June 20, 2023 Newsletter


Garbage Policy: Council’s Decision on the “Compromise” Option 

At the June 14th Council meeting we debated and decided our city’s curbside waste policy, after the matter had ended in tie votes at the June 5th meeting of the Environment & Climate Change Committee (ECCC). What residents might not know is the role that my office played in ensuring that we had an actual debate.  

At the June 5th ECCC meeting, we had three policy options on the table. We had the original staff recommendation where households would be given 55 tags per year to use as they wish, with additional tags available for $3. We also had the variation on that policy, which came from Mayor Sutcliffe and Councillor Marty Carr, where each household could put out two garbage items (e.g. two garbage cans) without any need for tags, along with a one-time free allotment of 15 tags, and the option to purchase additional tags at $3. And finally, we had the motion from Councillor Brown, which set a firm limit of four garbage items.   

When we debated these options at the ECCC meeting on June 5th, I supported the Sutcliffe/Carr option. I saw it as a simpler proposal than the original staff recommendation, and one that would meet the same objective of diverting more waste from landfill. But in the end, all three options resulted in 5 – 5 tie votes at committee. A tie means that the motion has been defeated. So, all three options were rejected.  

In the days following the June 5th ECCC meeting, a “compromise” option was negotiated by the Mayor and Councillor Brown and Councillor Carr. In the compromise motion, there would be a firm limit of three items, and the City would “explore leveraging the feasibility” of the city’s Yellow Bag program, which is currently available to small businesses and residents with exceptional circumstances, and which would be expanded to residential use. But the Yellow Bag program still comes at a cost to residents, where the purchase of each yellow bag costs $4.30, as compared to $3 for a bag tag. And so, for big households that regularly put out more than 3 items per week, each of the two options will come with additional costs. And just as the “bag tag” option would’ve come with additional administrative costs, the “three-items" option will also come with additional costs to taxpayers, including a greater cost of collecting and transporting more waste, and the lost savings of trying to get more lifespan out of our landfill.  

In other words, we don’t know yet which of the two options will cost taxpayers more in the long term. But what we do know is only one of the options was going to get us closer to our goal of diverting more waste from landfill. And with 74% of Ottawa households already putting out only two or more items at the curb every two weeks, only one option - the one that I brought back to Council for debate – was going to incentivize the other 26% to reduce their waste. In terms of environmental impact, the choice was clear.  

While many of my council colleagues supported my motion, several requested that I do not bring it forward, and that I rally behind the compromise instead, for the sake of advancing a sense of Council “unity”. But I know that many Ottawa residents, and many Ward 9 residents, supported the option that I was bringing forward. And those voices deserved to be heard at Council, which is where competing points of view are debated in public. In the opinion of many, including city staff, one policy was clearly better than the other, and so it was important to give it a fighting chance.  

If you’d like to hear my speech in support of my motion, as well as the ensuing debate, please click here. In the end, the motion was defeated 14 – 10. And so where do we go from here? 

This new “three item limit” policy will likely not be implemented until Spring 2024. In the months leading up to that, the City will engage in an education and communications program to help prepare residents for the changes. We will also be ensuring that the new policy is enforced, because rules without enforcement are, naturally, ignored.  

We need to get better at waste management. According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development), Canada is among the worst nations globally when it comes to household waste management. And in Ontario, over 130 municipalities have implemented the kind of partial-pay-as-you-throw system that our Council just defeated. As I’ve mentioned before in this column, rather than lead, Ottawa continues to follow. As I write this on Father’s Day, thinking about the future that I want to pass onto my four children, my choice was clear.  

In Fall of 2023, Council will debate our comprehensive Solid Waste Master Plan, which will address multi-residential buildings, commercial waste, the responsibilities of manufacturers, and the urgent question of what comes after Trail Landfill is full. I continue to explore options for a technological solution to replace landfill, but even a technology-based solution must go hand-in-hand with initiatives to reduce what residents set out at the curb. Ultimately, as consumers, as citizens, and as stakeholders in the future of our city, we have a role to play.   


