insufficient time has been given for deliberation by that organization.

○ The development of POP policy positions must include the lead member organizations for a given policy area. In general, leads reflect the mandate of their organization. In cases where there is more than one lead, leads will make every effort to reach consensus on strategic directions.

○ It is each member’s responsibility to use an intersectional and inter-sectoral analysis in policy development, informed and influenced by the perspective and analysis of other members. Lead organizations for a given policy area have a particular responsibility to incorporate intersectional and inter-sectoral analyses coming from other organizations in an ongoing way.

○ Coalition activities are considered non-policy matters. The main vehicle for planning of coalition activities is the regular meeting open to all POP members. Decisions on these matters will be made on a consensus basis of those members in attendance, or failing consensus, on two thirds majority vote. By their absence, members consent to the coalition activities agreed to at these meetings.

○ A meeting quorum consists of a minimum of six member organizations represented, with one vote per organization.

○ Time-sensitive issues on coalition activities arising between meetings will be addressed by email with similar quorum and decision processes.

○ In order for POP to consider participation in third party activities, POP shall solicit a short document from the lead agency/organization requesting a POP branded partnership. The document should include:

  • Event/project details (time, place, organizers)
  • Key messages
  • Calls to action for public & stakeholders
  • Desired outcomes
  • Reference to existing published content about the event/project

○ POP will approve a partnership if aligned with POP policy positions. Where the POP coalition decides not to participate, individual members can choose to lend their organization’s support independently.

5. Member Responsibilities

○ The primary responsibility of members is to participate actively in policy development and consensus-building, by attending biweekly meetings as regularly as possible, reading previous meeting minutes and participating in the online policy development processes. This helps to ensure that the expertise of each organization shapes policy positions and other initiatives of the coalition.

○ The analysis and policy development work of POP will be done on a volunteer basis by members of the coalition, according to their capacities and interests.

○ The work of POP typically involves the analysis of City of Ottawa policy proposals and the development of POP responses and policy positions. These positions are then further tested, enriched and validated through workshops with the broader community and/or other consultative processes within the networks of coalition members. Finally, the refined policy positions are communicated to City staff and elected officials, the media, our shared website, and through our networks to members and subscribers. All members are encouraged to participate as much as possible in this process.

6. Financial Policies

○ Specific POP activities that require financial resources will be funded through grants and other fundraising methods.

○ Grants received will be fully used to cover the actual costs of the activities for which the grant was sought.

○ Funds raised through other methods, such as sponsorships and donations, may produce surpluses beyond the activities for which the funds were sought. In such cases, a percentage of any future surpluses would be retained by POP in a POP reserve fund, held in escrow by Ecology Ottawa as grant administrator. The disbursement of funds from the reserve fund shall be decided collectively by POP members as an element of coalition strategy or administrative activities.

○ A share of any surplus funds may be paid to those POP member organization(s) that contributed most to the activity in question, using a sliding scale for level of effort, or need, such judgement call at the time to be based on the collective understanding of members. The relative shares to be retained or placed in the reserve fund shall be decided on a case by case basis at a regular open meeting.

Schedule A – most recent update 2023-02-23

Work Plan for 2022-2024

○ Detailed activities, responsibilities and time frames to accomplish the POP goal can be found in the POP 2022-2024 Work Plan.

○ An OCF grant funds support services provided to the POP coalition as follows:

○ Ecology Ottawa takes the lead on coordination;

○ Community Association for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES) takes the lead on communications, including developing a new POP website; and

○ City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) takes the lead on outreach and engagement for capacity development in marginalized communities.

○ The policy instruments and governance processes targeted by POP over this period include the:

  • 2022 Municipal Election
  • Monitoring Official Plan adoption
  • Provincial Bill 23
  • 2023 Budget, New Term of Council Priorities, City Governance Review
  • Infrastructure Master Plan
  • Transportation Master Plan
  • Solid Waste Master Plan
  • 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan
  • Inclusionary Zoning Bylaw
  • Community Safety and Well Being Plan
  • Ottawa Food Strategy
  • Urban Forest and Greenspace Master Plan
  • Review of the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw
  • Climate Resiliency Strategy
  • Climate Change Master Plan
  • Affordable Housing Community Improvement Plan

Schedule B – Most recent update 2023-02-23

Current POP member organizations

  • Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa
  • Beechwood Market
  • Bike Ottawa
  • Citizen Climate Counsel (C3)
  • City for All Women Initiative (CAWI)
  • Climate Reality Leaders
  • Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES)
  • Council on Aging of Ottawa
  • Ecology Ottawa
  • Energy Mix
  • Federation of Citizen’s Associations (FCA)
  • For Our Kids Ottawa/Gatineau
  • Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital
  • Healthy Transportation Coalition
  • Just Food
  • MD Moms for Healthy Recovery
  • Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative
  • Ottawa Stewardship Council
  • Ottawa Street Markets
  • Ottawa Transit Riders
  • ReImagine Ottawa
  • Synapcity
  • Walkable Ottawa
  • Waste Watch Ottawa

This Memorandum of Understanding is a living document, subject to further discussion and modification at the request of any member.