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 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: April 27, 2017

Kanata Sailing Club – Open House
 
The Kanata Sailing Club (KSC), located on the Ottawa River at 1610 Sixth Line Road in Dunrobin, is holding an open house on Saturday, April 29, from noon to 4pm. KSC is located beside the Ottawa River Canoe Club and YMCA-YWCA Camp. KSC has been part of the community landscape since 1975 and is a nonprofit cooperative club where members contribute to running the club. KSC owns a fleet of sailing boats for members to use so they do not need to own their own boats. They provide training for new and experienced sailors – young and old alike – so the whole family can get out on the water! Visit kanatasailingclub.com for more information.
 
Opening of ball diamonds and sports fields is delayed
 
The City of Ottawa is asking residents and organizers of large public events to please stay off ball diamonds, sports fields and general turf areas at the City’s recreation centres and parks. Due to recent weather, the fields are extremely wet and could be damaged if used in their current condition. The City will officially open ball diamonds and sports fields as soon as weather conditions make it feasible.
 
Tick season
 
Ottawa is now considered a risk area for Lyme Disease due to ticks. Plan ahead and know what to do this summer if you find ticks. Visit ottawa.ca for detailed information on what ticks look like, signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease, how to safely remove them and steps on how to get ticks tested.
 
You can’t get rid of ticks completely, but you can reduce the number present in your yard by:

  • Keeping your grass mowed
  • Removing brush and fallen leaves from the edges of your property, especially if your yard is bordered by woods or fields of tall grass
  • Cleaning up areas under and around bird feeders to reduce the attraction of small critters such as mice and voles that carry ticks
  • Discouraging deer from entering your yard, as ticks also feed on these animals
  • Keeping your woodpile neat, dry, off the ground, and away from your house

 My office has a supply of tick removal tools that can be used to safely remove ticks. Residents interested in picking one up, can stop by my ward office.