Mayor Larry O’Brien and challenger Jim Watson unveiled starkly different plans for Ottawa’s growth over the weekend, and were quick to criticize each other’s visions for the city.
On Saturday, O’Brien announced his intention to significantly overhaul the Official Plan, build more affordable housing in the suburbs and put a hard cap on the heights of buildings downtown.
Among his first steps if re-elected, he said, would be to move 600 city employees from downtown Ottawa to suburban communities like Stittsville and Orleans.
Yesterday, Watson unveiled his own blueprint for growth, within the city’s existing Official Plan. He contrasted these ideas with O’Brien’s proposals for a ring road and a large new suburban development. O’Brien was equally critical of Watson’s plans.
“Jim Watson’s view of Ottawa is clearly still anchored in the way things were before the turn of the century, and doesn’t embrace the reality of the Ottawa we live in today,” he said.