March 11 Newsletter 2022

March 11, 2022 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.

This month, residents can expect a significant change to public health measures related to COVID-19. On March 21 the mandatory masking requirement for most settings will be removed. With the weather continuing to improve and get warmer moving into spring, residents may notice many potholes on the roads. The Roads and Parking Services team will be taking advantage of the milder weather in the coming days to get a jump start on filling these inevitable potholes. With the disruptions caused by the occupation during the month of February, many things were postponed. One event that was postponed was the Transportation Master Plan public open house. The open house, originally scheduled to place on February 15, is now set to go ahead on Tuesday, March 29 at 6:30pm. Additionally, on March 17, residents are invited to take part in a virtual public consultation on affordable housing and homelessness. 

The City wants to hear your thoughts as it continues to work to develop its Solid Waste Master Plan. Residents can complete a survey or participate in an online workshop. Spring also means that it’s time for the biannual Cleaning the Capital campaign. Registration for the program opens on March 15! Although always important, mental health is something that can be particularly challenging especially during the pandemic. Ottawa Public Health has put together a number of resources for anyone to access. Additionally, they are hosting wellness week for newcomers. 

In community news, effective April 1, 2022 Minwaashin Lodge will be moving to 2323 St. Laurent Blvd. Minwaashin Lodge provides a range of programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and children who are survivors of domestic and other forms of violence. If you would like to support them, consider purchasing something off their Amazon wishlist. This Sunday, the Ottawa Outdoor Gear Library is having a snowshoe pop-up in partnership with the Rideau Winter Trail. Drop by for one of the last few chances to enjoy the winter season! Finally, there are still a few spots available for a free photojournalism workshop at the Overbrook Community Centre during March break for youth 12-19. Full details can be found in the last item in this newsletter. 

Ontario to Remove Mask Mandate on March 21 

This past week, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore announced that Ontario will remove the mandatory masking requirement for most settings on March 21, with the exception of select settings such as public transit, health care settings, long-term care homes and congregate care settings. Ontarians are reminded to stay home when sick, and most importantly, get vaccinated and boosted. 

As public health measures continue to be lifted, it will become increasingly important for individuals to assess their own level of risk, and the risk of those they live and interact with. We are shifting to a space where individuals and their families must choose how to, rather than be mandated, to best protect themselves. This will include the decision to wear a mask in indoor or shared spaces. 

TMP Schedule Update 

As a result of the declared State of Emergency and unrest in the City of Ottawa, the TMP Open House originally scheduled for February 15th was postponed. 

The TMP is an important document that will guide our transportation decisions and networks to 2046 and the public requires ample time to engage on these significant policies and projects. As a result, the City will be delaying the original approval date for Part 1 of the TMP from Q2 2022 to Q1 2023. This will allow staff sufficient time to complete consultation and review all feedback. This timeline also ensures we do not engage the public during the Municipal Blackout Period. 

As a next step, the Public Open House has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 29th at 6:30 p.m. Those who still wish to register can do so here. 

Residents are encouraged to submit their questions ahead of time and can do so here. Please note that questions submitted for the previous meeting have been noted and do not need to be resubmitted. 

The surveys and online tools will remain open until April 5th, and the TMP team will continue to review all comments and submissions received. 

Affordable Housing & Homelessness Public Consultation 

Affordable housing is a big issue in the provincial riding of Ottawa-Vanier. So my elected colleagues put together a task force that researched solutions. The result - a private member's bill. My colleagues and I want to hear from you before MPP Lucille Collard tables it. Join us, on March 17, at 6:30pm for a virtual public consultation: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdPaKoHp9tcYfXinF11I3JPzufIa-FZAIoYWM4lEfMfl_uGhQ/viewform 

Winter Operations Update – Potholes 

Following the rain and the record breaking temperature on Sunday, the Roads and Parking Services team have sprung into action to address what is inevitable with this type of weather pattern, pothole repairs. We will be taking advantage of the mild weather expected over the next few days by redirecting additional resources and deploying more crews to fill potholes.  

Since January, Ottawa has seen all sorts of weather – everything from a record snowfall, prolonged freezing rain, temperatures above zero, rain, flash freeze and then more snow. We know this winter season will wreak havoc on our roads, sidewalks and winter cycling network as the freeze / thaw cycles take hold this month, bringing with it an increased number of potholes. We are on the job and ready! 

How are Potholes Formed? 

