December 1, 2023 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
A Message from Councillor King
This week, I introduced a motion at Community Services Committee to address the rise in hate incidents within Ottawa. It was unanimously approved by the Committee with a sense of responsibility and shared commitment that we must confront these incidents head-on and work collectively to build a community that stands united against hatred and intolerance.
Recently, we have witnessed an increase in hate incidents that target individuals based on their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics, especially in the wake of the current conflict in the Middle East. The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has reported a significant rise in the number of reported hate and bias motivated incidents, with a 23.5 per cent increase from 2022 year to date. Such acts not only harm individuals directly affected but also erode the fabric of our diverse and inclusive community. It is imperative that we take a stand against hatred and discrimination to foster an environment where everyone feels safe, valued, and respected.
To address this pressing issue, community initiatives, education and public awareness initiatives must play a crucial role. Knowledge is a powerful tool that can dispel ignorance, challenge stereotypes, and promote understanding. By investing in education driven by the community, we empower individuals to recognize the harmful consequences of hate and discrimination, encouraging empathy and compassion. My motion, in the context of the proposed City budget, asks City staff to explore the opportunities within the additional resources being allocated to the Gender and Race Equity, Inclusion, Indigenous Relations, and Social Development Office this year to explore opportunities and apply resources to address hate through community action. The motion requests that resources be allocated towards contributing to community initiatives and educational programs that promote tolerance, diversity, and inclusion.
I am also pleased that United Way East Ontario has just announced an immediate investment of $100,000 to support Jewish, Palestinian, and Muslim-serving organizations to help their respective communities with mental health and trauma supports, and an investment of $30,000 into hate prevention and community resilience programs. This investment by United Way adds to the nearly $1.1 million that the organization invests annually into community-based mental health programs, and the $220,000 it invests annually into hate and violence prevention, in alignment with the work of United for All Coalition, which works to address discrimination, hate and violence in our community.
Collaboration must be a central focus in our journey towards a more inclusive City. It will be my intention as Council Liaison for Antiracism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives during this Term of Council to work with community leaders, educators, businesses, residents and the United For All Coalition to build a resilient community that rejects hate in all its forms.
Your Councillor in the Community
I attended the 18th annual Snowflake Breakfast earlier today, Dec. 1 Centre Pauline-Charron. Happy to announce that the fundraiser reached its goal of $50,000. The Snowflake Breakfast brings the Vanier and surrounding communities together to fundraise for the Partage Vanier Food Bank. To contribute in support of this valuable service, please click this link.
Thank you to Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs for joining me on a tour of Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward 13 on Nov. 30. We stopped by the African, Black & Caribbean Wellness & Resource Centre for a tour and to learn about their community programming.
We also toured The Rideau Community Hub to learn more about the many programs and services provided by The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre.
We also enjoyed the opportunity to meet with representatives at BGC Ottawa's Don McGahan Clubhouse. The kids were also treated to a basketball game with the Ottawa Police Hoopstars. If you would like to support the Clubhouse's holiday hamper program, you can learn more at this link.
Chief Stubbs also joined me at the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition's Indigenous Career Fair on Nov. 30 held at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre in Overbrook. There were many City and community partners on hand to provide information, resources and employment connections, including Ottawa Public Health, the Ottawa Police recruiting team and the City's Employment and Social Services team.
I attended the inaugural Ottawa Art Gallery's Artists Investiture Ceremony and Anniversary Celebration event on Nov. 30 honouring Duncan DeKergommeaux, Jennifer Dickson, Michael Sproule, Norman Takeuchi and Russell Yuristy.
I was honoured to have joined Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and other elected officials and community members at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence on Nov. 27.
I was grateful to participate in panel discussions organized by Black History Ottawa and June Girvan at the National Gallery of Canada last weekend in recognition of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent.
City of Ottawa News, Events, Meetings and Engagement Opportunities
Winter Operations update for Dec. 1
The next 48 hours Ottawa will experience a transition from cloudy conditions to light rain and then snow, with the potential for a significant snowfall event expected late Sunday into Monday morning. Residents are reminded to exercise caution while using all of our transportation networks over the weekend. Over the next 48 hours, supervisors will monitor the forecast and the transportation network. Once accumulation starts, crews will be working on clearing and treating sidewalks, priority roads and our winter cycling network in accordance with the Council-approved Maintenance Quality Standards. We are asking for patience as operations may take longer than normal as the snow is expected to be wet and heavy and crews must adjust to the variable weather conditions. For operational updates, please visit ottawa.ca/winter.
