March 26, 2024, Newsletter


The passing of the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney  

My office at City Hall overlooks Laurier Avenue, which is frequently the route for a wide array of official motorcades. Last Thursday afternoon, I saw the familiar sight of flashing lights from emergency vehicles, this time leading a slow, mournful procession. I called my team to the window so that we could watch the final passing of the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney as he made his way to his final resting place in Montreal.   

In addition to mourning the passing of a great statesman, it would appear we’re nostalgic for an era when our political leaders practiced a public discourse that inspired civility. Mr. Mulroney has been referenced as “the last gentleman” of Canadian politics, a leader who could build bridges from across the partisan aisle, and who had the humility to change his mind. Contrast this with the smugness, arrogance, and pettiness that passes as politics today. 

As I’ve mentioned many times in these newsletters, I am sure in my belief that if there’s only a small handful of aspirations that bind us together, the desire of citizens to be inspired by those in higher office is among them. And while this common goal may seem as distant as a hearse disappearing over the horizon, past leaders leave behind a legacy that may guide our path forward.  

Image of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney lying in state 

Disaster Mitigation and the 100-Year Flood 

As many Canadians recall, Brian Mulroney was a great environmentalist, and boasted a far greater record on this front than any other Canadian Prime Minister. During Mulroney’s time as leader, Canada ended the threat of acid rain, negotiated the 1987 Montreal Protocol which saved the ozone layer – and therefore all life on earth – as well as the Rio Earth Summit 1992 treaties to protect biodiversity and address the ongoing threat of climate change.  

I mention this here to provide additional context for the ongoing work that all governments must continue to pursue, at all levels. During last week’s Environment & Climate Change Committee (ECCC) meeting, the proceedings began with an awards ceremony to recognize City of Ottawa staff who have done innovative and important work in advancing the city’s sustainability goals. In fact, the ceremony began with City Manager Wendy Stephanson saying, “As everyone knows, the City plays a huge role in helping us reach our environmental sustainability goals.”  

One focal point of last week’s ECCC Meeting was the impact of last year’s historical rainfall on August 10, as well as the recent history of “100-year floods” of the Ottawa River. The City’s own Climate Change Master Plan makes clear reference to an increase in extreme weather events, including projections that total rainfall will increase over the coming decades, with heavy rainfall projected to increase by 15% by the 2050s.  

“We’re kidding ourselves with the term ‘100-year flood’. Take a zero off that. It’s a one-in-ten years flood, or a one-in-five years flood,” were my stark comments that reflected the increased frequency that Ottawa has witnessed over recent memory.  

As I frequently mention, the City’s concerns must be reflected in the City’s budgets. And in this case, we will only build a resilient city if we properly invest in our municipal infrastructure. Every dollar spent on infrastructure must be seen as a dollar also spent on building a resilient city that’s capable of handling the uncertainties that will certainly come.  


Update on Housing 

Last week I attended “Casual for a Cause”, an awareness building event being hosted by Salus, a non-profit supportive housing organization which offers a range of housing options for adults with serious mental illness or addictions. The focus of the event was to have guests circulate among various stations where Salus employees would explain how their programs work. At a time when NIMBYism is one of many factors getting in the way of governments being able to meet their housing targets, it was inspiring to hear Salus President Mark MacAulay encourage the room full of supporters to be “ambassadors” for supportive housing. And construction is already underway for a new Salus property in Ward 9, on Capilano Drive. This “aging in place” facility will provide 56 units for senior citizens experiencing severe mental health and/or addictions issues and is being funded through the federal Rapid Housing Initiative and funding from the City of Ottawa.  


And it’s imperative that we all become ambassadors for housing in all its forms, whether it’s being supportive of affordable housing in our own communities, or of greater density on our own streets. The recent publication of the World Happiness Report indicated that whereas Canada ranked in a decent 8th place for happiness for people over 60, we ranked an abysmal 58th for people under 30. Ask yourself: to what degree does the realistic impossibility of ever affording to own a home, or even the skyrocketing costs of rent, impact the happiness of younger Ottawa residents? 

