March 19, 2021 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
City to Hold Official Plan Q&A Session
City staff would like to invite you to a public Question and Answer session on March 24th, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
The Technical Circulation period for comments for the draft New Official Plan released in November 2020 ended on March 12, 2021, however the discussion on the final New Official Plan will continue until it goes to City Council this fall.
City staff has received hundreds of questions in the past few weeks. They are looking to provide answers publicly so many residents could benefit from the responses.
Please register for this meeting here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/new-official-plan-qa-seance-de-questions-sur-le-nouveau-plan-tickets-145311393289
Please submit your questions here: https://s-ca.chkmkt.com/?e=224375&h=F5D855A9F6BDEC0.
Thank you for your ongoing engagement with the New Official Plan. Councillor King’s office will also hold a community based town hall concerning the Official Plan and its impact on Ward 13 on April 15. More details on this meeting to follow soon.
Ottawa moves into Red-Control Level
Effective today, Friday, March 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., as a result of worsening trends in key health indicators in the region. From March 10 to 15, 2021, Ottawa's case rate increased by 24.8 per cent, to 46.8 cases per 100,000 people, and is continuing to climb. In addition, COVID-19 wastewater signal data are at peak levels last seen in October 2020 and in January 2021 when more restrictions were required to bring COVID-19 levels down. Hospitals in our city are currently working at or over capacity to handle the backlog of critical health care services and COVID-19 patients. Some schools have also been forced to close due to the number of variants of concern growing exponentially.
Interventions in the Red Zone include limits for all organized public events and social gatherings, where physical distancing can be maintained, with five people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Religious ceremonies and gatherings, including weddings and funeral services, are still allowed but with more restrictions where physical distancing can be maintained to 30 per cent capacity of the room indoors, or 100 people outdoors. To clarify, this is not a lockdown and most businesses can remain open. Restaurants and gyms can stay open. There is now a capacity limit of 10 patrons seated indoors for restaurants, and for gyms a maximum of 10 people in indoor areas with weights and exercise machines or for classes, with physical distancing always maintained.
Ottawa Public Health is continuing to ask residents to limit their contacts and interactions, stay home as much as possible especially when sick, wear a mask, wash their hands often and get tested if they think they may be infected. Doing these things will help decrease levels in the community to avoid another lockdown.
Complete details regarding what is and is not permitted for gatherings, restaurants, sports, retail, and personal care services within the Red-Control level can be found on the provincial website at https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open#red
How will the Red-Control status impact City services?
As Ottawa transitions to the provincial Red-Control status, the City will continue to offer many of the same recreation services with reduced capacities. The City’s counter service operations will remain unchanged from the previous status.
Impacted City recreation activities
Three metres of physical distancing will continue to be required in weight and cardio rooms. Public skating, fitness and sport activities by reservation will continue with the reduced 10-person capacity. Swimming pool capacities continue to be significantly reduced to support physical distancing between swimmers.
In addition, this more restrictive status does not permit the playing of team sports or scrimmages and only training activities are permitted. Sports that allow for physical distancing and involve doubles play only, like pickleball and badminton, will be permitted.
Public swimming, lane swims and select fitness activities continue
Make a reservation up to two days in advance for swimming, weight and cardio rooms and select sport activities. Visit ottawa.ca/recreation to view schedules and activity offerings at facilities that are open.
Outdoor refrigerated rinks – weather permitting
Skating on the outdoor refrigerated rinks will continue by reservation only, with a maximum capacity of 25 skaters per session.
Cultural programs continue
Select cultural programs continue to run by reservation only at Nepean Visual Arts Centre and Shenkman Arts Centre with the reduced 10-person capacity.
Facility rentals – new capacity restrictions
Select City rental spaces will be available to accommodate up to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, provided the space allows for adequate physical distancing of at least two metres.
In-person counter services continue
The City’s by-appointment counter services will remain unchanged from the previous provincial framework status. These services include:
- Service Ottawa Client Service Centres and Building Code Service counters at City Hall and Ben Franklin Place
- The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue
- The City’s Central Archives’ Reference Room at the James K. Bartleman Centre, located at 100 Tallwood Drive
Employment and Social Services and Rent Supplement Program offices provide in-person service by appointment only and counter services are available between 9 am and 3 pm.