Updates from Committee: addressing the crises in Paramedic Services and Accessible Taxis 

On June 15th we held our Emergency Preparedness & Protective Services (EPPS) Committee meeting, where two urgent matters were discussed: the dire state of our city’s accessible taxi service, and the urgent need to address the escalating “Level Zero” crisis affecting our paramedic services.  

On the matter of accessible taxis, we continue to receive complaints from residents with disabilities who communicate the challenges they face when it comes to booking an accessible taxi or a ride from Para Transpo. One such resident, Dr. Lynn Ashdown, told me about a phone call she received from the hospital late at night earlier this month. She was told that her father was close to death, that he might not make it through the night, and that she should get there as soon as possible if she wanted to say her goodbyes. But as a wheelchair user, Dr. Ashdown had no way of getting to hospital. She certainly couldn’t book a Para Transpo ride on sudden notice. And when she called for an accessible taxi, there weren’t any available. Luckily, her father survived the night. But imagine your own anger and grief if you had missed this opportunity, simply because you use a wheelchair.  

In our current state, it’s simply harder for accessible taxi plate holders and drivers to make a living. And so, we have fewer of them. On June 15th the EPPS Committee accepted a list of recommendations that will offer financial incentives to keep plate holders and drivers on the road. It’s a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t address the need to fix Para Transpo.   

On the matter of our ambulance services, the EPPS Committee received a stark report from Ottawa Paramedic Services that detailed the escalating “Level Zero” crisis, which is when no ambulances are available to transport patients to hospital. The numbers are quite frightening. And the single biggest reason for “Level Zero” is because of the increasing amount of time that our paramedics are left waiting at a hospital to offload their patients. Paramedic crews are often waiting 2 – 3 hours simply to hand over patients to a nurse, which is 2 – 3 hours when that ambulance could be out on the road responding to other calls. And so, people calling 911 for an ambulance are waiting longer and longer. In life-threatening situations where every minute counts, the implications of these delays are clear.   


The briefing we received from Ottawa Paramedic Services clarified another challenge they are facing. Not only are they dealing with increased demand from Ottawa’s growing population. But as the demographic of older residents increases, that demographic puts a greater demand on paramedics, because they have greater need for emergency medical care.  

This urgent problem needs to be addressed from four angles. The Ottawa Paramedic Service needs to find innovative solutions to managing patient offload times. The City needs to hire more paramedics to meet the needs of our growing and aging population. Hospitals need to improve their operations to allow paramedics to discharge their patients and get back on the road. And the Province needs to invest more money to help all parties achieve these goals. 

Ottawa Paramedic Service has informed Council that they need 120 new paramedics from 2024 – 2026, some to be covered by the City’s budget, and some to be covered by the Province. This will require strong advocacy to leverage more spending from the Province, but it will also require difficult decisions for our city’s 2024 budget. These decisions will impact all of us. If we go in one direction, it will impact your pocketbook. If we go in another direction, it will impact whether an ambulance shows up when you or someone you love desperately needs one.  


Be My Guest on Canada Day 

On July 1st I’ll be joining Mayor Sutcliffe and several of my City Council colleagues to flip pancakes at the 2023 Annual Mayor’s Canada Day Celebration for Seniors. This event takes place from 8:00am – 10:30am at Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park. My office has been issued 10 tickets for me to give away to Ward 9 seniors. If you’re a senior and you’d like to attend, either on your own, or with a companion, please email [email protected] with the subject line “Mayor’s Canada Day” by Friday, June 23rd. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while quantities last.


Recognizing Volunteers in Ward 9 

I’ve spent many years as a community volunteer, and I know first-hand the important role that volunteers play in a healthy and happy society. Last week I got to attend The Care Centre, which is one of Ottawa’s emergency food cupboards, to learn about their challenges and initatives, and to witness some dedicated and compassionate volunteers in action. Look further below in this newsletter for an exciting and rewarding volunteer opportunity in Ward 9.  

