March 3, 2023 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
A Message from Councillor King
On Wednesday, Council adopted the 2023 Budget, a transitional "placeholder" plan that supports Council's commitment to fund ongoing operational needs by maintaining residents' services as Council begins determining its priorities for this new Council term.
Under this year's budget, the average urban homeowner will see their property tax bill rise by $104. The urban water fee is going up $38, and the police levy is increasing by $17.
City staff spent countless hours over the past few months developing a financial plan designed to increase transit affordability, respond to climate change, conserve our environment, and enhance community safety. Consequently, I supported several measures in this budget, including a transit fare freeze, an annual $5 million commitment to implement the City's climate change plan, and $52 million in new climate investments. The budget also included measures to hire 14 new paramedics. The budget included an additional $1.5 million for affordable housing, creating $16.5 million in total capital funding for this year.
As Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives, I was also pleased that an additional $400,000 was allocated in the Budget for equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives to aid in adopting the City's Anti-Racism Strategy, Women and Gender Equity initiatives and Indigenous relations.
Challenging areas of the budget that I could not support included the $401 million police budget and the capital portion of the transit budget. I did not support the police budget as I believe more police budget efficiencies need to be found and redirected to social services, which will reduce the need for continued "beyond-inflationary" expansion of police service budgets. While I supported a motion to take $500,000 of identified efficiencies from the police budget and redirect it to mental health services, that motion unfortunately failed. I also did not support the transit capital budget as permanent cuts to OC Transpo have been detrimental to bus and ParaTranspo service levels.
I was pleased, however, that Council passed a motion I moved concerning Route 17 bus service during budget deliberations on Wednesday that directs OC Transpo staff to assess the financial feasibility of restoring that peak-period, peak-direction transit service to Wateridge Village based on the current population, current and future rates of transit ridership, and funding available within the approved 2023 transit operating budget. The motion directs staff to work with my office to confirm the financial feasibility of the proposed new service and subsequently to confirm implementation.
Since Budget 2023 is a transitional plan, I supported the budget as a whole with the expectation of a substantive change for future budgets in the 2022-2026 Council Term. Consequently, I supported a successful motion from my colleague, College Ward Councillor Laine Johnson, to study the feasibility of multi-year budgeting to better link Term of Council priorities with operational and capital expenditures. I also introduced a successful motion to study the development and use of a Municipal Price Index, which would accurately measure the impact of inflation on the municipality. Based upon my office's numerous public consultations on the Budget and resident correspondence, it will be my continued goal to advocate and secure more dollars for affordable housing, parks and infrastructure investments for the Ward.
To learn more about the 2023 Budget, I encourage you to visit ottawa.ca, where you will find a high-level summary, along with a section called Understanding your City Budget, that outlines what this plan means for Ottawa residents and City services.
Councillor King in the Community
I had the opportunity to celebrate the end of Black History Month with City staff on Feb 29. I am happy to see the 2023 City budget allocated $300k to anti-racism and gender equity strategies as well as $100k to advance municipal Indigenous relations. As well I was incredibly privileged to listen to Terrance Floyd talk about his vision for peace and justice in the wake of his brother’s murder at Black History Month Gala held at Canadian Museum of History last weekend. Finally, it was great to attend the Church of St. Columba in Manor Park last Sunday in honour of Black History Month where I spoke about the need to address homelessness and affordable housing. I hope everyone had the opportunity to participate in Black History Month events this February.
Rideau-Rockcliffe News, Events and Engagement Opportunities
GoFundMe Campaign for 240 Presland displaced residents
Thanks to everyone's generosity, the Overbrook Community Association are responding to kindness with kindness. Their new goal is $10,000 and the fundraising campaign will end on March 5th. They will then distribute funds as soon as possible. You can donate HERE
City Series: Olivares & Becke (MacKay United)
Fri Mar 10 19:00
Join us in your neighbourhood for City Series, featuring some familiar Ottawa faces!
Juan Gabriel Olivares and Carson Becke are both based in the Gatineau Hills near Ottawa: they are energetic, communicative performers who love playing for and talking to their audiences. Between pieces on this program, they will tell stories about the music, and their relationship to it.
The clarinet is an amazingly versatile instrument, capable of producing sounds that range from trumpet-like blasts to tender vocalistic utterances, and everything in between. This program explores the clarinet’s versatility through some of the best-loved works written for it in partnership with the piano.
Trivia Night at the Bridge
Save the date for Trivia Night at the Bridge – A fundraiser for the Rideau Winter Trail on April 24 at 6:30 p.m. The first ever trivia night to raise funds for the sustainability of the volunteer-run trail. If you’d like to be notified when tickets go on sale, drop us an email at [email protected].
