City Council of 2018 to 2022

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In recent columns, I have focused on some of our recent decisions at City Hall and, in some instances, the controversy behind them. In two weeks, I will delve into the LRT Stage 2 contract. In that case, all of the focus is on the extension of the existing O-Train line into Riverside South and not the overall LRT east-west project. As background before I do that, though, I think it is important to spend a bit of time discussing Council themselves. This is not the same Council from the previous eight years and it is not even a Council similar to that during the Larry O’Brien years. This one is different and it is influencing much of the discussion that has been occurring outside of City Hall and on some of our biggest files.

For those of you who may not remember, one of my key commitments when I ran for Council in 2010 was teamwork and cooperation at City Hall. To be clear, that does not just mean we should agree on everything and ignore debate. What it means to me is that we work together. This is not Provincial or Federal politics. There is no “Official Opposition”. We are all in power and we all have the ability to contribute, if we choose to do so. When I look at examples of cooperation and collaboration, I think of where we ended up on the Rideau-Carleton Raceway file. On Stonebridge, I work with Jan Harder. On the climate emergency, I worked with Shawn Menard. On plastics, I worked with Catherine McKenney. On rural internet access, I worked with Jeff Leiper. On an initiative in Blackburn Hamlet, I worked with Jody Mitic and now Laura Dudas. When I hold budget consultations, I do so with George Darouze. This is how we get things done. We do not draw lines and pick sides. We work together, regardless of the issue and whom you are working with because we all represent the same people: the citizens of Ottawa.

When we look at the last few months, and the issues I have been highlighting of late, that commitment to cooperation is clearly not shared by all. Not every member of Council arrives at City Hall with the same motivations. Not every member of Council maintains the same beliefs throughout their time on Council. Factions form and divisions rise. One thing I remember Tobi Nussbaum saying to me early in the 2014-18 term of Council is that he was impressed at how we can all disagree on an item but then just move on and work together on the next item. Again, this is not that Council. How did we get here?

During every election, there is an overarching sentiment. In 2010, it was the previous Council’s dysfunction. In 2018, it was the apparent lack of debate. As a reversal of why I was elected in 2010, some campaigned in 2018 on a notion of disruption. I would call this debate for the sake of debate. Instead of reports coming through Committee for proper consultation, debate and discussion, those items are coming directly to Council. There is no opportunity for community input through the Committee structure so it turns into a free for all at Council. Some members have decided there are two distinct sides and they stick to it. That reality adds toxicity to our debates. One new member of Council was recently quoted as saying they are happy they are not on the Mayor’s “side.” Consider that the Mayor received more votes in their ward than they did. How does that desire to be an opponent make you representative of your constituents? Are we elected to represent or are we elected to pick sides? You may have different answers but mine have always been the same. We are here to represent regardless of who else is elected.

The only real result of this entire situation is that every member of Council looks bad. There are times when what happens at Council is somewhat scripted. I will not pretend one side is worse than the other is. The current climate can only be fixed by a desire to move forward and work together. On issues like the Chateau Laurier and LRT Stage 2, some Councillors have knowingly stated misleading information. I will explain that in more detail when I get into the contract situation of Stage 2 LRT.

At the end of this term of Council, those of us elected in 2010 will have been here for twelve years. That includes the Mayor. What you are seeing at Council right now is more about 2022 than it is about anything. People are jockeying for position. They are looking to the Mayoralty in 2022. They are looking to win. Unfortunately, the result is that their constituents lose. We are not elected just to get re-elected. We are not elected to simply govern in four year increments. We are not elected to put ourselves above our jobs. We are elected to represent. We are elected to see beyond four year terms. We are elected to lead, not mislead. Thankfully, we still have time to make this term more effective. We just need to have enough members of Council, the Mayor included, willing to make the effort. I know I am.

1966 Roger Stevens Drive

Broccolini has submitted an official plan amendment and zoning by-law amendment for 1966 Roger Stevens Drive. The application can be reviewed on City’s Development Application Search Tool where you will find information about the application and all of the submitted plans, reports, surveys and accompanying documents you will need to review the application. You can find this at Ottawa.ca/devapps.

This is the property on the southwest corner of Highway 416 and Roger Stevens Drive. It was previously designated for industrial and commercial uses. This application is to alter the plan from multiple buildings totaling 1.4M square feet to instead build one building totaling 700,000 square feet. The proposal involves road modifications to Roger Stevens Drive including signalization and new turning lanes at the off and on ramps. The plan also includes the retention of the trees on the west side of the property forming a buffer between the building and the homes along Third Line Road that were created as part of this property’s original application approximately twenty years ago.

At this point, the tenant is not confirmed. Broccolini has built distribution centres previously for Amazon, Target, Canadian Tire, Sobey’s and IKEA, among others. As they get further in the process, they will likely be in a position to secure a tenant and disclose that. There will be a public meeting about this application and I will be sure to provide notification when it is scheduled.

Comments can be sent to Jeffrey Ostafichuk, Planner, at: Jeffrey.Ostafichuk@ottawa.ca or (613) 580-2424 X31329

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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.