Volunteer Ottawa will be recognizing some of Ottawa’s most dedicated volunteers at the 12th Annual VOscars Gala on Thursday, October 26th at the Sala San Marco on Preston Street.  If you know a great volunteer in Ward 9 who deserves to be celebrated, show them how much you appreciate everything they do by nominating them for one of these prestigious awards: 

  • Outstanding Youth Volunteer  
  • Outstanding Senior Volunteer 
  • Leadership in Skilled Volunteering 
  • Leadership in Corporate Volunteerism 
  • Pathways to Possibilities Award 
  • Outstanding Volunteer Program 
  • Mayor’s Award for Volunteer Spirit 

Use the simple online form to submit your nomination by Friday, June 23.  



Traffic Calming Update 

By now residents across Ward 9 will have begun to see the return of some of the City’s temporary traffic calming measures (TTC), such as the flex stakes that are placed in the centre of a road reminding drivers of the speed limit. The Councillor’s office has now submitted our list of proposals for new TTC measures to be implemented across the ward, and which we’ll see pop up over the next several weeks. We made these recommendations based on consultation with community associations, feedback from residents, speeding data, and our own knowledge of the ward. We know that not every resident will appreciate seeing these TTC installations in their neighborhoods, but our goal is to do what we can ti reduce speeding and increase safety for our residents.  


Speeding on Merivale near St. Monica’s 

Our office has identified several roads and intersections which are among the most dangerous when it comes to speeding, but few areas have generated as much concern as the small stretch of Merivale Road near St. Monica’s school. This issue has been raised for several years, including when my predecessor Keith Egli was in office. One challenge has been the proximity of the rail lines that cross Merivale on the North, which make it impossible to install a stop light at Merivale/MacFarlane.  

But our office has nevertheless made some advances on this matter:  

  • There is a Neighbourhood Traffic Calming project that will focus on traffic safety improvements on MacFarlane between Merivale and Deakin, which have some benefits for pedestrians on Merivale. This project is slated to begin construction in 2023 – 2024.  
  • We are pleased to announce that the City of Ottawa has received federal funding from Infrastructure Canada’s Active Transportation Fund in the amount of $50,000 for a feasibiity study to examine the safety concerns on Merivale near St. Monica’s, with the goal of installing a pedestrian crosswalk at Merivale and Brookdale.  
  • Our office is pushing to make Merivale/St. Monica’s a location for placement of an Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) camera. These cameras are very effective at lowering the rate of speeding. There are specific criteria for determining the placement of these cameras, and we have already begun lobbying for this site.  
  • We will be talking to Ottawa Police Service about targeted enforcement. 


Pilot Project on Conover Street 

Our office has recently learned that the City’s Neighbourhood Traffic Calming (NTC) branch is piloting an accelerated process of implementing permanent traffic calming measures on certain streets that have previously met the criteria for a future NTC assessment study. To qualify for this accelerated process, the roadway must be classified as a local road and not be identified as an emergency route or a transit route. The Councillor has been notified that one such area under consideration for this accelerated implementation is Conover Street between Craig Henry Drive and Knoxdale Road in the Craig Henry neighbourhood.  

Since it’s used as a cut-through route, Conover Street is known to be a high-speed corridor. The plan is to implement simple measures such as speed cushions and a raised pedestrian crosswalk. Other more complicated traffic calming measures would not qualify for this accelerated process, as those other measures require a more extensive assessment process, which can take several years.  

The Councillor will be consulting with the NTC branch to get more details on the project and will also then do outreach with residents of Craig Henry for their input and support.  


Motorcyclist’s Safety 

In recent weeks many motorcyclists are back out on the roads, both in urban and rural areas. While this can be an enjoyable way for some to get out and enjoy our city, riders and drivers alike have an important role in avoiding fatal and major injury collisions. Despite representing about 3% of registered vehicles in Canada, motorcyclists accounted for 15% of all fatalities on Ottawa roads between 2016 and 2020. 