Vanier Museopark: Volunteering opportunities Sugar Festival 2023
The Vanier Museoparc is pleased to announce the in-person return of the Vanier Sugar Festival! For details please visit museoparc.ca/sugar-festival.
The Museoparc is actively looking for volunteers to help during the Festival. About 100 individuals are needed to lend a hand.
You will find attached a poster and a bilingual document with more information about our volunteer opportunities. The link volunteer registration form: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/festival2023
Free Income Tax Clinic - March 1 to April 28
The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre is hosting a free income tax clinic to residents with a K1K (and some K1M and K1G) postal code from March 1 to April 28, 2023.
To register and for details, please visit crcrr.org.
Crime Prevention Ottawa - Requests for Proposals welcome until March 13
CPO's 2023 Request for Proposals is open, and applications are due by 5 pm on March 13. We are looking to fund projects that make Ottawa safer. Up to $600,900 of CPO funds are available in 2023. There are 3 streams of funding:
- micro grants (up to $15,000, for one-year projects),
- non-renewable grants ($30,000 to $60,000), and
- multi-year systems level/collaboratives (up to $160,000 per year).
This year's Request for Proposals is an initial step towards implementing a more equitable and transparent process. CPO is evolving how it funds safety initiatives based on a review of its funding practices led by Mehari Consulting. Please visit CPO's funding page for more information, to download an application form, and to register for the Q&A session.
This year the Governor General's Foot Guards (GGFG) are celebrating their 150th anniversary. To mark this milestone, the regimental family will inaugurate the GGFG Youth Achievement Awards as a means of giving back to the community that has supported them so well for a century and a half. Nominations/applications for four scholarships totaling $19,000 are welcome. The deadline for applications/nominations is March 10, 2023. www.ggfg150.ca/youthawards
City of Ottawa Community Environmental Projects Grant Program - Applications due March 31, 2023
The City of Ottawa is now accepting applications for the 2023 Community Environmental Projects Grant Program, which provides funding to non-profit organizations interested in undertaking small-scale, community-based initiatives that support an environmentally sustainable Ottawa.
The application deadline is Friday, March 31 at 4 pm. For more information, please click here.
The Community Partnership Minor Capital Program is an initiative available for minor capital improvements to city-owned parks, recreation and cultural facilities on a cost-sharing basis with community groups. Examples include play equipment, basketball courts, park furniture, tree planting, landscape improvements, minor community facility improvements, etc. Projects on school board land and other public lands that are accessible to the public may also be eligible. The 2023 deadlines to apply are May 1 and Sept. 1. For details, contacts and to apply, please click here.
City of Ottawa News, Events, Meetings and Engagement Opportunities
Rideau River Flood Control Operations
Every year, the City of Ottawa’s Roads and Parking Services team works in partnership with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to prepare for its annual Rideau River Flood Control operations. The annual operations are carried out before spring in an effort to mitigate the risk of flooding in communities that abut the Rideau River. These operations are officially underway. For details, please click here.
March is Kidney Health Month
This is an important time of year to highlight the impact of kidney disease and raise awareness of kidney health in communities across the country. People living with kidney disease fight a lifelong battle, and The Kidney Foundation’s mission is to support those affected every step of the way – from diagnosis to treatment – with trusted educational resources and peer support programs. This March, we are inviting Canadians to #MakeYourMark on kidney disease by sharing the Kidney Foundation of Canada's campaign on social media and by making donations to the Foundation's campaign page at www.kidneyontario.ca.
Black Mental Health Week 2023: Exploring Stigma and Black Mental Health - March 1 to 7
The Ottawa Black Mental Health Coalition is hosting several events over the week of March 1 to 7, Black Mental Health Week.
The theme this year is exploring stigma and Black mental health with the 3 events:
Ending Stigma Together – March 7, 6:00-7:00pm on zoom
For details, please click here.
- Browse spring activities on register.ottawa.ca.
- Register for spring learn to swim and other aquatics programs on Monday, March 6 at 9 pm
- Register for all other spring programs on Wednesday, March 8 at 9 pm
Summer camps and activities
- Browse summer camps and activities on register.ottawa.ca starting Tuesday, March 21
- Register for summer learn to swim and other aquatics programs on Monday, April 3 at 9 pm
- Register for summer camps and all other summer programs on Tuesday, April 4 at 9 pm
New Legislation Overview - Virtual Open House - March 7
Topics will include Bill 109, Bill 23, the Official Plan, and the impact Provincial legislation will have on planning-related matters. This session, scheduled for March 7 at 6:30 pm on Zoom, is open to the public and will provide a high-level update on the City’s review of the impacts of Provincial legislation and an overview of how the City is adapting as a result of these changes. Register to attend here.
