January 2020 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
Happy New Year and welcome to 2020!
What a tremendous year we’ve had in Ward 13. From the election, to passing my first budget, to meeting members of community associations and hearing your ideas for improving our neighbourhoods, I’ve felt motivated to continue to push for substantial change in our community.
Since taking office in April 2019, I’ve been working hard to achieve the goals I promised when running for City Councillor. My staff and I have been working with residents, community associations, city staff, and other councillors to create change within our community. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve managed to accomplish last year which includes:
- Voting in favor of successful motion to declare a climate emergency in the City of Ottawa.
- Establishing a Ward Council that includes representatives from each community association that meets quarterly.
- Voting in favor of a successful transit fare freeze until the launch of Ottawa's new light rail system.
- Approving $246,500 to build Lola Park in Overbrook.
- Securing $40,000 in crime prevention funding to support neighbourhood safety programming in Overbrook.
- Successfully advocating for the introduction of a neighbourhood policing pilot project in Overbrook.
- Securing a $10.3 million investment in Wateridge Village for affordable housing.
- Proposing and securing the creation of an Anti-Racism Secretariat for the City of Ottawa.
- Voting in favor of successful new restrictions on short-term rental accommodations.
- Assisting with installing commemorative street signs for Lindenlea’s 100 anniversary.
- Setback zoning changes for Rockcliffe Park Conservation District scheduled for 2020.
2020 looks bright, and I was happy to literally ring in the New Year at St. Bart’s Church at its holiday gala. My office will continue to work tirelessly through 2020 to reach more of our goals, which will include major investments to restore the Stanley Park environs in New Edinburgh. We will work in conjunction with the National Capital Commission, along with community organizations, to determine priorities for investment that will include park reinstatement, potential cycling infrastructure improvements and renovations to the New Edinburgh Fieldhouse. In my last column, I stated that $543,000 was allocated to the restoration of Stanley Park. That figure was unfortunately incorrect: the money I reported in the last column was allocated and spent on play equipment in New Edinburgh Park. It is my continuing intention however to seek a large allocation of dollars to augment the restoration of Stanley Park that will take place in the near future, in conjunction with community input.
I am very pleased that many all of my requests were included in the 2020 budget, a financial plan which ultimately increases investments in public transit, winter maintenance and affordable housing, while taking steps to close the City’s infrastructure gap. The approved operating budget is $3.76 billion, a $136.8-million increase over 2019. The three-per-cent tax increase amounts to an additional $9 a month for an average urban home.
Investments in public transit include $2 million to increase Para Transpo services, $7.5 million for additional bus service, including 19 new buses, $43 million to replace old buses and a three-month transit fare freeze. The budget includes $9.6 million to support transit passes for lower income residents, freezing the cost of the EquiPass, Community Pass and Access Pass at 2019 rates for one year.
The budget also includes a 7.7-per-cent increase to the winter operations budget, adding $5.6 million and bringing the total to $78.3 million.
Infrastructure spending on roads, sidewalks and facilities amounts to $151 million, which is an increase of 18 per cent over 2019. The road resurfacing budget is $51 million, up from the yearly average of $35.5 million in the last Term of Council.
For the second year in a row, the City will invest $15 million to create new affordable housing and maintain funding of $31 million for local agencies that offer housing and homelessness supports and services.
The budget commits Community Funding of $24.5 million for non-profit social service providers to help them deliver valuable services to residents facing the greatest need. To ensure the safety and well-being of residents, the budget funds 30 additional police officers and 14 additional paramedics.
Council also approved a Strategic Road Safety Action Plan, which aims to reduce the annual rate of fatal and major injury collisions by 20 per cent by 2024. With total investments of $31.5 million in 2020, the plan will focus on improving road safety culture, supporting vulnerable road users, enhancing safety in rural areas and at intersections, and changing high-risk driver behaviour.
Council further approved the preliminary policy directions that will be the basis for the new Official Plan. The new Official Plan will ensure Ottawa continues to adapt to current and emerging needs, opportunities and challenges. A draft of the plan, to be tabled in October 2020, will rely on new growth projections. By 2046, Ottawa’s population is expected to grow to 1.4 million, an increase of 40 per cent from 2018, or 402,000 additional residents. The Official Plan is blueprint for the city and staff is still seeking pubic input into its development. Please become involved in providing input into the plan.