It was disappointing to hear Premier Ford’s comments this week suggesting that Ontario would not follow the lead being taken by so many other provinces pushing for greater density. Allowing the construction of four-plex buildings “as of right,” at a time when leaders across the country are pushing for the general adoption of what’s known as “the missing middle” (diverse forms of housing in between single-family homes and apartment buildings) just makes basic sense, particularly if we are ever going to meet our country’s urgent housing needs. 



Lansdowne 2.0 Update 

We are approaching another key decision point in the Lansdowne 2.0 project. In the next few weeks, Council will be asked to consider and approve the procurement model for the design and construction of the project. This is a big step and a key decision point. When the project was approved by Council last fall, I expressed reservations about the cost and the process. We were assured that there would be multiple “gateways” over the coming months and years to revisit the project and make crucial decisions about its future. This is one of those important decisions.  

Once we approve a particular procurement model, there will be limited opportunity to nudge the project in different directions. The procurement decision will potentially lock in things like the project design/designer, timelines, and the broader project cost envelope—and we appear to be moving toward a favoured model that would make the project’s timeline a key driving factor, if not the only driving factor! That concerns me: if we make project schedule the most important consideration, that will potentially limit our options in ways that give me concern. Stay tuned. I will have more to say about these important decisions as we move forward. 


Update to Ward 9 Office Team 

On March 18, our team welcomed Megan Wood, our new office manager. Megan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our team, ensuring seamless operations and excellent service to the residents of our community. She is eager to start serving the residents of Ward 9 and looks forward to getting out into the community and making a positive impact. Don't hesitate to reach out to Megan for any inquiries or assistance at [email protected] or at [email protected]. Welcome aboard, Megan! 



Flooding Survey 

In a recent edition of this newsletter, our office released a survey for residents impacted by the August 10 historic rainfall. So far, we’ve collected over 50 responses. But as mentioned during last week’s Environment & Climate Change Committee meeting, City of Ottawa staff are still eagerly collecting flood data from impacted residents. And so, our office will continue to collect responses to our survey. If you have already submitted a response, there’s no need to re-submit. But if your property has been impacted by flooding and you have not yet submitted it, please complete our brief survey.


OC Transpo Update: New Ways to Bus 

Last week OC Transpo released their New Ways to Bus website, which includes an update on the changes that are coming soon to Ottawa public transit bus routes. One feature that residents may wish to review is the new bus route map. Later this year, OC Transpo will launch a new bus network, focused on frequency, local service in your neighbourhood, and connections to O-Train Lines 1 and 2 and key destinations.   

The New Ways to Bus network will launch at the same time as O-Train Lines 2 and 4 in the south, connecting that part of the city by rail and opening new convenient connections across the city, while also accommodating the opening of future O-Train extensions.  

Visit the OC Transpo web page to learn more, review route-by-route changes and explore the new system map. You can also ask questions or request additional materials, by sending OC Transpo an email at [email protected], calling 613-560-5000, or connecting via Facebook, X, or Instagram. 


Planned Power Outage: Woodfield Drive 

On March 26, Hydro Ottawa will replace electrical equipment impacting customers on Woodfield Drive. 

Recognizing that power outages can be disruptive, the scheduling of this power outage has been reviewed and will move forward with our customers’ best interest in mind.  

Residents may notice increased construction presence throughout the day. Traffic control and lane reductions will be implemented to ensure that roads and sidewalks remain safe for residents and staff. Construction will take place on an easement - a legal right of access for Hydro Ottawa to a portion of a residential property to install and maintain its electrical distribution system.

All affected customers are contacted by phone, text or email - depending on the communication preferences indicated on their account - and informed by written notice delivered to their door, if applicable. Further, notifications will be provided if the power outage is to extend beyond the original duration time. In the case of circumstances beyond our control, the outage may be rescheduled. 