Responding to Stressful Events - Ottawa Public Health Resources
Witnessing or experiencing stressful events can affect mental health. The impact of stress can be immediate or delayed. People can feel a range of emotions and reactions which can affect thinking and physical health. A person might have trouble sleeping, eating or paying attention. If these feelings are affecting day-to-day life, please ask for help. Getting help is a sign of strength. Ottawa Public Health has developed several mental-health supports and resources to help adults and children cope through some of the stressful times we are experiencing right now. These supports aim to build resilience, improve physical and mental health, and help deal with life stressors and changes. Please visit OPH’s Responding to Stressful Events webpage to learn more on how to:
- Talk to children and youth about their feelings during stressful events;
- Recognize the signs of stress and ways to overcome stressful events; and
- Knowing when and how to get help.
Information for supporting children and youth can also be found on OPH’s Parenting in Ottawa Responding to Stressful Events webpage. OPH has also developed English and French fact sheets and will soon have translations available in Arabic and Hebrew. If anyone is in crisis, please contact the Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 613-722-6914 or if outside Ottawa toll-free at 1-866-996-0991.
Recreation and Culture News at the City of Ottawa
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.
- Winter Registration: Now Open
- March Break Camps and Summer Camps Registration:
Opens January 16 at 9pm
- Summer Programming Registration: Opens May 2024 - Stay tuned for details
Flu and COVID-19 vaccines
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) expects the 2023/2024 respiratory season to be atypical when compared to pre-pandemic years, with early activity of respiratory viruses such as influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) circulating simultaneously with COVID-19. OPH recommends that everyone 6 months and older get the annual flu vaccine and the updated XBB 1.5-containing COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are particularly recommended for people at high risk of severe illness from flu and/or COVID-19 as well as health care workers and first responders.
To book your appointment for your annual flu vaccine:
Flu vaccine appointments at OPH Community Clinics can be booked through the Ottawa Public Health website.
Ottawa elevates 9-1-1 service to connect with other cities
Emerging Community Needs Funding - applications accepted until Dec. 7
The Emerging Community Needs funding stream of Community Funding is now open for applications. Emerging Community Needs funding provides one-time funding for initiatives or activities that address a specific emerging need in a community (local priority neighbourhoods or community of common bond) and contribute to community capacity building, well-being, and resiliency. For the purpose of this funding, emerging needs are defined as newly formed or prominent.
• Deadline for application: Dec. 7, 2023
• Funding available: $500,000
For more information and to apply, please email [email protected]. All applications will be assessed through an allocation process.
What does the Rideau Canal mean to you? - Survey open until Dec. 8
The National Capital Commission, Parks Canada and the City of Ottawa have engaged Matrix Heritage to produce a cultural landscape study of the northern section of the Ottawa corridor of the Rideau Canal, from the Ottawa Locks through to Hog’s Back Locks, that outlines its heritage values and character-defining elements. The Rideau Canal Cultural Landscape Study will be a guiding document for the three partner organizations to inform their respective planning, reporting, project development, and review of internal and external proposals for both the lockstation grounds and the lands along the Rideau Canal. A survey is available until Dec. 8. To fill out the survey, please click here. For more information about the study, please visit engage.ottawa.ca/rideaucanal.
Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs Grant Program - Applications due by Dec. 8
The Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism is pleased to announce that the RAISE grant program (2023-24) is now open for applications. This expanded program will provide access to business development training, culturally responsive and tailored business coaching, networking opportunities, and a one-time grant of $10,000 to support Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs. If you are an Indigenous, Black or other racialized entrepreneur and own a small business in Ontario that is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency, then you may be eligible. Entrepreneurs who have not previously participated in the RAISE grant program are encouraged to apply to access the enhanced offerings. Applications for the program must be submitted on or before Dec. 8, 2023 at 11:59 pm. Visit the RAISE grant program web portal for more information about program eligibility, eligible expenses and what you need to apply. Should you have any questions, contact Monday to Friday, 8:30 .m to 5 pm EST, excluding government and statutory holidays. Call toll-free at 1-888-975-5502 or email [email protected]. Video Relay Service (VRS) for Deaf and hard of hearing persons is available at 437-538-4850.
