Column: May 14, 2018

Tick & Lyme Disease in Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is resuming its Lyme Disease Program for 2018. While there are tremendous health benefits to getting out and enjoying activities in the City’s many outdoor areas, it is important that residents be aware of the risks of Lyme Disease, particularly if they are in areas suitable for ticks (wooded areas, areas with tall grasses, etc.). Key messages for the prevention of Lyme Disease continue to be:

  • Applying an approved insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin
  • Wearing long pants and tucking them into your socks
  • Doing a tick check on yourself, your children and pets
  • Checking your pet daily for ticks, especially if it spends time in wooded or overgrown areas
  • Removing ticks as soon as possible. If you find a tick on your body, using fine-pointed tweezers, grasp the tick's head as close to the skin as possible and pull slowly until the tick is removed. Do not twist or rotate the tick. Do not use a match, lotion or anything else on the tick.
  • Seeing your doctor if a tick has been attached for 24 or more hours or if it appears partially or fully engorged or if you are not sure. Also see your doctor if you develop a fever and other symptoms of Lyme Disease within 30 days of having had a tick attached.

OPH continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Public Heath Ontario to inform its programming and communications. For more information and a fact sheet about ticks and Lyme Disease, visit www.ottawapublichealth.ca.

My office has a supply of tick removal keys that can be used to safely remove ticks. Residents interested in picking one up, can stop by my ward office at 5670 Carp Road Monday to Friday, 8:30-4:30pm.

Orphaned (baby) animals

In recent days, Ottawa By-law & Regulatory Services has received an increased number of calls regarding orphaned wild animals. In many cases, these animals have not been orphaned, rather their mothers have gone out to forage for food and will return. Should you come upon an animal that you suspect has been orphaned, please do not attempt to remove it. It is best to leave it alone and allow time for its mother to return. If you have moved the animal, please return it back to the spot you found it. It is a myth that their mothers will reject a baby because a human has handled it. Allow some time for the mother to return. If the mother does not return, please call 3-1-1 to report the animal as orphaned. Further information can be found at the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and Ottawa Humane Society websites.

Victoria Day schedule changes
 
As a reminder there will be some changes to City services on Victoria Day (Monday, May 21). One change of note is that there will be no curbside, green bin, recycling or garbage collection on Victoria Day. Pick-up will take place on Tuesday, May 22. The collection of green bin, garbage and recycling materials will be delayed by one day for the week of May 21. A full listing of all changes for the holiday can be found on ottawa.ca.

Column: May 7, 2018

Open air fire ban lifted

Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) has now lifted the burn ban that was in place in the City of Ottawa. Remember, City of Ottawa residents must obtain an Open Air Fire Permit (Burn Permit) in order to have an open air fire. Prior to setting an open air fire, you must first contact the OFS Communications Centre at 613-580-2880. You can now renew your existing or apply for a new Open Air Fire Permit online, by going to your MyServiceOttawa account. You can also get your permit by mail (via your annual renewal form provided in 2017) or in person at any of the City's Client Services Centres and Rural Administration Offices. In Ward 5, you can purchase your permit at:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Carp Fire Station (475 Donald B. Munro Dr.) between 8:30am and 4pm. Their phone number is 613-580-2424, ext. 32260.
  • Wednesdays at the West Carleton Client Service Centre (5670 Carp Rd.) between 8:30am and 4:30pm.

Older Adult Plan 2019-2022

The City is planning for its third Older Adult Plan. Please go ottawa.ca and fill out the online survey to tell us what you think is important for older adults living in Ottawa. Residents have until May 20 to respond to the survey.

Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program

May 25, 2018 is the application deadline for the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program. This program was created to recognize the spirit of innovation that thrives in Ontario’s agricultural sector. It encourages the development of rural communities, farms, agri-food processors and agri-food organizations by adding value to existing products, creating jobs and driving economic growth. Each year the program recognizes up to 45 innovations across the province. Award recipients will receive $5,000, a plaque, gate sign and various promotional materials. In addition, there will be a Premier’s Award valued at $75,000, a Minister’s Award valued at $50,000 and three Leaders in Innovation Awards valued at $25,000 each.
 
