Column: February 15, 2019

Family Day Free Skate

I am sponsoring my annual Family Day Free Skate event and everyone is invited to lace up your skates with your family and friends. Enjoy two hours of free skating, and make sure to say hi to me as I’ll be handing out free treats to kids and hot beverages for all. Hope to see you there! (This event is supervised by staff. All skates 10 years of age and under, and weak skaters of any age, must wear a CSA approved helmet.)

Monday, February 18

11am to 1pm

West Carleton Community Complex (Sensplex Cavanagh Arena)

5670 Carp Rd.

Chair’s Report: Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee

As many of you will know, I have been appointed Chair of the City of Ottawa's Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) for this term of Council. As part of this new role, I will provide updates on the latest news and information regarding my work on ARAC to keep residents informed.Interested residents should be aware that the first ARAC meeting of 2019 is happening on Friday, February 22, starting at 10am, at the Chambers at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive.

One of the items on this meeting's agenda is Budget 2019. (Visit ottawa.ca/budget to review ARAC's 2019 draft budget document). Members of the public are welcome to attend this meeting to listen in and to speak to the Committee as a public delegation on any item on the agenda. Details on registering as a delegation are noted on the City of Ottawa website.

Apart from the special ARAC Budget meeting mentioned above, ARAC meetings are usually held the first Thursday of each month at 10am, and they take place at the Chambers, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive. Committee meetings are always open to the public and the Committee will receive presentations by members of the public and community organizations.

Attention all seniors – Tea & Toast

Are you a senior looking for a retirement home? Do you know a senior looking for a retirement home? With over 80 retirement homes in Ottawa and the surrounding area, this journey can be very overwhelming. Tea & Toast is a local complementary search team that can help ease the stress of this task. They will work with you and/or your family to figure out your needs and then start to identify homes in the city that are appropriate. They will also stay with you and your loved one throughout the touring process. If you know of a senior or are one yourself, please contact Tea & Toast at 613-698-1319 and speak to one of their Senior Living Advisors. You can also visit www.teaandtoast.ca.

Column: February 11, 2019

Tabling of the City of Ottawa’s 2019 Draft Budget

The City’s draft budget for 2019 was tabled at the City Council meeting on February 6. Some of the city-wide highlights include:

- Capping the residential property tax increase at three per cent. This will enable the City to spend an additional $9.8 million on roads and other municipal infrastructure, such as sidewalks, buildings and bridges. This will close the infrastructure gap within the next five years;

- $42.7 million for Ottawa’s rural communities, including $21.6 million to resurface and upgrade roads and $12 million for culverts to manage stormwater;

- Planning to reforest areas hit by the 2018 tornadoes, with $1.49 million being spent annually to plant 500,000 trees and regenerate Ottawa’s forest cover across rural, suburban and urban communities;

- Increasing funding to $50,000 for ward-led traffic calming projects across the city;

- $340 million on roads, bridges, buildings, watermains, sewers and transit infrastructure;

- $70.8 million for winter operations, an increase of $2.4 million;- Funding for 14 new paramedics, with associated equipment, to improve rural service delivery and improve response times across the city;

- Investing $15 million to build more affordable housing for residents; and

- $7.8 million for OC Transpo to buy additional buses. It also commits $3.4 million in 2019, and $5.1 million on an annual basis thereafter, to expand transit service. The budget proposes $55.2 million to replace 79 old buses and $22.4 million to refurbish buses

Ward 5 specific highlights of Budget 2019 include:

- $4 million to design and build 47 culverts;

- $2 million to retrofit, rehabilitate and 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 to replace and repair:

- Septic system at Fire Station 45 and Paramedic Post – March

- Windows at Fire Station 61 and Paramedic Post – Kinburn

- Windows at Fire Station 66

- Flooring at the Fitzroy Harbour Community Centre and Ottawa Public Library – Fitzroy Harbour

- Roof of the main building at Pinhey Estate

- Ridge roof of the West Carleton Fire Training Building

- $38,000 for fitness equipment for Langstaff Park

- $10,000 for safety netting for the baseball diamond at Fitzroy Harbour

This proposed spending plan will be considered by all standing committees, boards and commissions, and then by Council on March 6. Residents can engage in this process by:

