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.

Sad News for the Stittsville News

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As many of you may have heard earlier this week, Postmedia acquired a number of Metroland newspapers and subsequently announced that they would be shut down. This included the Stittsville News. I think I can speak for every resident in the Goulbourn area when I say that this is devastating news for our communities.

John Curry first acquired the Stittsville News in 1965 and has spent the last five decades pouring his heart and soul into those pages and our communities. Alongside his long-time partner in crime John Brummell, he brought our communities together and became a real ambassador for everything that is great about Goulbourn.

The two John’s were everywhere from bake sales and school graduations to municipal elections and community events. They were mainstays at the Richmond Fair each and every year. A parade wouldn’t be a Richmond parade without John Curry stationed at the corner of Perth Street and McBean Street photographing each and every float. Their contributions to our community are immeasurable. Between the two John’s, they have been writing Goulbourn’s biography for over fifty years.

Unfortunately, we are forced to move on. I have been fortunate to have this column included in the weekly Stittsville News for nearly seven years. That, too, comes to an end. I would like to thank Metroland’s Mike Stoodley for being my go to guy on submitting these columns each and every week. We also write a monthly column in the Kemptville Advance and the Carleton Place Gazette. Mike assists with those as well.

The loss of the Stittsville News will also make it more difficult for me to connect with you. As a result, I would encourage you to visit our website at rideaugoulbourn.ca and sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter. With so many changes to local newspapers, we may need to consider changing that to a bi-weekly e-Newsletter. If there are any other ways that you feel my office could improve our communications, please let me know.

In closing and on behalf of a grateful community, thank you John Curry and thank you John Brummell.

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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.

Phase 2 of Mahogany Development in Manotick

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In April, residents of Manotick were invited to a workshop hosted by Minto to discuss their upcoming phases of their Mahogany development. On July 10th, they submitted the application for the next step in their project. The draft proposal for Phases 2, 3 and 4 is for a total of 926 residential units and will include open space, parks and a school. The unit count for these phases is consistent with the initial overall development unit count of 1400. In my estimation, the construction start for Phase 2 is still likely two years away.

One substantial change over recent demonstrations of this development is that the school will move from Phase 3 into Phase 2. The school is proposed to be located on Bridgeport Avenue and adjacent to one of the new parks. This set of phasing will bring the development up to the forested area to the west. As a reminder, that forested area was recently acquired by the City of Ottawa and will be preserved as is.

For more information on this application, please visit www.ottawa.ca/devapps. The Planning Rational and Draft Plan of Subdivision are available to view and will help answer any questions you may have. However, you are more than welcome to contact myself or Jeff Ostafichuk on this proposal as well. He can be reached at Jeffrey.Ostafichuk@ottawa.ca.

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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.

 

2013 Year in Review

At the end of each and every year as your Councillor, I like to look back on the year and provide a review of which issues were in the news and what occurred locally as well.  2013 was a busy year where major projects moved forward and some issues came to the forefront that weren’t on the radar in the previous year.

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The two biggest issues in recent memory took major steps forward this past year.  The LRT plan that was originally conceived in 2007 finally broke ground this year with the tunnelling commencing under Queen Street.  Major property acquisitions were completed for the future Blair Road to Tunney’s Pasture rail line that was awarded to an internationally experienced consortium headed by ACS Infrastructure, EllisDon & SNC Lavalin.  The other major project that is now moving closer to completion is the Lansdowne Park redevelopment.  The stadium and commercial projects are well under way and the urban park has begun its development as well, with the contract being awarded to a local company: D&G Landscaping.  2014 will see the completion of the stadium and the introduction of two new sports franchises: the Ottawa RedBlacks of the CFL and the Ottawa Fury of the NASL.  It was also recently announced that the new Lansdowne Stadium will play host to an outdoor NHL game in 2017.

