Column: June 15, 2017

Mosquitoes & West Nile Virus

Ottawa Public Health continues to be diligent in testing for the West Nile Virus throughout the mosquito season. OPH treats any standing water that has had a positive result with the appropriate treatment. If you are concerned about a specific area of standing water and you would like to check if that area is being tested, simply call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 or 3-1-1. The City's website at ottawa.ca has useful tips and suggestions on avoiding mosquito bites and eliminating standing water around your home.

I have received a couple of inquiries wanting to know if the City can spray for nuisance mosquitoes in the Ward 5 area. There are no plans at this time to implement such a program. There is currently a trial program running in Ward 4 (Kanata North) relating to nuisance mosquitoes. It is too soon to conclude if positive impacts are occurring, and the research program will continue for another two years. As well, it should be noted that the residents of Kanata North have to pay a yearly tax levy of approximately $40 for this program. As West Carleton-March is over 30 times larger than Kanata North and boasts many ponds, creeks, and other bodies of water, it would be challenging to institute a similar program in our ward. It should be noted too that the tax levy that would be incurred by the Ward 5 taxpayer would be much higher than what Kanata North is currently paying.

Celebrate Canada’s 150th in Kinburn

The Kinburn Community Association is taking part in Ottawa 2017 celebrations. They hosting Kinburn Fun Day on Saturday, June 24 at their community centre, 3045 Kinburn Side Rd. The day will be filled with free activities for all ages. The schedule of events is listed on kinburn.ca.

Fitzroy Concerts in the Park back for another season

I am sponsoring this year’s Concerts in the Park series happening at Fitzroy Provincial Park every Thursday evening in July. This year's musical line up includes John Henry & The Steel Driving Band (July 6), The Heartbeats (July 13), The Debenham Brothers (July 20) and Ambush (July 27). Beginning at 6pm there will be a cash BBQ available courtesy of local youth groups. All funds will go towards local youth initiatives. Concerts begin at 7pm. Donations will also be collected for CHEO.

Column: June 8, 2017

Wild Parsnip Strategy

The Wild Parsnip Program for 2017 has started, the goal of which is to reduce the growth of wild parsnip in areas that are highly infested while ensuring that environmentally sensitive areas and public safety are not adversely impacted. The strategy includes monitoring, mapping, herbicide use, mowing and evaluation.

Approximately 800 kms of roadsides and over 60 locations of passive parkland will be treated this year. Roadside cutting is underway and additional herbicide application will be considered again for the fall season, if needed. The treatment area map and program details, including how opt out of the program, may be accessed on ottawa.ca/wildparsnip.

Wild parsnip is an invasive plant that is common in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, and on and surrounding rural and residential properties. It may pose a health risk to humans, as the sap contains chemicals that may cause skin and eye irritation and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun

Rural coach houses

Rural coach houses may soon be found on smaller properties after the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC), on June 1, 2017, received recommendations to modify current requirements. These modified requirements will be incorporated in the Official Plan, Zoning By-law and Site Plan Control By-law, allowing small, detached dwellings on existing rural lots as small as 0.65 hectares – and even smaller, with minor variance applications. The report also recommends not requiring site plan control for lots smaller than 0.65 hectares, where a Committee of Adjustment approval would be required, and for lots with municipal water connections. Staff will now initiate the formal public process to bring the amended Official Plan, Zoning By-law and Site Plan By-law forward to ARAC and Council for consideration and approval.

A coach house is a separate dwelling unit that is subsidiary to and located on the same lot as an associated principal dwelling unit, but is contained in its own building that may also contain uses accessory to the principal dwelling.

Mayor's Canada Day Celebration for Seniors

I have a limited number of tickets available to give to seniors in Ward 5 who are interested in attending Mayor Watson's Canada Day Celebration for Seniors at Lansdowne Park on July 1. If interested, contact Sylvia Bell at sylvia.bell@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x32272.

June 1, 2017

Flood recovery efforts

As the ongoing flood recovery efforts continue, residents can stay informed on the latest information and services being provided via ottawa.ca. Anyone with questions or needing assistance, can call my office 613-580-2475 or 3-1-1.

Flood-affected property owners can apply for the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program via www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page13760.aspx. Homeowners, tenants, small owner-operated businesses, farmers, and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Applicants can apply to be reimbursed for basic, necessary costs related to the disaster.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the countless residents from all across Ottawa, who have stepped up to the plate and volunteered their time over the past few weeks. I’ve seen first-hand many acts of kindness and generosity that have helped make the lives of those most greatly affected a little more manageable. Community pride is alive and well in West Carleton-March.

Food Aid Day & Mayor’s Rural Expo

The annual Food Aid Day & Mayor’s Rural Expo is taking place at Ottawa City Hall on Friday, June 2. This event is bringing the country to the downtown core and helps urban residents learn more about what rural Ottawa has to offer. A BBQ starts at 11am and The Works will be serving up burgers for $10. There will be many rural vendors on hand as well as live entertainment. This event is in support of the Ottawa Food Bank.