- Registering as a public delegation at a budget review meeting of any committee, board or commission, and make a five-minute presentation, at meetings being held between February 14 and March 5. A list of upcoming meetings is available at ottawa.ca/budget;

- Contacting our City Councillor to express your views;

- Emailing budget@ottawa.ca;

- Tweeting @ottawacity using the hashtag #ottbudget; and

- Calling 3-1-1 / 613-580-2400 (TTY: 613-580-2401)

Column: February 4, 2019

My work for rural residents at ROMA – From January 27 to 29, I attended the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) annual conference in Toronto. Over 1,000 delegates from municipalities all across the province attended this year’s conference. ROMA is considered the voice of rural Ontario. This annual conference brings together rural officials from across the province to raise priorities with the provincial government, and allows rural officials to press the three government parties for solutions on issues of priority in Ontario’s rural communities. I attended this year’s conference wearing three hats: as a ROMA Board member for Zone 8, as 2nd Vice Chair of the ROMA Board of Directors, and as Chair of Ottawa’s Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee. ROMA’s Board works year round to advance rural priorities and the conference allowed the Board to continue this work. Some of the rural issues I brought forward to provincial government officials at this year’s conference included:

- I spoke with provincial government officials regarding the issue of rural broadband. I made an official request that rural broadband in Ontario be considered an essential service. In response, provincial officials agreed with this and indicated they would continue to work with the Federal government to push this issue forward.

- I made an official request to the Province of Ontario for funding for natural gas in order to be able to be this service to rural communities (such as Dunrobin Shores and Fitzroy Harbour).

- I, along with Stephen Willis (the City’s General Manager of Planning, Infrastructure & Economic Development), met with Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing. We requested a reduction in the level of red tape surrounding communal service systems in relation to building adult living communities in rural areas. In rural areas, we want to be able to build adult living communities where seniors can stay living rurally while also helping to boost rural economic development that would come with building these communities. As it stands now, there are obstacles to building these communities because of well and septic ‘red tape,’ and which ends up stalling the development of adult living communities. In our discussion, Minister Clark committed to helping reduce the red tape and indicated that rural municipalities would have options to build.

- I also brought up with Hon. Steve Clark the ongoing issue of ambulance response times in rural communities, and the problematic issue of paramedics being held up at hospitals due the lengthy time it takes to transfer patients to the hospitals. Minister Clark indicated that the province is looking at this issue closely and will be trying to remedy this issue of ‘hallway medicine.’

Fitzroy Winter Carnival – Fitzroy’s annual Winter Carnival is happening this week from February 7 to 9 at the Fitzroy Harbour Community Centre. Lots of fun activities and events for the whole family. For more event information visit fitzroyharbour.wordpress.com. Dunrobin Winter Carnival – A winter carnival is happening in Dunrobin on Sunday, February 10 from 1pm to 4pm. There will be fun for everyone inside, outside and on the ice. The carnival takes place at the community centre, 1151 Thomas A. Dolan Pkwy. Go to dunrobincommunity.com for more details.

City of Ottawa Summer Hiring Campaign – The City’s 2019 Summer Student Employment Program is now open and will be accepting online applications until March 1. Students looking for a summer job with the City can go to ottawa.ca for details on the hiring process and to complete an online application. Good luck to all!

Column: January 28, 2019

2019 Pre-Budget Meeting & Meet Your City Services Night – On Thursday, January 24 I held my 2019 Pre-Budget Consultation & Meet Your City Services Night in Kinburn. I want to thank the residents that attended and engaged in this important process. As well, my thanks to the city staff who were on hand to meet with residents one-on-one to discuss the services they provide on a daily basis – Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Police, Ottawa Public Health, By-Law, Planning & Infrastructure, Para Transpo and Roads. This was a great opportunity for residents to have more personal discussions with the City of Ottawa departments that most impact our daily lives in Ward 5.

The next step in the 2019 budget process is the tabling of the budget at a City Council meeting on February 6, 2019. Following the tabling, residents can attend or register as a public delegation at Standing Committees, Board or Commission meetings where the budget will be reviewed and discussed by Councillors and Board members at City Hall (meetings are being held between February 12 and March 4). If you want to attend or register as a public delegation go to ottawa.ca for the schedule of meetings and information on the registration process.