In other City-wide issues, City Council approved updates to the Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Infrastructure Master Plan, Cycling Plan & Pedestrian Plan.  These updates included a widening of Old Richmond Road between West Hunt Club and Hope Side Road.  That project will include roundabouts at West Hunt Club, Stonehaven & Hope Side Road, eliminating the temporary Tomlinson access that was built this fall.  The Official Plan update ensured that there would be no expansions to any village boundary and that we have an adequate supply of land within our village boundaries for the next ten years.  One change was made in Richmond, however, where the industrial lands at Ottawa Street and Eagleson Road were re-designated to accommodate a mix of residential, commercial and industrial uses rather than 100% industrial.

Some contentious issues in 2013 included the Casino plan, Energy East and Plasco.  City Council made a decision to stick with Rideau-Carleton rather than allowing for an open bid for a casino anywhere in the City.  Many residents were quite vocal about either no new casino or leaving the slots at the racetrack alone.  Only a handful of residents actually wanted a new casino in Ottawa.  TransCanada came forward with plans to convert one of the already existing gas pipelines that run through Rideau-Goulbourn into an oil pipeline.  They held a couple of open houses on their Energy East project and I expect more consultation to occur in the future as this project likely won’t occur until 2017 at the earliest.  As for Plasco, we’re still waiting for that project to get up and running and I remain cautiously optimistic that it will all work out.  If it does, we’ll have a strong solution for our waste long-term and if it doesn’t, we only lose time and it will be back to the drawing board.  We’ll have a better idea of what will happen by the end of 2014.

On a more local note, 2013 saw the resurfacing of Ormrod Road and parts of Rothbourne Road, Flewellyn Road, Ashton Station Road, King Street and Ottawa Street.  We had strong community engagement on two development proposals in Richmond and Stittsville.  These two major development applications will continue forward in 2014 and I’ll continue to work to ensure that they fit in with their surrounding and don’t detract from the existing community.  We also held consultations on the Carp Road Widening, the Carp Road Snow Disposal Facility and the Taggart quarry application for the property at Jinkinson & Fernbank.

After receiving approval from the Ministry of the Environment for the Highway 7 Service Road late in 2012, staff continued to work on design for the long awaited project to reconnect Country Club Village to Jinkinson Road.  2014 will see the City work to address the conditions of approval with the intent of constructing the new road in 2015.  The Fernbank Road/Shea Road roundabout saw preliminary construction begin at the end of this year and that project should be completed within 2014 providing safer conditions for vehicles at that highly used intersection.

I was also pleased to see some smaller projects completed in 2013.  Fallowfield Village saw the installation of new community signage as well as a new gateway feature at the corner of Fallowfield Road and Steeple Hill Crescent, across from Fallowfield United Church.  The Munster Community Association raised funds to replace their community board near the Mac’s Convenience Store.  The new sign was installed this fall and looks fantastic.  Also, in response to community concerns regarding pedestrian safety along Fowler Street, the City of Ottawa provided a paved shoulder between Strachan Street and St. Philip’s Catholic Church.

We also saw some repairs made to McCordick Road, Pollock Road & Pierce Road, extending the need for full reconstruction.  Three intersections were improved in Manotick with the long-awaited Van Vliet extension, the new set of lights at Dickinson Street & Bridge Street as well as the new lane configuration at Manotick Main Street & Bridge Street.  All of these improvements were focused on making it easier for our residents to get around the village in addition to improving pedestrian safety.  With the construction of Orchard View on the Rideau occurring as well, I want to thank all residents for their patience in 2013 as all of these projects caused some delays along Bridge Street.

2013 also saw much progress with regard to the properties within Dickinson Square.  After much public consultation throughout the year, I presented the results of the Request for Offers in December which highlighted plans for a new seniors residence at 1125 Clapp Lane, a Christmas store at 1131 Mill Street and a new Remembrance Park at 1118 Bridge Street.  Dickinson House and the Carriage Shed remain in City ownership and will continue that way through 2014.

