ARAC Agenda, Presto Pass Availability, Manotick Miler Road Closures & More

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The next meeting of Agriculture & Rural Affairs is being held on Thursday, May 3rd at Ben Franklin Place. As usual, our meetings begin at 10:00am in the old Nepean Council Chambers. Agenda items include:

  • South Nation Conservation Authority Board Appointment
  • Zoning By-Law Amendment: 4837 Albion Road
  • Zoning Amendment: Storefront Industry
  • Zoning Amendment: Live Music & Performance Venues
  • Omnibus Zoning Amendments
  • Site Alternation By-Law Follow-Up

The main item on this agenda is the zoning amendment for 4837 Albion Road. This application is several years in the making as it pertains to the Rideau Carleton Raceway site paving the way for the addition of a nine-storey hotel on the site of the soon to be Hard Rock Casino Ottawa. The application also permits an increase to 55 gaming tables from the currently allowed 35. The overall development project will see an investment of over $300M into the rural south site including a live theatre.

The storefront industry amendment is something that I spoke of in this column previously. The intent is to support small-scale businesses that would include micro-brewers/distillers, food processors and craft makers. These permissions would be added to commercial and mixed-use zones. The Omnibus amendment features some minor changes to properties across the City. In Rideau-Goulbourn, this report will see a minor zoning change to 5970 Dwyer Hill Road and add “medical facility” as a permitted use in the VM2 zone in the core of Manotick.

The Site Alteration By-Law item is a revisiting of the item approved by ARAC last month. Staff were directed to make some changes to how Section 10 of the by-law is applied in the rural area and to clarify the agricultural exemption.

For more information on this agenda, please visit Ottawa.ca or subscribe to our e-Newsletter.

Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

The Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is now accepting applications for summer student positions. Please note that these jobs are still pending approval, expected in mid to late April, under the Canada Summer Jobs program.

To be eligible under the program, students must:

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age (inclusive) at the start of employment;
  • have been registered as a full-time student during the preceding academic year;
  • intend to return to school on a full-time basis during the next academic year;
  • be a student in a secondary, post-secondary, CEGEP (Quebec only), vocational or technical program;
  • be a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, or person on whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act* and;
  • be legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial / territorial legislation and regulations

The positions are:

To apply, send your resume; covering letter, including your availability and eligibility under the Canada Summer Jobs program; and two references by email to development@rideauwildlife.org. Only complete applications will be accepted. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Presto Pass Availability

Presto card services will be rolling out to retailers across Ottawa. Transit customers will be able to purchase monthly passes, load funds, check their balance, and set age-based discounts at 66 Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstore locations in Ottawa. The new retail locations are currently being rolled out in a phased approach, with all stores expected to have Presto services available by the end of May. For an up-to-date listing of locations, visit octranspo.com or prestocard.ca.

The addition of 66 new outlets will make it easier for transit riders to make Presto transactions. They include 51 Shoppers Drug Mart, 12 Loblaws and three Real Canadian Superstore locations. When customers put funds on their Presto card at one of the retailer locations, the balance will be available immediately.

First-time Community Pass and EquiPass customers must have their discounts set at one of the four OC Transpo Customer Service Centres. Once set, these customers can then load a monthly pass or funds at any of the locations across Ottawa or online.

Transit customers will continue to be able to use the four OC Transpo Customer Service Centres, three ServiceOttawa Client Service Centres, and ticket machines at Carling, Carleton, Mooney’s Bay, and Greenboro stations to purchase their Presto products. Presto cardholders are also able to load funds and check their balance online at prestocard.ca.

Presto cards purchased at Shoppers, Loblaws and Superstore locations will have a new black design. However, whether cards are black or green, they will still function exactly the same way.

For more information, please visit octranspo.com or prestocard.ca.

Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

The Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program supports and recognizes the dedication, hard work and innovation of local agri-food businesses and individuals who are adding value to existing products, helping create jobs and contributing to economic growth.

Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. on May 25, 2018 to be eligible for a chance to win one of the following awards:

  • Premier's Award - one $75,000 award available
  • Minister's Award - one $50,000 award available
  • Leaders in Innovation Award - three $25,000 awards available
  • Provincial award - 45 $5,000 awards available

Program applications are reviewed by two independent panels consisting of agri-food industry representatives from across the province. Review the application checklist to ensure you have completed all steps correctly. For more information about the awards and the application process, please review the program guidebook.

If you have any questions or would like a hard copy of the application form, please contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

Manotick Miler

Please note that the Manotick Miler is on again this weekend. There will be road closures throughout Sunday morning. These closures will affect Manotick Main Street, Century Road, First Line Road. Please plan your route accordingly should you be travelling anywhere on Sunday morning.

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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 on LRT and the OLG

I hope everyone had a great Canada Day weekend and let’s hope the rest of the summer is a little less wet than June was.  According to farmzone.com, the average rainfall in Ottawa in June is 85mm whereas we received nearly 130mm of precipitation in June of this year.  For our local farmers and for the enjoyment of summer, hopefully we’ll have a much better July and August.

