December 15, 2023 Newsletter

December 15, 2023 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.

A Message from Councillor King

The upcoming holidays are a time of joy, love, and generosity. What better way to embrace the true spirit of the season than by giving back to our communities? This year, consider directing some holiday cheer towards local charitable organizations that work tirelessly to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need. When you donate to local charities, you are directly contributing to the betterment of your own community. These organizations often focus on addressing specific needs within the local population, whether it's providing food and shelter to the homeless, supporting families in crisis, or helping children in need. By supporting them, you become an integral part of creating positive change right where you live.

Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre

As we strive to uplift and support individuals and families in need, I invite you to consider becoming a vital part of the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre's mission. The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre is responsible for the delivery of most social services in Ward 13. By making a monthly donation, you can play a significant role in supporting its essential programs, including: the Food Bank, Income Tax Assistance, Adult and Senior Programming, and Youth and Family Services. Your contributions directly contribute to the sustainability of these crucial services, fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone in our community. You can donate here.

The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa

Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa provides children and youth with a safe place between the realities of home life and the pressures of school - a place of positivity and belonging where they can play, create and learn what it takes to become their best selves. For 100 years, BGC Ottawa has provided free programs and services directly to children and youth in vulnerable neighbourhoods in Ottawa. Tailored to the needs of communities, BGC Ottawa programs encourage and empower children and youth, and help them set a path for success. Programs are developed and delivered based on four foundational pillars of physical activity and healthy lifestyle, creative arts, leadership and social skills, and education. Located in Ward 13, the Don McGahan Clubhouse on MacArthur Avenue serves the east end of Ottawa and many Ward 13 communities including Overbrook, Castle Heights and Cummings. You can donate here.

Ottawa Food Bank

Demand for the Ottawa Food Bank's services has reached unprecedented levels across the City due to increasingly levels of food insecurity. Rising housing and utility costs are a major reason behind the recent uptake in those accessing food banks. Last year, there were more than 400,000 visits to the city's network of food banks. This year, demand is expected to increase exponentially, especially during the holiday season, while food donations remain at a 30-per-cent shortfall. The Ottawa Food Bank is encouraging people to donate healthy food that can be turned into a meal. The Food Bank also encourages local residents to provide financial donations here.

The holiday season can be particularly challenging for many individuals and families. Your contribution to local charities can make a significant difference in meeting urgent needs. Whether it's providing a warm meal, ensuring children have gifts to unwrap, or offering a helping hand to those facing financial hardships, your donation can bring comfort and joy to those who need it most. No donation is too small, and every contribution matters. Local charities often rely on the generosity of community members to continue their vital work. Whether it's a monetary donation, volunteering your time, or contributing essential items, your involvement can have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of others.

This holiday season, let's come together as a community and extend a helping hand to those who need it most. Embrace the spirit of giving by supporting local charitable organizations, and let the warmth of your generosity brighten the lives of others during this festive season. 


Your Councillor in the Community


City of Ottawa News, Events, Meetings and Engagement Opportunities

Jaku Konbit Kwanzaa Celebration - Dec. 30

Ottawa Kwanzaa Celebration

Join Jaku Konbit this Kwanzaa, where you can enjoy music, food, crafts, and stories that reflect the spirit of this festive occasion. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with your roots and share your traditions with others. (Kids 11 and under enter for free!) The Ottawa Kwanzaa 2023 celebration, taking place Dec. 30 at the Mosaic Convention Centre at 3750 North Bowesville Road, will include a dynamic showcase of cultural dancers, drumming, singing, music, and authentic African and Caribbean cuisine - entertainment for the entire family. It offers an excellent opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and taste of the Ottawa-Gatineau Black Community. Click here for tickets. Click here for details. Doors open at 3 pm. The programming starts at 4 pm. Dinner is served at 5:30 pm. Kwanzaa is a non-religious cultural holiday that is celebrated around the world from December 26 to January 1 of the New Year. The celebration is designed to promote cultural pride, dignity, and foster a vibrant and healthy community. Jaku Konbit's mission is to support and improve the lives of disadvantaged individuals and families of African and Caribbean descent through partnership with all communities and programming that results in everyone’s successful economic and civic participation in Canadian society.


