April 9, 2020 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
City of Ottawa Virtual Town Hall
The City of Ottawa is holding a virtual town hall meeting RIGHT NOW! Find out more on our #COVID19 response and get answers to your questions.
Watch live or rewatch later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m9jYSgSrlc&feature=youtu.be Have a question for the panel? Find out how to join in: https://ottawa.ca/en/news/join-virtual-town-hall-covid-19-ottawa
Virtual Pop-Up Office
On Thursday, April 16th at 1 pm, I will be hosting a virtual pop up office through Facebook Live. Join me and my staff online to ask questions, hear a city update, and share your concerns. You will be able to participate on my Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/rawlsonking.
Ward 13 Business Survey
We are conducting a survey that seeks to gather fulsome data on the economic reality and implications for business from Rideau-Rockcliffe business community stakeholders, to better inform us so we may advocate actions that address your realities vis-à-vis the City of Ottawa. This project was originally conceived before the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been adjusted accordingly in response to the current economic climate. Fill out the survey here.
CITY FACILITIES UPDATE
To continue our efforts to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus, the City of Ottawa is extending the closure of all City-managed facilities and the suspension of in-person services until June 30, 2020.
The closures of the City-managed facilities include:
- All recreation and cultural facilities – including recreation complexes, community centres, arenas, swimming pools, theatres, and museums
- Public access to administrative buildings, including City Hall
- All City parks and amenities: ball diamonds, courts, skateboard parks, play equipment and play structures, enclosed dog-park areas, and sports fields (including those at City recreation facilities)
- Ottawa Public Library facilities – including the bookmobile
- City-managed public spaces at Lansdowne – including the parks, Aberdeen Pavilion and Horticulture building
The City will also continue to suspend in-person services, which include:
- Temporary closure of all City client service centres
- The Provincial Offences Act courthouse, located at 100 Constellation Drive, Nepean, will be closed until May 29, 2020 (to be reassessed thereafter)
- The closure of licensed childcare centres, including municipal childcare centres, and EarlyON Child and Family Centre
- Building Code Services counters
- Rooming house inspections
- Taxi inspections
- All hearings for the Animal Control Tribunal and the Property Standards and License Appeals Committee
- Interior noise meter readings between 7 am and 11 pm
- The Spay/Neuter Clinic at 26 Concourse Gate – clients with previously scheduled appointments will be contacted to reschedule for a later date
- The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue
- All front counter services for business licenses will be suspended. Clients can call 3-1-1
- The Chief Licensing Inspector will also exercise delegated authority to extend renewal dates to be implemented for licensing categories expiring in March and April (to be reassessed thereafter)
The altering of some services will also continue:
- Complaints for unauthorized parking on private property will now require new electronic procedures for proof of authority.
- Only interior Property Standards complaints where immediate health and safety risks exist, or a vital services complaint, will be reviewed.
- Ontario Works claimants do not need to drop off any documents, including income reporting statements. Those documents can be given the case worker at a later date.
- People cannot visit the Employment and Social Services offices. They can apply by phone or online. Offices are operating on reduced hours, weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm.
New Care Clinic Open Now
A new Care Clinic will open on Monday in Ottawa’s west end. It will be operated by Queensway Carleton Hospital, in partnership with Ottawa Public Health and the region’s Clinical Care Coordination Centre (C4).
The clinic’s primary function will be to provide treatment for people with symptoms of respiratory illness – cough, fever and cold-like symptoms – that can’t be managed at home. It will be located at the D. A. Moodie Intermediate school in Bells Corners and will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. It will be equipped to do basic diagnostic tests, such as chest X-rays and lab tests.
This clinic will help Ottawa-area patients get the care they need. It will also serve to divert patient volumes from hospital Emergency Departments – helping to keep the Emergency Department for emergencies.
The site will be operated by staff and physicians from Queensway Carleton Hospital, as well primary care physicians and pediatricians from our community.
Ottawa residents who only need to be tested should continue to go to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre, located in the Brewer Arena.
Councillor Menard and I sent this letter to the Honorable Christine Elliott, the Ontario Minister for Health, calling unequivocally for community gardens to be reinstated as an essential service. Community gardens, including the one in Overbrook, supplement the food sources of many vulnerable local residents who rely on this food. I believe that with clear direction and guidance from Ottawa Public Health proper physical distancing and protocols can be put in place to allow this to be done safely. We hope that the province will reverse this decision in line with other jurisidictions such as BC and the City of Gatineau so that our residents can stretch their dollars further and feed their families nutritious, locally grown food.
We are so lucky to live in such a vibrant community. I have been very impressed by all our community associations’ responses to the crisis we are facing. From food deliveries to music lessons, community members have been stepping up, being good neighbours, and helping each other like never before. I’ve highlighted here some of our community’s actions. Thank you!
