Column: June 20, 2019

Ottawa Public Health Community Information Session

I am hosting a Community Information Session where Ottawa Public Health will present information well water testing, ticks/Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus. Ward 5 residents are invited to attend the session on Tuesday, June 25, 7pm-8:30pm, at the West Carleton Community Complex, 5670 Carp Rd.

Sandbag processing site on Kinburn Side Road

I’ve received inquiries about the ‘sandbag mountain’ at the Public Works site at 1444 Kinburn Side Rd. This location is being used as a sandbag processing site. Staff have begun work here and are separating the sand from the bags with the appropriate shredding and screening equipment with this process taking about two to three weeks. The separated sand will then be stored in neat piles on site and within the next 4 weeks will be put through a final separation process preparing it for future winter material use. Residents should see a gradual reduction in the pile of used sandbags soon. Any likelihood of critters or bugs is quite low as staff will be constantly working on the piles.

Garbage collection for flood affected properties

The City clearly understands that some residents are continuing with their clean up efforts from the spring flood event. Even though the City has returned to regular waste pick-up operations in these flood affected neighbourhoods, staff will continue to monitor the areas and will arrange special pick-up of flood related materials as needed.

Well water testing returns to normal schedule

Now that the state of emergency has been lifted, Ottawa Public Health has updated it’s well water testing webpage to reflect regular weekly operations. Residents can drop off their water samples on Tuesdays at the usual frequency prior to the flood. The courier will pick the samples up on Wednesdays only. Water testing bottles can be picked up during normal business hours. Please see below for the current Tuesday drop off locations:

• Carp Library, 3911 Carp Rd., 10am-8pm

• Darvesh Grocery, 3084 Kinburn Side Rd., 7am-8pm

• Nicholls General Store, 3798 Dunrobin Rd., 6am-10pm

• MacEwen Gas, 1794 Dunrobin Rd, 5:30am-11pm

• Kinburn Client Service Center, 5670 Carp Rd., 8:30am-4:30pm

• Lighthouse Restaurant, 655 Bayview Dr., 7am-9:30pm

• Constance Bay Pharmacy, 131 Constance Bay Rd., 10am-7pm

Column: July 30, 2018

Rehabilitation of Peter Robinson Bridge

Residents should note that Peter Robinson Bridge will be undergoing rehabilitation, which is set to begin at the end of July and go until mid-November, 2018. Affected residents in the area on Peter Robinson Road, Vaughan Side Road and Carrol Side Road should have already been advised of this work. A signed detour will be in place while the construction takes place.

Torbolton Cemetery Memorial Service

On Sunday, August 5 at 10am there will be a Torbolton Cemetery Memorial Service at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Kilmaurs (1325 Kilmaurs Side Road). All are invited to attend. Proceeds will go to the care of the cemetery.

Used book donations requested

As mentioned in a past weekly column, the West Carleton Food Access Centre is getting ready for their Used Book Sale in September and they are accepting donations of used books. Donations will be accepted until August 10. They are looking for DVDs, CDs and gently used books such as fiction, children, cookbooks, gardening, westerns, war, etc. No encyclopedias or textbooks are needed. Donations can be brought to their warehouse at 3075 Carp Rd., or my ward office at Kinburn Client Service Centre, 5670 Carp Rd. You can also call 613-913-4234 and leave a message to arrange for a pick up. The book sale will be happening Friday, September 7 (noon to 7pm) and Saturday, September 8 (8am-2pm) at the Carp Agricultural Hall, 3790 Carp Rd.

First mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Ottawa mosquitoes again this year. There have been no reported confirmed or probable human cases of WNV in Ottawa in 2018.

WNV is an infection spread in Ottawa primarily by the northern house mosquito that, in a small number of cases, can cause serious illness. Most people will not develop any symptoms if infected with WNV, but about 20 per cent may experience flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, muscle aches, and, possibly, a rash. The risk for more serious illness increases with age, with older adults and the elderly as well as people with weakened immune systems being at higher risk. TOPH urges residents to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites by:

  • Applying a Health Canada-approved mosquito repellent containing DEET or icaridin to exposed skin and clothing
  • Protecting yourself especially between dusk and dawn, periods when mosquitoes are most active, and at any time in or near shady, bushy, or wooded areas
  • Wearing light-coloured, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing including long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks to protect exposed skin.
  • Making sure all windows and doors in your home have screens that are in good condition
  • Reducing standing water sites around your home (bird baths, toys, flower pot saucers, swimming pool covers, old tires, wheelbarrows, buckets, cans, etc. ­– anything that can hold water for 7 days or longer)
  • Ensuring all openings to rain barrels are covered with screen mesh at all times

OPH has a proactive plan to deal with WNV that includes weekly surveillance and, when necessary, mosquito larvicidal treatment of natural and man-made standing water sites located on City property, such as ditches and storm water management ponds. As part of this plan, OPH also has regular applications of larvicide in City-owned roadside storm sewer catch-basins to reduce the mosquito population.

West Carleton Online

As a reminder, this is the last that residents can take a look at West Carleton Online for free. The free preview of the website ends on August 3, 2018. Take a look around and see how easy it will be to stay informed on current news and happenings in and around West Carleton-March. Make sure to subscribe!