Mayor's Annual Christmas Celebration - Dec. 9
Mayor Mark Sutcliffe will host the Mayor’s 21st Annual Christmas Celebration on Dec. 9, from 2 to 5 pm, at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, in support of the Ottawa Food Bank. Admission is with a donation to the Ottawa Food Bank. For more information, please click here.
Holiday Events around Ottawa
- Ottawa Christmas Market, Aberdeen Square at Lansdowne, November 24 to December 23
- Magic of Lights, Wesley Clover Park Campground, 411 Corkstown Road, November 17 to January 6
- Winter Lights across Canada, Parliament Hill, December 7 to January 7
- Billings Estate National Historic Site – Home for the Holidays, Wednesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, December 2 to 23, 2023. Regular admission fees apply.
- Cumberland Heritage Village Museum – Vintage Village of Lights, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 24 through December 17, 2023, 4 to 9 pm. Cost: $25 per group (1 – 6 people per group). Advance registration is required.
- Nepean Museum – Retro Christmas! Saturday, December 2 from 10 am to 3 pm. $19.64 per family (two adults and accompanying children under 18); $12.25 per pair; $7.40 single admission. This is a drop-in program; advance registration is not required. The activities are best suited for families with children ages 6 to 12. Younger children are welcome to participate with the assistance of an adult or older sibling
- Has affordable housing and is more liveable for all (fall 2023)
- Is more connected with reliable, safe and accessible mobility options (winter 2024)
- Is green and resilient (spring 2024)
- Has a diversified and prosperous economy (summer 2024)
The Ottawa Art Gallery's “Hungry Eyes” is a unique cinematic experience that is designed to immerse attendees in nostalgia-evoking cult classic films, transforming the audience into participants, by engaging the senses through a multi-course menu that creatively incorporates the foods and beverages that are referenced in each movie. Each ticket includes movie admission, an inspired 3-course dinner, 2 craft beverage pairings, popcorn, and a chance to win some exciting door prizes. Plus, you can take pride in knowing that all proceeds support FREE public programs and exhibitions at the OAG. For more information, please visit oaggao.ca/whats-on/hungry-eyes. For tickets, please click here.
NCC annual public meeting - new date: Dec. 13
The National Capital Commission's 2023 Annual Public Meeting (APM) will be held on Dec. 13, from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. The event will be livestreamed online with simultaneous interpretation and closed captioning in both official languages. The APM is an opportunity for the Chairperson and the CEO to provide an overview of the NCC’s accomplishments over the past year and an outline of its priorities for the year to come, as well as an occasion for members of the public to ask questions. For details, please visit the NCC's webpage.
Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative - Funding application period open until Dec. 15
Funding up to $105,000 is available to non-profit Black-led and Black-serving organizations under the federal government’s Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI). The National Funders network, which includes Tropicana Community Services, Africa Centre, Black Business Initiative and Groupe 3737, has launched a call for proposals under SBCCI. The application period remains open until December 15. For more details, including links to the National Funders network, visit SBCCI. Funding is done across two streams: Capital Assistance and Capacity Building. Projects may include improving their workplaces and community spaces, purchasing work-related equipment, and undertaking renovations of existing spaces to enhance their functionality.
The City has identified the need for an outdoor tennis and pickleball strategy, which will ensure that communities across Ottawa have access to tennis and pickleball. The strategy will also serve as a reference guide for future management, oversight, and development of all public and club-operated outdoor tennis and pickleball courts. Currently the City operates over 500 outdoor tennis and pickleball courts, including combination courts, single sport courts and municipal membership club courts. Following an evaluation of the current public court model, the strategy will identify a clear direction and delivery model for both outdoor tennis and pickleball across Ottawa.
Virtual Consultation Sessions *Note that registration for each session will be limited to 100 participants.
Session #1: Dec. 12, from 6:30 to 8 pm on Zoom - REGISTER HERE
Session #2: Dec. 14, from 9:30 to 11 am on Zoom - REGISTER HERE
Survey: Resident feedback is an important part of developing the City’s outdoor tennis and pickleball strategy. Complete the survey at this link before Dec. 30 to tell the City about your household’s use of the outdoor tennis and pickleball courts in your community.
Details: For more information, please visit engage.ottawa.ca/tennis_pickleball.
Ottawa Police News
Ottawa Police and partners collecting personal hygiene products until Dec. 10
The Ottawa Police Service and its partners, Shoppers Drug Mart and Citron Hygiene, are once again inviting Ottawa residents to help them collect personal hygiene products for women. There are several locations where people can drop off donations until Dec. 10. For details, please click here.