The next city council may start buying property around Ottawa in a big way, at least the wetlands.

Land banking has been a central theme of Clive Doucet’s platform since the beginning of his campaign. He’s been suggesting undeveloped land around the city could be used for everything from more city parks to water overflow areas. His land bank program would also involve the city purchasing and protecting wet lands.

At last night’s all candidates mayoral debate on environmental issues, Jim Watson said the city needs to create a reserve fund so it could purchase environmentally sensitive lands, but there needs to be a better co-ordination between residents and government to produce a binding decision on what constitutes a wetland.

Andy Haydon suggested the city needed a second green belt that would connect five conservations areas. Protecting water supplies and aquifers is definitely in the best interest of the city, said Mike Maguire.