Peter Gareau and Sara Bernard have launched a fundraiser to provide meals for seniors and people at risk in the Overbrook & Vanier areas, who need a helping hand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please consider donating at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/1z1518o1o0?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
During the COVID-19 crisis the Food for Thought net-café are redirecting all our efforts to provide complete meals for those who need it. It targets families that do not have cooking facilities and therefore face a daily challenge in feeding their children. The meals are prepared in restaurant facilities by chefs giving generously of their time and facilities. Meals are served fresh out of our kitchens to shelters. The cafe need your participation and donations so that we may feed these people every day. Learn more at https://www.foodforthought.cafe.
Centretown's Good Food Box & Rideau-Rockcliffe's Marketmobile will be joining forces soon to launch a COVID-19 Emergency Fresh Food Delivery Service. More details coming soon will be coming soon at: http://www.marketmobileottawa.com/
NECA has launched a newly-established group: New Edinburgh Disaster Support (NEDS). The group is devising of an all-hazard emergency preparedness and response capability within New Edinburgh. In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the group's emphasis has been on providing relevant information and resources, and putting a community support network in place to help those who cannot go out themselves for food and medications. The NEDS team has established a dedicated phone number and e-mail address to contact to volunteer or request assistance: 613-518-1646 or [email protected].
Manor Park Community Association is also offering volunteer support to seniors and vulnerable communities through delivery of basic necessities such as groceries. If you need support or want to join the network of Manor Park volunteers please contact [email protected].
Community members in Castle Heights is also interested in building a support network of volunteers. If you have interest in working with your neighbours, please contact the Councillor's Office at [email protected].
Manor Park Community Association has put together an all-encompassing resource guide for residents. The New Edinburgh Community Association has compiled a list of local buisnesses that are open and offering delivery or pick-up services during this time. Additionally, United Way of Eastern Ontario has created a page with volunteer initiatives around Ottawa. If you are interested in helping out, consider visiting their site.
Emergency Child-care Services
The City of Ottawa is offering provincially funded emergency child-care services for essential and critical service workers at no cost to families. Starting today, eligible families can apply on ottawa.ca for three centres anticipated to open on Monday, April 13.
Emergency child-care services will only be available to essential and critical service workers. The Province has a list of workers eligible for emergency child-care, and it includes regulated health care professionals, first responders and those who perform work considered essential to delivering core municipal services. As there is limited capacity, the City will prioritize child-care spaces for health care workers before placing other essential frontline workers.
Eligible families can find more information and apply at ottawa.ca. Applicants will need to create an account on the City’s Child Care Registry and Waitlist and identify their need for emergency child-care services.
The Province has approved funding for three licensed, municipal child-care centres in Ottawa, all of which are anticipated to open on Monday, April 13. Locations and hours of operation are listed:
- Esther By Child Care Centre (1550 Caldwell Avenue)
Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 5:45 pm
- Centre Éducatif Tournesol (194 McArthur Road)
Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 5:45 pm
- Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre (2185 Riverside Drive)
Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 8 pm
The City will continue to review community needs and will consider providing emergency care on weekends and extended hours, if needed.
The centres will be staffed by City employees, all of whom are Registered Early Childhood Educators. Each center will accommodate approximately 10 to 12 children, aged between 18 months and five years.
In response to the rapidly changing COVID-19 landscape, Champlain Community Support Network has put together a dedicated COVID-19 Response Site where vulnerable and isolated seniors and adults with disabilities can request community support services that are currently available in our region.
The site is available in both English and French and focuses on four key services:
- Grocery and pharmacy delivery
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Telephone safety checks
- Meals on Wheels
Services can be requested by residents as well as service providers. Individuals will complete a simple online request form indicating the needed services and their location. Requests for service will be received by a central intake for the full region, and then routed to the appropriate local CSS agency based on the location of the client.
The site also allows for volunteers to sign up for specific roles during this heightened time. Their application will be routed to their local community agency after a high level screening, and they will be efficiently trained and onboarded to help our clients.
In advance of various celebrations such as Easter, Passover and Ramadan, the Province of Ontario has said that we should not gather in groups of more than 5 people unless:
- there are more than 5 people in your family or 5 roommates that live with you
- the gathering is for a funeral and then up to 10 people are allowed together
- it is in a childcare centre for essential front-line workers
Other activities like weddings, parties, play dates, and services within places of worship are prohibited and should not take place.
We MUST all practice physical distancing and keep 2 metres or 6 feet away from others when we are out. This is very important so we can stop the spread of COVID-19.
During times of the year when celebrations are happening:
- do not gather with others in person to celebrate
- use technology to connect with others
- Spend more time with your own family who live with you
- Create new traditions at home, cook your favourite food together, decorate together, play games together for example.
