Column: April 28, 2016

No Mosquito Control Program in Ward 5

This spring Ward 4 started a mosquito control program. Kanata North residents are being charged a tax levy to fund it, which is about $35/year.

Ward 5 is not participating in this program for a couple of reasons. First, the tax levy amount is relatively low for Kanata-North residents due to the small geographic area that needs to be covered. If such a program were implemented in the whole of West Carleton-March the cost would be much greater as we are the largest Ward in the City. Secondly, and most importantly, as the Ward 4 program has only just started, we need to see the type of results achieved before any possible action would ever be taken in West Carleton-March. I will not simply go ahead and charge residents a hefty tax levy before we have proof of its effectiveness in the Ottawa area.

I will be following up with Councillor Wilkinson in the next few months to see how the program is working and the type of feedback she’s getting from her residents.

Questions regarding the railway crossings in Ward 5

I’ve received several inquiries regarding the decommissioned rail crossings in our ward. Residents have noted rough road conditions at some of the rail crossings, and have also asked why school buses are continuing to stop at the crossings even though the tracks are inactive.

CNR owns the rail lines and the tracks that cross the roads. As per Transport Canada Grade Crossing Regulations and Grade Crossing Standards the signs must remain in place until the rails are removed from the road crossing. Until the rail crossing signage is removed, school buses must comply with the rules of the road and will continue to stop at all rail crossings regardless of whether the rail line is active or not.

CNR has indicated that this removal work will be completed before the fall of 2016, at which time the City can then remove the signage.

There are rough road conditions at some of the locations where the decommissioned tracks cross roads. City crews have attempted to temporarily repair these locations, but as these areas are still technically CNR property, the City is limited to the amount of repair work that can be done.