This past year also saw much progress in the Mahogany development in Manotick, including the grand opening of Minto’s design centre, the latest CHEO Dream Home and the opening of Major W. Ross Chamberlain Park.  All of these things bring more traffic through the village, of course, and adds pressure to our arterial roads.  That is why I was very happy to see progress on the Greenbank Re-Alignment Environmental Assessment which is looking at how we can improve the intersections of Prince of Wales Drive/Bankfield Road, Greenbank Road/Prince of Wales Drive as well as First Line Road/Bankfield Road.  We should have the results of this study in 2014.

In terms of local issues affecting the southern communities of Rideau-Goulbourn, 2013 finally saw improvements to the old Rideau Correctional Facility, near Burritt’s Rapids, in the form of demolition. The intention for the property is to return it to active farm land.  Across the street from that site sits Crown land that has been the subject of an Algonquin land claim.  Although it has nothing to do with any municipality, be it the City of Ottawa or North Grenville, the Federal and Provincial Governments have been negotiating a settlement with the Algonquins of Ontario on a land claim that essentially covers all of Eastern Ontario.  The claim involves the transfer of 117,500 acres of Crown lands to Algonquin ownership.  Properties in Ottawa are limited to a few small parcels but do include a large piece of land between Donnelly Drive and the Rideau River directly across from the old Correctional Facility.  The likely settlement will not occur for a few more years.  More information on the Algonquin land claim is available at www.ontario.ca/aboriginal/algonquin-land-claim.

In Burritt’s Rapids, you may have also noticed plenty of traffic coming in and out of a long laneway at 4639 Donnelly Drive.  This was due to the construction of the Burritt’s Rapids Solar Energy Project.  The project is a joint venture between 3G Energy and Canadian Solar Solutions.  This 7MW ground-mount solar project sits on 51 acres situated behind the tree line.  This project was acquired by TransCanada in October 2013.

Thank you for taking the time to read my year in review report for Rideau-Goulbourn.  It is has been a great honour to represent you for the last three years and I look forward to completing my term in office in 2014.  Happy New Year!

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.

2013 Rideau-Goulbourn road construction and closures

Construction season is well underway with lots of road construction (some closures) that will affect Rideau-Goulbourn residents directly and indirectly. Here are a few you'll want to know about:

Century Road - Closed Wednesday, June 26 to Friday, August 9

A Road Close Authorization has been granted for Century Road East from Manotick Main Street to First Line Road. The purpose of this closure is because Minto’s contractor, Robert Excavating, will be installing and connecting new sanitary, storm and water mains to service the new Mahogany Community in Manotick.

River Road - Closed July 26 to July 29

The City of Ottawa will be closing River Road to complete a culvert replacement. This work is being done on the weekend to minimize the impact to commuters. The road will be closed starting 7pm, Friday, July 26 and will open back up at 6am, Monday, July 29.

City of Ottawa - Road Rehabilitation 2013

All dates listed here are approximate and construction is expected to be completed this year. Various factors, such as weather or availability of materials, can cause delays and extend the construction timeframe.

Flewellyn Road - Resurfacing, July to (approx.) September 27

Ashton Station Rd. to Munster Rd.

Ashton Station Road - Resurfacing, July to (approx.) September 27

Ormrod Rd. to Flewellyn Rd.

Ormrod Road - Resurfacing, July to (approx.) September 27

Ashton Station Rd. to Flewellyn Rd.

Ottawa Street - Resurfacing, July to (approx.) September 27

McBean St. to Eagleson Rd.

King Street - Resurfacing, July to (approx.) September 27, 2013

Ottawa St. to Dead End

Rothbourne Road - Resurfacing, July to (approx.) September 27, 2013

Dead End @ Hwy. 7 to Carp Rd.

McCordick Road - Pavement Preservation, June 3 - July 30

Donnelly Rd. to McMullen Rd.