Carbon Neutrality in Ottawa - March 8 webinar
March 8, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Online - Register at this link
The world continues on its way to energy transition, and it is crucial that the building sector plays its part and adapts in order to mitigate the impact of continued carbon emissions. Since it is responsible for approximately 40% of all emissions, reducing emissions from building operations is of significant global importance. How do we get there in the National Capital Region? This one-day hybrid workshop will bring together experts from the City, federal government and utilities, developers, contractors, owners, operators and design consultants, who will discuss their successes and the challenges encountered. in implementing the low-carbon projects needed to drastically reduce emissions from building operations. It will review the strategies applied by the public and private sectors and will address the thorny issues of financing, controlling capital costs and life cycle cost.
Ontario Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking regulation - March 9 webinar
Tackling Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) regulation and the City’s benchmarking program. Manage or own a building that’s more than 20,000 square feet? Get ahead of the curve with Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) regulation and the City’s benchmarking program. As Ontario works towards a clean, reliable and affordable electricity system, the requirement to participate in EWRB now includes buildings with smaller square footage. Start the year off by complying with the provincial regulation.
Panelists: Trevor Freeman, P.Eng, CEM, LEED AP, Supervisor, Key Accounts, Hydro Ottawa
Marie Hanchet, Project Manager, Environmental Program | Climate Change and Resiliency Unit, City of Ottawa.
This 1-hour webinar will be held on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. EST.Click here to register.
This webinar is available only in English. Should you need assistance in French, please contact us at [email protected].
Vanier Museopark: Volunteering opportunities Sugar Festival 2023
The Vanier Museoparc is pleased to announce the in-person return of the Vanier Sugar Festival! Here is a link to our dedicated page should you’ve missed it: https://museoparc.ca/sugar-festival.
We are actively looking for volunteers to help during the Festival. Volunteer registration form: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/festival2023
St. Patrick's Parade and Party - Cancelled
The St. Patrick’s parade, scheduled for March 11, 2023, has been cancelled due to a lack of volunteers and funding.
Vacant Unit Tax Declarations - Deadline is March 16
Complete your Vacant Unit Tax declaration in just a few quick steps. A declaration is required for each property that you own, even if it is your principal residence. The deadline to submit declarations is March 16. The City has set up declaration options for residents who require accessibility related supports, and for those without access to the internet or digital devices – like computers, tablets and other hand-held devices:
- Call Revenue Services at 613-580-2444 and select option 3 to complete a declaration over the phone, or to book an in-person appointment at the Mary Pitt Centre at 100 Constellation Drive.
- Call 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. The service uses internet and mobile phone technologies to connect the caller with real-time sign language interpretation.
For details, please visit ottawa.ca/vut.
Ujima Job Fair - March 18
Jaku Konbit’s team of youth leaders will once again plan and deliver the Ujima Job Fair in collaboration with community business partners. The Ujima Job Fair will promote opportunities and resources available to youth and adults seeking employment, volunteer, and entrepreneurial experience in the Ottawa/Gatineau region.
March 18 from 11 am to 2:30 pm at City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W. Click here for more information.
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival - Registration is now open
Planning for the 2023 Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is well underway and will be taking place on the first weekend of summer, June 22 to 25, on the Rideau River in the natural setting of Mooney’s Bay.
Registration is open. For details, please click here.
Emergency Services News
Ottawa Police Service
➤ OPS Traffic Services conducts downtown enforcement - 297 tickets issued.
Click here for the press release.
City of Ottawa Committee and Council Updates
Meetings from March 6 to 10
Ottawa – For a complete agenda and updates, please sign up for email alerts, visit ottawa.ca/agendas or call 3-1-1. For more information about how to watch or participate in individual meetings, please consult the specific meeting’s agenda at ottawa.ca/agendas.
Built Heritage Committee – Monday, March 6 at 9:30 am
- Designation of the Crabtree House, 559 Lang’s Road under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act
- Applications to alteration to 233 Argyle Street and 330 McLeod Street, properties designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act as part of the Centretown Heritage Conservation District
- Heritage permits issued through delegated authority, 2022
- Status update – Built Heritage Committee inquiries and motions for the period ending February 17, 2023
Finance and Corporate Services Committee – Tuesday, March 7 at 9:30 am
- Status update – Finance and Corporate Services Committee inquiries and motions for the period ending February 24, 2023
- City representation and delegate attendance at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario annual conferences
- 2021 Business Improvement Area and Sparks Street Mall Authority – Annual reports and audited financial statements
- Declaration of surplus land - 2060 Lanthier Drive and transfer to Ottawa Community Lands Development Corporation
- Brownfield grant application – 2 Montreal Road and 3 Selkirk Street
Ottawa City Council – Wednesday, March 8 at 10 am
Ottawa Police Services Board Finance and Audit Committee – Thursday, March 9 at 10 am
- 2023 Annual Audit Plan
For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.