New Government of Canada Black Communities webpage

Government of Canada launches student work placements - British Columbia  Aviation Council

Nepean MP Chandra Arya has announced a new Government of Canada Black Communities webpage: Black communities - This resource provides up-to-date information about the federal government’s initiatives and programs to support Black communities and Black-led, Black-serving, and Black-focused not-for-profit organizations. This webpage marks the first phase of a series of pages that will be added in the coming months to constitute the new Black Communities website. 


OC Transpo - Service adjustments and seasonal changes

To improve service reliability for customers, schedule adjustments will be made to some routes. Special holiday service (Monday, December 25 to Friday, January 5) will operate on a reduced schedule to reflect lower ridership during the holidays. Please click here for more information.


Almost 9,000 Ottawa families in need this Christmas

This year, the Caring and Sharing Exchange has received requests for Christmas food assistance from 8,877 Ottawa households in need! These households represent 26,986 individuals, an overwhelming increase of 19 per cent over last year. Please considering donating to the Caring and Sharing Exchange to help more families and individuals enjoy a warm meal for the holidays. The Caring and Sharing Exchange is a local charity that provides assistance to Ottawa families and individuals in need, during the Christmas season and the back-to-school season. The backbone of Caring and Sharing is its co-ordination service, which organizes the even distribution of school essentials and Christmas assistance so that every donor dollar can reach even more people in need. Click here to make a donation. Or visit this link to learn more.


Ottawa Public Health and local hospitals urge residents to get their updated COVID-19 and annual flu vaccines


Ottawa Public Health and local hospitals including The Ottawa Hospital, Queensway Carleton Hospital, Hôpital Montfort, CHEO, Bruyère, The Royal and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute are urging eligible residents, especially those at higher risk, to receive their updated COVID-19 vaccine and annual influenza (flu) vaccine as soon as possible. This reminder comes as OPH is noting that the highest rates of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 continue to be in older adults. Wastewater levels of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are higher now than they were at this time last year. Additionally, OPH is now declaring the start of the flu season in Ottawa. Declaration of flu season is based on influenza test percent positivity surpassing the threshold of 5% for two weeks in a row.

Ottawa Public Health’s Medical Officer of Health and local hospital Chiefs of Staff want to remind everyone, but especially people at higher risk, to get their vaccines as soon as possible – this includes both the updated XBB 1.5-containing COVID-19 mRNA vaccine and the annual flu vaccine. Please click here for more information.


Ottawa Public Health Update - Health Services for Residents

Ottawa Public Health recognizes that navigating the health-care system can be complex, and barriers to access can have significant impacts on individuals' well-being. Read OPH's Make the Best Call fact sheet and learn about the services available to help support someone facing health-care challenges, particularly those residents that do not have access to a family physician or nurse practitioner. 


Climate Change Rebates and Financing

  • Rebates and financing are available for home energy efficiency upgrades. Find out what you’re eligible for at
  • Rain Ready Ottawa offers residents in priority areas up to $5,000 in rebates to help install stormwater management projects. Find out more at
  • The Residential Protective Plumbing Program provides financial assistance to qualified property owners for the installation of protective plumbing devices, such as sump pumps and storm and sanitary backwater valves. Find out more at


Recruitment for the Transit Advisory Working Group - Deadline to apply is Dec. 22

Transit Advisory Working Group

OC Transpo is recruiting members for a new Transit Advisory Working Group. This ad hoc advisory body will provide volunteer opportunities for residents to advise OC Transpo’s leadership on a wide variety of matters relating to the operation of public transit, including Para Transpo, conventional bus service and the O-Train. If you are interested in providing a voice on the future of our city’s transit services, please complete the application form before 5 pm on Friday, December 22. Questions can be sent to [email protected].


'Time is precious’: City launches ad campaign to improve road safety


The City has launched a new ad campaign to improve road safety. To preview the ads and the video that will be appearing online and around Ottawa, visit the "Time is precious" ad campaign website. This campaign is guided by the City’s Road Safety Action Plan in partnership with the Ottawa Police Service. Each month, education focuses on the road behaviour with the most incidents of fatal and major injury collisions as captured in the 2017-2021 data. Click here for details.


