Statements on Glebe hate crime

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I write this with a heavy heart, after the hate incident perpetrated last night at the home of Rabbi Anna Maranta, on Powell Ave.

There is no room for complacency here. Someone in our midst felt it was acceptable to vandalize someone’s home with a hateful message, and we must make it loud and clear that they are wrong.

Each of us must stand with all the residents of our community to show our support for each other at a time when vulnerable groups are feeling understandably nervous.

I am encouraged by the swift condemnation of this disgraceful act, and by the equally swift action taken to remove the graffiti. This is the tolerant and inclusive Glebe and Capital Ward that we all know.

Best regards,

Community associations in Capital Ward, as well as the Glebe BIA, have also shared statements in the wake of recent hate crimes:

Glebe Community Association

The Glebe Community Association advocates for a liveable, sustainable, diverse urban neighbourhood and believes in a safe community which welcomes, and is enriched by, diversity, broadly defined. 

We were all shocked and greatly offended by the racist, hate-crime committed against one of our neighbours. 

We express our support to Rabbi Maranta and ask that the City of Ottawa Police Service and the RCMP do all that is possible to immediately bring the criminals to justice. We also request anyone with information about the perpetrator report to Crimestoppers.

Glebe BIA

The Glebe Business Improvement Area is horrified by the appearance of hate graffiti on the home of a local resident. The symbols send a message of intolerance and hate to the entire community and we regard it as a sickening act.

While we view this as an isolated incident, we cannot allow this behaviour to continue as we all have a role to play in combating bigotry. Hate is not welcome in our community or our society. We are thankful for the quick response to this incident and urge all community members to answer the call to work towards a more civil and inclusive Ottawa.

We wish to let those victimized by this thoughtless crime know that we condemn these actions and are committed to working with the community in any way necessary to see that such things do not happen again.

The Glebe is a place that is welcoming and inclusive, a neighbourhood where this type of behaviour will never be tolerated.

Old Ottawa East Community Association

The residents of Old Ottawa East were appalled at the news of today's hate crime committed in our sister neighbourhood, the Glebe. We are a community that welcomes diversity and supports freedom of religion.

Old Ottawa South Community Association

The Old Ottawa South Community Association (OSCA) wishes to express its outrage and anger about the recent incidents of vandalism targeting minority groups in Ottawa.
Ottawa is known to be a city that is diverse and celebrates our many differences. We can only hope that these cowardly acts have been carried out by a person or a small group of people who are simply attention-seekers for all the wrong reasons.  We are confident that the ongoing police investigation will soon find the perpetrators and they will be brought to justice.
Our thoughts are with those who have been personally hurt as a result of these hate crimes.

Glebe Annex Community Association

The Glebe Annex Community Association categorically condemns the hate crime perpetuated against a Glebe resident at her home on November 15, 2016.

As the centre of Canadian democracy and a symbol of freedom to the world, our city has no place for these types of cowardly attacks. We express our support unreservedly to Rabbi Maranta and encourage our residents to report any information that they may have regarding the incident to Ottawa Police Service’s Hate Crimes Unit.

Ottawa has become one of the world’s great cities due its commitment to serve as a sanctuary for all those who wish to live in peace, no matter who they love, who they pray to, what language they speak, or where they may come from. The Glebe Annex Community Association will continue to support the right of all people to live here in peace.

Dow's Lake Residents Association

The Dows Lake Residents' Association (DLRA) strongly condemns the despicable hate crime committed in our community, on Powell street. We stand in solidarity with our neighbour who has been victimized, and call upon the police to bring the perpetrators to justice.

We cannot allow such heinous behaviour in our neighbourhoods. The DLRA therefore requests that you and other community leaders make it clear that this kind of bigotry will not be tolerated in our city. In this endeavour we are ready to stand with you.

We must be vigilant against the scourge of racism and be prepared to confront it whenever it shows its ugly head. Please let us know if there is anything the DLRA can do support those who has been victimized by such behaviour.