  • Affected area: Woodfield Drive (close to Merivale) 
  • Project date: March 26 
  • In case of postponement: March 27 
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
  • Impacted customers: 22 


Burn Ban Alert: Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) 

Attention residents: a city-wide burn ban has been placed into effect. 

During this ban, all open-air fires are strictly prohibited, including those with Open Air Fire Permits. This includes agricultural burns, brush pile burns, outdoor fireplaces, and campfires but does not include barbecues/smokers.  

Zero tolerance enforcement will be in place as per By-law No. 2004-163. 

For inquiries, contact 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or email 3-1-1 and stay updated with @OttFire on Twitter or visit Ottawa Fire Services on for the latest OFS news. 

Your cooperation is vital in preventing grass fires and other hazards during high-risk periods. 


Residents are asked to stay off sports fields and baseball diamonds  

While we have seen the snow melt earlier and have been experiencing above-normal temperatures, residents are reminded that sports fields and ball diamonds remain closed. Ball diamonds and sports fields require maintenance and drying time before they open and could be damaged if used while in their current condition. The City will be monitoring field and weather conditions throughout the spring to determine if an earlier start to the field season is possible. 

Join the Spring 2024 Cleaning the Capital Campaign! 

As the warmer weather approaches, let's come together to keep our community clean and green! Register now for the Spring 2024 Cleaning the Capital campaign and be a part of the positive change. 

Since 1994, over 1.4 million dedicated volunteers have removed over one million kilograms of waste, making a significant impact on our city's environment. Whether you're a long-time supporter, a high school student looking to complete community involvement hours or a first-time volunteer, your participation matters! Choose from various cleanup locations such as parks, shorelines, or roadsides. High school students can also earn community involvement hours by participating. 

Important dates for the spring campaign: 

  • Friday, March 15: Registration opens 
  • Monday, April 15 to Friday, May 31: Spring Cleaning the Capital campaign 
  • Monday, April 22: Earth Day 2023 
  • Friday, May 3: Registration closes 
  • Saturday, June 15: Deadline to submit your online cleanup report 

Get involved today and make a difference in your neighborhood! Visit the campaign website to register, inquire about available starter clean up kits and learn more. 

Let's work together to create a cleaner, greener Ottawa for all. 


Street Sweeping 

It’s getting to that time of year, when the snow and ice melt off the roads, gone again until the snow flies again in the fall. Which means it’s street sweeping time. The machines will start making the rounds through the city over the coming weeks and there are some things you should know: 

  • Sidewalks, bus stop pads and medians are cleaned first using sidewalk sweepers, leaf blowers, flusher trucks and hand brooms. It starts with a sidewalk sweeper pushing grit, debris and dust onto the roadway. A vacuum sweeper or mechanical sweeper truck then picks up most of grit, debris, small particles and dust removing it from the road. 
  • It may take several passes to ensure a clean surface. If vehicles are parked on the street, the unswept area is noted and crews will return to sweep that portion at a later date. 
  • Once the street is fully swept, that’s it until next year! So, make sure you don’t push yard waste or debris into the streets for “the next time,” because next time will be in spring of 2025!  



Hydro Ottawa Update 

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve service reliability with Hydro Ottawa, our office will soon be hosting the second outreach session for residents in areas of Ward 9 that have experienced significant impacts from power outages. This second session will be held on April 17th at 7:00pm, intended for residents of Country Place, The Glens, Merivale Gardens, and Tanglewood. More information can be found on our website. 

Back in February, we hosted a Hydro Ottawa outreach session, which focused on impacts to the neighbourhoods of Fisher Heights, Skyline and Parkwood Hills. After that session, we asked Hydro Ottawa to provide us with a summary of the planned improvements. Residents interested in learning about those planned improvements may access this information on our website.  