McCordick Road - Pavement Preservation, June 3 - July 30

Lockhead Rd. W to Church St.

McCordick Road - Pavement Preservation, June 3 - July 30

Roger Stevens Dr. to Century Rd.

McCordick Road - Pavement Preservation, June 3 - July 30

Century Rd. to Brophy Rd.

Pierce Road - Pavement Preservation, June 3 - July 30

Malakoff Rd. to McCordick Rd.

Ormrod Rd. - Guide Rail Upgrade, Dates TBD - approx. completion October

at Flewellyn (south side)

Highway Construction (416 and 417)

There will be various projects on the 416 and 417 this year that will create a variety of lane closures and, no doubt, traffic delays. Here are the key dates and areas work will be done to help you plan your travels.

Highway 416 - July 10-August 16

There will be multiple lane closures during the removal and replacement of a cross culvert. Here are the scheduled dates of lane closures:

July 10-11: Temporary lane closure on Hwy 416 northbound, 3.7km south of Roger Stevens Dr. Traffic reduced to one lane from 7am to 7pm.

July 15: Temporary lane closure on Hwy 416 southbound, 3.7km south of Roger Stevens Dr. Traffic reduced to one lane from 7am to 7pm.

July 15-August 16: Long-term lane closure on Hwy 416 northbound, 3.7km south of Roger Stevens Dr. Traffic reduced to one lane for the duration of the project.

Highway 417 - Weekends in July

Two bridges along the 417 are being replaced this summer using rapid lift technology. This new method of bridge replacement allows for minimal disruptions, but the highway will need to be fully closed overnight for each replacement. Here are the dates and details for both upcoming closures (starting tomorrow, July 6, 2013).

The City streets under each bridge will be closed as well, effective 4:00pm prior to the closing of the highway.

- Kirkwood Avenue Bridge Replacement - July 6-7, 2013

The Queensway will be closed eastbound and westbound at Kirkwood Avenue from 6:00pm on Saturday, July 6 to 11:00am on Sunday, July 7.

Westbound Detour Route:

  • Take Exit 124 at Carling Avenue
  • Follow Carling Avenue westbound
  • Take Highway 417 westbound on-ramp

Eastbound Detour Route:

  • Take Exit 124 at Carling Avenue
  • Take Highway 417 eastbound on-ramp at Kirkwood Avenue

- Carling Avenue Bridge Replacement

The Queensway will be closed eastbound and westbound at Carling Avenue from 6:00pm on Saturday, July 13 to 11:00am on Sunday, July 14.

Westbound Detour Route: 

  • Take Exit 124 at Carling Avenue
  • Follow Carling Avenue westbound
  • Take Highway 417 westbound on-ramp

Eastbound Detour Route:

  • Take Exit 124 at Carling Avenue
  • Take Carling Avenue to Bronson Avenue (turn left)
  • Take Bronson Avenue to Chamberlain Avenue (turn right)
  • Chamberlain Avenue turns into Isabella Street (stay straight)
  • Take Highway 417 eastbound on-ramp

We'll add any additional roads updates to this post through the summer, so keep it bookmarked and check it out before you make your travel plans. 

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: What's going on with Dickinson Square?

As many of you know, there is a Zoning By-law Amendment proposed for the properties in Dickinson Square, which include the Ayres Building, Weaver House, Dickinson House, Carriage Shed, and the property at 1131 Clapp Lane. We have scheduled a meeting to discuss the proposal for August 2 at the Manotick Arena from 6:30 to 8:30pm.
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Column: Town Hall Meetings - Fall 2012

Between September and December, I’d like to hold informal town hall meetings in nearly every community in this ward. The idea will be for me to provide an update on what has transpired in the first 24 months and it will also serve as an opportunity for you to raise any issues that you feel I should be focusing on for the next 24 months as well.
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Column: Springtime and all it brings - cleaning and activities!

