Column: September 14, 2017

Committee aims to make it easier for flood-affected residents to rebuild

At the September 7th Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, changes were approved to facilitate flood recovery by making it easier for residents to rebuild. City-initiated amendments to the Zoning By-law would relieve property owners from having to get minor variances when repairing or rebuilding structures damaged during the May flooding. The intent is to minimize delays and costs involved in rebuilding, and to make it easier for owners who may wish to rebuild at a higher point on their lot. Small increases in building height would also be permitted, to accommodate flood-proofing measures. This item will go to City Council on Wednesday, September 13 for final approval.

Temporary Road Closure for culvert work

Kinburn Side Road from Dominion Springs Drive to Timmins Road will be closed from Monday, September 25 until Friday, October 13, 2017. The closure will be in place in order to complete culvert replacements. Notification signs will be posted in advance of the closure. There will be a signed detour. Local and emergency vehicle access will be maintained.

Hydro One planned power outage

Hydro One has notified my office that they have planned a power outage on Sunday, September 24, from 7am to 11am. (This is the rescheduled outage that Hydro One had planned in the spring but due to the flooding event, they agreed to delay it to a later date).

Hydro One will be replacing two poles at the intersection of Kinburn Side Road and Stonecrest Road. Due to the complexity of the work and to ensure safety of the workers, the power must be shut off. The outage will affect approximately 3,500 customers in the following areas: Canon Smith Road, Limestone Road, Stonecrest Road, Thomas Dolan Parkway and the Ottawa River.

Hydro One will be notifying all customers using their automated call system. If you have questions or concerns, called Hydro One directly at 1-888-664-9376.

Try it: Sledge Hockey

Want to have some fun and learn about a new sport? Join Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario on Saturday, September 16, from 9:15am-11:15am at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex to try out sledge hockey. This is open to all abilities and ages. I have proudly sponsored this event along with my colleagues Councillors Wilkinson, Hubley and Qadri.

Column: September 7, 2017

2018 Pre-Budget Consultation evening in Kinburn

West Carleton-March residents are invited to attend my 2018 Pre-Budget Consultation & Meet your City Services Night on Tuesday, September 12 at the Kinburn Community Centre. The evening will start at 6pm when residents can stop by tables displaying information on various services provided by the City of Ottawa. At 7pm, there will be short presentation on the City’s budget for 2018. We will be looking for feedback and suggestions that can be used in the drafting of the budget, before it’s tabled at Council on November 8.

If you cannot attend, but still want to provide your input, you can:

  • Email budget@ottawa.ca
  • Participate in ottawa.citizenbudget.com and submit ideas on how you would like to see your tax dollars spent
  • Tweet @ottawacity using the hash tag #ottbudget
  • Call 3-1-1

For more information on the Budget 2018, visit ottawa.ca.

Entrance fee now required at Morris Island Conservation Area

Effective Monday, October 2, 2017 Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) will begin charging a nominal entrance fee at Morris Island Conservation Area (MICA).

MICA, an environmental mecca along the Ottawa River, offers a variety of activities throughout all four seasons. The number of visitors has climbed steadily in recent years.

It should be noted that the revenue generated from charging entrance fees will be reinvested directly into the continued maintenance and development of roadways, parking areas, trails and other infrastructure within MICA.

MICA’s regular hours of operation are from dawn until dusk, seven days a week, with bathroom facilities maintained from May to October. As of October 2, when visitors enter the park they will find a pay and display machine located at the entrance to the trail. This new system will require park visitors to deposit fees (coin or credit) into a machine to receive a slip which they will then display in the windshield of their vehicle. The daily entrance rate will be $3 per vehicle. Visitors will have the option of purchasing an annual pass for $40 which also provides admittance to Purdon Conservation Area and the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area where admission is $6 per vehicle per day. The annual pass is valid for one year from date of purchase. Annual passes are available at the MVCA office in Carleton Place, or online at www.mvc.on.ca.

Column: August 31, 2017

New lights at Stonecrest School

As school resumes next week, I want to remind drivers on Kinburn Side Road that new blinking lights and signs were installed at the end of June at Stonecrest Elementary School. When the lights are flashing, speed reduces to 60 km/hr. The reduced speed/flashing lights will occur at morning drop-off, during lunchtime and at day’s end.

Be aware as well that vehicle owners can be fined from $400 - $2,000 and 6 demerit points, if their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus. Please slow down, respect the rules of the road and help keep kids safe as they head back to school.

Hazardous Waste Depots

After the most recent City of Ottawa hazardous waste depot on August 20, I received feedback from residents about long lines and wait times. I followed up with City staff to make inquiries as to why there were backlog issues. Staff explained they experienced heavy traffic (over 2,400 vehicles) at the August 20 depot, and received very high volumes of material. Wait times did reach up to 30 minutes. The contractor did everything they could to process vehicles quickly, and more than 5 vehicles per minute were unloaded. Staff believes part of the issue this year is that we have had poor weather for 3 of the 4 depots held to date. There were two extremely rainy depot events, and another one was cut short due to lightning.