Primary producers, processors and agri-food organizations are invited to submit applications. Details on eligibility, innovation categories, assessment criteria, and the application and selection process can be found in the 2018 Program Guidebook and Application Form at www.ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation.
 
Questions can be directed to the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca. A description of the award winning innovations by year (2006 through 2017) can be viewed at www.ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation.

Column: April 30, 2018

Ball diamonds open Tuesday but sports fields need more time

City of Ottawa ball diamonds will be officially open as of Tuesday, May 1 and all other sports fields will open Tuesday, May 15. Residents are asked to please stay off sports fields and general turf areas at City facilities until they are open. Fields could be damaged if used when they are too wet. As conditions improve, residents, visitors and sports organizations are encouraged to use discretion when deciding to use a ball diamond or field that may be saturated.

The Great Ottawa Outdoors Just Got Better

Ducks Unlimited Canada, the City of Ottawa, the Government of Canada and several private donors have joined forces to ensure that a 178 hectare (440-acres) property, located in the southern portion of the Carp Hills landscape, will remain pristine for wildlife and for people – now, and into the future. This is the largest natural area acquisition with the City of Ottawa since its amalgamation.

The Carp Hills property is a mixture of provincially significant wetlands and associated upland habitats of forest cover and grasslands situated amidst unique Canadian Shield rock formations and surrounded by fertile agricultural lands. The property is adjacent to existing conservation areas creating a natural corridor that supports and connects wildlife habitat.

Carp Hills is renowned for its high biodiversity of flora and fauna, including species at risk like the Blanding’s turtle, a species listed as endangered under the Canada Species at Risk Act (SARA). The area is also a candidate for consideration as an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest provincially.

Ducks Unlimited Canada will manage the land for its natural values with the Friends of the Carp Hills – the organization that is currently managing the adjacent Crazy Horse Trail, a popular community destination for hiking and cross country skiing.

The property will continue to be accessible for low-impact, public recreational use. In fact,
the public is encouraged to be part of the process! A Town Hall, where local residents and other interested individuals can come out and learn more about their new neighbours and provide input on plans for the property, is scheduled for May 9, 2018, 7pm at Carp Memorial Hall. More details to follow.

Volunteers needed for Doors Open Ottawa

Doors Open Ottawa is happening June 2 and 3. Organizers are currently recruiting volunteers 14 years of age and older who enjoy working with the public. For more information visit and to apply, visit www.ottawa.ca or contact Daniele Hamonic at heritagevolunteers@ottawa.ca.

Column: April 23, 2018

City-wide fire ban is currently in effect

Ottawa Fire Services has placed a city-wide fire ban into effect to prevent the rapid spread of fire due to grass and brush fires. This ban will remain in place until conditions improve and the green grass starts to show through tall dead grass.

Certain periods in the year create conditions that make even controlled burning dangerous, and this risk can quickly lead to fast and uncontrolled spread of fire. There are a number of conditions that warrant restrictions throughout the year. These circumstances include, but are not limited to: high winds, prolonged dry spells, early spring surface conditions, cut fields or wet conditions that do not allow our firefighting equipment to access remote or rural locations.

All open air fires are prohibited during a fire ban, including for those properties that have an Open Air Fire Permit. This ban applies to agricultural burns, brush pile burns, as well as campfires. There will be zero tolerance enforcement during the fire ban.

Reduce your risk around the home – residents are encouraged to take advantage of weekly yard waste collection and use the following tips to prevent grass and brush fires:

  • Clear all combustible materials such as tree limbs, leaves and other dry materials away from buildings and propane tanks
  • Keep barbecue propane tanks at least three metres from buildings
  • Wood piles should be stored a safe distance from your home
  • Trees should be pruned to create a good vertical separation from the ground
  • Clear out any accumulated dry or dead debris from your property
  • Carelessly discarded cigarettes are a major cause of grass fires during dry periods. Smokers are reminded to please use care when butting out. Do not throw lit cigarettes out vehicle windows.