With Spring kicking into high gear and April now upon us, I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that Green Bin pickup has now returned to its weekly scheduled pickup. Furthermore, it will no longer go back and forth between bi-weekly and weekly. With the changes made last year at Environment Committee, all Green Bins will now be picked up weekly, year-round with residual garbage collection moving to bi-weekly this November.
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Watson's Mill Accepting Summer Job Applications

It’s that time of year again and Watson’s Mill is preparing for the 2012 season. Youth are welcome to submit their cover letter and resume c/o: The Manager, by email: watsonsmillmanotick@rogers.com; by mail: PO Box 145, Manotick, ON K4M 1A2; or in person at: the Carriage Shed office, 5524 Dickinson St., Manotick—office hours are Monday-Friday, 10:00-4:00. Deadline for applications is Monday, April 2nd, 2012 at noon. See www.watsonsmill.com for more details.
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COLUMN: Alastair Munro

As we all grow up and work our way through school, we rarely develop any meaningful attachment with the Principal of any school.  The Principal is always that ominous figure whose scowl is eerily reminiscent of the dad from that 1990’s TV show, The Wonder Years.  I spent more time than I likely should have in the Principal’s office during my time at Kars Public School and Rideau Valley Middle School so I got to know these individuals quite well.

One such Principal that I got to know in my time at Kars Public School was much different than any other I’ve ever had.  Instead of yelling and punishing for any wrongdoings, he would always give me that “you should know better” lecture and the dreadful “I’m disappointed in you” look.  He was my Principal when I was 5 until I turned 8 and his name was Alastair Munro, or Mr. Munro, as I knew him then.

I was going through some old things this past week and I came across a lot of old report cards with Mr. Munro’s name on them.  I found a letter he wrote to my parents when I was in grade 3 saying that I was “creating a disturbance by distracting the bus driver.”  While I may not have been the most behaved little guy on the bus, there is some irony to this letter.  The driver of the bus was a gentleman by the name of Chris Rybiak, whose wife, Brenda, currently lives in North Gower.  Fast forward 20 years, and both Alastair Munro and Brenda Rybiak had Scott Moffatt signs on their lawn, so I guess my bus misbehaviour didn’t do any long term damage, thankfully.  Another thing I came across was an old tie that Mr. Munro gave me when I was in grade 2.  As troublesome as I was in grade 3, I was equally nerdy in grade 2 constantly wearing dress shirts, ties, and sweater vests to school.  Looking back, it was clear I was pretty cool.  Noticing my affinity for ties, Mr. Munro gave me one of his ties and I’ve kept it to this day, a black and red paisley tie that finally fits me.

In 2006, I got to know Mr. Munro again, but this time, as Alastair.  Alastair was incredibly positive and excited that I was running for City Council back then.  If you ever spent any time around this man, you couldn’t help but smile.  His attitude was contagious and his dedication to community was outstanding.  Nearly a lifelong resident of Richmond, he put a lot of dedicated volunteer hours into the community he loved, primarily as a member of the Richmond Lions.  He was one of the first calls I made when I was planning my campaign for 2010 and my booth at the Richmond Fair.  It was at this time that I discovered Alastair was ill and wouldn’t be able to make it to the Fair that year.  Knowing that he was so strong and passionate about life, I figured he would just fight off any illness and be back in no time.  The 2011 Richmond Fair rolled around and I was excited to run into Alastair once again as he greeted me with his contagious smile.  I’m lucky to have known such a positive individual, someone that taught me many things as a kid and as an adult.

It was with sadness that I learned that Alastair passed away last week at the age of 70.  Having attended his service on Monday, it was clear that he not only touched my life but the lives of many, many more.  From the teachers he worked with and the students in his schools to his neighbours along the Richmond Road and his beloved family, Alastair left behind so many glowing memories for all of us to remember him by for years to come.  The world you leave behind is made better because of the time you were here.  Thanks Alastair.

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