Being apart from family and friends can be very difficult for all of us. It's normal for situations like COVID-19 to affect your mental health. Everyone experiences these events in their own way. It is completely normal to feel stress and concern during these times and so it is important to practice positive coping strategies.
Below is a listing of Mental Health Resources available to you.
If you are in crisis, please contact the Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 day a week) at 613-722-6914 or if outside Ottawa toll-free at 1-866-996-0991.
Can I / a group of people (e.g., my family) clean a park, roadway, our property?
Due to the current COVID-19 situation no clean ups should be undertaken off your property. Residents have been advised to stay home and limit all non-essential activities outside of your home and property. Please understand this is a difficult decision as in all other situations the City of Ottawa greatly appreciates the support from the community in these clean ups. Please remember that all parks are closed, and only walkthroughs are permitted while respecting physical distancing.
If you or your household wish to initiate a clean-up activity in your own property, please take into consideration the following related guidelines and legislative and enforcement measures;
- Residents have been advised to stay a home and limit their physical interaction to only members of their household.
- No more than five (5) people can gather in one place.
- Follow self-isolation requirements, if you have traveled recently or are ill you are to remain inside your home and should not be participating in outside activities where there is a chance you may come in contact with someone (i.e. neighbours).
- Physical distancing – it is recommended to maintain distance of 2 meters (6 feet) from those around you at all times. This includes other individuals who may walk by your house and your neighbours how may be on their property.
- If you live in a multi-unit dwelling it is recommend you do NOT participate in any outdoor cleaning unless you can ensure a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) can be maintained at ALL times.
- Individuals over the age of 70 are recommended to self-isolate and should not participate in any outdoor cleaning activities
Please also undertake the following precautions when cleaning:
- Remain on your property at all times.
- Do not invite others outside of your household to participate
- Wear protective material on your hands such as gloves or plastic bags
- Use a picker if available to avoid using hands
- Collect litter into plastic bags and tie up when filled
- Put filled litter bags into your household waste on collection day
- Do not touch your face at any time during cleaning
- Wash your hands immediately following cleaning
- Never touch a needle with your hands. Follow safe pickup procedures, or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) for assistance
We thank you for your interest in keeping your community clean, green and litter-free. Continue to stay at home and stay healthy.
COVID-19 Related Fraud and Property Crime
Unfortunately, there are criminals who use the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity for their activities. The following is an excellent resource that has been adapted from Victim Support Europe detailing types of crimes to be aware of and how to protect yourself.
This information is available in 4 languages (EN, FR, ع, 中文) on the CPO website.
At the moment, experts have have identified three main areas of coronavirus-related crime:
- Cybercrime: with many more people staying at home and especially working from home, there is a heightened risk of security breaches, hacking, and fraud. There are even fraudulent websites and apps posing as coronavirus trackers which are in fact phishing attacks or scams. Interpol also reports phone fraud where criminals call victims pretending to be clinic or hospital officials, who claim that a relative of the victim has fallen sick with the virus and request payments for medical treatment. Do not send any payments to anyone you do not know and verify all the information you receive through phone or online. Follow Europol’s advice below to make sure you are protected.
- Fake cures and medicine: there is no known cure for COVID-19 at the moment. There is also no vaccine. Do not buy anything sold as any type of medicine or remedy against coronavirus as it is fake. Europol reports thousands of seized counterfeit pharmaceuticals and medical devices seized as well as thousands of websites taken down.
- Organised property crime: it has been reported in various countries within the EU that perpetrators gain access to private homes by impersonating medical staff providing information material or hygiene products or conducting a “Corona test” with the intention of theft and robbery. Remain vigilant and do not let anyone you do not know in.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre tracks the latest updates on coronavirus-related crime. They also list further examples of such COVID-related crimes.
If you have become victim of any type of crime, please consult Ottawa Police’s Victim Crisis Unit website for list of supports.
Free music education by OrKidstra
Are you a parent with a little one at home? Are you looking for access to engaging, high-quality music education videos? During these challenging times, Ottawa-based charity OrKidstra is finding new ways to help empower kids and build community through music at home. For a limited time, OrKidstra is proud to share FREE access to its popular KiddlyWinks videos. Your kids will love singing, playing, moving and learning with these fun and engaging videos!
OrKidstra’s KiddlyWinks is a joyful, fun-filled, value-based music education program for elementary school-age children. For a limited time, families and kids across the world can freely discover the wonderful world of music through these fun, professionally filmed videos available now on OrKidstra’s website orkidstra.ca. KiddlyWinks Director Ms. Venessa Lachance is your guide as you journey into the wonderful world of music. Just click on video for the song you want to learn and have fun!
Mental Health Resources
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Science and Nature Resources
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