Column: North Gower Winter Carnival and Munster Winter Carnival

It was another great year to be at Shiverfest, Manotick’s annual winter carnival.  It was a pleasure to be at the opening ceremonies with all of the dedicated volunteers from the Manotick Village Community Association, Watson’s Mill, Kiwanis, and many more.  Thank you as well to Mayor Jim Watson for joining us once again and a special thanks to the volunteer firefighters of Station 94 for making such a great bonfire that kept us all warm.


With Shiverfest wrapped up, we now turn our attention to the North Gower Winter Carnival celebrating its 50th year!  Be sure to check out all of the great events in North Gower this weekend which kicks off with a spaghetti/shepherd’s pie supper on Friday evening followed by a talent show.  Saturday begins with a pancake breakfast and is filled with events throughout the day for all ages.  Check out for the full schedule.


There’s a saying that great things come in threes and Rideau-Goulbourn winter carnivals are no exception.  Next weekend is the annual Munster Winter Carnival featuring an open skate on the outdoor rink on Friday, February 10 and a day full of events on the Saturday beginning with a pancake breakfast at the Munster United Church from 7:00 to 10:30am.  Hope to see everyone in Munster out on Friday night for the official kick-off!


Rink of Dreams


            Keeping in the theme of kicking things off, the City of Ottawa’s Rink of Dreams officially opened last week and I would encourage everyone to head downtown and check it out.  At the grand opening last Wednesday, the cameras and media were long gone and my son, Lane, was still skating like a madman!  With the City only playing a small role, the Rink of Dreams would not have been possible without the Sens Foundation and Hockey Canada so a big thank you to them for helping create this new centrepiece of downtown Ottawa.  Outfitted with heated change rooms, the Rink of Dreams is open from 8am-11pm and will be open each and every year from November until the end of March.


Summer Student Employment Program


Students interested in summer employment with the City of Ottawa may apply online beginning Monday, February 6, 2012.  The prime objective of the Summer Student Employment Program is to give students experience in a dynamic work place environment and offer learning opportunities that will develop and improve their skills for future employment.

The program will provide students with opportunities that will:

  • ·         enrich their current academic programs;
  • ·         encourage completion of present studies;
  • ·         aid in the funding of future educational endeavours;
  • ·         improve their ability to find desired jobs in areas of interest and specialization;
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  • ·         help learn about and evaluate career options within the City of Ottawa

To be eligible for the Summer Student Employment Program, you must satisfy the following criteria:

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For more information on the Summer Student Employment Program, please visit


Rideau-Osgoode Youth Retail Employment Program


Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre’s proposed Rideau-Osgoode Youth Retail Employment Program (ROYREP) is looking for staff. The ROYREP can offer youth facing barriers to employment with the knowledge, skills and work experience necessary to ensure active participation in the job market, but they need a Program Facilitator and a Community Youth Worker to help get things started.  If you are looking to work in your community and help out those who need it the most, then ROYREP can provide you with that fulfilling, rewarding work experience.  For more information on these great opportunities, please visit


Congratulations Jabulani!


            I’d like to take the time to congratulate Tom & Janet Moul of Jabulani Vineyard & Winery on Jock Trail Road south of Munster.  Tom and Janet have been given the honour of Wine Person of the Year by the National Capital Sommelier Guild.  The award is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have contributed significantly to the wine community in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.  Jabulani was also nominated for Best New Business in the Kanata Chamber of Commerce People’s Choice Awards so this definitely caps off an incredible inaugural season for them.  Looking forward to an even better 2012!




Mayor Watson presents Rick Dods with Governor General’s Certificate of Commendation

Mayor Jim Watson, with Rideau-Goulbourn Ward Councillor Scott Moffatt, on behalf of His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, today presented the Governor General’s Certificate of Commendation to Mr. Rick Dods. The commendation is awarded to those who have made a significant contribution by providing assistance to another person in a selfless manner.

At 7:30 p.m. on October 28, 2008, Rick Dods was driving down Dwyer Hill Road in Goulbourn Township. It was dark and the season’s first snowstorm made driving treacherous. The 55-year-old tech worker was following a van but when he turned after the van onto McCaffrey Trail Road; Mr. Dods could no longer see the taillights.

The van had gone off the road and was at the bottom of a snow-covered embankment, lying sideways on the driver’s side in a creek. Mr. Dods slid down the hill and plunged into the icy water, which came up to his chest. He tried to get the passenger door open but it was locked electronically. Instead, he was able to gain access through the rear door. The back of the van was cluttered with furniture and other items, including a wheelchair, which he managed to scramble over to reach the front of the vehicle.

Mr. Dods realized the male driver was gasping for air and the van was starting to fill with water. Mr. Dods helped to turn him around to help him breathe and then turned his attention to the woman in the passenger seat. After considerable effort, he pulled her out of the van.

Removing the driver required more effort and assistance. Mr. Dods plunged into the freezing water to free the man’s legs, which were jammed between the seat and the door, but he could not move the driver, who did not have strength in his legs to aid with the rescue.

Mr. Dods scrambled back up the hill and called 911. He was getting a saw from his pickup truck, planning to cut the driver out of his seat, when he noticed headlights coming in the opposite direction and waved the vehicle down. Patrick Scissons, with two of his then-16-year-old triplet sons, offered to help. The four men braved the frigid creek and were able to extract the man from his van.

Rick Dods was awarded a Certificate of Valour by the Ottawa Police Service in May 2009 for his selfless actions.

The Governor General’s Certificate of Commendation was created in 1993 by the late Right Honourable Ramon Hnatyshyn, former Governor General of Canada. It is signed by the Governor General and is intended for eligible candidates whose actions are deemed notable by the Canadian Decorations Advisory Committee. Eligible candidates are selected through a voting process.

City Council approves shared-use policy for rural pathways

City Council today approved the Rural Pathways Shared-Use Policy for the Osgoode and Prescott-Russell pathways and directed City staff to undertake a policy monitoring program and report back to the joint committee of Transportation and Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

As part of the Economic Stimulus Funding Program in 2010, two new rural pathways were established along former rail lines. The Osgoode pathway runs north to south from Leitrim Road to Buckles Street, and the Prescott-Russell pathway runs east to west from just west of Anderson Road to the eastern city limits. City staff was directed to review the issue of the use of motorized vehicles on these rural pathways.

Under the new policy, all motorized vehicles are prohibited on the pathways from spring to fall, except for emergency and maintenance vehicles and motor-assisted wheelchairs and scooters. This is intended to provide the best environment for the primary trail users – pedestrians and cyclists.

Snowmobiles will be allowed on the pathways in the winter but are subject to restrictions, such as speed limits and curfews.

In the summer of 2013, City staff will report back to the joint committee on the monitoring program with any recommendations for policy changes.