Hydro outages and Councillor for Hire

In March of this year, I received a number of reports of power outages in the rural Stittsville and Ashton area.  At that time, I spoke with the Chief Operating Officer at Hydro Ottawa, Norm Fraser, and provided an update in this column on what Hydro Ottawa was doing to address the deficiencies. Having committed to providing further updates, I received more information from Hydro Ottawa this week.

Since the March 21st power outage, four sets of faulted circuit indicators have been installed to increase the speed in fault finding with an additional eight more to be installed; tree trimming has been scheduled for 2016 and crews are periodically removing any problem trees as they become aware of them; overhead equipment was inspected using infrared radiation scanning with immediate repair occurring with any failures and; arresters were replaced on the main circuit supply section along Flewellyn Road between Dwyer Hill Road and Ashton Station Road.

Further, there is now a plan in place to transfer 130 customers from the current supply circuit from Beckwith Station to Alexander Station. This should increase the reliability for these customers as Alexander has historically had higher reliability than Beckwith. This work will be completed later this year.

Manotick Secondary Plan Review

Following last month’s public meeting on the Manotick Secondary Plan review, I’m happy to tell you that all information is now available online at Ottawa.ca/manotickplan.  Please have a look and provide your feedback.  The Secondary Plan will be coming to Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee in the fall.

Manotick Boat Launch

After a three year wait, the installation of the new dock at the boat launch near the Manotick Library is imminent.  The dock could be installed as soon as this week.  I’d like to thank everyone for their patience.  This entire issue stems back to 2011 when the City of Ottawa acquired the boat launch property from Parks Canada.  There was first some uncertainty as to whether or not the launch would continue but after conducting my own consultation and not finding any viable launch alternatives nearby, I was happy to work with the City’s Rural Affairs Office and the Manotick Village & Community Association to bring a new dock to fruition.  This new dock will provide the safety that has been lacking at this location in recent years.  Thank you to the MVCA’s Klaus Beltzner and Mel Roberts for being part of the process to bring the dock back to Manotick.

Councillor for Hire - Millers' Farm & Market

In 2011, I began an initiative called “Councillor for Hire”. The idea was to spend time in different environments throughout Rideau-Goulbourn, learn more about our local businesses and their staff/owners, and understand how they interact with the City of Ottawa and any struggles or challenges they may face.  Over the last term, I worked at a number of different places including Corner View Farms, Saunders Farm, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Manotick Village Butcher and many more.  Having taken a break from this during the election, I decided to get back into it recently which led me to my most recent job experience: Millers’ Farm & Market in Manotick.

On Friday, July 3rd, I had the pleasure of spending the day at Millers’ Farm on Rideau Valley Drive North.  My morning began with a good chat about City-related challenges facing businesses such at Millers’ with owners Ron & Suzie Miller.  One of the most beneficial aspects of any Councillor for Hire experience is the one on one discussion with a small business owner within their work environment. If there are any issues to resolve, I gather a better understanding with these kinds of hands on experiences.

The majority of my day involved working with customers, stocking fresh produce and picking strawberries and raspberries.  There is always plenty of work to be done at Millers’ and their near 300 acre property.  Their Garden Centre is fully stocked with annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs.  There is also a variety of trees, evergreens, flowering shrubs and hanging baskets.  If that isn’t enough, you can purchase bulk mulch, soil, topsoil and river rock as well.  Local deliveries are available and a couple occurred while I was there for the day.

They key to Millers’ Farm is their fresh fruits and vegetables.  Obviously, they have strawberries and raspberries but there is also currants, tomatoes, asparagus, garlic, rhubarb, squash, carrots, sweet corn and, in the fall, pumpkins.  The pumpkin patch is a crowd favourite and gets visited each fall by local schools.  I’ve had the pleasure of going on field trips to Millers’ with my three oldest children and their nursery school.

If you want to learn more about Millers’ Farm and everything they have to offer, please visit millersfarmandmarket.ca.  I’d like to thank Ron & Suzie, and their son Simon, for inviting me to spend the day as their “employee” and to all the staff at the farm for making me feel welcome and for showing me the ropes.

If you would be interested in having me spend a day as at your local business, please let me know.