While summer is officially upon us, there is still some work to do at City Council in the coming weeks including a vote on the plan for LRT between Tunney’s Pasture and Baseline Station and another vote concerning a casino in Ottawa. I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss the upcoming vote on the casino issue that will come before the Finance & Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) on Tuesday, July 9th and rise to full Council on Wednesday, July 17th

For those new to the issue, Council first considered whether or not Ottawa was to be a willing host to a new or expanded casino in October 2012.  This was due to the Modernization Plan put forward by the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) that suggested new locations for casinos throughout Ontario.  Council voted 19-5 in favour of being a willing host, sending the message to the OLG that Ottawa should be considered for a new casino.  At that time, and with the support of residents throughout Rideau-Goulbourn, I voted against the idea as I felt the only desire of the OLG was a downtown casino and this would come at the cost of the existing Rideau-Carleton Raceway (RCR).  RCR is an integral part of our rural communities and its potential closure would result in the loss of nearly 1000 jobs, which, in my mind, would be completely unacceptable.  My opposition was not against the idea of expanding gaming, but against the potential loss of the RCR.  I was always of the mind that if we expand gaming in Ottawa or if we build a new casino in Ottawa, that it should be on the same grounds at RCR.

This brings to us to a motion before FEDCO on July 9th, put forward by Mayor Jim Watson, which states “that the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation be informed, prior to the start of the RFP process, that the only location acceptable to the City of Ottawa for an expanded gaming facility is the current location at the Rideau Carleton Raceway.”  This is a welcome change in direction from the support of a downtown casino that responds directly to the overwhelming support of RCR from the residents of Ottawa.  From October until today, I have consistently heard from residents across the City, either via email or in person, if we are to see a new or expanded casino that it should be at RCR.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen one individual come forward and suggest that he should be allowed to bid on a casino for him to build on land that he currently owns.  However, at no point in the last eight months have we heard from residents of Kanata/Stittsville, or any other community for that matter, indicating that they want a new casino in their community.  A new casino in a community like Kanata/Stittsville would decimate existing restaurant and hotel businesses and create a gambling environment in a community where that environment does not currently exist.  Without the support of the people that actually live in the community, I would not support the construction of a new casino in it and nor should the elected officials that represent that community.

Rideau Carleton Raceway was established long before any new developments have encroached upon it and a considerable buffer still exists between Findlay Creek and their site on Albion Road.  It is the logical choice for an expanded casino operation and I am happy to support our call to the OLG that this be the only location considered.  I strongly encourage my colleagues on Council to do the same.   I look forward to this vote and I want to thank all of you for the support you have shown for Rideau Carleton in recent months.

Watson's Mill Beer Tasting

Join the good people at the Watson’s Mill in Manotick on Friday, July 12th, between 7:00 and 10:00pm, for their annual beer tasting event.  Your $30 event admission will include five 4oz. sample tickets redeemable at any of the brewery stations with additional sampler tickets available during the event.  Approximately 8-10 local craft breweries will be in attendance, including Hog’s Back, Kichesippi, Mill Street, Beau’s, and others.  There will be appetizers and live jazz music provided by the Swamp Water Jazz Band. Each admission ticket will be given one ballet to vote for their favourite brewery and the winning brewery will win an intimate pairing and tasting session with Indulge’s renowned Chef David Godsoe, which will take place at Watson’s Mill later in the fall. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/WatsonsMill2013CraftBeer

Treats, Treasures and Open Market

The Kars Recreation Association wants to invite local residents to stop by the RA grounds between 9:00am and 3:00pm on Saturday, July 20th to mingle, browse and purchase art, crafts and homemade edibles from people in your community. Admission and parking are free.  This event coincides with the annual International Dog Show taking place on the Kars RA Grounds from Friday, July 19 until Sunday, July 21st.  The Kars RA is located at 1604 Old Wellington Street in the beautiful village of Kars.  For more information, please visit www.kars.ca

Flewellyn Road Closure

I’d really like to thank everyone on Flewellyn Road for their patience this summer as construction will affect this particular road due to three separate projects stretching the entire length of the road.  Earlier, we announced closures between Huntley Road and Eagleson Road due to the Enbridge Gas pipeline reinforcement project.  Beginning this month, we’ll also begin the resurfacing of Flewellyn Road, between Munster Road and Ashton Station Road.  The latest notice of closure is concerning the portion between Munster Road and Dwyer Hill Road for the renewal of a bridge.  This closure will begin July 2 and last until August 22.  Local and emergency traffic will maintain access and a signed detour will be in place.  Thank you again for your patience.

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: OLG, City of Ottawa and Casinos

There is a lot of Casino talk around Ottawa these days. Many of you may recall the debate in the 1990’s about whether or not the former City of Ottawa should put a casino on Sparks Street. At the same time, the City of Gloucester was moving one step ahead, permitting the installation of Slots at the Rideau Carleton Raceway. A few of the folks around back then are looking to revisit the debate and are again looking to have a casino downtown. The problem with that is that it would come at the expense of the Rideau Carleton Raceway and its 1,000 local jobs.
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