Several motorcyclists from our communities have shared some of their tips and experiences in staying safe while out riding. Learn more about them in this feature story: How to spot an invisible motorcycle 

To learn more about the City’s Road Safety Action Plan, and the many initiatives getting underway this year to increase road safety for all road users, please visit Road Safety Action Plan | City of Ottawa 


Nepean Communities Summer Camps 

Are you a parent or guardian that is looking for summer camps for your child? Look no further! The summer camps listed below still have spaces available. To register, visit register.ottawa.ca and type "Nepean" in the search function on the activities page. 


Nominations open for 12th Annual Order of Ottawa and Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching 

The City is now accepting nominations for the 2023 Order of Ottawa and the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching. You can complete nominations for both awards either online or by downloading a nomination form from the Order of Ottawa award webpage. The submission deadline is Friday, September 8th.  

The Order of Ottawa recognizes the professional achievements and outstanding service of exceptional Ottawa residents – those who have made significant contributions to life in the city in any of the following areas: arts and culture, business, philanthropy, health care, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports and entertainment and other fields that benefit Ottawa. 

The Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching recognizes the contribution of an amateur coach who exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment that have been the hallmarks of Brian Kilrea’s career. Mr. Kilrea is a retired hockey head coach, general manager and player, and is best known for his 35-year association with the Ottawa 67’s. He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, has played and coached in the NHL and, with more than 1,000 career victories, he is the most successful coach in Canadian junior hockey history. 

You can find more information about both awards on the Order of Ottawa award webpage. 


Trees and Forest Outreach and Engagement Strategy 

The City of Ottawa is looking for input regarding the creation of a Trees and Forests Outreach and Engagement Strategy. The aim of this strategy is to enhance existing programs and incentives and create new opportunities for the community to further understand and care for its trees and forests.     

By completing the survey, you are providing us with valuable information that will help to shape the Trees and Forests Outreach and Engagement Strategy. Your input is greatly valued and will aid in creating a strategy that will enhance existing programs and incentives and create new opportunities for the community to further understand and care for the urban forest. 



Community Engagement Series 

As mentioned in previous newsletters, we will be looking to continue with some of our online / in-person Community Engagement Series, while also opening the door for new methods of engaging with residents. We will quite likely look to develop some outdoor events as well over the summer, and possibly a BBQ / Town Hall, too!  

For now, here are some of our upcoming Community Engagement Series events:  


Attending Ward 9 Community Association Meetings 

Over the past few weeks the Councillor has attended several meetings with Ward 9 community associations (Trend Arlington, Merivale Gardens, and The Glens). These meetings with local community leaders are a great way for our office to stay connected with the specific and unique concerns of each community. We continue to hold these regular meetings, most often as individual meetings with each community association, but also with the Knoxdale-Merivale Council, which is a group consisting of the Presidents of each community association. One particularly valuable meeting we had recently was with the Merivale Gardens Community Association, where the meeting took the form of of neighbourhood walking tour, so we could see the various issues this community is facing up close. We welcome all Ward 9 community associations to reach out to our office to set up these and any other kinds of meetings that help communicate the needs of your community.   


Stantec helps build community at Ottawa Community Housing 

This week Councillor Devine was thrilled to join Ottawa Community Housing CEO Stephane Giguere in welcoming volunteers from Stantec who built a lovely community bench and series of planter boxes for senior residents at Ward 9’s only OCH property. This community on Viewmount consists of just under 100 units, largely comprising seniors who live on their own, often in significant isolation. The Councillor has visited this community before when delivering meals and seen just how much these residents need and depend on having a sense of community. The lovely bench built by Stantec will help fill that need! So thanks Stantec! 


