On December 3rd, I had the great privilege of being sworn in as the Councillor for Rideau-Goulbourn for the third time. In the weeks since, we have gotten to work on the business of setting out the governance for this term of Council. This week, we confirmed Committee memberships and appointed Chairs of the Committees. I am excited to be appointed to the Chair of the Environment Committee, to sit on the Planning Committee and Ottawa Community Housing Corporation and to continue my work on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Built Heritage Sub-Committee, Committee of Revision and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.
This week we also debated the matter of retail cannabis sales at a special Council meeting held on Thursday, December 13th. It was decided that Ottawa will permit retail cannabis stores beginning April 1, 2019. Permitting retail cannabis stores will help reduce the black market and provide consumers access to safer products in a highly regulated environment. The City will spend less resources shutting down illegal sellers, and receive additional funding from the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund to offset the costs related to the legalization of recreational cannabis. Cannabis retailers will also create economic and employment opportunities in the city, including spinoff benefits for other sectors.
The direction followed Council’s consideration of the Report on Ontario Cannabis Legislation, Cannabis Retail Stores and Response to Council Direction of August 29, 2018 and feedback from public delegations.
Council heard presentations from nine members of the public. This is in addition to 23,000 responses to an online survey conducted earlier this fall. The responses to the online survey and a random sample telephone survey generally supported permitted retail cannabis stores in Ottawa. Public input indicates that residents want stores with appropriate controls and protections to minimize the impacts on the community.
Staff will report on the impact of the legalization of recreational cannabis on City services in late 2019.
Furthermore, this report focused on cannabis retail stores, however, as new issues emerge, the City will consult with residents and provide additional reports and recommendations to Council as required.
Following the three Council meetings in early December, the Christmas break will be upon us. In the new year, the new Committees will begin their work with focus on developing the term of Council priorities and preparing the 2019 Budget.
2019 Town Hall Series
In my last e-newsletter, I announced that our office will be hosting a series of town hall meetings to help kick off the term of Council. We will host these meetings in Burritt’s Rapids, Pierce’s Corners, Kars, North Gower, Stittsville, Richmond, Munster, Ashton, Manotick, Country Club Village, Fallowfield Village and in the Quinn’s Pointe community in Barrhaven. These meetings will take place between January 9th and March 5th.
The intent of these meetings will be to look at what issues are present currently in our communities, what priorities we want to focus on and any other matters that residents feel requires our attention. It is also an opportunity to discuss how best we can improve communication. We have a number of new initiatives we are going to bring forward in order to better serve our residents. Included in that will be drop in meetings where residents can stop by and visit with our team. We will rotate these meetings around the ward every two weeks.
For the Town Hall meetings, we have the following meetings scheduled:
January 9th: Canadian Golf & Country Club, 7:00pm
January 12th: St. Patrick’s Church, 10:00am
January 15th: Manotick Arena, 7:00pm
January 19th: Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall, 10:00am
January 23rd: Munster Community Centre, 7:00pm
January 28th: North Gower Client Service Centre, 7:00pm
February 4th: St. Benedict Elementary School, 7:00pm
February 6th: Ashton Christ Church, 7:00pm
February 13th: Kars Recreation Centre, 7:00pm
February 19th: St. Philip’s Parish Hall, 7:00pm
February 26th: Marlborough Community Hall, 7:00pm
March 5th: Goulbourn Town Hall, 7:00pm
I very much look forward to these meetings, as does our team. I hope you will be able to attend.
Mayor’s City Builder Award
The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour that recognizes an individual, group or organization that have - through their outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action - demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. Past recipients have been honoured for their life-long service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building and other exemplary achievements. This award is presented at the beginning of each Ottawa City Council meeting.
As a member of Council, I would like to invite you to nominate individuals, groups or organizations that have had a positive impact in our ward and in our community. Our aim is to ensure a diverse representation of outstanding residents from all corners of our city.
Please contact my office for nomination forms.
North Gower Client Service Centre Holiday Hours
Recognizing the lower volumes of transactions that typically occur, the City of Ottawa is reducing hours or closing the North Gower Client Service Centre (CSC) on the following dates:
Thursday, December 20th: 8:30am to 12:00pm
Thursday, December 27th: Closed
Thursday, January 3rd: Closed
Regular business hours will resume on Thursday, January 10th. The North Gower CSC is located at 2155 Roger Stevens Drive and is open on Thursdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.