‘Tis the season to sleigh holiday waste!

Now is the perfect time to think of how you can cut down on waste this season. Canadians use six million rolls of tape annually when wrapping presents. Most tape is made from synthetic materials and can take hundreds of years to decompose in the landfill. Pair that with plastic ribbons and incorrectly binned food leftovers, and you can imagine how much of an impact the holiday season has on our quickly-filling landfill. There are many ways you can reduce waste when it comes to gifts, food and decorations, but here are just a few ideas.


Holiday Events around Ottawa

Holiday activities that are sure to put you in the festive spirit:


Support for vulnerable residents during extreme cold
Banc de neige près de l’hôtel de ville d’Ottawa.
Exposure to cold temperatures can cause serious or life-threatening health risks. The City has strengthened its extreme cold weather response plan involving multiple departments and community partners. The goal is to provide information and resources to those who are the highest risk of the harmful health impacts due to the extreme cold. When Environment and Climate Change Canada forecasts windchill or temperatures that pose an increased risk of frostbite, the City takes several steps to alert community partners and at-risk residents of available services, including places throughout the city were people are welcome to go to warm up. For details, please click here.

Resources for those experiencing homelessness: 

The Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre operates a Mobile Outreach Van and responds to calls made to the City's 3-1-1 Call Line. They encourage people to seek warm indoor locations and can transport them to an emergency or overnight shelter. In addition, they also provide warm clothing and other resources to those who might refuse shelter. Anyone who is unsheltered can access services at any time by calling 3-1-1 or presenting themselves at a shelter. You can locate a shelter near you on OPH’s cold weather webpage. You can also call 2-1-1 to obtain information about services and locations of drop-in centres, where to obtain winter clothing and more.

Who to call for help: 

  • Call 3-1-1 to get referred to the best available shelter, or to get assistance for someone who needs transportation to get out of the cold.
  • Call 9-1-1 for medical emergency assistance such as hypothermia.


Snow Go & Snow Go Assist


With the arrival of ice and snow, Ottawa winters can be a challenging time for older adults and people with limited mobility. The City funds two programs, Snow Go and Snow Go Assist, which help older adults and people with disabilities with their snow removal. The City partners with nine community agencies to run these two programs. The Snow Go program matches snow removal contractors with older adults and people with disabilities to get their snow cleared. Residents pay the workers directly for their services. The Snow Go Assist program goes one step further and helps low-income older adults and people with disabilities with the cost of their snow removal. To be eligible for the Snow Go Assist program funding, applicants must:  
  • Be an older adult of at least 60 years old or a person with a disability.
  • Have a low income and show proof (annual income below $36,075 if single and below $44,160 for a household of two persons or more)  
Eligible residents may be reimbursed up to 50 per cent of snow removal costs to a seasonal maximum. To apply, contact the partnering local agency in your area. For a list of these agencies, please visit 3-1-1 (TTY: 613 580-2401) or call 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service.

City of Ottawa Service Reviews

Here are some examples of the work the City already does as part of this priority:

The Roadmap Connect program - Apply before Jan. 8

The Roadmap Connect: Infrastructure Institute and CP Planning are excited to announce a partnership on a series of mentorship programs via Roadmap Connect. This program seeks to address the barriers that racialized leaders and communities of non-profit organizations face in the development and procurement of affordable housing. The first offering is a 10-part webinar series. These 90- minute webinars will take place over the lunch hour and are open to the public. Each session will have the primary focus of either identifying Board or Finance solutions. For details, please click here.

Applications are also open for the Organizational Readiness Program, a 6-week program for organizations seeking support with an assessment of their “readiness” to develop an affordable housing project. To view the Organizational Readiness application and learn more about the program, please visit The Roadmap is an Ontario-wide project led by CP Planning addressing the problem of systemic racism, displacement and low planning outputs of affordable housing through the creation and implementation of Inclusive Neighbourhood Planning Hubs supported by strategic planning, mentorship, and vertical integration between racialized communities and those with assets, knowledge and/or social capital to plan and develop affordable housing. The application deadline is January 8, 2024. 