Small Business Support 

Last week a group of over 100 Ottawa-based small businesses sent an open letter to Mayor Sutcliffe on the need for increase support for small businesses which continue to struggle post-pandemic. While most of the letter’s signatories were based in the urban core, we’ve heard from Ward 9 small businesses about the challenges they are facing. Over the next several weeks, our office will work with some of these businesses to explore and hopefully advance some of the support measures they have advocated for. To start, we wanted to share this link about a Business Sustainability funding opportunity.  


Get in the Game with City-Wide Sports Leagues 

Looking for a fun way to stay active and meet new friends? Join a City-Wide Sports league today! From beach volleyball to pickleball, there's something for everyone. Individuals and teams can register for mixed and women's leagues, open to ages 18 and up. Rally your friends to form a team or sign up individually and be matched with others. 

Track schedules, standings, and leaderboards online throughout the season. Plus, paid positions are available for league facilitators, instructors, and umpires. 

Choose from a variety of leagues: 

  • Basketball: April 17 to May 22 
  • Beach Volleyball: Late May to mid-August 
  • Pickleball: Early May to mid-July 
  • Softball: May 1 to August 14 
  • Spikeball®: July 2 to August 13 

Register now! Don't miss out on the fun! 


Nepean Housing Corporation is looking for Board Directors 

The Nepean Housing Corporation is seeking new members to serve on its Board of Directors. The Nepean Housing Corporation is a community-based non-profit housing corporation that owns and manages both rent-geared-to-income and market rent housing for individuals, families with children and senior citizens in its 559 units located in the South Nepean, Barrhaven, Bells Corners, and Centrepointe areas.  

Councillor Devine and the entire Ottawa City Council has made affordable housing a priority for this Term of Council, and we know that the residents of Ottawa share our concern. The solutions to our housing needs require leadership and passion at all levels, especially from our non-profit housing sector. We hope that the good residents of Ward 9 step up and help this important organization accomplish its mission! For more on their recruitment process, here is a link to more information.  


Have Your Say on Ottawa's Climate Resiliency Strategy 

Last year, Ottawa faced a series of extreme weather events, from ice storms to wildfires, highlighting the urgent need for action in the face of climate change. To address these challenges, the City has developed a draft climate resiliency strategy, Climate Ready Ottawa, and we need your input to shape its final version. 

Climate Ready Ottawa identifies key actions to address the top risks facing our city and prepare for a warmer, wetter, and unpredictable climate by 2050. This long-term strategy builds upon existing initiatives and will introduce new policies, programs, and projects to enhance Ottawa's resilience.  

Your feedback is crucial in determining which actions the City should prioritize and how we can make it easier for Ottawans to adapt to climate change. Visit The City of Ottawa's Engage website to share your thoughts through a survey or participate in one of our open houses at City Hall, Nepean Sportsplex, Ray Friel Recreation Complex, or virtually via Zoom. 

Open house dates and locations: 

  • Tuesday April 23, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, City Hall – Jean Pigott Hall 
  • Thursday April 25, 6:30 – 8:30, Nepean Sportsplex  
  • Sunday April 28, 10 am - noon, Ray Friel Recreation Complex   
  • Tuesday April 30, 6:30 – 8 pm, Zoom  

Together, let's ensure Ottawa becomes a resilient city that can thrive despite climate challenges. Join the conversation and help shape our future today! 



Disturbances in Medhurst Park 

We have heard from a few residents lately about the growing issues with groups gathering in the park during the evening and late-night hours. The activity appears to be increasing lately, particularly during the warmer weather with some residents experiencing vandalism and intimidating behaviour on their properties. Councillor Devine has met with concerned residents and has raised the issue with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) and will be meeting with OPS senior leadership to discuss next steps in addressing the situation. We will keep the community updated as we learn more. 


World TB Day 

You may have noticed some Ottawa landmarks lit up red this past Sunday. That’s because, every year on March 24, the world recognizes World TB Day to increase public awareness of tuberculosis (TB) and to highlight the ongoing global efforts to eliminate the disease. TB is preventable, treatable, and curable; however, TB remains an epidemic in much of the world. In 2023, our Infectious Disease Team at Ottawa Public Health (OPH) managed 70 cases of TB. If you want to learn more about tuberculosis and OPH’s work to help the people afflicted by it, you can pay a visit to public health’s website. 