Kars Dog Show

The Kars Dog Show is back this weekend and is celebrating their 50th Anniversary.  Come by the Kars Fairgrounds at the RA Centre and take in the show.  The show runs from Friday, July 17th until Sunday, July 19th.  More information is available at karsdogclub.ca.

Dickinson House News

July 18th & 19th, from 10:00am to 5:0pm, members of the Rideau Township Historical Society and the Manotick Horticultural Society will be on site to conduct tours through the gardens of Dickinson House.  Come and learn what the pioneers had to rely on for medicines and flavourings.

At 2:00 pm on Saturday July 18th, there will be an unveiling of a memorial plaque honouring Coral Lindsay.  She was the inspirational founding curator of the collection at Dickinson House, and fittingly, the special exhibit area will be dedicated to her memory.

While at the House you are invited to visit “Tableware in times Past “, this season’s special exhibition. As always, admission is free, and donations are welcome to help with the upkeep.

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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.

Scott worked hard to help make history fun at the Goulbourn Museum

Councillor for Hire: Goulbourn Museum

Scott ventured out to help the Goulbourn Museum with one day of their Camp Curator during March Break. Looks like he had a great time; the museum is a great place for a history buff like Scott!

Storified by Rideau-Goulbourn· Fri, Mar 15 2013 09:14:12

It's #CouncillorForHire: March Break edition! I'm off to Camp Curator at the @GoulbournMuseum.Scott Moffatt
We have extra help with Camp Curator today #CouncillorForHire - get your glue gun ready @ScottMoffatt21 :)Goulbourn Museum
Great aerial view of #Richmond @GoulbournMuseum from 10,000 feet in 1946. Only 300 residents at that time. http://lockerz.com/s/286937293Scott Moffatt
Councillor Scott Moffatt is working at the ...Facebook
We're all set up for Camp Curator here @GoulbournMuseum. A quick lunch and then the kids arrive at 1pm! #CouncillorForHireScott Moffatt
The kids are all ready to conduct an archaeological dig at Camp Curator @GoulbournMuseum. #CouncillorForHire http://lockerz.com/s/286948958Scott Moffatt
The kids have started the dig at #CampCurator. @ScottMoffatt21 #CouncillorForHire #MarchBreak http://pic.twitter.com/JvffBegUy0Goulbourn Museum
We think @ScottMoffatt21 could have decorated his #CampCurator ID badge with more colour but he still gets a star :) http://pic.twitter.com/YKLSawlMRTGoulbourn Museum
Love the history at the @GoulbournMuseum! Here is a picture of all Carleton County Wardens 1933-35. http://lockerz.com/s/286960626Scott Moffatt
A great day @GoulbournMuseum's Camp Curator. Thanks to the staff, and of course the kids, for having me there! #CouncillorForHireScott Moffatt

Speaking at South Carleton High School

As many of you know, I have been working various jobs once a month for nearly a year and a half.  In December, I worked at the Gingerbread Man, in January at the Trail Road Waste Facility, but I did something a little different in February.  As I have done in several times since being elected, I accepted an invitation to speak to careers classes at South Carleton High School.  I always enjoy this opportunity as these Grade 10 students are no different than I was at that exact same point in my life, which seems to be much less recent than I thought.  One student kindly mentioned that she was born the same year I was in Grade 11.

For the majority of these students, my job is really quite boring so I generally refrain from talking about my job too much and spend most of the time talking to them about how I got from where they are now to where I am today.  I have spoken about this in a column before so I don’t want to be overly repetitive but the journey was not without setbacks.  From graduating from South Carleton to attending Carleton University to eventually being elected in 2010, all along the way there were people that told me I couldn’t achieve the goals I set out for myself.  It’s this that I emphasize when speaking with students because no matter what school you choose to go to or what career path you envision for yourself after high school, there will be negative people along the way.  If I had let these people bother me, I would never have run for election in 2010 after losing in 2006.  Whether applying to your first choice of University or College, going to an interview for your first job or running in an election, the lessons are the same and failure only teaches you how to succeed in the future.

While I’m sure some students in these classes tune me out the second I get there, I do appreciate the opportunity to speak to these students.  Even though they can’t vote, I represent them too and it is nice to get to know them and speak about their concerns in the community they live in as well.

In March, I’m back to “work” as Councillor for Hire takes me to the Goulbourn Museum on March 14 where I take part in their March Break day camp.