Potholes are formed when water (from rain or melted snow and ice) seeps into small cracks or holes in the road. As temperatures drop, the water under the road freezes and expands pushing up on the road above, creating larger cracks – when the temperature rises above zero, the water evaporates and leaves an open space under the road. The weight of cars and trucks travelling over these weak spots breaks the asphalt, resulting in potholes.   

How do we Repair Potholes? 

Potholes are filled by cleaning the hole of debris and water, then packing it with asphalt and rolling or pounding it down. At this time of year, some potholes in high traffic areas may need to be refilled more than once. This happens because water works its way back into the hole preventing the asphalt from forming an adhesive bond with the pavement.  

Filling Potholes in Winter  

In winter, conditions are not ideal for pothole repairs. The unstable conditions, including ice and water in the holes, as well as the cold temperatures and frequent freeze / thaw cycles, prevents the patch from adhering as well to the roadway making the repair temporary. Products that staff use to repair potholes during the winter months are Cold Patch and Warm Mix asphalt. 

Cold Patch asphalt is a blended asphalt material which can be stored for extended periods of time. It can be used in all temperatures, does not require special equipment to compact and can be applied directly to the roadway without heating. 

Warm Mix asphalt can be used year-round and produced at a lower temperature using different adhesives in the mix. Once the material is heated, the adhesives become thinner allowing improved workability and flow. The material can be manually compacted with a tamper, or shaped and compacted with power plate tampers or rollers.  

What’s Next?  

Based on the forecast, we are anticipating several freeze-thaw cycles over the next few weeks. Residents can expect to see our pothole crews across the City as we begin some of our spring road maintenance operations. Ottawa winter’s are hard on our infrastructure, and this year in particular, we are anticipating an increased number of potholes. We appreciate your patience as we complete our operations.  

For residents wishing to report a pothole, please create a Service Request online. 

Have your say on how we manage garbage, recycling, and food waste 

Ottawa’s vision is to be a zero-waste city. And yet, more than half of what we throw in the garbage could be recycled or composted. We need a plan that can stand up to challenges such as climate change and a landfill that is filling up fast. 

From previous engagement with the public on the Solid Waste Master Plan, we know that residents want progressive, collective, and innovative action. We learned about people’s creative ideas for the City to explore as part of the planning process. We have analysed that input and now we are asking for feedback on a short list of options for the plan. We also want to know how far, how fast, and at what cost you would like the City to move towards a zero-waste future. 

The options explore themes such as: 

  • Green bin use in multi-residential properties 
  • How we manage garbage and recycling in parks 
  • New and creative ways to reduce and reuse (such as repair cafes, lending libraries, community swaps, and food waste reduction initiatives) 
  • How to improve our recycling programs 
  • The role of technology and innovation 
  • Turning waste into renewable energy 
  • Financial considerations 
  • New promotion and education initiatives 

Visit ottawa.ca/wasteplan to have your say. You can share your thoughts by completing a survey or participating in one of our online workshops. You can also learn more by participating in a virtual information session. 

If you don’t have access to a computer, call 613-580-2424 ext. 25550 to complete the survey by phone. 

Feedback from this engagement series will help to develop the Solid Waste Master Plan – a guide for how garbage, recycling, and household organics will be managed for the next 30 years. 

Your feedback will help create a waste management system we can all feel good about – one that serves your needs while protecting the environment for future generations. 

Next steps 

The draft Waste Plan was expected in Q2 2022. However, potential changes in waste management policy at the federal and provincial level could have a significant impact on the Waste Plan. To allow for a fuller accounting of these factors, the draft plan is expected in early 2023, with the final Waste Plan to be tabled at Council in Q2 2023. 

Cleaning the Capital Spring 2022 

The Cleaning the Capital campaign is a citywide cleanup that occurs in the spring and fall of every year. Residents come together as a community and combine efforts to make our city clean and green. Litter pickup projects must be registered, and participating teams, upon request, receive a cleanup starter kit to assist them with their projects.  

2022 marks the 29th year of the Cleaning the Capital Program! The annual cleanup campaign first began in 1994 as a springtime cleanup. In 2006, due to the spring campaign's overwhelming success an annual fall campaign was added. Since 1994, more than 1.4 million volunteers have participated in more than 23,000 cleanup projects throughout the city. As a result, an estimated 1,700,000 kilograms of waste has been removed from our public spaces.  

