MESSAGE FROM THE COUNCILLOR
It is my sincere wish that everyone in Ward 9 and across our beautiful City of Ottawa has a healthy, happy and safe 2023. We’ve all faced so many challenges and uncertainties over the past few years. Speaking for myself, I can only assume that most people are looking forward to the same things that I am: stability, normalcy (whatever that is), and a better quality of life for all residents.
This edition of our newsletter isn’t as chunky as our previous issues, largely because we’ve been on holiday since December 23. But even during our time off my staff and I have been busy responding to resident emails, helping to deal with emergency weather updates, and keeping up our communications. Heck, I’m even writing this newsletter while on a family vacation in Florida!
Even though my staff and I have only been at our positions since November 15, our office and lines of communication are almost fully operational. Our fully bilingual website will launch within the next two weeks, and our Community Engagement Series launches this week (see below). Residents looking to reach out to our office for any reason are encouraged to email us at [email protected] or call us at 613-580-2479.
I’m quite excited to start getting to work on the three standing committees I’ve been assigned to (Environment & Climate Change, Emergency Preparedness & Protective Services, and Transportation), as well as being the Mayor’s Designate on the Ottawa Film Office Board of Directors. I see these committee and board assignments as the perfect outlet to advance my mission of supporting Ottawa’s projected growth in population, so that we can achieve our city’s goal of being the most liveable mid-sized city in North America!
I’m also looking forward to meeting with residents and community groups, whether at any of our proposed Community Engagement Series events, or by invitation to an event being hosted by community organizations. I’m a big believer in the power of community to improve our quality of life - and to even make us happier – so if there’s any way I can help support your own community goals, reach out to me.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SERIES
We’re excited to soon be launching our Community Engagement Series. These events will take place over several different formats: both in-person, or online; as well as in group settings, or one-to-one with the Councillor. Our goal in this series is not only to offer Ward 9 residents diverse opportunities for connecting with our office, but also to help build better communities through engagement!
As mentioned in our December 20 newsletter, we have four formats of community engagement: our Pop-Up Community Drop-in, our Public Zoom Meeting, our Public Coffee Hours, and our Town Halls. You can find an extended schedule for these formats below.
Here are our initial engagement events:
- On Monday, January 9th from 9:00am – 10:00am we’ll be holding our first Pop-Up Community Drop-In at the White Pine Café (located at the Arlington Woods Free Methodist Church, 225 McClellan). Residents in Trend-Arlington and the surrounding communities can book a short 10-minute meeting with the councillor to discuss any question or issue. To book an appointment, please click this link or email [email protected]
- On Thursday, January 19th from 5:30pm – 6:30pm we’ll be holding our first Public ZOOM Meeting. These group discussions will be facilitatedby the Councillor, but the subject matter will be largely determined by the residents. Here’s the ZOOM link for these recurring meetings, and the Meeting ID is 958 5187 6434.
- On Monday, January 16th from 10:30am – 11:30am we’ll be holding our first Public Coffee Hour at the Dao Café (1558 Merivale Road). This group session will be facilitated by the Councillor, but the subject matter will be largely determined by the residents. will be monthly sessions offering a chance for residents to meet in-person in a group setting.
Here is the extended schedule for these events:
Pop-Up Community Drop-Ins
- Monday, January 23rd from 11:30am – 12:30pm at the Country Place Starbucks (2271 Prince of Wales) (We couldn’t do it at the normal 9:00am – 10:00am time.)
- Monday, February 6th from 9:00am – 10:00am at the Merivale Second Cup (1715 Merivale Road)
- Monday, February 20th from 9:00am – 10:00am at the Merivale Triangle Starbucks (1350 Baseline)
Public ZOOM Meetings – always using the same ZOOM link
- Thursday, February 2nd from 5:30pm – 6:30pm
- Thursday, February 16th from 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Public Coffee Hours – always at Dao Café
- February 20th from 10:30am – 11:30am
- March 20th from 10:30am – 11:30am
VACANT UNIT TAX
Our office continues to receive many emails from residents expressing confusion and concern over the the City’s communication of the new Vacant Unit Tax (VUT). As we have indicated previously, Councillor Devine supports the intentions behind the VUT, which is to decrease the number of vacant properties across the city as a means of addressing our critical lack of housing supply. However, we recognize that there are improvements that can be made to the communication tools used for this new program, and we will continue to be vigilant over people being erroneously penalized.