Column: July 16, 2018

Dief The Chief: October 62

The Diefenbunker Museum and Pierre Brault, Ottawa’s multi award-winning playwright and performer, have come together to create a dramatic and dynamic journey through the life and times of one of Canada’s most progressive leaders - John Diefenbaker.  October 1962 - a world on the brink of nuclear war! Relive the heart-stopping story of the Cuban Missile Crisis through the eyes of Canada’s 13th Prime Minister, John “Dief the Chief” Diefenbaker. Travel with “Dief” through the Diefenbunker, into the war room as he and the world watch the USA and USSR face off in history’s closest brush with nuclear war. Hear in his own words how Dief’s rocky relationship with President John F. Kennedy played an extraordinary role in Canadian/American relations and how each influenced the other’s policies. This immersive theatrical experience, written by playwright Pierre Brault and performed by Peter Haworth and Pierre Brault, is a unique opportunity to relive history and to play a part in it.

Space is limited so book today. (Please note: the play will move around to different spaces and levels underground. Please wear comfortable shoes. There will be very limited seating.) For more information and to purchase tickets go to www.diefenbunker.ca.

New Caregiver Support Groups available in Ward 5

Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) will be offering monthly caregiver support groups in both Carp and Fitzroy Harbour. Respite care will be available on-site at both locations. Refreshments and light snacks will be served. Register in advance with CSS by calling 613-591-3686 ext. 333 or by emailing css@wocrc.ca.

Carp
3rd Friday of each month, starting July 20, 2018
10am-noon
St. James Anglican Church, 3774 Carp Rd.

Fitzroy Harbour
1st Tuesday of each month, starting Tuesday, August 7, 2018
10am-noon
Bethel St. Andrew's United Church, 184 Jack Lougheed Way

Shakespeare in the Park coming to Carp Fairgrounds

Summer means Shakespeare in the Park! Bear & Co. brings the ridiculously over-the-top Cymbeline to Carp Fairgrounds on July 28. The show starts at 7pm, with a suggested donation of $20 per person. The full tour schedule can be found on www.bearandcompany.ca.

Follow a pair of lovers as they react to the mad world around them in a 90-minute version of the play Shakespeare packed with every plot device he could think of: star-crossed lovers, a wicked stepmother, a befuddled king, a loyal servant, separated siblings, wild men, exiled kin, cross-dressing, kidnapping, murder plots, and a Roman invasion. Six actors tackle Cymbeline’s 40-odd characters, full-on or in composite. Megan Carty (who grew up in Carp) plays heroine Imogen, while Ian Campbell (recently artistic director of Shakespeare by the Sea in St. John’s) plays the hero, Posthumous Leonatus. William Beddoe’s roles include King Cymbeline; Rebecca Benson’s include his wicked second wife. Phillip Merriman (last summer’s Romeo) doubles as her unlovely son Cloten and the fascinating Italian lover Jachimo. Ellen Manchee is both the gruff but kindly loyal servant, and the invading Roman army!

Keep an Eye on Family & Neighbours During Heat Warnings

With this hot spell continuing for the next couple of days in Ottawa, please take precautions to stay cool. Extreme heat can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. Seniors, infants, young children, outdoor workers and athletes, people who are homeless and people taking certain prescription medications for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and depression are at a greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness. Please stay connected with people in your community who have a difficult time coping with hot weather and those who live alone and check on them regularly. For more tips on staying cool visit www.ottawapublichealth.ca.

Column: June 11, 2018

Reminder: Public Meeting on the Carp Barrens

I would like to remind resident that the Friends of the Carp Hills (FCH) is holding a public meeting at the Huntley Community Centre Mess Hall at 2240 Craig Side Rd., this evening (June 11) at 7pm to share your views on the conservation and use of the Carp Barrens on land owned by the City of Ottawa. I will be on hand along with City staff to participate and answer questions. For more information visit www.carphills.ca. Anyone that cannot attend this evening can send their feedback to info@carphills.com.

Rural Root Theatre fall auditions

Rural Root Theatre is holding auditions for their fall musical "Leader of the Pack" on June 20 and June 24 at 7pm at the Constance & Buckham's Bay Community Centre. There are several roles that need to be filled. Please check www.ruralroot.org for all the details.

Strawberry Tea Social

The Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre is hosting a Strawberry Tea Social on Tuesday, June 19, from 1:30pm-3pm, at the Fitzroy Harbour Community Center, 184 Jack Lougheed Way. The event is free to attend, but registration required by June 15. Call 613-591-3686 ext. 327 to reserve your spot.

City’s public beaches opening for the season

The City of Ottawa has four public beaches that residents can enjoy this summer. Beginning June 16, lifeguards will be on duty every day until August 26, from noon to 7pm at the following locations:

  • Britannia Beach, 805 Carling Avenue, 613-820-1211
  • Westboro Beach, 745 Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway, 613-792-3875
  • Mooney’s Bay Beach, 2926 Riverside Drive, 613-248-0863
  • Petrie Island Beach, 727 Trim Road, 613-824-5704

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) tests beach water quality daily for the presence of E Coli bacteria. Visit www.ottawapublichealth.ca for more information on advisories.

OPH would also like to remind residents to stay safe around lakes, rivers and backyard pools by following these important water safety tips:

  • Always keep children within arms’ reach in and around water
  • Children & weaker swimmers should wear lifejackets or personal flotation devices in & around water
  • Supervise and swim with children only when free of alcohol, drugs and distractions
  • Keep safety equipment and a phone close to the pool
  • OPH recommends installing four-sided fencing to ensure access to pool is separate from the house
  • Children under the age of five should never use a hot tub – not even with an adult. Hot tubs are too hot for young children, may have high bacteria, and the drain in the hot tub can trap children
  • Always wear a properly sized lifejacket/PFD when in a boat. When not in use, lifejackets/PFDs need to be kept in a dry, ventilated area and out of direct sunlight
  • Know what to do in an emergency, including CPR and calling 9-1-1

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.