Despite the many challenges posed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my team and I continue to work hard on your behalf. Here is a snapshot of what we’ve done this year.
As heritage preservation is about maintaining a sense of place, I was honoured to be selected in February 2020 as Chair of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee. During my short tenure I have been able to protect, enhance and promote the City’s architectural and urban heritage resources through the addition of more than 700 properties to the City-wide heritage register.
To advance equity and diversity, I was appointed as Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives in June 2020. During my first year in office, I successfully secured funding for the City’s Anti-Racism Secretariat to ensure that City of Ottawa services are delivered equally to all residents. The new anti-racism office will undertake community engagement in 2021 to address issues that include employment equity, health, and youth development.
In October 2020, I was nominated to the Ottawa Police Services Board, the civilian body that governs the Ottawa Police Service. The Board represents community interests and is accountable to the province. I will bring the insights from my Council anti-racism mandate to develop a sustained commitment to inclusion and diversity within the police and to address the challenge of systemic racism. Prior to my appointment, I worked with the Black community to restore the Ottawa Police Service’s hate crime unit.
Poverty & Affordable Housing
With our Ward having some of the highest rates of food bank usage in Ontario, I will be releasing a poverty reduction strategy proposal in early 2021 which will call for the creation of a food security coordinator. I am also working with all other elected officials in our area through a new task force to tackle affordable housing challenges which includes identifying funding sources and locations for supportive housing.
After listening to resident concerns, I began to reduce speed limits across the Ward with the introduction of residential gateway zones. The first zones were introduced in Lindenlea, New Edinburgh, and Overbrook this autumn to reduce maximum speeds from 50 km/h to 40 km/h on residential streets. A new four-way stop was installed at the entry to St-Laurent Complex and a new red light camera will be installed on Montreal Road at Brittany Drive. A new pedestrian crossing will be installed at North River Road and Stevens Avenue.
I worked with community members to formalize the creation and expansion of the Rideau Winter Trail pilot that connects Overbrook, Vanier, and Hurdman Bridge. This community-led initiative provides a winter trail for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, walking and snow biking. The trail will be a prime destination for outdoor activities in the heart of Ottawa this winter and can be accessed next to the Adàwe Crossing on Donald Street.
Tree Canopy Enhancement
At Council, I was supportive of accelerating the implementation of a new Tree Protection By-law to protect distinctive trees above 30 cm in diameter. To revitalize the Overbrook neighbourhood, hundreds of trees, shrubs, plants and flower plantings will occur next year. I am also working with City staff to examine the revitalization and reforestation of Bathgate Park.
First Nations Reconciliation
After conducting consultations and circulating surveys, and with the support of the Lindenlea community, Langevin Avenue is set to be renamed voie Commanda Way. This change is in recognition of Algonquin elder William Commanda’s advocacy for peace and reconciliation, and is part of my ongoing commitment to address systemic racism in our community.
The community was pleased to celebrate the completion of the Four Corners Community Beautification Project at Queen Mary & Lola. The project includes street front and landscape improvements, enhanced lighting, and new public art installations. Lola Park was also opened in 2020 to increase recreational opportunities for residents. Ottawa Community Housing has begun a research project to energy retrofit four older townhomes and is beginning to conduct tenant and community engagement initiatives focused on neighbourhood redevelopment.
New Edinburgh Restoration
The completion of the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel project has led to the restoration of greenspace in Stanley Park. I addressed the pre-existing gap in the Rideau River Eastern Pathway with the addition of a new segment of multi-use pathway between the south limit of Stanley Avenue and the north side of the New Edinburgh Park playground, where the pathway transitions to and from mixed traffic. Roads continue to be rebuilt and restored.
Online public consultation for Veteran's Park took place in the summer of 2020. City staff is now reviewing resident feedback to create a final design. Work on Eugene Martineau Park is scheduled to be begin in 2021. Earlier in the year, I facilitated a conversation about traffic concerns and was able confirm that the all-way stop at Codd's Road and Mikinak will be made permanent.
Rockcliffe Park Protection
I successfully secured the restoration of pre-amalgamation setbacks in Rockcliffe Park this year at Council. The rule restores the setback for accessory buildings to five feet. In May and June 2020, the City built a retaining wall and installed loose rock to protect The Pond’s shoreline from erosion along with stabilizing its banks. I continue to work with the Residents Association on potential repairs to the Dogwalk and to safeguard the special park-like nature of the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District.