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Youth Connexion: Starting a Business

For students between the ages of 15 and 29, the City of Ottawa’s Youth Connexion program is hosting an Information Session at the Manotick Arena on Tuesday, March 12th from 7:00-8:00pm.  The speaker for the evening will be Majeed Mogharreban, Program Coordinator at Invest Ottawa.  The Province offers a program that provides $3000 to students looking to start their own business and also provides mentoring and hands-on coaching.  This information session will provide details on that program.

Watson’s Mill March Break Camps

This year, Watson’s Mill is expanding their March Break camp to 2 days of themed activities and fun! These are camps you do not want your children to miss! On Tuesday March 12th, kids can register with our Circus Camp and learn the ways of the Clown.  Juggle, make balloon animals, and put on rubber noses and big feet. It’s a day full of acrobatics and clowning around. Then, on Thursday March 14th, Watson’s Mill gets Goofy as we take a trip to the enchanted world of all things Disney. Campers will have a ball at the Bippity Boppity boutique or ride to the isle of Tortuga with Captain Jack Sparrow.

This March Break, why not let your kids run off with the circus or perhaps hang with the most popular mouse in the world? Circus Camp and Disney Camp include activities, crafts and games that will have your child swinging from the roof.  Camp has never been so fun! Camp Date: Tuesday March 12 and Thursday March 14. Cost: $25 ($20 for members) includes one small snack, bring your own lunch. Time: 9:00am- 4:00pm. Ages: 6-12.

Spring/Summer Recreation eGuide Now Available

The Spring/Summer Recreation eGuide is now online at Ottawa.ca.  Registration for Swimming and Aquafitness programs began on March 4 at 10 p.m. online and by calling 613-580-2588. In-person registration at any recreation or cultural facility began March 5 during regular business hours. Registration for all other programs including summer camps begins on March 6 at 10 p.m. online or by calling 613-580-2588. In-person registration at any recreation or cultural facility begins March 7 during regular business hours.

Residents are advised to review the list of activities and registration procedures now to ensure they are ready to enroll in their favourite classes in a timely manner. Anyone registering will need a client barcode and a family PIN (Personal Identification Number). Please have this information ready for faster processing.  Residents can get a family PIN at Ottawa.ca as well.

High volumes of online registrants are expected throughout the first week of registration which could result in a longer registration experience than usual.  If you encounter delays, please wait for a few minutes before you try again or try our Touch Tone Telephone registration system at 613-580-2588.

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If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.

Councillor For Hire: A busy day at the Trail Road landfill

As many residents of Rideau-Goulbourn are aware, Scott is an active user of Twitter, which allows him to send out short updates about various topics no matter where he is. He faithfully shares the stories of his Councillor for Hire adventures, including tidbits of information he learns. This is always particularly interesting when he gets to work in City facilities.

Scott's latest took him out to the Trail Road Waste Facility, which is one of two landfills within the borders of Rideau-Goulbourn Ward. We've put together the story here for anyone who missed seeing his tweets.

Councillor for Hire: Trail Road Waste Facility

On January 31st, I had the opportunity to spend the day as an employee at the Trail Road Waste Facility, Ottawa’s very own landfill off of Moodie Drive. It was a cold, windy day but that doesn’t stop the garbage trucks from rolling in...

Storified by Rideau-Goulbourn· Wed, Feb 13 2013 09:53:09

At Trail Road Waste Facility working the Scale House to start the day. #CouncillorForHire http://pic.twitter.com/S5f81iSyScott Moffatt
Checking the temperature of the compost windrows at Trail Road! #CouncillorForHire http://pic.twitter.com/abd5n8YHScott Moffatt
Taking a tour of the new construction at the Trail Road Waste Facility, a building aiming for LEED Gold. . http://pic.twitter.com/XePKcr9PScott Moffatt
Putting on the second coat! #CouncillorForHire #TrailRoad http://pic.twitter.com/pGybiRT8Scott Moffatt
Spending the afternoon driving heavy equipment at #TrailRoad. #CouncillorForHire http://pic.twitter.com/eX5VMT2JScott Moffatt
Great day as a #TrailRoad employee! It's great to experience first hand what happens with our waste. #CouncillorForHireScott Moffatt
The one thing I learned more than any other today was that the staff here at #TrailRoad love their job. It is a great work environment.Scott Moffatt

Column: Working at the Trail Road Waste Facility

Celebrating the life of Nick Newton

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to attend a special event in honour of Nick Newton, a long time Manotick resident and endless volunteer.  This event, titled a Celebration of Life, was held at the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa, a place that Mr. Newton helped raise over a million dollars in support.  At this event, individual after individual stood up and spoke about how much Mr. Newton touched their lives.  I had the honour of being there with Mayor Jim Watson to present Nick’s wife, Wendy, with a posthumous City Builder Award.  Nick Newton is a role model to many people and his memory and dedication to community will live on in all those he touched.