Ottawa Public Library branches
Thirty-one of the Ottawa Public Library’s 33 branches are currently open. In addition to library material holds pickup and returns, 28 of those branches are offering in-person services, such as: browsing of the collection, use of public computers by appointment, reading suggestions, and card registration and renewals. Capacity is limited.
Visit BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca for the latest service updates, access to digital resources and requests for library items.
Hate incidents targeting Asian Community
Since the start of the pandemic, we have witnessed an increase in hate crimes targeting racialized members of the community. The largest increase is seen among Asian-Canadians. In 2020, the number of reported incidents targeting people of Asian descent increased to 14 from 2 in 2019.
A hate crime is a criminal offence committed against a person or property which is motivated by hate/bias or prejudice based on race, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, or factors of identity.
The tragic events that occurred in the mass shooting event in Atlanta, Georgia, US this week have refocused attention on this important issue. The Ottawa Police continues to reach out to the Asian community to express support and commitment to everyone’s safety.
The Ottawa Police Hate and Bias Crime Unit and Diversity Resource and Relations Unit are focused on ensuring community members are better educated on and enabled to report hate incidents.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of what they perceive to be a hate-motivated incident, please report it to the Ottawa Police Hate and Bias Crime Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5015 or online. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca
For more information, visit the Hate-Motivated Crime Section online.
Early registration for Cleaning the Capital is open
Ottawa – The City of Ottawa’s 2021 Cleaning the Capital Program returns for the spring campaign, from April 15 to May 15. Early registration is now open.
The campaign is a citywide event that brings together communities, neighbours and friends to help keep Ottawa clean and green. Cleaning the Capital is also an excellent way for high school students to earn their community volunteer hours.
Registering is quick and easy:
- Visit ottawa.ca/clean or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) to register your cleanup. Our interactive map will show you which locations have already been claimed, and our online registration form will allow you to choose your own project site and indicate the cleanup supplies that you need.
- Select a location, such as a park, ravine, shoreline, bus stop or pathway – any public area that requires litter pickup or graffiti removal.
City to present comprehensive strategy to advance gender equity
On Wednesday, the City released its first Women and Gender Equity Strategy, which demonstrates how it would work to remove systemic barriers faced by women and gender diverse people in Ottawa and ensure a respectful and inclusive workplace for all its employees.
Residents interested in learning about the full strategy are encouraged to review the full report and tune in to watch when the Community and Protective Services Committee considers the report on Friday, March 26. Members of the public can provide written submissions and can also speak for up to five minutes at the meeting. Those interested should refer to the process outlined as Annex A of the agenda.
Online Event – Let's Talk: COVID-19 and the Black Community
Join Black Ottawa Connect and the Ottawa Young Black Professionals for a Q&A Panel with local Black Health Care Professionals. This Panel will take place on Saturday, March 27 at 10:00 a.m., and aims to provide community members with an opportunity to learn about choices available to them to maintain their health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please register for this panel here.
Virtual COVID-19 Vaccination Forum for People with Disabilities
On Tuesday, March 23 from 10:30 am to noon, the Ottawa Disability Coalition, Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa Accessibility Office will host a virtual COVID-19 Vaccination Forum for People with Disabilities. This virtual event is open to all residents, with a focus on people with disabilities and caregivers. Residents can register for the event by clicking on one of the links below from OPH and the City’s Twitter/Facebook accounts. Members of Council are encouraged to share these links with community members and within your respective channels.
- English: https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth/photos/a.172882482748379/3804469516256306/
- French: https://www.facebook.com/ottawasante/photos/a.155426901172061/3675375352510514/
- English: https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth/status/1371880206185725952
- French: https://twitter.com/ottawasante/status/1371880206374481923
COVID-19 Vaccination Updates in Ottawa
The Province has announced that as of Monday, March 22nd, residents 75 years of age and older will be eligible to book an appointment at a community clinic. In addition, participating pharmacies and primary care settings will offer vaccination appointments to residents 60 years of age and over. Details on locations and the application process for pharmacy participation will be shared by the province in the coming days.