Declarations can only be submitted between January 4 – March 16, 2023. All residential property owners must complete an online declaration indicating the occupancy of their property/ties for the previous year.
As of January 4th here are three ways to submit your property status declaration:
- You can log in to your MyServiceOttawa account and view your property tax details to submit your declaration.
- You can also submit your declaration by visiting www.ottawa.ca/vut and following the following steps: 1) Click “Submit declaration”. 2) Enter your roll number and access code (found on your most recent tax bill). 3) Enter your contact details and select your property status. You may need to enter additional information. 4) Review the summary page to make sure the information is accurate. 5) Click “Submit”. Once you’re done a copy of your declaration with be sent by email NOTE: you may give permission to someone to submit your declaration on your behalf.
- You can also submit your declaration by telephone by calling 613-580-2444 to complete your declaration over the phone, or to schedule an in-person appointment.
Our office will continue to share information regarding the implementation of the Vacant Unit Tax in order to help ensure that residents understand the process and don’t miss the deadline to submit their declaration. Please visit www.ottawa.ca/vut to view their Frequently Asked Questions section, or to learn more.
PUBLIC ZOOM MEETING: 780 BASELINE
As the development proposed for 780 Baseline has undergone significant changes since the last public meeting, and as the community has not yet been able to engage with Councillor Sean Devine on this application, our office will be hosting a Public ZOOM Meeting on Thursday, January 12th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. The ZOOM Meeting ID number is: 910 4778 4819.
This meeting is open to residents from Fisher Heights and the adjoining communities. Along with Councillor Devine and his staff, Councillor Riley Brockington (River Ward) will also be present, as will the City of Ottawa planners assigned to this application. The developer Joey Theberge and/or his representatives will also be present.
The purpose of this meeting is to share comments/concerns about the application, as well as to ask questions to the various stakeholders. Councillor Devine and his Executive Assistant Tim Abray will moderate the discussion, with a requirement that the discussion be civil and respectful to all parties involved. Questions and comments will largely be taken from the ZOOM Chat function.
Following the meeting, residents will have until January 15th to submit their written comments on this application on the City of Ottawa's website.
PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATE
High levels of flu, COVID-19 and RSV circulating in our community. You can find a more detailed breakdown of monitoring indicators on Ottawa Public Health’s new dashboard, which is updated weekly. OttawaPublicHealth.ca/FluReport
- Wearing a well-fitted mask is still important when in any crowded and/or indoor public setting – like shopping malls or theatres.
- Respiratory virus symptoms for some, can present much more severely in others. The risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death increases with age. If planning to visit a long-term care home, retirement home or an older loved one, please wear a mask and screen yourself for symptoms before you leave home.
Why and how to get the flu vaccine
- The flu vaccine is free, safe and effective in preventing the spread of flu viruses.
- The vaccine is the best protection against the flu virus and can reduce the risk of serious illness from the flu.
- Recommended for everyone six months of age and older get a flu (influenza) vaccine.
The flu (influenza) is a common infection that can be passed from one person to another, to affect the nose
throat and lungs.
How and where can people get the flu vaccine in Ottawa?
- Family Doctor
If you are a newcomer, have no OHIP or can’t access through a family doctor or pharmacy:
- Ottawa Public Health Clinics (by appointment). Also serving children six months to five years of age and household members.
- Neighbourhood Health and Wellness Hubs (drop-in). Serving all ages six months and older.
Can I get the flu vaccine at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine?
- Yes, those 6 months of age and older can get the flu vaccine at the same time, or any time before or after other vaccines, like a COVID-19 vaccine.