Heron Park Community Association

Neighbours: You may have heard about an incident of vandalism in our Ward that is being categorized as a hate crime. The Heron Park Community Association strongly condemns all such acts of violence and hate. 

As part of the City of Ottawa, Heron Park is home to the whole wonderful spectrum of  human diversity.  All are welcome and all have the right to safety and respect.  We invite you to stand with any person or group feeling vulnerable.  We are stronger together. Together!

Two more park planners deployed to help clear Ottawa's project backlog

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Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen

The city is beefing up its team of park planners and assigning the work to one department to clear a backlog of projects.

Two more park planning positions are being created through the City of Ottawa’s corporate reorganization.

Dan Chenier, the general manager of parks and recreation, said his department will now take charge of all park planning, rather than having the responsibility straddle the parks department and planning department.

“One of the things the city manager heard is we have so many projects now that there’s a backlog of projects,” Chenier said in an interview. “We need more capacity to turn out more projects more quickly.”

Chenier said the backlog of projects has been a “chronic condition.”

There are about 17 projects in the queue.

Sixteen park planners will now be in charge of projects through inception, construction and maintenance.

The amount of work required is significant, considering there are 1,835 play structures, 478 sports fields and 284 ball diamonds in the city’s portfolio. There are 4,135 hectares of parkland that need monitoring for upkeep, with more being added as the city grows.

“The new opportunity is we have a larger pool (of planners) to spread this work around,” Chenier said.

There is a high demand from councillors to create parks, replace playground equipment or make repairs.

Each of the 23 wards has a reserve fund collecting “cash-in-lieu of parkland.” Developers must provide parkland in new projects, and if they can’t, they have to pay cash to the city. Sixty per cent of the money stays in a parkland fund for the ward and the rest goes into a citywide fund.

The city’s last cash-in-lieu of parkland update at the end of September showed there was $11 million spread across the 23 ward accounts. Some wards have much more money than others, especially those areas with significant development, such as the downtown. Together with the citywide fund and a special fund for the Preston-Carling district, there’s more than $14 million in cash-in-lieu of parkland accounts.

The city was temporarily funding two parks planners from the cash-in-lieu of parkland funds to help with the backlog of projects, but the temporary nature of the contracts led to a high turnover in staff.

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko has been pushing the city to address the lack of resources for creating new parks.

“I made it a top priority when I met with the city manager,” Chernushenko said.

Lights on Bikes

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Councillor David Chernushenko and Ian Grabina installed bike lights at this morning's event at Clegg and Echo, with Safer Roads Ottawa and the Old Ottawa East Community Association.





Ontario bringing back photo radar for school zones

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By Haley Ritchie, Metro

Cameras capable of catching and ticketing speeding drivers will soon be coming to Ottawa’s busiest school zones.

On Tuesday, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the province will introduce a bill that would give cities in Ontario the power to approve and install photo radar cameras.

The announcement was made at Elmdale Public School alongside Mayor Jim Watson, Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau and Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi.

In May, city council voted to ask the province for special permission to install photo radar cameras. Right now, cities don’t have that power.

It will still be months before speed cameras are installed in school zones. The legislation will be tabled before the end of November and needs to pass through the legislature. After that process is complete, the discussion of where to put cameras will come to city council.

Somerset ward Coun. Catherine McKenney said she believes installing the cameras is a priority for council and will be asking for them in her ward.

"I think kids across the city deserve a safe way to walk to school. We don’t have the criteria yet for how we’ll evaluate that, but I think that each of us will be looking at particularly dangerous areas where we have a high rate of collision and a high rate of kids walking to school," she said.

The second part of Tuesday’s announcement will allow cities to control their default speed limit on residential roads.

Right now the speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour, but Watson said on Tuesday morning that council would consider lowering Ottawa’s default speed to 40 kilometres per hour.

Naqvi said money raised from the tickets will go to directly to municipalities, and will likely offset the cost of equipment and enforcement.