All residents 80 and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccination
All Ottawa residents age 80 and over can begin booking appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There are two options for booking, depending on where you live, so please consider the options carefully to determine which one is right for you.
Residents over 80 citywide
All Ottawa residents 80 and older (born in 1941 or earlier) regardless of where they live in the city can book an appointment through the Province of Ontario’s online booking system. This includes adults 90 and older who do not yet have an appointment booked.
Visit Ottawapublichealth.ca to access the provincial booking system or call the information line at 1-888-999-6488 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week. Only book or call if you are eligible.
Appointments will be available at four community vaccination clinics:
- Nepean Sportsplex (open)
- Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA (opens Wednesday, March 17)
- Eva James Memorial Community Centre (opens Tuesday, March 23)
- City Hall (opens Tuesday, March 23)
Residents over 80 in high-priority neighbourhoods
If you are 80 and older (born in 1941 or earlier) or an adult recipient of chronic home care, and you live in the following communities, you can call 613-691-5505 to book an appointment at a pop-up clinic location close to your neighbourhood. For a list of clinic locations see Ottawa’s vaccine distribution.
- Britannia Village
- Carleton Heights - Rideauview
- Sandy Hill
- Whitehaven - Queensway Terrace North
Other groups were made eligible in previous weeks and remain eligible today.
First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations:
First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members who are aged 50 and older are currently eligible for vaccination. Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team is providing vaccinations for Inuit. To book an appointment or for more information, call 613-740-0999. Ottawa Public Health is partnering with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health to provide a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members aged 50 and older at the St-Laurent Complex, located at 525 Côté Street.
Confirm your eligibility for Vaccination
To confirm that you are eligible for vaccination, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Screening Tool. Residents who were eligible in previous weeks remain eligible today and throughout the Citywide vaccination process.
Accommodations will be made for residents who need help with accessibility and all clinic locations are accessible. If you are a Para Transpo user, you can book your ride to the clinic through the COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation line at 613-842-3600. If a transportation option is not available to you, you can request a ride to and from the clinic through Ottawa Community Transportation after you have booked your appointment.
Get COVID-19 Vaccine updates in your inbox
To make finding vaccine information a little easier, the City of Ottawa has created the COVID-19 Vaccine Update e-subscription. Sign up today and you’ll receive the latest updates on vaccine distribution in the city, delivered to your inbox. It will also include a weekly roundup of COVID-19 and vaccine-related information every Friday.
All residents, even those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, are encouraged to register for the e-subscription. It will keep you informed on:
- who is eligible for the vaccine
- where clinics are held
- how and when you can schedule an appointment
- the latest vaccine information
To sign up for the e-subscription, make sure you choose the first item: COVID-19 Vaccine Update.
Alternatively, you can choose City News to receive information on all programs and services at the City of Ottawa, including COVID-19 and vaccination updates.
The Latest COVID-19 Updates for the City of Ottawa
- “By moving into Red-Control now, we are sending a clear signal that more action is required to reduce COVID levels in our community. We need to do what we know has worked for us in the previous months. Limit contacts and interactions, stay home as much as possible and especially if you are sick, wear a mask, wash your hands often and get tested if you think you may be infected. Doing these things will help decrease levels in the community to avoid another lockdown.” Read the latest statement from Dr. Vera Etches.
- Starting Friday, March 19, First Nation, Métis and Inuit community members over 40 years of age are eligible for a vaccine appointment at the vaccination clinic located at St-Laurent Complex. Call today to book an appointment: 613-691-5505. You will be asked to provide proof of Indigenous identity/status. Learn more.
- To date, more than 88,000 doses of vaccines have been administered in Ottawa.
- A community vaccination clinic at the Ruddy Family YM-YWCA opened on March 17, with two more clinics scheduled to open on March 23 at Ottawa City Hall and the Eva James Memorial Community Centre in Kanata. Complimentary parking is available to clients attending the clinics at City Hall. Visit the Vaccine distribution page for more information.
- Ottawa is expected to complete second dose offers of COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents at all 82 retirement homes in the city by March 20.
- Visit the OPH Covid-19 Vaccination page to learn who can currently get the Covid-19 vaccine and check out COVID-19 in Ottawa for the latest updates.