June 5 Newsletter 2020

June 5, 2020 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.

Solid Waste Master Plan

The City is developing a new Solid Waste Master Plan, to be completed by the end of 2021. The plan will guide how we manage solid waste over the next 30 years. As Ottawa grows and changes, we want to ensure our waste services evolve to meet new needs and challenges. This page will be your hub for updates and opportunities to provide feedback.

Nothing has been decided yet – your input counts!

Managing solid waste is a shared responsibility, and every resident has a part to play. That’s why, over the next two years, we need meaningful conversations with you to help ensure the new Solid Waste Master Plan works for everyone.

Have your say here:

https://engage.ottawa.ca/solid-waste-master-plan?tool=survey_tool#tool_tab

Update on summer camp programs

The City will cancel its originally-planned summer camp programs, scheduled to run from June 29 to August 28, to be replaced by a new summer camp program that is reformatted around COVID-19 public health measures. Details on registration, dates, location and the camps’ operations will be announced in the future and will be conditional on the Provincial government permitting such programming.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new summer camp program will follow physical distancing guidelines and emergency orders under the direction of the Province of Ontario. As a result, enhanced and strict safety measures will be in place when the City camps begin, which will include: 

  • Smaller camp groups 
  • Additional staff to assist with maintaining physical distancing requirements and sanitization
  • Screening protocols for campers and staff 

For parents or guardians who currently have a child registered for a camp, the program will be automatically cancelled and a credit will be placed on their account. Once the account is credited, they can use it to register for a future program, including the newly formatted camp; save the credit for future use; or they can login to ottawa.ca and request a full refund. For those who paid by post-dated cheques, the cheques will be returned and any unprocessed credit card payments will be cancelled.

Committee approves e-scooter pilot and plan for expanded retail opportunities, restaurant patios and food trucks at City parks

Ottawa could soon see electric kick scooters on the City’s roads, bike lanes, pathways and footbridges. The City’s Transportation Committee today approved piloting the use and rental of e-scooters in Ottawa until the end of October 2020. If the pilot is a success, it could be extended for four more years.

If approved by Council, the pilot would begin after contracts are in place and consultation with Ottawa Public Health. E-scooter sharing companies, working with the City through a contract, would follow Ottawa Public Health guidelines for scooter sanitization and provide in-app education about hand washing and physical distancing. E-scooters would not be allowed on sidewalks, OC Transpo facilities and vehicles, National Capital Commission pathways or in Gatineau.

The dockless bike sharing pilot would continue this year, if any companies are interested in providing this service. The Committee approved a new fee structure to better recover the costs of a dockless system that allows users to pick up and return e-scooters and bikes anywhere. Sharing companies would pay $60 per vehicle and $250 per station, with a $5,000 non-refundable application fee and $25,000 security deposit. They would need to have $5 million in liability insurance.

The Committee received a presentation about how the City could support economic recovery and help restaurants and retail businesses accommodate physical distancing requirements. Staff recommend creating new outdoor retail spaces in front of storefronts and allowing food trucks to operate in parking lots at approved City parks. Staff are in discussions with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario about enabling liquor licenses, as well as working on a special strategy for physical distancing in the ByWard Market.

City opening seasonal washrooms at five popular park and beach destinations

Starting today, the City will open the washrooms at five popular park and beach destinations: Andrew Haydon Park, Britannia Park, Westboro Beach, Mooney’s Bay Beach and Petrie Island Beaches.

The washroom facilities at these locations will undergo extensive weekly cleaning. Ottawa Public Health advises washroom users to be vigilant in their preventative measures and behaviours – keeping two metres from people outside your immediate household while standing in line, washing your hands with soap and water, and using a hand sanitizer. For supplementary protection, wear a cloth mask in case physical distancing may be difficult to achieve.

Water fountains, where available at these parks, will also be operational. The fountains will be cleaned twice daily, along with an extensive weekly cleaning.

Tax Deferral Program

Any business or residential property owner who has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for the Property Tax Hardship Deferral Plan  at ottawa.ca/taxrelief before the July 31 deadline.

The City has mailed out the final property tax bills to property owners, with a payment due date of June 18.  If you qualify and get approved for the deferral plan, the due dates for the payment for the final and interim property tax bills will be delayed until October 30, 2020.

To qualify, financially impacted applicants must have a property assessment value of up to $7.5 million, which captures 91 per cent of commercial properties in Ottawa. In addition, your account would need to have been paid up to date before the 2020 interim tax installment.

The application form, as well as other qualifying criteria and program information, is available on ottawa.ca/taxrelief.

Contactless view, print and payment options

Ottawa residents can sign up for paperless billing for property tax and water bills through the My Service Ottawa portal. This is a secure website where you can manage, view, print and pay your bills online. It is free to set up, easy to use, and provides residents access to their account information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit ottawa.ca for more information.

Residents have several other payment options for property tax and water bills that can be done from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Traffic Disruptions and Road Closures

Highway 417 on and off ramps The following on- and off-ramps connected to Highway 417 will close as part of the Nicholas Bridge replacement project:

  • Vanier Parkway southbound to Highway 417 eastbound, from Thursday, June 4 at 10 pm until Friday, June 5 at 5 am and from Monday, June 8 at 10 pm until Tuesday, June 9 at 5 am
  • Riverside Drive northbound to Highway 417 eastbound, from Sunday, June 7 at 10 pm until Monday, June 8 at 5 am
  • All eastbound on- and off-ramps at St. Laurent Boulevard from Tuesday, June 9 at 10 pm until Wednesday, June 10 at 5 am and from Wednesday, June 10 at 10 pm until Thursday, June 11 at 5 am

**Please be advised that the closure of Nicholas Street South and Lees Ave North Hwy 417 On-Ramps has moved from Sunday June 7, 2020 at 22:00 to the following day. Closure will begin at 22:00 on Monday June 8, 2020 and continue overnight until 05:00 on June 9, 2020 to facilitate milling and paving operations.

River Lane

  • From: Keefer Street
  • To: Union Street
  • Duration: Wednesday, June 10 to Saturday, August 15

Queen Victoria Street

  • From: Stanley Avenue
  • To: Crichton Street
  • Duration: Wednesday, June 10 to Saturday, August 15

Green Avenue

  • From: Acacia Avenue
  • To: Beechwood Avenue
  • Duration: Monday, June 15 to Friday, June 19

Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Liaison Appointment

On June 2, the Finance Committee recommended City Council appoint me as the Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives.

Given the worldwide impact of COVID-19, this pandemic has been dominating headlines for months. But when a global pandemic gets pushed from the spotlight, you know issues replacing it are historic and consequential.  

The unrest we’re seeing now in the United States demonstrates the real and continuing impact of anti-Black racism. But we must recognize that racism, injustice and entrenched systemic inequality have as much impact in Canada as south of the border. This country has its share of hate, and Ottawa is no stranger to racism, race-based discrimination and economic and social disparity. Our City has experienced an increase in hate-crimes against Indigenous people, racialized people, as well as the Jewish and Muslim communities.   

We have seen discrimination through prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which ultimately has led to disparities regarding income, employment, housing, health care and education. We must also acknowledge that these factors, when combined with systemic racism, leads to overrepresentation of racialized people within the criminal justice system and recurrent, negative interactions with the police. 

You can read my full comments to FEDCO here:

https://www.rideau-rockcliffe.ca/council_anti_racism_and_ethnocultural_liaison_appointment

Phone: 613-580-2483
Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON, K1P 1J1