May 8, 2020 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted daily life across our City. I want to thank the many residents who are on the front lines providing health care, ensuring public safety, and volunteering their time to lend a helping hand to those in need. And thanks to the employees at grocery stores and pharmacies who provide essential services to all of us. I am inspired by your leadership and commitment.
My office has been working hard on many issues during this serious public health crisis. After a joint appeal with other Councillors to consider the partial re-opening of green space to help with the physical and mental health of residents, the City will now allow limited use of some areas in City parks and beaches. I also urged the province to re-categorize community gardens as essential services and was successful. With appropriate public health guidelines, farmers markets will also be reopening throughout Ottawa, allowing residents to access healthy food while supporting Ottawa’s agricultural sector.
Food security is a priority during this emergency, and I hope that you will consider supporting our local food bank: the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre. The Centre runs many programs including “Local Food for our Local Food Bank” which leverages donations to purchase food from local businesses, which in turn are donated to people in need. Since early March, Ward 13 community associations have also come together to ensure that seniors and vulnerable residents receive the food and the services they need. Information about their crisis initiative is available at www.ottawacares.ca
During May, City Council will decided upon its growth management strategy, which will consider the expansion of Ottawa’s urban boundary. I am prepared to vote against expansion, but residents in our ward will need to understand what “holding the line” will mean. The Province has mandated that our City densify and consequently Council directed City staff to draft a new Official Plan that outlines more growth in our City through intensification than through greenfield development. Greenfield development might be easier, but increasing urban sprawl is terrible for Ottawa’s ecological and financial health.
Intensifying the lands within the urban boundary will require more infill development. By the end of 2046, Ottawa is expected to have an additional 400,000 people. The current urban boundary encompasses Orleans and Stittsville and I believe that the amount of undeveloped areas within our urban lands can accommodate the additional 195,000 homes Ottawa needs. If we grow through more infill, our Ward will see more construction, but I believe that if that occurs Rideau-Rockcliffe must have more infrastructure improvements, including additional sidewalks, cycling paths, watermain and sewer and recreation facilities that would be needed to accommodate more healthy, active and walkable neighbourhoods. I am also confident that a large proportion of projected growth can be accommodated in our Ward through transit-oriented development. Last year, I provided direction to City staff to begin a visioning exercise for the land surrounding the Baseball Stadium on Coventry Road that would explore innovative, future mixed-used development which ideally entail affordable housing and constitute a meaningful prospect for densification within our ward.
As always, my office is always here to help. Even as we continue to work remotely you can always get in touch with us at [email protected] or 613-580-2483.
Help Ottawa get back to work
The City of Ottawa is extending a challenge to our business community: send us your proposals for technology innovations that will accelerate Ottawa’s ability to get the workforce back to work and safely resume business operations.
In the months ahead, the gradual easing of pandemic restrictions will bring new challenges for our community and for our businesses. For example, when our local shops start to re-open, it likely won’t be business as usual, but your ideas can help our economy bounce back while keeping people safe.
The Innovation Pilot Program - Recovery Stream is seeking innovative project ideas to support public health efforts or stimulate economic recovery. We are accepting proposals in many sectors, including health, tourism, festivals and events, restaurants, retail, construction, transportation, and food supply.
Successful applicants will have the opportunity to test and quickly deploy their technology innovations in real-life testing environments with the City or one of its economic development partners. The program provides companies with valuable feedback on their innovations prior to scaling and production.
We are accepting your proposals until Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Please check our web page for more details and eligibility criteria.
- Medical masks and N95 respirators should NOT be worn by healthy community members as they must be kept for health care workers and others providing direct care to COVID-19
- Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering is NOT a replacement for physical distancing, hand washing, and/or monitoring your
- Wearing non-medical mask or face covering may offer additional protection especially when physical distancing is difficult to maintain (e.g. in a grocery store, on the bus) and may help protect others around
- Non-medical masks may include:
- Those that are made from cloth (for example cotton);
- Those that have pockets to insert filters; and,
- Those used to cover other masks or respirators to prolong
A non-medical mask should be worn If you are:
- Ill and are coughing or sneezing, please wear a non-medical mask to protect those around you from getting sick. This is very important if you go to an appointment, clinic, or a hospital. Do not go to other public places when you are sick, even if you are wearing a mask. If you are seeking medical care, an appropriate medical/surgical mask will be provided. Follow the instructions given to you in the health care setting about how to remove and store your non-medical mask
- Visiting somewhere where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as the grocery store, pharmacy, or public transit., as is now suggested by OC Transpo;
- Are caring for someone who is ill; and,
- Are taking care of someone who is coughing or sneezing, particularly if they are unable to wear a mask,. Both the ill individual and the caregiver should wear a non-medical
It is never appropriate to place a non-medical mask or facial covering on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Ottawa Public Health provides a list of local mask manufacturers. Vendors were identified via social media by Ottawa residents. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) does not endorse any particular vendor of material masks, nor can we ensure that any vendor is able to maintain stock of these products. We are not liable if there are any issues related to the vendor or the purchased product. The vendors below are listed with the intent of promoting the wearing of material masks in settings where physical distancing is not possible. If you, or your constituents are aware of other Ottawa-based or Canada-based vendors producing masks that are not currently listed below, please let us know at [email protected].
OC Transpo EquiPass
Customers whose eligibility for the EquiPass or Community Pass has expired or is expiring between February 1 and July 31, 2020, and who have not already renewed their discount, will have their eligibility extended until August 15, 2020. (This excludes EquiPass renewal applications that were already processed and not approved and for which the applicant has received a letter indicating their ineligibility.) The expiration date of the discount encoded on the cards will be extended automatically. Customers will need to tap their Presto card on a bus or at a fare gate or query their card at a ticket machine or at a participating Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws or Real Canadian Superstore location in order to have the revised expiration date written electronically to the card. Access Pass holders who require a renewal to their discount during the CSC closures are asked to contact OC Transpo directly to make individual arrangements.
New applications for the EquiPass, Community Pass, or Access Pass will be handled by mail until further notice. A customer whose application is approved will receive by mail a new Presto card with the discount set on the card or will have the discount applied to their ParaPay account. The expiry date for the discount will be set as per the normal process, and will be indicated on the approval letter.
Credits on Presto and ParaPay accounts will be provided to any customers whose discounts have expired and have paid higher fares as a result.
Montreal Road – Lane reductions will remain in place at the intersection of Montreal Road and Vanier Parkway until Friday, May 15 for watermain work, as part of the Montreal Road Revitalization project.
O-Train Line 1 – The O-Train Line 1 will close temporarily and be replaced by R1 bus service from Saturday, May 9 until Wednesday, May 13 to complete maintenance activities and work relating to issues that have impacted service. More information is available on octranspo.com.