Merry Christmas and Final News of 2018

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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. 

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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.

Manotick Town Hall Meeting and Other November Updates from Rideau-Goulbourn

To begin this week, I would like to offer my condolences to the family of Mitch Owens on behalf of the residents of Rideau-Goulbourn and the City of Ottawa. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Owens but I’m sure many reading this column knew him from his time representing the City of Gloucester as Councillor, Deputy Reeve and Mayor from 1966 until 1991.  It takes a special person to serve 25 years in public office, not to mention the countless other jobs that Mr. Owens had in his 95 years. He will be missed.

Manotick Town Hall Meeting

Last week, we had a great turnout at the Mid-Term Town Hall meeting. I’d very much like to thank everyone for taking the time to attend. While most of our meetings end before 9 p.m., many attendees stayed closer to 10 p.m. and some after. We discussed many items but the one that garnered the most attention was David Bartlett Park. The next steps in our discussion about shared uses of the park will include the formation of a working group. This was a suggestion made during the meeting and one that I am happy to implement. I look forward to continuing this conversation with all interested parties. By the discussion at the meeting, that’s a lot of interested parties.

Richmond Forcemain Improvements

In my November 1st Stittsville News column, I announced that the contract for the Richmond Forcemain improvements and upgrades had been awarded to Robert Excavating and that work would commence imminently. Three weeks removed from that time, nearby residents will have noticed that the contractor has mobilized and construction has begun.

Users of the lagoon trail system will have already noticed an impact as the trail and parkland behind homes along Dallaire Crescent has been closed. Further, the parking lot off of Eagleson, near Barnsdale Road, has also been closed. We have been working on any concerns that have been brought forward as a result of project startup. Streets in the construction zone will be monitored daily for construction debris as required.

The Project Manager on this file, Danny Palermo, has been providing me with weekly updates on construction. I will be relaying that information to nearby residents via email. If you would like to receive such updates, please send me an email and let me know.

Remembrance Park

In recent weeks, the successful bidder on the Remembrance Park project, DB Contracting, began mobilizing on the site of the future Remembrance Park. Between now and the winter shutdown, the contractor will be working on site preparation and the installation of the hard infrastructure, such as the garden walls and the armour stone walls. In April, the work will reconvene in earnest with the target opening of the park slated for July 1st, 2017.

This park will be a great addition to the village and specifically, the cenotaph. This project couldn’t have been done without the work of the community and the initial acquisition of the property by my predecessor, Glenn Brooks. The now-defunct Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation saw the transfer of this property from the Corporation’s oversight to the City’s Parks & Recreation Department. The efforts of the Remembrance Park Organizing Committee have led us to this point and the community is grateful for their work.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations at City Hall

Countdown to the New Year and kick off the Ottawa 2017 festivities during an energizing and momentum-building event! Join the fun on December 31st, 2016, for this early-evening, family-friendly celebration that will include the lighting of a spectacular cauldron at Ottawa City Hall. The sparking of this special landmark will cue hundreds of Ottawa-area students to form a human chain, connecting young people from diverse backgrounds and weaving a line of youthful optimism through downtown Ottawa streets.

The evening will be crowned by a musical show and fireworks on Parliament Hill. The Ottawa 2017 Bureau is working closely with the school Boards and indigenous community to recruit the participating students. For more info on the spectacular Ottawa 2017 programming and to learn how to get involved, visit the http://www.ottawa2017.ca/! Check the online calendar often as we keep adding new events!

Mixing it up

The West Ottawa Ladies Chorus (WOLC) is presenting a Kaleidoscope of colourful tones to celebrate the season of winter and Christmas. A Christmas Kaleidoscope will delight the audience and please everyone's taste in music. The chorus works diligently to blend soprano, second soprano and first and second alto to a seamless sound. Under the direction of Robert Dueck, the WOLC strives for the highest standards from the top ranges to the lowest notes. Blending notes, like colours creates patterns of sound – a kaleidoscope.

This season, the audience will experience colourful tunes from spiritual to jazz to rag to show tunes. Although the concert is a celebration of Christmas, it is also a celebration of winter and will appeal to all cultures. The WOLC is committed to giving back to the community and visits several senior's residences to take the gift of music to those who may not be able to attend a public performance.

A Christmas Kaleidoscope by the WOLC will be performed on Saturday, December 3rd at 7:00pm at St. Paul's Anglican Church, 20 Young Rd., Kanata and on Sunday December 4th at 2:30 pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1817 Richardson Side Rd., Carp. Tickets will be available soon. For more details contact westottawaladieschorus@gmail.com.

Isle in the River Theatre Company

From November 25th to the 27th, ITR Theatre Company is presenting a Norm Foster Double-Double. This includes two one-act plays, My Narrator and The Death of Me, at each of the 6 performances at the Osgoode Community Centre. Tickets are available through http://itrtheatre.com/ or by calling 613-800-1165 or e-mailing tickets@itrtheatre.com.

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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.