Ottawa River Canoe Club – Open House

Residents are invited to the Ottawa River Canoe Club (ORCC). They are holding an Open House on June 10, from 10am to 3pm. Residents will have the opportunity to paddle in a canoe, kayak, dragon boat, stand-up paddling and outrigger. Demonstrations will also be given throughout the day. ORCC is located at 1610 Sixth Line, at the corner of 6th Line Road and Cameron Harvey Drive (previously Riddell Drive).

ORCC offers summer camps for children aged 6-15 years old, and a Children’s Introductory Evening Paddling Program. They have youth and adult programs from May to September, for competitive racing, masters sprint paddling, dragon boat, outrigger, and stand-up paddling. The club also offers recreational and competitive programs for adults and youth with a physical (Para) or intellectual (Paddle All) disability.  Visit www.ottawarivercanoe.com for more details.

Column: May 25, 2017

Ongoing flood recovery efforts

As the ongoing flood recovery effort is fluid and changes daily, the best way for residents to stay informed on the latest information and services being provided is to frequently access the information on ottawa.ca. Anyone that needs assistance or has questions/concerns, can call my office 613-580-2475 or 3-1-1.

As a reminder, if your home experienced flood damage, you can apply for the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program via www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page13760.aspx. Homeowners, tenants, small owner-operated businesses, farmers, and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Applicants can apply to be reimbursed for basic, necessary costs related to the disaster.

A gentle reminder to not empty sandbags onto the beaches as the sand may be contaminated. Please call my office and ask for help. Volunteers will be sent to assist any residents who are physically unable to bring the sandbags to the curb.

MVCA hosting public information session for flood-affected residents

On Wednesday, May 31 from 5-8pm, the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) will be hosting an information session for people impacted by flooding in Constance Bay and surrounding area. Affected homeowners will have the opportunity to ask questions to MVCA staff. The session will be held at the Constance Bay Community Centre, 262 Len Purcell Drive.

Also on hand at this meeting will be City staff from the Revenue Department to discuss the deferral of property taxes that has been implemented for those affected by the flood. Staff will provide detailed information on the deferral and answer questions.

Doors Open Ottawa

Explore Ottawa’s architecture during the free Doors Open Ottawa event on June 3 and 4. Doors will be open to 150 historically, culturally, and functionally significant buildings will be featured in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday! Visit ottawa.ca for a listing of participating buildings as well as an interactive map.

Tick season

My office has received word of a high number of ticks in the Kanata Highlands/Terry Fox extension areas. Residents that enjoy the outdoors in that area should be aware of this and take the necessary precautions.

Ticks are becoming more prevalent throughout the City of Ottawa and precautions should be taken to protect your family and pets from tick bites and Lyme Disease. For detailed information regarding ticks and Lyme Disease, go ottawa.ca.

Column: May 18, 2017

Ongoing flood recovery efforts

As flood recovery efforts in our community will continue for the coming weeks, I have put together some information for residents to use going forward:

  • Red Cross registering:  Red Cross is registering residents impacted by the flood. This registration is an important piece to help identify the needs of impacted residents. Registration can be done by phone at 1-800-863-6582, Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-5pm. Registration can also be done in-person at the Emergency Community Support Centres during their hours of operation (10am-8pm):
    • Constance and Buckham’s Bay Community Centre, 262 Len Purcell Drive (Woodlawn)
    • Fitzroy Harbour Community Center, 100 Clifford Campbell Street (Fitzroy Harbour)
  • Daily garbage collection:  Garbage collection is happening every day on the following streets for as long as necessary: Bayview Drive, Baillie Avenue, Armitage Avenue, Northwoods Drive, Moorhead Drive, Cottage Lane, Loggers Way and Lighthouse Lane. Please note, regular garbage/recycling collection remains in effect for the rest of West Carleton-March. Garbage dumpsters have also been set out at the following locations and can be used by flooded property owners:
    • 3 bins along Moorhead Drive
    • 2 bins on road allowance at intersection of Greenland and Armitage
    • 2 bins near intersection of Sumac Lane and Armitage
    • 1 at north end of Morris Island Road
  • Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program:  Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians is designed to provide financial assistance in the aftermath of a natural disaster that causes costly, widespread damage to eligible private property. Homeowners, tenants, small owner-operated businesses, farmers, and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply for financial assistance through this program. Secondary residences and cottages are not eligible. Applicants within an activated area can apply to be reimbursed for basic, necessary costs related to the disaster. The province is currently working on having the City of Ottawa added to the Ministry’s approved areas eligible for assistance. Once added, applications can be submitted. Check the Ministry’s website frequently as it should be updated shortly: www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page13760.aspx.
  • Water testing: Water testing kits are available for pick up and drop off at the Constance Bay Legion and Constance & Buckham’s Bay Community Centre. Results are usually available within 48 hours. More information on water testing and water safety is found on ottawa.ca.