Manotick Community Meeting - March 7

During the Fall of 2012, I hosted meetings throughout Rideau-Goulbourn providing updates on various issues around the City and in our communities.  Since the Manotick Town Hall in October, a number of projects have moved forward and new issues have come forward.  Therefore, I have scheduled a meeting at the Manotick Arena on Thursday, March 7 from 7:00-9:00pm to discuss these issues and provide updates on the goings on around Manotick.  Items to be discussed include Van Vliet Extension, intersection improvements at Bridge Street & Dickinson Street along with Bridge Street & Manotick Main Street, and we’ll also provide updates on various developments throughout the village.  I’d also like to provide some information on Dickinson Square and the Requests for Expressions of Interest.  I’ll touch on this subject in my column next week as well.  More details about this meeting can be found in the Village Voice column in this very newspaper.

Councillor For Hire: Trail Road Waste Facility

On January 31st, I had the opportunity to spend the day as an employee at the Trail Road Waste Facility, Ottawa’s very own landfill off of Moodie Drive.  It was a cold, windy day but doesn’t stop the garbage trucks from rolling in.  In the morning, I worked the scale house where I did the weigh-ins for garbage trucks, residential waste, construction waste and a truck that barely had the life in the engine to make it up the ramp.  I thought he was bringing the truck to the dump but it turns out it was the contents.

I then went to check the temperatures of the leaf and yard waste compost wind rows.  As per the Ministry of the Environment, these need to be checked every day and need to be at least 55° Celsius.  While year round leaf and yard waste ends up at Orgaworld, the volume is so high during the fall and spring that this excess comes to Trail Road and is turned into compost on site.  After this, I went in to the new building currently under construction and did some painting.  It was the second of three coats, so clearly they didn’t trust to do that good of a job.

The rest of the day was spent on the landfill itself operating machinery, packing garbage, and bringing in material to provide cover at the end of the day.  At the end of each work day, all garbage is covered and at any given time, no more than a couple hundred square metres of garbage can actually be seen in plain sight.  It is a very impressive operation with plenty of jobs that keep the staff on site extremely busy and always moving.  After working with several different employees, one thing became very clear: these people love working here.  One individual told me that he feels he has the best job in the City of Ottawa.  It is a busy place with unpredictable weather, but there is a great team mentality here and that makes it a great place to work.

Having this landfill in Rideau-Goulbourn, it was a great opportunity to see how this operation works and also to see what happens with the different types of waste once they arrive on site.  Thanks to the staff and management for inviting me to spend the day at Trail Road as an employee.

Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031

Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031 is a city-wide review of land use, transportation and infrastructure policies that make up the Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Infrastructure Master Plan, Cycling Plan and the Pedestrian Plan, with an eye towards making Ottawa a more vibrant, healthy and sustainable city.

The focus of the review is to propose solutions to 12 current planning issues. The outcome of the review will be an updated Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan and supporting plans with policies and priorities that influence the future growth of our city for years to come.  When completed, the Plans will set the directions, policies and affordability priorities that will influence the future of the city for years to come.

City Council will approve the new Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan and supporting plans in December 2013. For rural residents, the proposed policies for Rural Lots and Villages, Mineral Resources and the Agricultural Land Evaluation may be of particular interest.  Tell what you think by completing our survey before March 1, 2013. For more information, visit ottawa.ca/liveableottawa and read the At a Glance backgrounders and the Preliminary Proposals in their entirety.

Goulbourn Museum Family Day Fun

Bring the entire clan to Goulbourn Museum on Family Day for crafting fun, games & a photo keepsake!  Pose for a family portrait at their Old-Fashioned Photo Booth with the option to don heritage costumes, stop at one of their craft stations, let the kids play in the replica village shop & enjoy light refreshments. 

