Column: April 4, 2019

Apply now - Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program

The Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program (ORCWP) provides funding to landowners and non-profit organizations for projects that protect surface water and groundwater quality. Grants of up to $15,000 are available for 18 kinds of projects related to nutrient management, soil protection, water management, land stewardship, and education and innovation. The next application deadline is May 1, 2019. Farmers from rural and urban Ottawa along with landowners within rural Ottawa are eligible to apply. Approved applicants must complete a 3rd or 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan (farm projects), or Healthy Home Guidebook (non-farm projects). Canadian Organic Certification is also accepted for some farm projects. Non-profit organizations can apply for education and innovation projects. Applications will be accepted through the LandOwner Resource Centre, which works in partnership with the Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley, and South Nation Conservation Authorities and the City of Ottawa. Contact the LandOwner Resource Centre at 613-692-3571 or toll free at 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1136. Visit www.ottawa.ca/cleanwater to see a full list of eligible projects and to download an application form.

Approval of $1.2 million for accessible transportation

Following extensive consultation with residents and users of accessible transportation services, City Council approved allocating the $1.2-million Vehicle-for-Hire Accessibility Fund to three projects that will improve services to residents. All three were identified as priorities during consultations. The Accessibility Fund is generated from a voluntary per-trip surcharge paid by licensed private transportation companies like Uber and Lyft. Funding would be provided to:

- Help community agencies expand accessible transportation services in rural areas
- Make accessible taxis more affordable by:
- Reducing taxi-coupon costs by 25 per cent
- Doubling the maximum allowance of taxi-coupon books per customer to eight per month.

Speeding concerns

My office receives numerous calls regarding excessive speeding on our roads. Please make sure you contact the Ottawa Police directly when you witness speeders at 613-236-1222 ext. 7300. All complaints received by the police are entered into their records management system and are tracked. This allows them to monitor and identify problem areas, so that enforcement and other responses may be documented and assessed.

Column: March 21, 2019

Orphaned Wildlife

The City’s By-law & Regulatory Services (BLRS) is receiving calls regarding injured and orphaned wildlife. Please note, not all wild animals found alone without an adult are orphans. It’s common for mothers to leave their babies in the nest/den while they forage for food. In most cases, these mothers will return to their young. If you find a baby wild mammal on its own, contact the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary first before calling 3-1-1 (613-258-9480 or www.rideauwildlife.org). Do not attempt to move the animal from its den/nest or to feed it. If you have already touched the animal, return it to where it was found. It’s a myth that the mother will reject her babies if they have been touched. Please note BLRS only responds to calls about injured or sick small wild animals.

Reporting potholes

If you see potholes on our roads, please call 3-1-1, or report it online at ottawa.ca/en/serviceottawa. You will receive a service request number making it easier to track for follow up, and your request will be sent to the appropriate department for action.

Mailbox damage

Occasionally mailboxes may get damaged by passing snow plows. Mailboxes will be repaired or replaced as determined by the City’s Roads Department Supervisor. Mailboxes damaged by the snow that comes off the wing of the snow plow will not be eligible for repair or replacement. Mailboxes will be replaced by something basic. Damaged posts will be replaced by a temporary one with permanent repairs undertaken after the frost is gone. To report a damaged mailbox, call 3-1-1 or report it via ottawa.ca/en/serviceottawa.

Spring Cleaning the Capital

Early bird registration is open for the City’s Spring Cleaning the Capital Campaign. Participants can register their cleanup projects by calling 3-1-1 or by using the online registration form available at ottawa.ca/clean. This is also an excellent opportunity for high school students to earn some community volunteer hours.

Camp FFIT

If you know a young woman between the ages 15 and 19 who is interested in a career in firefighting, please have them apply for Camp FFIT 2019 (Female Firefighters in Training). Camp FFIT will run from August 12 to 16. Deadline to apply is May 24. Go to ottawa.ca to get all the details, including eligibility requirements and application information.

Column: March 14, 2019

Zoning Amendment - 2596 Carp Road

On March 8, the City’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) approved a zoning amendment at 2596 Carp Rd. The amendment would permit construction of a concrete batching plant, where raw materials are mixed to make concrete for use in construction projects across Ottawa. The applicant would be prevented from starting construction until Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks determines that air, noise and dust emissions from the plant would be compliant with all provincial regulations. In addition, to address traffic concerns, the applicant will be required to submit a Transportation Impact Assessment to the City. Huntley Creek runs through the property, and while no new development is proposed near the creek as part of this project, City planning staff have recommended further re-zoning on the surrounding lands to prevent future development adjacent to the creek. The plan for this site also proposes increased landscaping near the creek, which would encourage regeneration. This item will be tabled at City Council on March 27.

