Ottawa Board of Health votes in favour of supervised drug injection sites

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Vote passed after 2 board member, including chair, voted against it Monday night

An injection kit is shown at a supervised injection facility in Vancouver. Ottawa's board of health voted Monday night to support supervised injection sites proposed by community health centres. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

CBC News

The Ottawa Board of Health has voted to support proposals from community health centres wanting to set up supervised injection sites in the city, a position recommended by the city's medical officer of health.

Monday night's vote saw almost all board members vote in favour of Dr. Isra Levy's recommendation, with two "no" votes coming from the chair of the board, Stittsville-Kanata West Coun. Shad Qadri, and Gloucester-South Nepean​ Coun. Michael Qaqish.

People who have battled addictions, and even those still using, were among those who urged the board to support supervised injection services, on principle.

Coun. David Chernushenko said his own position has evolved over the years.

Anyone who still questions why public money should go toward supervising injection drug users should take time to understand the lives of those with addictions, said Chernushenko.

"We had rape victims. We had people whose own parents abused them. On and on that list can go," said Chernushenko, who was moved by the stories people told the Board of Health Monday.

"And to be able to dismiss them as just 'Well, if they just get a grip on their life and go snap out of it and go get treatment,' when you know the slightest thing about what these people are living, you understand, 'It ain't that easy.'"

Elgin/Hawthorne Public Design Workshop

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Tuesday, June 28, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Ottawa City Hall (Council Chambers and Jean Pigott Hall), 110 Laurier Ave. W.

Residents are invited to participate in a design workshop for the Elgin Street and Hawthorne Avenue Functional Design Study. The City of Ottawa is undertaking the functional design and transportation study for the continuous corridor of Elgin Street between Laurier Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Driveway, and Hawthorne Avenue from the Pretoria Bridge to Main Street.

For more information about the project, visit ottawa.ca/elginstreet.

The objective of the design workshop will be for the City staff, stakeholders and members of the public to share information about the project and discuss a range of possible choices for the renewal of the corridor.

Agenda for design workshop

  1. Presentation – purpose, objectives, project schedule, key considerations
  2. Question and answer period
  3. Break-away groups tackling various topics/themes
  4. Group discussion

RSVP

Please contact the City’s This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to confirm your participation, or to seek additional information. Any persons interested in this project are encouraged to contact staff with questions or comments no later than July 12, 2016.

Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa.  If you require special accommodation, please contact the project manager or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by June 21.

Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Environmental Assessment Act, unless otherwise stated in the submission, any personal information such as name, address, telephone number and property location included in a submission will become part of the public record files for this matter and will be released, if requested, to any person.

Contact

Vanessa Black, P. Eng.
Transportation Engineer – Network Modification
Planning and Growth Management
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel.: 613-580-2424 ext. 12559
Fax: 613-560-6006

Parkway widening approved despite gridlock from downtown councillors

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Chernushenko says plan for widening in advance of Trillium Line is ‘spending money with both hands’

By Jennifer McIntosh, Ottawa Community News

Council approved the environmental assessment for the $91-million, three-phase, plan to widen the Airport Parkway on June 8, despite some dissent from downtown councillors.

Rideau-Rockliffe Coun. Tobi Nussbaum said he was “astonished” that the staff report didn’t establish baseline traffic figures for the future that didn’t include a widening of the road.

“I learned the authors of the study didn’t consider how the demand or the use of the road would be considered,” he said. “What they told me is that they made all their assumptions that traffic would be the same, which is false.”

Nussbaum said he plans to meet with staff to find out how it’s possible that a $800,000 study didn’t take all factors into account.

While he said he didn’t think anything could be done about the current study, he wants to make sure it won't happen again.

“I have to address it at this point, moving forward to try and correct the mistake – make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko said solidifying a plan to widen the road, in advance of the opening of the Trillium Line – an expansion of the city’s O-Train service that runs parallel to the parkway – is akin to spending money with both hands.

The environmental assessment calls for the expansion to start with expanding the parkway to four roads between Brookfield and Hunt Club roads, with an off ramp at Walkley Road. The first phase would be $31 million, but shovels likely won’t be in the ground until at least 2020.

The next part would be widening the parkway from Hunt Club to Lester Road, then widening Lester from the parkway to Albion Road, then from Albion Road to Bank Street.

Council also received a petition with 175 signatures of area residents that are against parts of the project, most notably the off ramp at Walkley Road and the widening of Lester Road to Bank Street.

Keith Egli, who serves as chair of the transportation committee, defended the public consultation on the file. He said that with a city the size of Ottawa, there is no magic bullet to deal with congestion issues.

“The expansion of the parkway is just one part of the solution,” he said.