August 2019 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
As we progress towards autumn, my office has been working hard to respond to your multiple requests concerning major transit and transportation issues. We plan to make that the focus on our upcoming, second Ward Council meeting, scheduled to be held Thursday, September 12. Our Ward Council is designed to allow residents across Rideau-Rockcliffe to voice their concerns and provide direct and useful input to my office. The Ward Council include representatives from each community association in the Ward, along with social service organizations. The Council meets on a quarterly basis, allowing residents to have an opportunity to outline their top priorities to my office, including transportation.
Enjoy the reminding weeks of summer!
City Council Updates
Inquiry about Para Transpo Service
In June, I raised inquiries at Council about the status for establishing an online reservation system for Para Transpo. My office has received numerous calls from seniors, veterans and disability advocates about the long wait times for the city's phone booking system. In 2017, the average wait time for phone reservations was 45 minutes. That wait time now often exceeds two hours. Due to the challenges surrounding phone booking wait times, it is my intent in the next budget to ask that online booking becomes a budget priority, so that we can treat people with dignity and respect when they are seeking to use public transport. I emphasise that I’m not seeking online booking as a replacement for phone booking, rather, I am seeking to supplement the available booking options so that those who can use online should do that, and those who don’t have access to a computer can still continue to use the phone booking with shorter wait times. The City of Toronto, as an example, has a dual reservation system in place, both online and over the phone, for people with disabilities. The City should seek to implement such a system by the end of 2020.
I was elected Ottawa's first-ever Black city councillor in a historic by-election held April 2019 in Rideau-Rockcliffe. Noting this fact, I believe it necessary to work on issues of significance to racialized communities, including the proposed establishment of an Anti-Racism Secretariat at the City of Ottawa. Increasing rates of hate crimes and racial discrimination directed at diverse communities, along with above-average unemployment for racialized people and the need for improved community/police relations are driving factors for establishing an Anti-Racism Secretariat. The creation of an Anti-Racism Secretariat will target systemic racism by building an anti-racism approach into the way our City government develops policies, makes decisions, evaluates programs and monitor outcomes. The Secretariat as proposed would seek to improve employment equity, representation on City boards and agencies, identify and eliminate systemic barriers, and enhance economic development opportunities. I intend to hold a consultation with community members about the development of the secretariat in August. Sophia Jacob has the role of “Multicultural & Diversity Liaison to Ottawa City Councillor Rawlson King” and will be coordinating this effort. If there are any inquiries concerning any issues affecting the Black or multi-ethnic communities, or if you have requests for me to attend events, please send her an e-mail at [email protected]. We have tentatively set the public consultation for August 28 at 6 pm at the Rideau Community Hub, located in the former Rideau High School on St. Laurent Boulevard.
Tree By-law Review
The City of Ottawa is currently working to revise the Municipal Trees and Natural Areas Protection By-law and the Urban Tree Conservation By-law. In late June, City staff held consultation sessions with internal and external stakeholder working groups on a suite of proposed directions to improve the City's tree by-laws and associated implementation processes.
Consultation materials are now available to the public on the project Web site (https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-engagement/projects/tree-law-review-project) and the City will be accepting feedback on the proposed directions until September 9, 2019. The feedback received will be incorporated into the revised by-laws and processes, as appropriate, this fall. Staff recommendations are scheduled to come to Council in early 2020.
WANTED: Pathway Patrol Volunteers
Ottawa’s pathways have amazing scenery to discover and are a great way to get in and around our city. The City’s Pathway Patrol program was established in 1997 and has helped make Ottawa’s pathways safer for over 20 years. This year, Safer Roads Ottawa is looking for volunteers who love our city and want to become ambassadors of our pathways by joining the growing Pathway Patrol team. Our season runs from May to October each year. Whether you walk, run, roll or cycle, we want you to join our team!
Requirements include a recent Police Records Check, First Aid Training (provided) and an average commitment of 6 hours per month. You can fill out a volunteer application here. Contact [email protected]
Family-fun planned for annual fall festival – BeechFest!
Beechwood Avenue’s annual fall festival is getting a bit of a revamp this year. The street festival plans to switch out its old name, East Feast, for a new one – BeechFest. The name tweak highlights a change in programming.
What was once a food-heavy festival – hence, it’s feast-filled name – will become a festival adopting more of a family feel and offering more family-friendly activities and times. The festival will take place along Beechwood Avenue on Sept. 7, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The name change represents the continued renewal of the event and responsiveness of the community to the fact that the event programming goes way beyond the excellent culinary scene on Beechwood, to also represent arts, and sport. The event is organized by the Quartier Vanier BIA, of which I am the newest member of the BIA’s board. Executive director of the BIA, Nathalie Carrier, said the changes this year are all aimed at making the event bigger and better. We realized this is a family gathering and so we want to make sure the family focus is not lost.