The Cleaning the Capital Program is not-for-profit initiative and relies heavily on the generosity of sponsors who offer financial and in-kind support. Cleaning the Capital is an exciting way for residents to foster community pride by cleaning up their parks, bus stops, woodlots, ravines, shorelines and pathways, while enjoying the outdoors and ensuring that Ottawa stays clean, green, and litter-free. 

Spring Cleaning the Capital - Important dates 2022 

  • March 15, 2022: Registration opens 
  • April 15, 2022 - May 31, 2022: Spring Cleaning the Capital campaign 
  • April 30, 2022: Registration closes 
  • June 15, 2022: Deadline to submit your online cleanup report. 

For more information on how to take part in this year’s campaign, click here. 

Wellness Resources from OPH 

Wellness Week for Newcomers 

In the next weeks, several special events are taking place in partnership with our mental health partners. Here are the series of upcoming events for newcomers: 

  • Wednesday, March 9th at 12 pm : Supporting Your Young Children (Ummah Support Services - USS); 
  • Thursday, March 10th at 12 pm : Programs and Services with Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO); 
  • Friday, March 11th at 12 pm : Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (Dr. J. Jassam). 

We also included the promotion posters for all the events for the Wellness Week for Newcomers (both EN and FR versions) – at this time, these workshops will be conducted in English only.  

For more information on the Wellness Week for Newcomers and to register, please email [email protected]. Please feel free to share widely. 

Working Towards Recovery: Workplace Health and Wellness Guide 

OPH acknowledges and understands that public health measures and provincial restrictions have affected individuals and the business community in many ways. Workplaces have had to adapt to various work models – with some employees working on-site, some working from home and planning for an eventual return to work in-person, while some workplaces have had to close due to restrictions. OPH has developed the Working Towards Recovery: Workplace Health and Wellness Guide to help support the mental health and wellness of employers and employees in the workplace.  

This guide was developed to help support the mental health and wellness of both employers and employees in the workplace. The strategies and tips in this guide will be helpful to workplaces providing services virtually and workplaces providing in-person services and activities.  It has been shared with some partners from Ottawa’s business community and will be shared and promoted more broadly in the days and weeks ahead.   

Wellness Hubs 

OPH is implementing several pilot Wellness Hubs in the locations of the neighbourhood vaccination hubs. This pilot will begin at the end of March and will support residents’ questions on mental health and substance use health, provide tips and resources on wellness, and connect residents to social services through the Community and Social Services Department’s (CSSD) Employee and Social Services teams. These pilot hubs will operate in partnership with AccessMHA, Counselling Connect and 1Call1Click, and OPH team members will support residents with system navigation into services at these locations. 

Minwaashin Lodge is Moving! 

Effective April 1, 2022 Minwaashin Lodge will be moving to 2323 St. Laurent Blvd (Conroy Industrial Park). They are very excited to be expanding their space to accommodate their ever growing Minlodge community and programming. Services on the Lola St side will be suspended from March 21 – April 8, 2022 while they pack and transition over to the new space. On Monday, April 11th all programming will be up and running virtually/curbside/crisis/food support/small groups (pending covid restrictions).  

Minwaashin Lodge provides a range of programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and children (regardless of status) who are survivors of domestic and other forms of violence, and who may also be suffering the effects of the residential school system. All programs and services are provided in the context of cultural beliefs and values to ensure a holistic approach is used as part of the healing journey. 

If you would like to support the Minwaashin Lodge, please consider buying something off their Amazon wishlist. 

Snowshoe Pop-Up at the Rideau Winter Trail 

Ottawa Outdoor Gear Library is having a snowshoe pop-up in partnership with the Rideau Winter Trail! We'll be at the Odawe bridge near the Rideau Sports Complex on Sunday, March 13. Drop-in between 1pm-3pm, pick up your snowshoes and enjoy the trail! We have plenty of snowshoes for kids and adults! 

Free Workshop for Overbrook Youth: Youth Engagement for Safety (YES) 

There are still a few spots left in this FREE workshop over March break for youth 12-19. 

Learn photography skills and how to talk about social issues and discrimination through photojournalism with award-winning photojournalist and artist Cynthia Munster. 

The workshop takes place every afternoon during the week of March 14-18 at the Overbrook Community Centre, 33 Quill Street. Equipment is provided and participants can earn volunteer hours.  

For more information and to register, email [email protected]. 

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