The Family Day festivities take place Monday, February 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All ages welcome. Admission is free. The Goulbourn Museum is located at 2064 Huntley Road, just south of Stittsville, at Stanley’s Corners. For more information, please visit http://goulbournmuseum.ca/whats-happening/ or call 613-831-2393 or visit us on Facebook: facebook.com/GoulbournMuseum

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.

Kars Family Fun Day

Come out to the Kars Recreation Centre on February 16th from 10:00am to 2:00pm for the Kars Family Fun Day.  This event, organized by the Kars Recreation Association, will feature sleigh rides, skating and other fun activities such as Mad Science and Little Ray’s Reptiles.  Admission is free!

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If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.

COLUMN: Majority of new applications and renewals for business licences available at all Client Service Centres

As of Monday, March 5 the majority of new applications and renewals for business licences will be available at all seven Client Service Centres to offer residents and business owners more convenient locations and service hours. Previously, business licence applications and renewals were only available at the licensing service counter at Ben Franklin Place, which will now close.
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COLUMN: Time for Spring and Summer Recreation programs

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be profiling my next two Councillor For Hire shifts.  On February 28th, I worked for the NoGo Coffee Company and on March 8th, you can visit me at the Manotick Village Butcher where I’ll be working 9:30am to 5:00pm.  These are two of Rideau-Goulbourn’s newest new businesses and I’m excited to share my experiences with you.

Speaking of exciting and Manotick, most of you are aware by now that Watson’s Mill is putting on an aggressive campaign to raise money for the replacement of its roof.  The “Raise the Roof” campaign has set a goal of $200,000 to be raised in conjunction with other funding in order to replace this 89 year old roof of our beloved symbol of Manotick.  It is a rare case when someone in all of Ottawa, not just Manotick, is unaware of Watson’s Mill.  With thousands of visitors throughout the year, the Mill is not just a symbol of Manotick, it IS Manotick.  The Raise the Roof Committee has been busy putting on countless fundraising events such as the summer concert series of this past year.  Look for more events in 2012 that celebrate our Mill and aim to raise the necessary funds, be a part of this historic facility, and help add much needed longevity to its already glorious life.  For more information on how to donate, volunteer, or to learn more about the Raise the Roof campaign, visit www.watsonsmill.com.

The Rideau River is such an integral part of Rideau-Goulbourn in that is borders the ward from Nicolls Island, through Manotick, Kars, and Beckett’s Landing, and all the way through to Burritts Rapids.  This next little blurb is issued by the City and even though we all know the inherent dangers with thin ice, I think it’s appropriate to pass along this type of information to a community where the river is ever present.

Think twice before venturing onto the ice

Even though temperatures have been mild, the City of Ottawa reminds residents that when the temperatures go down, awareness of the dangers of being on or around ice and open water needs to go up.

If you want to go out onto the ice, remember the thickness should be:

  • ·                     15 cm for walking or skating alone
  • ·                     20 cm for skating parties or games
  • ·                     25 cm for snowmobiles
  • ·                     35 cm for fishing huts

As a guideline, clear blue ice is usually the strongest; white opaque or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice. Grey ice is unsafe. The greyness indicates the presence of water.

Water levels this year are higher than usual and are accompanied by soft, slippery banks that are treacherous, particularly for young children, adults and family pets.

Last winter, Ottawa Fire Services, working in close coordination with the Ottawa Paramedic Service and Ottawa Police Services, responded to 49 calls for help from persons in distress, lost or feared drowned.  Stay safe, stay off thin ice.

Time for Spring and Summer Recreation programs

It is time to check out the thousands of classes the City of Ottawa has to offer in the 2012 Spring-Summer Recreation eGuide. 

From boot camps to sports, drawing to pottery, and aqua fitness to yoga, the City of Ottawa offers spring classes that will keep you active, creative and healthy.

Water fun, sports, neighbourhood, arts and specialty day camps offer kid-sized adventures all summer long. With camps across the city, children of all ages love the options.

Registration for spring classes and summer camps opens online at 10 p.m. March 5 for swimming activities and 10 p.m. on March 7 for all other programs. Please browse the Recreation eGuide for new recreation and culture experiences.

It will be time well spent at ottawa.ca/recreationguide