I asked staff about the City of Ottawa possibly starting a permanent hazardous water depot program, or expanding the current program to have more than 8 depots each year. City staff does not recommend either option. Each of the 8 depots the city currently holds costs approximately $160,000. The city simply does not have the budget to add more.

There are three more depots happening this year and they are listed on ottawa.ca. If you cannot attend, keep in mind that many retailers can assist in disposing of hazardous and/or electronic waste. For example:

  • Electronics drop-off locations: www.recyclemyelectronics.ca/on/drop-off-locations/
  • Best Buy accepts electronics returns (contact store directly to inquire)
  • There are numerous locations for battery drop-offs including most home improvement stores (Lowes, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, etc.), as well as City of Ottawa libraries and community centres
  • www.makethedrop.ca/locator points to drop-off locations for items such as oil, anti-freeze, pressurized cylinders, etc.
  • Lowes and Rona accept paints and coatings

Column: August 24, 2017

Resident feedback needed on Site Alteration By-Law development

City of Ottawa Staff is developing a new by-law to regulate site alteration. The Site Alteration By-law is intended to:

  • Prevent drainage problems
  • Protect the productivity of soils in designated Agricultural Resource Areas
  • Protect designated natural areas and other identified natural heritage features (such as significant woodlands and valley lands) from negative impacts
  • Reduce the risk of root damage to City-owned trees or other trees protected under the City’s tree by-laws
  • Establish basic rules for how site alteration is done, to avoid impacts to neighbours and the environment

Public input is also being invited until Monday, September 25. Comments can be sent to Amy MacPherson, Planner II, Planning, Infrastructure & Economic Development, planning@ottawa.ca, fax 613-580-2459. For further information, please review the discussion paper and draft by-law posted on ottawa.ca.

GLAD Cleaning the Capital 2017 Fall Campaign

Early bird registration for the annual fall GLAD Cleaning the Capital campaign is now open. Participants can register their cleanup projects by calling 3-1-1 or by using the online registration form available at ottawa.ca/clean. This is an excellent opportunity for high school students to earn some community volunteer hours. If your community group is participating and would like my help with your clean up, email me at eli.el-chantiry@ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2475. I’d be happy to participate!

West Carleton Glee Club

The West Carleton Glee Club has been offering quality music programming in West Carleton since 2014. They have both primary and intermediate programs for children from senior kindergarten to grade 8. The 2017 Fall Glee Club session begins on September 13, and they still have a few spots left for interested singers. The Glee Club meets on Wednesday evenings in Carp, and the cost of the fall session is $100. This includes all training as well as the final concert. Other performance opportunities may arise throughout the session. To register or for additional information, email westcarletongleeclub@gmail.com.

The Glee Club is always looking for performance opportunities in the Ottawa area. Please contact Music Director Jennifer Britton at westcarletongleeclub@gmail.com or 613-883-3571 to discuss how the Glee Kids could add to your event!

School resuming soon – watch out for kids

With children heading back to school next week, drivers are being reminded to slow down and be cautious around school buses and in school zones. Wishing all students good luck this school year!

Column: August 17, 2017

WCFAC collecting used books for their annual sale

The West Carleton Food Access Centre (WCFAC) is holding a Book Sale on September 8 (noon-7pm) and September 9 (8am-2pm) at the Carp Agricultural Hall, 3790 Carp Rd. All proceeds will go to the WCFAC. If you are looking to unload some of your used books, book drop off locations have been set up at:

  • Huntley Parish Hall, 3774 Carp Rd.
  • Carp Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings
  • The donation box, 3075 Carp Rd.
  • My ward office, 5670 Carp Rd.

Art in the Grass

The West Carleton Arts Society will be holding Art on the Grass, a summer arts festival at the Carp Fairgrounds, 3790 Carp Rd. Carp, on Saturday, August 19 from 8am to 3pm. It will include art work and handcrafted items, as well as an open invitation to a casual Plein Air Painting Day in and around Carp. Go to westcarletonartssociety.ca for more details.

Senate medal honouring Canada`s unsung heroes
 
Senators will award prestigious medals to Canadians who are thoroughly involved in their communities, whose generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work make their home towns a better place to live. The Senate of Canada 150 Medal celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first sitting of the Senate on November 6, 1867.  

Senator Vern White will be nominating 12 recipients from the Province of Ontario. To be eligible for the Senate 150 Medal, a person must:

  • Be thoroughly involved in their communities and, through generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work, make their home town a better place;
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, but need not necessarily reside in Canada; and
  • Not be a spouse of a sitting Senator or Member of the House of Commons; a sitting Member of the House of Commons, a provincial or territorial legislature, an elected member of a municipal body constituted under the various provincial and territorial Acts pertaining thereunto; a sitting member of a federal, provincial or territorial bench, the military courts as constituted under the National Defence Act; or a sitting member of a federal, provincial or territorial tribunal.

If you know someone who should be honoured, provide a detailed summary of the nominee’s achievements clearly stating how the candidate meets the criteria, and forward to senatorwhite@sen.parl.gc.ca. The nomination period closes very soon, and nominations need to be received by Senator White within the next couple of days.