Calls to abolish or at least reform the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) have been commonplace for years. Many Ottawa residents blame the City of Ottawa's failure to uphold existing zoning and preserve neighbourhood character on the OMB, an unelected body perceived by many to always side with the developer.
Regardless of the extent to which this is true, many — including city councillors — feel the existence of the OMB, at least in its current form, undermines good municipal planning and leads too often to incompatible development. Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi said as much a few years ago when he began meeting with councillors and residents to discuss the possibility of abolishing or reforming the OMB.
After many discussions and extensive consultation in Ottawa and across the province, the Ontario government is introducing legislation to overhaul our land use planning appeals system, give communities a stronger voice, and provide access to faster, fairer and more affordable hearings.
Legislation will be tabled very soon, with implementation targeted for 2018. If the legislation is passed, regulations will be developed to guide the transition and implementation. You can find more details here.
I like what I see, and look forward to contributing to the passage of this legislation.
Wednesday, June 21, 7 – 9 p.m.
With a number of significant infrastructure projects set to begin in 2017, I am organizing an open house for residents who wish to view details of final plans and ask questions about designs, anticipated construction timing and impacts.
The marquee project for many people will be the long-anticipated footbridge over the Rideau Canal connecting the Glebe with Old Ottawa East and South. Another is the Western Rideau River Pathway, which will connect existing paths and trails from Billings Bridge to the Lees transit station. Finally, there’s the series of changes to bus routes and service related to the opening of light rail service.
But there’s no need to confine questions to these projects. I will be available at this meeting to take questions, hear concerns and discuss whatever issue you wish to bring up, one on one. There will be no speeches or Q&A session.
Saturday, May 27, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
This popular annual event with a conscience, organized by the Glebe Community Association, is an opportunity to sell unwanted items, discover treasures, and support the community and the environment.
As always, sellers are asked to donate 10% of sale proceeds to the Ottawa Food Bank. In addition, everyone is being asked to make a special effort towards environmental stewardship and the responsible and pro-active disposal of leftovers from the garage sale.
In addition, Ecology Ottawa volunteers will distribute thousands of free saplings to residents and shoppers throughout the neighbourhood — the single largest one-day distribution of trees Ottawa has ever seen! Visit their fun community zone at Bank St. and Glebe Ave., where there will be a veggie BBQ, public washrooms, a water bottle filling station, music, kids' activities and more! Come get your free sapling(s)!
For more information on the GGGS and on how to donate or dispose of unwanted or unsold items, visit glebeca.ca.
Monday, May 29, 7 p.m.
Greg Donaghy will present the life and times of Sir Robert Borden, prime minister during the trying days of the “Great War.” Greg is Head of the Historical Section and Deputy Director, Policy Research Division, Global Affairs Canada, and author of Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr. The biography was a finalist for the 2015 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.
Tuesday, June 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Residents are invited to attend a presentation on the proposed expansion of the King’s Daughters and Sons (KDS) seniors' apartments at 567 Cambridge St. South.
Presentation boards will be on display for viewing in the meeting room. Representatives from KDS will describe the organization and its mission, while project architect CSV Architects, planning consultant Novatech, and City of Ottawa planning staff will be in attendance to answer questions about the project and the planning process.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The councillor's welcome begins at 7 p.m., followed by presentations and a question and answers session.
Sunday, June 11, 9 a.m. – noon
Join your neighbours in Old Ottawa South, the Glebe, Old Ottawa East or Heron Park for a bike ride along familiar neighbourhood streets and pathways leading for Windsor Park and the very first Capital Spokes Bike Rodeo. Depending on where your live, your routes will take you along streets like Percy, Glebe Ave., O’Connor, Bank, Echo Drive, Avenue Rd., Main St., Brookfield, Clementine, Aylmer Ave. & Colonel By Dr.
All rallies begin at 9 a.m. and run from 2.48 to 5.12 km in length, arriving at Windsor Park around 10 a.m. for a Bike Rodeo with family activities, bike training and more! Everyone is welcome.
More information and route maps are available online at oldottawasouth.ca. Presented by the Old Ottawa South Community Association in conjunction with Safer Roads Ottawa.
Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Main Event is moving back onto Main St. for a combined celebration with the reopening of Main St.
Main St. will be closed from Clegg to Hazel for Old Ottawa East's biggest & best ever block party — you do not want to miss this one!
Presented by Community Activities Group of Old Ottawa East (CAG) and the Office of Councillor David Chernushenko. The event will be held rain or shine, but may be scaled back if there is poor weather. Visit ottawaeastcag.ca for more information and updates.
Did you know that cigarette butts are the number one most littered item in the world? In some cases, cigarette butts account for 37 percent of the visible waste on a given street, sidewalk or park.
CigBins, an Ottawa-based social enterprise that collects and recycles butts using innovative receptacles, estimates that 4.5 trillion butts are discarded into the world's ecosystems every year.
In Ottawa, where smokers make up about 15% of the population, we generate an estimated 2.6 million butts every day. A large portion of these are tossed, rather than properly disposed of, adding 780,000 additional bits of non-biodegradable litter on the ground every day!
Cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate, which can take up to 25 years to decompose. In the meantime, they get be swallowed by children and animals alike, and don't just remain on the street or sidewalk — butts leach toxins and plastic into the soil, contaminating plant life and the water table.
The City of Ottawa’s Public Works and Environmental Services Department conducts regular spring and summer sweeping operations to remove cigarette litter from our streets, sidewalks and parks. It also hires a "Bucket Brigade" of summer students who collect litter in the downtown core to help keep Ottawa tidy at the height of the tourist season.
Ottawa has made butt disposal receptacles available to local business improvement areas (BIA) at no cost, and incorporates anti-butt litter messaging into the annual spring and summer Cleaning the Capital events and other initiatives.
June 2 – 11
Community organizations often ask for their councillor's help to draw attention to worthy causes. In this case, it's the Orpheus Musical Theatre, a longtime Ottawa cultural institution — founded in 1906 — that puts on top-quality musical theatre performances using mostly amateurs and volunteers, and also supports other charities around town.
Their latest production, Ragtime, set in New York City in the early 1900s, combines great music, acting and dance with a contemporary social justice message concerning racism, immigration and discrimination — issues that unfortunately still touch us today in Canada, in Ottawa, and even in Capital Ward.
Have you ever had an amazing idea to transform Ottawa? Have you walked by a space and thought of other possibilities for it? Do you have a solution to an ongoing problem?
100in1day, on Sunday, June 3, is an opportunity to put your idea into action with an intervention — a community-based project, led by an individual or group, to inspire participants and onlookers alike by fostering a strong sense of community and positive change.
For more information on how to register or be inspired, visit 100in1day.ca.