February 5 Newsletter 2021

February 5, 2021 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.

February is Black History Month 

This month, take the time to share and learn about the experiences, contributions and achievements of Black Canadians and their important role in the growth, development and history of our city, province and country. Learn more about Canadian Black History through the following resources: 

Don’t miss the Anti-Racism Secretariat’s Virtual panel discussion in honour of Black History Month! Taking place Friday February 26th from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM, this discussion will feature leaders from across the city including myself. To register please visit event page.  

I invite you to learn more about the Anti-Racism Secretariat and the work that we do. This week, had the chance to share some of the objectives we are working towards in an interview with CTV Ottawa in regards to our upcoming and ongoing Action Planning Sessions. 

For a list of further Black History Month activities and initiatives taking place in Ottawa please visit: 

Snow Much Fun: Plenty of free winter activities near your home 

The City of Ottawa has plenty of free activities to keep you active and healthy this winter. Visit ottawa.ca/snowmuchfun for details. Be sure to download and print the Snow Much Fun colouring book for your children to colour all of the winter activities they enjoy! 

Wax up those cross-country skis or fasten those snowshoes – The City and the National Capital Commission have partnered with the Urban Winter Trails Alliance whose member groups maintain the scenic urban trails for a wide range of activities.  

Lace up those skates – For skaters, the City offers 45-minute reserved skating times at its four outdoor refrigerated rinks, including City Hall’s Rink of Dreams, and first-come, first-served skating at its more than 260 community outdoor rinks. Visit ottawa.ca/skating for community rink locations and reservations for our outdoor refrigerated rinks – which can be booked up to two days in advance.   The City’s Rink Ambassadors will be visiting your local rinks and parks to organize some fun and safe activities for the kids.  
As well, it was announced this week that the full length of the Rideau Canal Skateway has officially opened, from Rideau to Library (Hartwell Locks) including Patterson Creek and Dows Lake. To learn more, visit https://ncc-ccn.gc.ca/places/rideau-canal-skateway 

And for those who just want the rest of winter to slide, ottawa.ca has a list of authorized sledding hills across the city for your family’s fun and safety. 

Your fun and health remain our priority  

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recommends choosing activities that are as safe as possible, preferably outdoor activities that you can participate with members of your own household. Be sure to respect all public health regulations and guidelines while enjoying the outdoors!

Snow Removal is Underway 

The City of Ottawa has seen over 88 cm of snow this season – the majority of which has fallen in the month of JanuaryThis snow accumulations means that the city must undertake snow removal in some communities. Resident Support is Required while the city engages in snow removal activities. Residents are asked to observe the posted signage and to remove their vehicles from the roadway as per the signage.  Failing to do so may result in your vehicle being towed.  Following snow removal operations, a sidewalk machine is deployed to clear and treat the sidewalks in the area to ensure it remains safe for resident travel. While the operations are really exciting to watch all residents, especially children, are asked to give the vehicles space to do their work. Please stay a safe distance back. 

Be a Hydrant Hero this winter! 

The City’s new Hydrant Hero initiative is well underway this winter season!  

  • The City of Ottawa’s Water Services maintains more than 23,000 fire hydrants throughout the winter months, ensuring they are in operation for firefighters in the event of a fire. 
  • To help, the City is encouraging you to be hydrant heroes and keep your local hydrant clear of snow. Clearing 1.5 metres around a hydrant maintains access for our firefighters and keeps you, your family and your community safe. 

So many of Ottawa’s hydrant heroes have shared a photo of their cleared hydrant to receive their official Hydrant Hero certificate. 

  • Send a photo of your cleared hydrant to [email protected] and receive your official Hydrant Hero certificate! As part of this initiative, students can also request confirmation of their community involvement hours. 
  • The Snow Go and Snow Go Assist programs provide a matching service and financial assistance to eligible seniors and people with disabilities looking to hire an individual or contractor to clear snow from private driveways and walkways. Visit ottawa.ca/snowgo for more information. 

Support our firefighters by keeping hydrants clear of snow this winter. Information on hydrant maintenance is available at ottawa.ca/firehydrants. 

Online engagement opportunity – City reviewing its Winter Maintenance Quality Standards 

The City of Ottawa is reviewing its Winter Maintenance Quality Standards (WMQS). The standards determine when and where snow clearing, sanding and salting take place, how often and for how long. 

Residents can visit engage.ottawa.ca/wmqs and contribute to the review by completing the survey, available until February 19, and posting in the discussion forum. If you need to complete the survey by phone or require other accessibility related accommodations, please call 613-282-2685 for assistance. 

Online engagement opportunity – Sidewalk Standards 

As part of the City’s engineering and construction specifications review the City is reviewing the use of two adopted sidewalk standards.  

The City of Ottawa is inviting residents to join an online engagement session to seek feedback on their experiences using the two sidewalk styles – traditional and ramp. An online public information session and will be held virtually on Zoom on February 9 from 7 to 8 pm. 

For more information about the Sidewalks Standards Review, please visit ottawa.ca/sidewalks.  

The Latest COVID-19 Updates for the City of Ottawa 

  • Ottawa’s Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law, requiring masks in enclosed public spaces and on public transit, has been extended to the end of April. 
  • Visit our Vaccine distribution page to learn how the City is supporting the administering of vaccines to residents. 
  • Read the latest statement from Dr. Vera Etches with information about COVID testing in schools, supports for parents and guardians and a reminder to keep up with your health and seek medical care when you need it. 
  • With schools open, it's imperative to be mindful of COVID screening and testing/isolating guidelines. So, Ottawa Public Health has made these flowcharts to help! 
  • Do you speak Somali and/or Arabic? You can now contact Ottawa Public Health by text or voice clip on WhatsApp for information about COVID-19. Somali number: 613-229-3373 Arabic number: 613-229-3359 
  • Spread the word: we want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts with us about COVID-19 vaccines through this new survey until February 15.

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