Given that Vanier is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Carrier said it is important to make this year memorable. The event, created in 2016, closes off Beechwood Avenue from Marier Avenue to St. Charles Street to vehicular traffic, turning the area into a pedestrian space. In the past, local restaurants and shops along Beechwood Avenue participated by selling food, promoting their business, performing on the main stage or offering activities. This year we’re looking at more children’s programming and more merchant participation!
BIA members, organizations or individuals who are looking to participate or support BeechFest can contact Nathalie at [email protected].
Ottawa River Boathouse Revitalization
The National Capital Commission (NCC) will be undertaking major restoration work at the Ottawa River Boathouse over the coming year. To protect this heritage building — a historic landmark — and to make it universally accessible for all Canadians, including Ottawa residents, to enjoy year-round, several elements will be restored. Construction is scheduled to commence mid-July and will impact cycling and pedestrian pathways. Learn more here: https://www.rideau-rockcliffe.ca/ottawa_river_boathouse_revitalization_project.
Order of Ottawa Nominations
The Order of Ottawa recognizes the professional achievements and outstanding service of exceptional Ottawa residents. This prestigious civic award honours up to 15 of Ottawa’s most deserving individuals each year. Any resident of Ottawa who has made a significant contribution in a professional capacity that has been of benefit to our community may be nominated.
The Order of Ottawa is intended to recognize those who have made significant contributions through their professional endeavours, to life in the city in any of the following areas: arts and culture, business, philanthropy, health care, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports and entertainment and other fields that benefit Ottawa.
Nominations for the Order of Ottawa may be completed online or by filling out a nomination form in pamphlets that are available at the City Hall Information Desk, and at your local community centre, public library, or at any client service centre. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 13 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Nominations will be considered every year for five consecutive years from the date of submission.
More information can be found online at http://ottawa.ca/orderofottawa.
Submissions now open for the new Community Partnership Award
Do you have an inspiring story about what can be achieved when everyone works together to plan a building? Recognize that success by submitting an entry for the City’s new Community Partnership Award!
New in 2019, this biennial award will recognize a residential infill development project that best exemplifies collaborative efforts between homebuilders and the community. The winning project will be a built public or private residential project of any scale that highlights the importance of dialogue and cooperation in achieving good urban form, design excellence, and context sensitivity. The City of Ottawa is accepting entries until September 13. More information here: https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/planning-development-and-construction/events/community-partnership-award
The Community Partnership Award will be presented to the winning team at the 2019 Ottawa Urban Design Awards gala, the evening of October 9, 2019. Only constructed projects are eligible and must have been completed between September 1, 2017 and September 1, 2019.
Crime Prevention Ottawa Board & Community Forum Opportunities
Crime Prevention Ottawa is recruiting for both its Board of Directors and its Community Forum. Crime Prevention Ottawa is a City agency that contributes to crime reduction and enhanced community safety in Ottawa through collaborative evidence-based crime prevention. Its role is to build community capacity, foster community action, nurture partnerships and engage in policy dialogue. The organization's initiatives include addressing violence against women, gangs and disability and abuse. Learn more about how you can apply here: https://www.rideau-rockcliffe.ca/join_cpo_board.
Unveiling of the new Paint it Up! Mural at Montreal / Granville sponsored by Crime Prevention Ottawa and done by the youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa on MacArthur Avenue in our ward.
Upcoming Community Events
Overbrook Community Fun Day
The Overbrook Community Association holds its annual summer event for all of Overbrook in August. A BBQ in held in Overbrook Park for all, sponsored by Ottawa Community Housing, Overbrook Community Centre and the Rideau Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre.
Beechwood Farmers' Market
The flagship market will run its longest season yet, every Saturday from 9am-2pm, until October 26. The market will held at its beautiful location in Optimiste Park at 43 Ste. Cecile Street. The mini-market will be held Tuesdays from 3 to 6 pm at the Rideau Sports Club and on Thursdays from 3 to 6pm at Chartwell New Edinburgh at 240 Mackay Street, until October 10.
Community Acting Together
Learn how to positively and safely address community low-level violence through theatre. Rehearsals are until August 14th and the final workshop is on August 15th. If you want to get involved, please contact Riyaz Basi at the Resource Centre at [email protected] or by phone at 613-745-0073 ext 117
August 24, 5 to 10 pm
Lumière is a fun, free, family-friendly festival with a magical atmosphere for all to enjoy. With lantern making workshops throughout the year and on the day itself, it’s an invitation to express your creativity and truly become a part of the festivities. Costumes are encouraged to add to the fun! The festival is held in Stanley Park.
Rock the Block
September 6, 6 pm with movie to start at 8pm
The sport fields next to the Manor Park Community Centre will host one of Manor Park's most popular community events featuring food, music, activities, a pie-baking contest and an outdoor movie. I’ll be there judging the pie tasting contest!
Beechwood Avenue’s annual fall festival will feature some of the best food in Ottawa, along with incredible children’s programming and a celebration of Vanier’s 50th anniversary.