Clean up the Bay

As part of the Glad Spring Cleaning the Capital Campaign, the Constance & Buckham’s Bay Community Association is hosting a “Clean Up the Bay” event on Sunday, May 6, from 9am-1pm (rain date May 12). Register, choose a location – the beach, forest, roadways or community centre grounds – and pick up your supplies in the Northwinds Wireless Fibe Centre parking lot at 262 Len Purcell Drive. Join the fun and help beautify Constance Bay!

Constance Bay Community Market Annual General Meeting

The Constance Bay Community Market is having their AGM on Saturday, April 28 starting at 10:30am at the Northwind Wireless Centre (formerly the Constance and Buckham's Bay Community Centre) in the Multipurpose Room. All are welcome!

Kanata Sailing Club Open House

The Kanata Sailing Club is holding an Open House April 28, from noon to 4pm, 1610 Sixth Line Road, in Dunrobin. KSC has been operating on the Ottawa River for 40 years. Visit their website at http://kanatasailingclub.com.

Column: April 16, 2018

$10,000 raised for the Hopes Rising Campaign for Mental Health

On Friday, April 13 I held my Trivia Night in Carp event to raise funds for the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation’s Hopes Rising Campaign for Mental Health. I am very pleased to report that the event sold out and we managed to raise $10,000! I would like to extend my sincere thank you to everyone that bought tickets and contributed to helping make the event a big success for the QCH Foundation.

My appreciation goes out to Palladium Insurance who generously agreed to be the prime event sponsor. As well, thanks to the businesses that provided additional sponsorships for the event: Duntech Automotive, John Roberts Realty, Andy Oswald Realty, Maple Leaf Custom Homes, Constance Bay Pharma Choice, Shouldice Mechanical and Newport Restaurant. We also received 31 items for the silent auction portion of the event and two door prizes donated by the rural firefighters of Station 66. I’m overwhelmed by the generosity and thank everyone for helping make a difference in our community.

The Hopes Rising Campaign is a $5 million campaign to enhance and improve mental healthcare for a rapidly growing number of adults and families in need of mental healthcare in our community. If you want to contribute to this campaign you can do so by going to: https://qchfoundation.ca/hopes-rising.

WOCRC Board of Directors Recruitment

Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) is currently recruiting new members to their Board of Directors 2018-2019 and they have extended the deadline to receive applications to April 18, 2018. If interested, send your application to careers@wocrc.ca. For full details on the posting and application submission requirements go to www.wocrc.ca.

Pong’s Poutine – 4th annual fundraiser for CHEO

Pong’s Poutine (2079 Carp Rd.) is hosting their 4th Annual Chips & Cheese for CHEO fundraiser on Saturday, May 5, from 11am to 3pm. All proceeds from their specialty CHEO poutines will be donated to the CHEO Foundation. Please spread the word and support this important cause.

Karson Aggregates – Public Open House

Karson Aggregates will be hosting a Public Open House to discuss noise and vibration issues related to Huntley Quarry blasting operations. The quarry is located at 2300 Carp Rd. The Open House will take place Thursday, April 19 at 7pm at Karson’s offices located at 3232 Carp Rd. All interested parties are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Rural Root Theatre

Tickets are now on sale for Rural Root Theatre’s spring production of “Steel Magnolias.” To purchase tickets go to http://www.ruralroot.org.

Diefenbooker Classic

The 22nd edition of the Diefenbooker Classic is happening Saturday, May 5. There are events for all ages including 5 and 10km running races, a 5km walk, and 5, 18 and 33km cycle tours. For more details and to register go to http://diefenbookerclassic.ncf.ca.