Other ways you can have your say on Budget 2019 include:

- Submitting your ideas to me directly at eli.el-chantiry@ottawa.ca
- Emailing budget@ottawa.ca
- Tweeting @ottawacity using the hash tag #ottbudget
- Calling in your commends to 3-1-1

New location for free well water testing – MacEwen Gas located, at 1794 Dunrobin Road, is now accepting private well water samples every Tuesday during regular business hours (5:30am – 11pm). As well, residents can pick up water sampling bottles at the gas bar during normal business hours (Mon-Fri 5:30am-11pm, Sat 6am-11pm, and Sun 7am-10pm). This new location is replacing the previous location that was stationed at Dunrobin Meats & Grocery. For a complete list of all of the well water drop off locations in the City go to ottawa.ca.

Winterlude at the Diefenbunker – Beat the cold at the Diefenbunker during their annual Winterlude at the Bunker. The dates are Friday, February 1 – Monday, February 18 and the cost is included in the price of admission. Try your hand at being a secret agent as you complete a scavenger hunt, search for and solve clues, and determine the identity of a rogue agent in this remarkable 100,000 square foot underground bunker. Once your mission is complete, the entire family is welcome to enjoy hot chocolate and coding activities in the cafeteria. For more details go to diefenbunker.ca.

Fitzroy Winter Carnival – Mark your calendars! The Fitzroy Harbour Winter Carnival is happening February 7, 8 and 9. For the latest details on events visit fitzroyharbour.wordpress.com in the coming days to get all the latest event details.

Column: January 21, 2019

REMINDER: Public Budget Meeting & Meet Your City Services Night – West Carleton-March residents are invited to attend my 2019 Pre-Budget Consultation & Meet Your City Services Night on Thursday, January 24, 2019. It is being held at the Kinburn Community Centre at 3045 Kinburn Side Rd.

The evening starts at 6pm when residents can stop by tables displaying information on various important services provided by the City of Ottawa. At 7pm, the City Budget portion of the evening begins. This is the time for you, the residents and taxpayers of Ottawa, to have your say by providing feedback and suggestions that will be used in assisting with the drafting of the budget document before it’s tabled at City Council on Wednesday, February 6. The final 2019 Budget will be approved at the City Council meeting on March 6, 2019. Light refreshments will be served – I hope to see many of you there!

If you cannot attend my budget consultation meeting, you can still provide your input by:

- Submitting your ideas to me directly at eli.el-chantiry@ottawa.ca
- Emailing budget@ottawa.ca
- Attending other Councillor-led budget meetings over the coming weeks (visit ottawa.ca for the meetings schedule)
- Tweeting @ottawacity using the hash tag #ottbudget
- Calling in your commends to 3-1-1
- Attending and/or registering as a public delegation at Standing Committee, Board and Commission meetings where the 2019 Budget will be reviewed (meetings being held between February 12 and March 4). Information on meeting dates and how to register as delegation can be found on the City of Ottawa website.

Hockey Day in Corkery – On Saturday, January 26, Hockey Day in Corkery is happening. There's a new format this year with a 4 on 4 hockey tournament. The event runs from 10am to 6pm at the Corkery Community Centre rink, 3447 Old Almonte Rd. Players must be 13 years of age and older. Admission is $10 per person, and includes chili, treats, coffee and hot chocolate. For full tournament details, including registering to play is found on www.corkerycommunity.ca. (Anyone wishing to bring a pot of chili can sign up to do so as well via the Association’s website.)

The Diefenbunker: Valentines for Veterans – The Diefenbunker invites families to join them in making handmade Valentines for the brave men and women who served our country. The Diefenbunker has partnered with The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre to create these tokens of affection for its residents. Attend the Diefenbunker on these upcoming Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4:30pm: January 26, January 27, February 2, February 3, February 9 and February 10. Included in the cost of admission. For more details go to www.diefenbunker.ca.

23rd Annual Diefenbooker Race – On Saturday, May 4, walk, run or bike with the community during the 23rd Annual Diefenbooker Race. Early bird registrations is now open on www.diefenbookerclassic.ncf.ca. Register before March 23 for discounts. The proceeds of this event support literacy in the Ward 5 community.