CITY HALL UPDATES
The City of Ottawa prides itself as being a caring and compassionate city and continually strives to be a place where people want to live, work and play; and providing access to safe, adequate, and affordable housing for everyone is fundamental to achieving that goal.
Visit this link to sign the petition, calling on City Council to adopt Councillor McKenney’s Housing Emergency Motion.
Among other things, this motion:
- declares an affordable housing and homelessness emergency in Ottawa;
- acknowledges that we do not possess the resources to manage this crisis alone and that we must call on the Provincial and Federal governments to assist us by providing the City with an immediate increase in emergency funding for housing, housing supports and housing allowances as well as a long-term financial plan to meet the needs of the community;
- resolves that the update to the ten-year housing and homelessness plan includes aggressive targets to:
- preserve and increase the affordable housing supply;
- increase access to housing affordability;
- prevent the occurrence of homelessness and eliminate by 100 per cent chronic homelessness by 2024; and
- ensure people are supported to achieve housing stability and long-term housing retention.
Rideau River Winter Trail
The Winter Trail along the Rideau River is an amazing opportunity to take advantage of the Multi-use pathway year-round. It is now open!
We are working to put a team together to make the project a sustainable reality.
This is a project led by the Rideau Sports Centre, the Overbrook and Sandy Hill Community Association.
We need your help!
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Maintenance supervisor
- Volunteers (for grooming & trail monitoring)
- A snowmobile
- Equipment to groom (attached to snowmobile)
Let us know if you can help.
Ottawa Police Service Scholarship
The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the 2020 Thomas G. Flanagan S.C. Scholarship Award.
The $1,500 scholarship was established in 1993 in honour of the late Thomas G. Flanagan, who served as chief of police of the OPS between 1989 and 1993. It is presented annually to a woman from a racialized or Indigenous community who is interested in pursuing a career in policing, following a period of post-secondary study.
“The Ottawa Police is looking to hire more diverse candidates to better-reflect the communities we serve and protect,” said Diversity and Race Relations Staff Sergeant Ian Hayes. “This scholarship is an excellent opportunity for those interested in a career in policing.”
Applications are available online at https://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/careers-and-opportunities/Bursaries-and-Scholarships.aspx and can be submitted by email to [email protected].
Wildlife Speaker Series
The City will be hosting our 15th Wildlife Speaker Series event on the evening of February 6, at Ottawa City Hall. The topic of this event, Living with Coyotes, may be of interest to your residents. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Stan Gehrt from The Ohio State University. He was the presenter at our very first Wildlife Speaker Series event in February 2014, giving our residents a fascinating look into how coyotes can coexist with people in a variety of urban and suburban settings. We look forward to hearing about his ongoing 20-year study of the coyotes living in and around the City of Chicago.
Additional information about this event is available on the City’s web page:
Tips to Protect your Vehicle
Ottawa Police continue to be concerned with the risk of thefts of high-end Lexus/Toyota vehicles in Ottawa, particularly larger SUVs and 4Runners including the Tacoma.
We remind car owners of the following tips to protect their vehicle:
- Make your vehicle less vulnerable to theft by parking it in a locked garage and or blocking it in tightly with a second vehicle.
- Consider installing an after marker anti-theft device.
- Be vigilant that no one has tampered with the door locks mechanisms.
- Consider installing a club.
- If you are selling your vehicle, be wary not to let anyone have access to your car keys or your vehicle out of your sight. This prevents a thief from copying your key during a “test drive” so they can return to steal it.
- The onus is on the registered owner of a vehicle to ensure that the person they let drive their vehicle has a valid driver’s license. As such, request to see their driver’s license prior to allowing them to test drive your vehicle. This gives you an opportunity to note the person’s identity and home address.
- Further to that, note the license plate and vehicle description of any individuals who attend your home to enquire about a car for sale.
- Finally, good old fashioned neighbourhood watch is a great deterrent. Call 911 to report any suspicious activity; be vigilant.