Updates to the Green Bin Program & More Updates

The Scott Moffatt Golf 4 Youth Classic is in one week and it is not too late to register to play! Register today to help support the Youth of Manotick Association and the Richmond Youth Centre:   https://www.golf4youth.ca/ .

The Scott Moffatt Golf 4 Youth Classic is in one week and it is not too late to register to play! Register today to help support the Youth of Manotick Association and the Richmond Youth Centre: https://www.golf4youth.ca/.

In recent weeks, there have been a number of items that have come to Council that have been the subject of much debate and discussion, such as the Chateau Laurier addition, Climate Emergency and single-use plastics. Over the course of the summer, I will dedicate this column to shedding light on these issues and Council’s decision, specifically my position. Before that, though, Council made another decision last year, which will now come into effect. That decision was to expand the green bin program to permit the use of plastic bags.

Plastic bags will be allowed as a bagging option for organics in the green bin, such as food scraps, paper towel and tissue, and coffee grinds, beginning July 2nd. This is in addition to the current options of placing organics in paper bags in the green bin. Pet waste will also be accepted, including dog waste and kitty litter.

In a recent survey conducted by Hill & Knowlton commissioned by the City of Ottawa, sixty per cent of people who seldom use or do not use the green bin said they would participate if plastic bags were allowed. There are a number of reasons residents have stated why they do not use it but the primary one in our area has been about the messy nature of the bin. These changes will help address those concerns and make the green bin more convenient and easier to keep clean. In addition, using the green bin takes advantage of weekly pickup, while garbage going to landfill is collected bi-weekly.

The organic waste facility has been retrofitted to rip open the plastic bags and separate the organic waste for composting. The plastic bags are then disposed in the landfill. Getting more homes participating in the green bin program will divert more organic materials from the landfill and significantly extend its life.

If residents choose to use plastic bags to dispose of their organics, the City encourages them to reuse bags that may otherwise be thrown out, such as milk or bread bags. The plastic bag option is just one of many that are tailored to our residents’ comfort level and interest.  The other options include:

  • Paper bags to keep their green bin clean – including leaf and yard waste bags

  • Newspaper linings in the bin and kitchen containers

  • Cereal boxes and milk cartons to contain food waste

The City encourages residents who are using these options to continue their current practices. Residents can explore all options and learn what type of organic materials go into the green bin at ottawa.ca/greenbin.

For residents who have curbside collection but don’t have a green bin, go online to my.service.ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 and one will be delivered to your front door. 

Borrowing Park Equipment from the City

As we approach the time of year when communities host special events and celebrations in parks, this is a reminder that additional park equipment like picnic tables, waste receptacles and recycling receptacles can be reserved through the City's Centralized Facility Allocations Unit by calling Kaitlyn Lester at 613-580-2424 ext. 41497 or at Kathleen.Lester@Ottawa.ca. Because stock is limited, and to avoid disappointment, organizers are encouraged to book at least seven days before an event.  
 
The available equipment is loaned out at no cost to event organizers. However, the City is not able to offer delivery of the equipment to event locations and therefore, user groups are responsible for making transportation arrangements to receive and return the equipment from City ward yards from Monday to Friday 8:30am to 2:30pm. As required, staff can provide organizers with a list of available commercial transportation services as a reference source at the time that reservations are made.

Nominations Open for 2019 Order of Ottawa

The Order of Ottawa recognizes the professional achievements and outstanding service of exceptional Ottawa residents. This prestigious civic award honours up to 15 of Ottawa’s most deserving individuals each year. Any resident of Ottawa who has made a significant contribution in a professional capacity that has been of benefit to our community may be nominated.

The Order of Ottawa is intended to recognize those who have made significant contributions through their professional endeavours, to life in the city in any of the following areas: arts and culture, business, philanthropy, health care, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports and entertainment and other fields that benefit Ottawa.

The Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching, which will be presented at the Order of Ottawa awards ceremony in the fall of 2019, recognizes the contribution of an amateur coach who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment that have been the hallmarks of Brian Kilrea’s career. Mr. Kilrea is a retired hockey head coach, general manager and player, and is best known for his 35-year association with the Ottawa 67’s. He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, has played and coached in the NHL and, with more than 1,000 career victories, he is the most successful coach in Canadian junior hockey history.

Nominations for the Order of Ottawa or the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching may be completed online or by filling out a nomination form in pamphlets that are available at the City Hall Information Desk, and at your local community centre, public library, or at any client service centre. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 13th at 11:59pm EST.

Previous Rideau-Goulbourn recipients include Drs. Rod & Lucy Rabb, Cyril Leeder and William Tupper. More information on both awards can be found online at ottawa.ca/orderofottawa. Nominations by immediate family members, self-nominations, and posthumous nominations will not be accepted. Elected municipal, provincial and federal officials are not eligible for this award while they are in office.

Farmers’ Markets

It’s time to enjoy our local Farmers’ Markets! The Manotick Farmers’ Market (in Dickinson Square) runs on Saturdays from 9 am until 3 pm. The North Gower Farmers’ Market (located at 2397 Roger Stevens Drive) runs on Saturdays from 8 am until 1 pm. Both markets will run until October 12th. Shop local and enjoy!

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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.