March 18 Newsletter 2022

March 18, 2022 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.

This weekend marks the last couple of days of winter before the long-awaited arrival of spring. I am sure many residents are eager to get outside and breathe in the fresh air as the weather continues to warm up. Starting next week, the Ottawa Public Library will offer enhanced in-person services in branches. Further, residents are reminded that as of Monday, March 21 masks will no longer be required in public libraries. However, staff will continue to be masked and physically distance. This is in alignment with the province’s announcement on the removal of its mandatory mask requirement for many indoor settings. Details on the City’s masking policy changes can be found in the first item in this newsletter. Next Tuesday, at the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water, and Waste Management I will be bringing forward a motion which calls for a phase out the use of all gas-powered lawn maintenance equipment by the municipality. This is just one step towards achieving our climate and sustainability goals moving into the future. 

On March 29, the City will be hosting an open house on the Transportation Master Plan (TMP). In addition to this open house, my office in conjunction with Councillor Fleury’s office will be hosting a public consultation on the TMP specifically for wards 12 & 13 on April 5 at 4:00pm. Finally, Crime Prevention Ottawa’s Paint it Up! Mural program is open for 2022. Full details on this year’s program can be found in the last item in this newsletter. 

2022 Ward Update 

Councillor Rawlson King provided insights and updates on projects and priorities in Ward 13, as well as in the City of Ottawa in a recent television interview. This update was provided during an English language Rogers TV broadcast moderated by Derick Fage, that was recorded in February 2022, before the illegal downtown occupation. You can watch the interview at https://www.rideau-rockcliffe.ca/2022_ward_update  

Masking policy changes for City of Ottawa facilities and OC Transpo 

On Wednesday, March 9, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, announced that the province is removing its mandatory mask requirement for many indoor settings starting Monday, March 21. This next step in reopening is possible because the peak of the Omicron wave has passed and because of Ontario’s high vaccination rate. 

The following City settings will no longer require the public to wear masks as of Monday, March 21: 

Residents who prefer wearing masks at these facilities are welcome to do so. We must all continue to show kindness and compassion to one another and respect individual tolerance for risk when together in public settings. 

Settings still requiring masks 

As determined by the Province of Ontario, masks continue to be required on OC Transpo buses and trains and in stations, and on Para Transpo minibuses and taxis. 

Mask wearing will also continue to be required for all individuals in the City’s high-risk and congregate settings. This includes: 

  • Carleton Lodge, Centre d’accueil Champlain, Garry J. Armstrong, and Peter D. Clark long-term care homes 
  • Physical distancing and respite centres 
  • Ottawa Public Health’s vaccination clinics, dental clinics, sexual health clinics and supervised consumption services. 

There are several types of effective masks. The key is to ensure they fit you properly. However, long-term care homes require a medical-type mask, which they provide to staff and visitors. 

Ottawa Public Health continues to recommend mask use for people at risk of severe illness and for all indoors when physical distancing is difficult. 

For more information on learning to live with COVID-19, visit Ottawa Public Health’s new Reducing the risks from COVID-19 webpage. 

OPL Service Update 

Starting Monday, March 21, Ottawa Public Library (OPL) will offer enhanced in-person services in branches.   

These enhanced services include:  

  • Chromebook loan periods and public computer bookings increased to two hours   
  • Meeting rooms available at select locations  

Bookings can be made on the OPL website under “Make a booking” at the top right of the home page. 

Please note that masks will no longer be required for the public as the province is lifting its mandatory mask requirement for many indoor settings, including public libraries, starting Monday, March 21. OPL employees will continue to wear masks and physical distance until further notice.   

Online services are always available on OPL's website for browsing the catalogue, requesting library items, managing your account, virtual programs, accessing OPL’s digital collections, and more.    

Please check the OPL website for information about hours and location.   

Local Action On the Environment 

This coming Tuesday, March 22 at the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water, and Waste Management I will be bringing forward two items to support residents and the City in moving towards our climate change goals and building a more sustainable and resilient community. The first is a motion that was tabled in November, which calls for a phase out the use of all gas-powered lawn maintenance equipment by the municipality. As the NCC has stepped up their efforts to phase out the use of two- and four-stroke engines it is the perfect opportunity for the City to follow suit. This technology is decades out of date and has many negative health impacts both on the operators and residents, from the particulates, allergens, and carcinogens impacting our air quality to the noise levels that far exceed the World Health Organization’s recommendations. I worked with staff to create a motion that they can support and offers clear and urgent direction, and I hope to see the support of my colleagues at committee on Tuesday. 

I will also be directing staff to review the City’s policies and by-laws governing gardening, beautification, and intentional naturalization activities by residents in the City-owned Right-of-Way. This includes both the ROW adjacent to private property along sidewalks or roadsides, and distinct areas like boulevards. Both councillor offices and staff report an increase in requests from residents looking to plant or maintain areas of the ROW in a more sustainable way, including things like pollinator gardens and native plant species. This direction will help bring Ottawa in line with other Ontario municipalities and remove barriers to residents looking for gardening and naturalization activities in urban areas across the city. 

REMINDER: Transportation Master Plan Open House 

The City of Ottawa has launched Phase 3 of its consultation on the Transportation Master Plan. Residents are invited to join City Staff at a Public Open House to learn more about the proposed polices that will guide our transportation decisions and networks to 2046. 

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

Please note that the Zoom link will be provided to all registered participants prior to the event. 

For further information on the Transportation Master Plan please visit https://engage.ottawa.ca/transportation-master-plan. 

Ward 12 & 13 TMP Public Consultation 

Following the City’s TMP open house on March 29, my office in collaboration with Councillor Fleury’s office will be hosting a consultation on the transportation master plan on April 5 at 4:00pm. Please register in advance for the meeting by clicking here. 

Paint it Up! Mural Program 

Crime Prevention Ottawa, in partnership with the City of Ottawa, offers funding for outdoor mural projects that supports preventing vandalism and tagging, community safety, and the beautification of Ottawa neighbourhoods. The Paint it Up! Program empowers youth through community arts. 

Since its inception in 2010, Paint it Up! has involved more than 2,754 youth aged 12 to 25. There have been close to 90 mural projects across the city supported by an average grant of $5,000. 

Key dates: 

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2022 – deadline for having a pre-approved location for the mural. Coordinate with [email protected]. 
  • Monday, April 4, 2022 – deadline to submit completed application. 

Each project must involve: 

  • A pre-approved mural location 
  • A non-profit organization with expertise in youth 
  • An artist or arts organization with expertise in murals 
  • A representative of the proposed location of the mural 

It should also: 

  • Adhere to all public health guidelines, see our information sheet 
  • Contribute to a clean, safe and beautiful city 
  • Be completed under the guidance of an adult mentor 
  • Seek to increase the skills or employability of youth 
  • Involve the community, youth and property owner in the mural design 
  • Engage youth in all aspects of the project 

Full guidelines and application can be found here. 

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