Ottawa Public Health’s Enhanced Surveillance Snapshot 

With the ongoing concern about the drug overdose crisis, OPH has implemented a weekly snapshot of the incidents and conditions around the city. If you’d like to know more about the ongoing crisis or want to have a look at the reports, you can find them on a dedicated page on OPH’s website.  


Respiratory Disease Update 

This week’s update is mostly good news. While both flu and COVID continue to circulate in the community, the rates of infection are generally levelling out and declining. As always, make sure you are taking precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones, particularly as we head into the Easter weekend. Open some windows, run an air filter, wear a good mask when entering a space with large numbers of people, and ensure your vaccinations are up to date. 



Public Meetings: Zoning By-Law Draft 1 

The City of Ottawa is developing a new comprehensive Zoning By-law for approval by Council in 2025. The by-law will implement the policies and directions in the new Official Plan approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on November 04, 2022. Once approved, the new Zoning By-law will replace the current Zoning By-law. 

On April 29th at 9:30am, there will be a Special Joint Meeting of the Planning & Housing Committee (PHC) and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC), where Councillors will review and debate a staff report on the first draft of the new Zoning By-Law. As a large number of public delegates are expected, the joint meeting will likely continue into the next day, April 30th. The report itself will go public on April 18th.  

We are posting this information in our newsletter as advance notice for residents who may wish to delegate at this meeting.   



Arlington Woods Church Bike Rodeo 

Come out and enjoy the massively successful Arlington Woods Church Bike Rodeo, taking place on Saturday, May 11th from 11:00am – 3:00pm. Councillor Devine is a sponsor of this annual event, and we look forward to seeing you there! 


Celebrate Easter with Knox United Church 

Experience the joy of Easter with Knox United Church. Join the following Easter festivities: 

  • Palm Sunday, March 24, 10 am: Special service followed by a Mini Easter Bazaar at 11 am. 
  • Maundy Thursday, March 28, 7 pm: Communion service. 
  • Good Friday, March 29, 10 am: Solemn service. 
  • Easter Sunday, March 31, 10 am: Easter service followed by hot cross buns. 
  • Regular Service, April 7: Sunday School available each week for ages 3 to 12. 

Everyone is welcome to join at 25 Gibbard Ave, Nepean, near Greenbank & Hunt Club. 


The Nepean Ravens are headed to the championship 

The Nepean U14AA Ravens recently won the Gold medal at the Ringette Ontario provincial championships and will soon be representing Ontario at the Eastern Canadian Ringette Championships in Charlottetown, PEI in April. They finished their 2023/24 season with a record of 15 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie, plus several gold medal finishes at many local and regional tournaments. These players have been working hard in their ringette journey, and the stars have finally aligned for this group of exceptional young athletes. The team is currently fundraising to help cover travel and accommodation expenses for their tournament in PEI.  


General Burns Tennis Club 

With Spring here, it’s time to swing into action at General Burns Tennis Club. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just picking up a racquet for the first time, this club offers tennis programs tailored to all ages and skill levels. Visit their website to learn more and register online.  


Don't Miss the Community Rummage Sale 

Calling all bargain hunters and community members! Circle your calendars for the upcoming community rummage sale on Saturday, April 20th, from 9 am to 12 pm, hosted at Fisher Heights Community Place, 31 Sutton Place. 

Discover incredible deals on a variety of items while supporting your local community. It's a fantastic opportunity to find treasures at affordable prices! 

If you're interested in becoming a vendor, there's still time to secure your table. Declutter your home and earn some extra cash by participating in the sale. Contact Maria at [email protected] for more details. 

Join us on April 20th for a day of shopping, fun, and community spirit! See you there! 

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