Canada Summer Jobs 2024 - Funding applications due Jan. 10

2023 Canada Summer Jobs Program Announced - Rob Morrison

The employer application period for Canada Summer Jobs 2024 is now open. Employers from non-profit organizations, the public sector, and the private sector with 50 or fewer full-time employees can apply for funding until January 10, 2024, to hire young Canadians next summer. Full-time positions will be available starting in April 2024. Employers interested in applying for funding for CSJ 2024 are encouraged to electronically submit their applications through the Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS) portal. Creating a GCOS account is a one-time process that enables organizations to apply for various funding opportunities from Employment and Social Development Canada. Click here for more information.


Recreation and Culture News at the City of Ottawa - Registration begins Jan. 16


The City will be starting Summer Camp Registration in January! Online registration will begin January 16, 2024 at 9 pm for Summer Camps. Summer programs will be available for registration in May 2024. Make sure you mark your calendar to ensure that your children can get into the camps they like best. Go to Courses and camps | City of Ottawa for more details.

  • March Break Camps and Summer Camps Registration:
           Opens January 16 at 9pm
  • Summer Programming Registration: Opens May 2024 - Stay tuned for details


New Suicide Crisis Helpline in Canada

9-8-8 is Canada’s new three-digit suicide crisis helpline. People in Canada can call or text 9-8-8 to access bilingual, trauma-informed, and culturally appropriate mental health and suicide prevention support. The service is free and can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Trained crisis responders will listen to you and provide support with compassion, providing a safe space for you to talk. If you or someone you may know is thinking about suicide, call or text 9-8-8. For more information, please visit


Ottawa Fire News

Ottawa Fire Services engagement survey - Open until Jan. 4


Ottawa Fire Services protects the lives, property, and environment for the residents of and visitors to the City of Ottawa. Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) responds from 45 stations located across the City of Ottawa. Collectively, these stations provide service to approximately 1,046,440 residents across 2,796 square kilometers. The OFS team is comprised of career firefighters, volunteer firefighters as well as inspection, education, safety, training, communications, maintenance and operational support personnel. As part of our commitment to serving our community we are looking for your feedback on the services we provide. This survey is voluntary, and the feedback will be used to help inform our programs and improve our services. For the engagement survey, please click here. The survey will remain open until Jan. 4, 2024. For more information, please visit Engage Ottawa

Ottawa Police News

Stay Safe This Holiday Season with our Crime Prevention and Safety Tips


With the holidays coming up, the Ottawa Police Service is advising residents to be vigilant, safe and most importantly, exercise caution during this festive time of the year. For details, please click here.

Hate Crime Reporting


If you are affected by Hate Crime, the OPS is here to help. Report it online at or call 613-236-1222. TTY: 613-760-8100 For emergencies, always call 9-1-1. A translator can be available within minutes.

Ottawa Police introduces its Adult Pre-Charge Diversion Unit

In November, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) formalized the creation of a centralized Adult Pre-Charge Diversion (APCD) Unit following a one-year pilot project. The Adult Pre-Charge Diversion (APCD) Unit seeks to redirect individuals charged with minor offences away from the criminal justice system towards programs and support services. The goal of the APCD program is to provide opportunities for individuals to address the reason(s) why they committed an offence in the first place, while being held accountable for their actions. This program also considers the victim’s needs and wishes regarding the incident. Click here for details.


Ottawa Police Services Board News

Statement from the Ottawa Police Services Board

On Dec. 14, the Board received the resignation of Dr. Gail Beck from the Ottawa Police Services Board, effective immediately, citing personal reasons. Vice Chair Salim Fakirani has assumed the role of Acting Chair. The Board wishes to convey its appreciation for the dedication and contributions of Dr. Beck over the last seven months in her role as Chair. The Board will not be providing any further comment on this matter. 

The Ottawa Police Services Board is the civilian body responsible for governing the Ottawa Police Service.  It is responsible for ensuring the provision of adequate and effective police services to City of Ottawa residents. 

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