Call for Volunteers: Just for Kicks Soccer Program 

JUST FOR KICKS Special Needs Soccer is an incredible program in which players with developmental and physical disabilities get active and have fun while learning soccer-related skills. Councillor Devine and his family have volunteered for Just for Kicks for several years and can confirm that it’s one of the best volunteer duties you’ll ever have! Volunteers work one-on-one with players and support them every step of the way. No athletic experience is required for players or volunteers! The name of the game is smiles and laughter. Come be part of the best team in the City of Ottawa!   

High school students can receive volunteer hours toward their diplomas. University students can gain valuable experience and references for their resumes. Volunteers of any age and ability are welcome. Please contact [email protected] to be added to our volunteer email list. 

Practices take place on Thursdays from 6:30-7:30pm throughout July and August starting on July 6th at Trend Arlington Field at 50 Bellman. Please note that due to the medical needs and sensitivities of our players, we do not play in the rain. For more info visit their Facebook page.    




Levels of respiratory viruses in Ottawa largely remain stable. Influenza and RSV activity is similar to the week prior, while COVID-19 wastewater activity has increased and percent positivity is high. 

Wastewater surveillance:  

  • Influenza: Low levels and similar to last week. 
  • COVID-19: Low levels and similar to last week. 
  • RSV: Low levels and similar to last week. 

Percent positivity:  

  • Influenza: 2.3 percent. Low levels and similar to last week.  
  • COVID-19: 5.8 percent. Low levels and decreasing since last week.  
  • RSV: 1.4 percent. Low levels and similar to last week.  

This information and much more can always be consulted on Ottawa Public Health’s website under the Respiratory and Enteric Surveillance Report. 


Neighbourhood Health and Wellness Hubs: FREE Dental Screenings 


Crime Incidents in Ward 9 

Over the past few weeks there have been two unusual and unsolved shooting incidents in Ward 9. Each incident involved shots fired at residential homes, one on Kerry Crescent and the other on MacFarlane Road. Each of these incidents are now being investigated by the Guns & Gangs Unit. Our office has been in close contact with the residents of one of these homes, and we are pursuing the installation of new street lighting as a means of increasing safety around this area.  

Despite these incidents, it’s important to know that the rate of violent crimes in Ward 9, as compared to the rest of the City of Ottawa, is still quite low. And Councillor Devine has had several conversations with Ottawa Police Services over the past few months, including a discussion about these incidents. In the coming weeks, the Councillor will be taking a tour of Ward 9 with OPS Chief Eric Stubbs, to discuss public safety concerns in Ward 9.  

One thing that our office would like to remind all residents of Ward 9 is the importance of using the Ottawa Police Service’s online File a Report system for all crimes and suspicious activity. Whether it comes to gun crimes, drug activity, fraud, or speeding, the File a Report system is a vital tool for Ottawa Police to determine where to allocate their patrol resources.  


Urban Forestry Management Plan Update 

At the June 20th meeting of the Environment & Climate Change Committee, Councillor Devine and other committee members will be hearing a report on the City of Ottawa’s Urban Forestry Management Plan. This is a 20-year plan (divided into 5 management periods of 4 years each) that has the goal of building up the city’s tree canopy to cover 40% of Ottawa’s geographical area. When the Plan was launched, the city’s tree canopy covered 31% of our area. But since the Plan’s launch, we’ve had tornadoes, a derecho, and most recently an ice storm. We also had the tree clearing incident near Tewin, where an estimated 25,000 trees were cut down. And when the city’s current tree canopy is re-measured later this year, that number will have fallen below 31%.  

We’re mentioning this in our newsletter under the PUBLIC HEALTH & SAFETY segment because the restoration of our urban tree canopy is an important component to what our city does to augment the health and safety of our residents. In an era of consistently rising temperatures, trees provide necessary shade cover to keep parts of our city from devolving into “heat islands”. One example of this is the massive stretch of asphalt parking lots on Merivale from Baseline to Viewmount, which is part of our rationale for seeking a transformation of this entire area. And even during the recent incident of dangerous air quality levels, the loss of trees had an impact, since trees are effective at clearing particulates from the air.  

