December 11 Newsletter 2020

December 11, 2020 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.

Some of you may have been watching or listening to Wednesday’s Council meeting, where major decisions were made concerning Ottawa’s 2021 Budget and ward boundaries.

Budget 2021

I voted against the City budget this week because the $3.94-billion operating budget and $781-million capital budget that were presented were more suited to “status quo” conditions and did not reflect the fact that social needs have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As we know, 50 percent of children in our Ward live in poverty and the Ward has historically had the largest food bank usage in the province, which has only increased during the pandemic. For these reasons, I could not, in good conscience, vote for this budget.

In the New Year I will be introducing a proposal that will advocate for a holistic, community-driven poverty reduction strategy for the City of Ottawa, which will work towards more measurable, costed initiatives and clear timelines to better address the needs of those living in poverty.

Ward Boundary

As many of you know, changes were proposed in the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review that did not work for what is currently Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward. Regrettably, my motions at Council this week failed for both Overbrook and Cardinal Glen.

When community members were consulted in the summer, the boundaries used in the sixth option were the traditional ones, but shortly before they came to Council they were adjusted without a opportunity to provide meaningful comment to the consultants. This was an error in process that I also sought to rectify through the motion.

I found all the arguments that residents made for the retention of the areas of the ward that would be lost to be compelling and Councillor Fleury agreed which is why he was my seconder on all these motions. Despite this, at Council, the Mayor deferred to the consultants who did not and continued to emphasize their adherence to what they saw as the need for what they termed as “clear logical boundaries”. They told Council that they heard comments that the boundaries were “bad boundaries, they ran through backyards, and they were confusing”.

This approach created a “zero sum” boundary model that does not work for our community, just for the sake of creating tidy boundaries.

Ultimately given both the political dynamic at Council, and that City staff and Councillors had very much taken the position that the consultants words were final, the motion was rejected by a wide margin. 

While this decision is bitterly disappointing, the work that we have been doing thus far will continue, which is focused on multiple issues including poverty reduction and social inclusion. I intend to work with the community on these many issues to the best of my ability.

Final Town Hall Meeting of 2020

Join me on Monday, December 14th at 6:30 pm for the final town hall meeting of 2020! The meeting will be held on Facebook Live and we will take your questions about all things Rideau-Rockcliffe, before our office closes for the holidays.

Rideau Winter Trail

The Rideau Winter Trail is a 9km route, able to accommodate cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, fat tire cycling and walking, through the winter season!

If you want to donate to support its grooming and operation, visit this link to learn more!

The Bridge Public House (at the Rideau Sport Centre) is proud to offer you a few ways to to be the real star of 2020 with your company, friends, family or team!

1) Book one (or more) private Fire Pits for an outdoor visit with the special people in your life (maximum of 8 people per Fire Pit). This is truly a unique experience in the heart of Ottawa... something not to miss!

2) For larger gatherings, reserve our Heated Covered Upper Patio (up to 50 people). All the safety of a ventilated outdoor space, cozy ambiance with festive decorations, view of the Rideau River, and the bonus of lots of heat!

We are fortunate at RSC & The Bridge Public House to have 4-acres of space...lots of space to safely distance, while being social!  And our food is DELICIOUS! 

Click here For more information, to reserve the Upper Patio or or book your Fire Pit(s).

Come visit our Winter Wonderland, during this Festive Season and in the New Year also! The Bridge Public House will continue offering these outdoor options, as well as our indoor restaurant too! 

And if you haven't heard, we will be hosting RSC's 1st Annual Outdoor Holiday Market on Saturday, December 12 and Saturday, December 19. for more information!

Ottawa Public Library Programming

The Ottawa Public Library is pleased to let you know about the launch of a YouTube playlist entitled Winter Words at Play! These holiday-themed videos are available on YouTube from December 7 through December 31, 2020. OPL branch employees have been working hard to prepare these videos for Ottawa kids and the branch customers they miss seeing in person.

This selection of videos with suggested readings, songs, rhymes and winter book picks will warm the heart and spirit and hopefully go some distance to reconnect with our dear library customers and add to the festive fun of the season.

Children alone or with members of their family will find much to delight and discover in this virtual winter wonderland of stories and songs presented by OPL’s dedicated children’s programmers. Here is a sample of what you will find:

  • Lights for Gita read by Veena from Beaverbrook Branch
  • Walking in a Winter Wonderland sung by Kristal from the Stittsville branch and Brianna from the Munster branch
  • The Snowman, read by Kristal Greely from the Metcalfe branch

Visit the OPL YouTube channel to let these wonderful videos light up this darkest time of the year.  You may recognize in your neighbourhood, Martha from Rockcliffe branch, reading Nantucket Lullaby from The Helen Oxenbury Nursery Collection.  Veronique from St-Laurent branch, singing 5 petits Pingouins and Vive le vent and Marie also from St-Laurent branch, singing C'est au mois de janvier.

Crime Prevention Ottawa is Recruiting for BOTH our Board of Directorsand our Community Forum

What is the Board of Directors?
Crime Prevention Ottawa is governed and guided by a Board of Directors which is responsible for setting strategic direction, assuring sound financial management and hiring an Executive Director.  The Board of Directors includes up to 20 members.  It is a mix of community and institutional representatives. We seek to be reflective of the community of Ottawa. 
What is the Community Forum?
Ottawa residents can make a difference in their community by becoming a volunteer member of Crime Prevention Ottawa’s Community Forum.  The Community Forum is an advisory body.  It gives feedback to the Board of Directors with regard to planning and operations and advises with regard to emerging issues in the community, priorities and successes. 
Who is eligible?
Residents of the City of Ottawa who are 18 years of age or older are eligible for appointment.  Individuals who reside outside of the city may be eligible if they have made a significant contribution to the Ottawa community.
How do I get more information?
If you want more information on the responsibilities, selection process, or on the mandate and function of Crime Prevention Ottawa, see the CPO Terms of Reference and the  Board of Directors or the Community Forum appointment policy.
How do I apply?
Please submit a one-page letter of application outlining your qualifications, specific skills, interests and background.  You may apply to both the Community Forum and the Board of Directors, though we ask that you please indicate which stream you’re interested in.  Applications may be submitted by electronic mail.  Please submit your application by December 31, 2020 to: [email protected]

Ottawa Public Health’s new COVID-19 survey and forum questions available on Engage Ottawa

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health are continuing to explore how best to support residents and businesses as provincial and local COVID-19 restrictions are modified, while aligning with the Province of Ontario’s Response Framework to Help Keep the Province Safe and Open. We want to hear from you and members of your community.
Phase 4 of the public engagement strategy will be live from today (November 17) until December 15 and will focus on identifying challenges when trying to follow public health COVID-19 recommendations, ideas for safer holiday gatherings and social activities and thoughts about Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 communication strategies.
Please share your thoughts with us through a new survey and forum questions available on Engage Ottawa in English or Participons Ottawa in French:

Montreal Road Revitalization

This is the last regular weekly update for the Montreal Road Revitalization project until construction resumes in early Spring 2021. Contractor crews are finished installing the temporary pinned curb and are preparing the site for the winter shutdown. Over the next several weeks, City crews will complete traffic signal installations at several intersections. 

Hydro Ottawa crews will be working along various sections of Montreal Road in December, as well as in early 2021. The work will include pulling cable through underground ducts, relocating a transformer and connecting buildings to new underground services.

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