Budget 2019 Approved

On March 6, City Council approved Budget 2019. Of significant note, this budget approved funding for a new community building to be constructed in the Corkery community. In 2019, funding of $550,000 has been earmarked as the first contribution toward the estimated project costs. A further approximately $900,000 has been flagged for this project in 2020. Other Ward 5 specific budget highlights include:

- $4 million to design and build 47 culverts
- $2 million to retrofit, rehabilitate & replace components of communal well drinking systems, including the Carp Well System
- $1.8 million for road surface treatments
- $1.6 million to renew the Fitzroy Harbour Bridge
- $820,000 to resurface roads
- $620,000 to renew the Ritchie Side Road Bridge
- $605,000 to preserve roads
- $180,000 to renew the Kilmaurs Road Bridge
- $125,000 to upgrade gravel roads
- $560,000 towards making repairs at various community buildings
- $38,000 for fitness equipment for Langstaff Park
- $10,000 for safety netting for the baseball diamond at Fitzroy Harbour

Stage 2 LRT

At the March 6 City Council meeting, Council approved Stage 2 Light Rail Transit. This project will expand the O-Train by 44km to the west, south, and east and add 24 new stations. The expansions will be completed in 2022, 2024 and 2025 respectively. Stage 2 is funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The total project cost is $4.6 billion.

Column: March 7, 2019

Welcome To Your Community Voice

My warm welcome, to you the reader, to the first edition of Your Community Voice – West Carleton! I will be providing a column in this publication every edition and I’m looking forward to using it as another useful tool to bring news and information to the residents of Ward 5. My thanks to the staff at Your Community Voice for working to bring this paper to life.

Official Plan Review

What will Ottawa look like as it grows over the next century? How do we make sure that we can keep pace and adapt to change in a way that makes Ottawa an inclusive, liveable and globally competitive city?

We have an opportunity to prepare for the future with a brand new Official Plan. This is the strategic document that guides our City’s growth and development. It impacts how and where the City will grow, now and for years to come. It establishes a policy framework that will inform the shape of the communities where you live, work and play. Its scope may reach as far as the middle of this century and will affect generations to come.

This Official Plan review is now being done as required by the Planning Act and Provincial Policy Statement, 2014, and will run in coordination with the review of the Infrastructure Master Plan, Transportation Master Plan and the Development Charges By-Law. All aspects of the Official Plan will be reviewed and updated including secondary plans for rural villages and urban neighbourhoods.

The Official Plan will come into effect following approval by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing. Under the Planning Act, for Official Plans that are subject to Ministerial approval, there are no opportunities for appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Given the Planning Act does not provide a right to appeal, you are strongly encouraged to engage in process so your feedback can be considered during the development the new Official Plan. This review is a three-year project with opportunities for residents to provide comments throughout the process.

Please visit www.ottawa.ca to start your engagement in this process. There is a lot of useful information posted, including nine Discussion Papers (including a Rural Plan Discussion Paper) outlining the main themes of the Official Plan review.

Column: February 25, 2019

Your Community Voice newspaper in West Carleton

As many residents will now be aware, a new newspaper called “Your Community Voice – West Carleton” will start being delivered to your doorstep every second week beginning Thursday, March 7. This free newspaper is responding to the community’s feedback about wanting to regain the community connection that residents felt was lost when the West Carleton Review closed down over a year ago. Even though this newspaper will only be delivered bi-weekly to your home, I will continue to publish my column every week. All of my weekly columns will be posted on my website and on my social media accounts. For the weeks the paper is delivered, my column will appear there as well. Thanks to the staff at Your Community Voice for their work in bringing this paper to life – residents spoke and you listened!

ARAC Meeting set for March 7: Zoning By-Law Amendment – Part of 2596 Carp Rd.

City of Ottawa staff are recommending approving a Zoning By-Law amendment at 2596 Carp Rd. to permit a concrete batching plant, through an exception to be added to Zoning By-Law Section 240 – Rural Exceptions. A batching plant is a facility for the mixing of raw materials (such as aggregate and cement) with water to create concrete, which is immediately trucked off site to construction locations. City staff also advise that:

- the proposed increased maximum height of 24 metres would accommodate aggregate hoppers or silos;

- this zoning amendment conforms to the policies of the Official Plan and meets the intent of the Carp Road Corridor Community Design Plan;

- the proposal maintains the rural light industrial nature of this section of the Carp Road Corridor while increasing the manufacturing/industrial use permissions within the lot, which maintains zoning continuity with nearby similar industrial uses; and

- use of the site as a concrete batching plant is conditional upon the applicant obtaining appropriate environmental compliance approvals by the Province of Ontario.

Residents have submitted comments to the City about this project. Concerns include: health impacts, noise, truck traffic, impacts to the aquifer and creek. As Councillor for the area, I am well aware of all of these concerns and I have been involved in this matter from the beginning. I facilitated a Public Information Session in November 2018, as well as attended two additional meetings between all parties to listen and hear the opinions and concerns from all involved. The next step in this process is the City’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) will be listening to public input on this application. As Chair of this committee, and your representative, I want to hear from you. This matter will be considered by the Committee at its meeting on March 7 at 10am in The Chambers at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr. Residents are welcome to attend and speak for up to five minutes as a public delegation. Sign up on the speakers’ list upon arrival. If you are unable to attend in person, you may also send correspondence to the Clerk for distribution to Committee members by email at Marc.Desjardins@ottawa.ca. (The full Staff Report on this matter can be reviewed on ottawa.ca).