Although we have not seen the use of signal amplifiers in Ottawa, we recommend a line of defense. Consider keeping any vehicle with a proximity key fob inside a radio frequency shield device (RSF device). This will prevent the key fob’s signal from being amplified to the vehicle from inside the house protecting it from being driven away.
Community Economic Development Funding Program
The annual Community Economic Development (CED) Funding Program provides financial support to selected projects that are anticipated to result in:
- Job creation
- Business creation
- Entrepreneurship skills development
- Employability skills development
Geared to disadvantaged populations (e.g. lower income youth and older adults, rural residents, new immigrants, visible minorities, etc.), while also demonstrating social justice and inclusion, and/or cultural diversification benefits.
Projects should help build community capacity to support these objectives beyond the funding period. Projects should help targeted populations to overcome identified disadvantages. Projects should build inclusivity for populations that are under-represented in the mainstream economy.
The CED Funding Program awards a total of up to $280,000 per year, distributed among the proposals that are selected by a jury panel of reviewers. While proposals may have inherent merits, funds are awarded only among the top-ranked projects, until the annual funding maximum is reached.
The City of Ottawa and Ren’s Pets wish to encourage pet owners to apply for and renew their annual cat and dog registration.
Starting this month, for each new pet registration or renewal, Ren’s Pets has generously donated a $25 coupon, redeemable online or in-store at any Ren’s Pets location.
Simply bring in the coupon (that you will be provided when you register your pet) and proof of pet registration payment, to SAVE on pet food and supplies!
Registering your cat or dog is an annual requirement in the City of Ottawa. You can register your pet:
- Online at My ServiceOttawa with the following payment options: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Interac Online and Visa Debit, or;
- In person at one of the City of Ottawa’s Client Service Centres
You will receive a numbered metal tag which must be affixed to your pet’s collar / harness, particularly when outside of your home.
Losing a pet can be a traumatic experience for both the owner and the pet. By registering your dog or cat with the City of Ottawa you are ensuring that Bylaw Services has the information they need to reunite you with your pet in the event that your dog or cat accidently becomes lost. It has been our experience that a cat or dog with a registration tag attached to its collar/harness is often returned to the owner the same day that it is found. Without one, the owner must search all nearby shelters and animal hospitals looking for their cat or dog.
Manor Park Skating Party
Saturday, February 1, 2020
Manor Park Outdoor Rinks
3:30 - 5:00 pm - Hockey & Ringette Games
5:00 - 7:00 pm - Skating Party
Winter Classic hockey games, food, drinks, chili cook-off, music & skating!
The rinks come alive with hockey games and pleasure skating during our annual Skating Party. On the first Saturday in February, the party opens with our 'Manor Park Winter Classic' hockey games between local teams. Following the games, families take to the ice to build up an appetite for the Chili Cook-off entries and hot dogs. A bonfire keeps everyone toasty, while twinkling lights and a light snowfall make the Skating Party the perfect family event!
Rally to Declare a Housing Emergency
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Marion Dewar Plaza, Ottawa City Hall
Join the rally to declare a housing emergency in Ottawa! There are almost 100 people sleeping outside every night, and over 1,000 in shelters. Homelessness in Ottawa can be solved. What we need is the political will and the resources to achieve it!
Councillor McKenney's motion to declare a Housing Emergency will be considered by City Council on Wednesday, January 29. That morning, we’ll have a rally to support the motion and call attention to the tremendous problems that people are facing trying to find affordable housing in our City. Please come and join us at City Hall and make your voice heard!
Financial Planning for Every Age
January 26, 2020
2 pm - 4:30 pm
MacKay United Church, 39 Dufferin Road
The MacKay Brainery hosts a forum on “Financial Planning for Every Age.” Come and learn from expert financial advisor Karim Gwaduri from Edward Jones. A tax attorney will be present to answer your questions.
Ice Ice Baby Dance Workshop
January 26, 2020
Lindenlea Community Centre
Come out to Lindenlea Community Centre to warm up through dance! Come learn a new dance, and have fun with friends. Everyone is welcome!