December 1st, 2014 marked the beginning of the new term of Council and an end to me being referred to as a “newbie”. That honour now shifts to our eight new Councillors: Jody Mitic (Innes), Tobi Nussbaum (Rideau-Rockcliffe), Catherine McKenney (Somerset), Jeff Leiper (Kitchisippi), Riley Brockington (River), Jean Cloutier (Alta Vista), George Darouze (Osgoode) and Michael Qaqish (Gloucester-South Nepean). I’d like to take a moment and thank our outgoing Councillors for their commitment to the City of Ottawa and their respective communities. They, of course, are Rainer Bloess, Peter Clark, Diane Holmes, Katherine Hobbs, Maria McRae, Peter Hume, Doug Thompson and Steve Desroches. It has been an honour to work with these eight Councillors over the past four years and learn from them with their 137 years combined experience.
Secondly, I would like to thank those of you who participated in our multiple public meetings and open houses last week. The turnout for the meetings on the Minto Mahogany amendment, David Bartlett Park erosion issue, Rideau Valley Drive South reconstruction and Manotick Secondary Plan Review was great and your input is much appreciated.
The information and maps that were presented at the Secondary Plan Review open house will be available online at www.ottawa.ca/manotickplan within a week. If you didn’t have a chance to attend the meeting or submit comments, please review the material and pass along any comments to myself at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca and also to firstname.lastname@example.org. The next steps will be to review the comments submitted and continue working toward another public meeting for a final review of what was heard and what recommendations will come forward. This is your village, your Secondary Plan and your input is of the utmost importance.
Christmas Weekend in Rideau-Goulbourn
The busiest weekend of the year in Rideau-Goulbourn is back! The first weekend of December is where our ward celebrates Christmas in the form of tree lighting ceremonies, parades and bake sales.
Kick off Saturday, December 6th with the North Gower Farmers' Market Christmas Market from 9:00am until 3:00pm at the Alfred Taylor Community Centre. This year there will be more than 40 of your favorite vendors. You’ll find fabulous one of a kind gifts along with all the regular delicious homemade foods and fresh baked goods. The Christmas market is a great place to buy all your Christmas treats. Please bring either a cash donation and/or non-perishable food item for the North Gower Outreach Program. Heather's Café will be serving both breakfast and lunch. Be sure to enter the free draw for one of the gift baskets that have been prepared by the vendors.
From there, you can pop over to Manotick for the annual Santa Claus parade at 1:00pm, starting and ending at the Manotick Arena and heading through the historic village core along Manotick Main Street.
In Richmond, the Santa Claus parade is on at 4:00pm along McBean Street and the tree lighting ceremony takes place in Memorial Park at 6:00pm. This is also when the Richmond Village Association unveils the banners that will adorn the lampposts for the winter.
Back in Manotick, residents are invited to come and enjoy Dickinson House during the Christmas season. The house is decorated in Victorian style for the holidays. On December 6th & 7th children can try their hand at creating an old time Christmas decoration. The House is open from 11:00am to 4:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays until December 7 which will be the last day of their season. As always, admission and activities are free; donations are welcome.
City of Ottawa’s Older Adult Plan
City Council demonstrated a commitment to older adults when it approved the Older Adult Plan, a Term of Council Priority initiative for 2011 to 2014. Many successes and achievements were reached that value the contributions of older adults, enhance services and infrastructure, support active living, and recognize the diverse needs and choices of older adults.
Some of the many highlights achieved during 2014 include:
- Key community stakeholders, including housing developers, architects and housing providers, participated in a Seniors Housing Roundtable to share input on the best way to facilitate the development of affordable housing for older adults.
- Free dental screenings were provided to 347 low income older adults as well as free dental treatment for 165 low income seniors with urgent dental needs.
- Ottawa Public Health and Parks, Recreation and Culture, developed a fitness program for seniors called Better Strength, Better Balance, and implemented it in six Ottawa Community Housing seniors residences.
- Ottawa Public Library implemented a program to teach seniors computer skills, including email, messaging and accessing the Internet.
- Three Meet Your City Services events were held at various locations, 17 E-newsletters about various City programs and services were sent to older adults registered on the City’s older adult email distribution list and a Guide to City Services in four languages was widely distributed.
- 200 older adults participated in a safety awareness event for older drivers.
- 49 residents were recognized through the Snow Angels recognition program.
The City will be refreshing the Older Adult Plan in 2015 as we continue to build Ottawa’s reputation as an Age-Friendly City. The Plan will cover the next Term of Council until 2018 and will be presented to Council in the fall of 2015. More information about the Older Adult Plan and services for older adults can be found at ottawa.ca.
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.