Ottawa’s Forestry Services will be requesting an increase in budgetary resources to help reach their goal of properly restoring our urban canopy. The Councillor would like all residents to support this important goal, and to see that trees are a vital part of our city’s public health and safety strategy.  



780 Baseline – aka The Lonestar 

Residents have been waiting several months to see what comes next for the proposed development at 780 Baseline (aka the Lonestar plaza). It is our understanding that the applicant is in the process of submitting a revised Zoning Bylaw Amendment proposal for the site which we expect will be available on the City of Ottawa Development page, shortly. There have been many discussions with the local communities and nearby stakeholders over the last several months, including the experimental farm whose research fields are directly across the road on the north side of Baseline. It is expected that the revised application will address some of the concerns that have been raised and our office will be following that process closely to see how effectively the new proposal addresses those concerns. Once the new proposal is posted, there will be an opportunity to provide further comment before the application proceeds to the Planning and Housing Committee sometime early this fall. We will continue to keep you updated as the process unfolds. 



Knoxdale Public School Summer Picnic 

In his spare time (there’s not much of it) Councillor Devine plays in a cover band with two of his neighbourhood buddies. The Councillor and his bandmates were thrilled to play at the recent Knoxdale Public School annual summer picnic. However, it was certainly hard for his band to play after an extremely adorable performance from the school’s Glee Club. But it was a great event and the Councillor looks forward to attending (and even performing at) more community events this summer.  


Knox United Church Seeking Sunday School Leader 

Knox United is seeking a Sunday School Leader for September 2023. Applications must be received by July 15, 2023 and can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Knox United Church 25 Gibbard Ave, Nepean, ON, K2G 3T9, marked “Sunday School Leader”. For more details click here. 


Manordale-Woodvale Community Association Canada Day Event 


Trend Arlington Community Association Canada Day Event

TACA's annual Canada Day celebration is back this year! The event takes place on Saturday, July 1 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm at 50 Bellman Drive. This year's event features a bounce house, face painting/temporary tattoos, a petting zoo, music, BBQ, snacks, drinks (including alcohol), fireworks and more!

VOLUNTEERS are definitely needed to help set up and run this event. Sign up here: https://www.volunteersignup.org/D8CFP


General Burns Tennis Club 

Want to learn a new skill and have a lot of fun at the same time?  Think tennis!  Everything you need for summer tennis can be found at General Burns Tennis Club.  They have an online booking system, private and group lessons, social events, tournaments, inter-club leagues and best of all - Summer Morning Weekday Tennis Camp for Kids with dedicated instructors.  Check their website for dates and more info at www.generalburnstennis.ca 


The Nepean Raiders Jr A Hockey Team are looking for billet/host families for the 2023-24 season! 

Our players come from a mixture of local as well as  many different parts of Canada and the United States and need somewhere to live while they pursue their hockey and educational dreams.  

Billet families play a crucial part in helping our players adjust to life as a Jr A hockey player on and off the ice; our players range between 16 and 20 years of age, with many moving away from home for the first time as well as attending a new high school or post-secondary school, and we strive to help create a welcoming and comforting environment for all. Finally, if you have young kids that love hockey themselves , billeting represents an opportunity to give them an older brother to play with, learn from, and look up to. 

The Nepean Raiders are seeking billet families with: 

  • A love for the game of hockey 
  • A patient, kind, and friendly home environment 
  • A private bedroom with closet space, a desk and chair, as well as internet access 
  • A clean, smoke-free house 
  • Access to laundry and parking (for players with vehicles) 
  • Nutritious meals and snacks available 
  • Support for team policies and rules including curfews, academic standards, and community engagement 

Billet families will not have to provide: 

  • Rides to and from games, practices, school, or other events 
  • Medical appointment bookings 
  • Storage for hockey gear at their homes 

Billet families will be financially compensated on a monthly basis, and will also receive two (2) season tickets to all Raiders home games at the Steve Yzerman Arena for the 2023-24 season!  

If you or someone you know are interested in becoming a billet family, please contact the team at [email protected] 

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