May 22, 2024, Newsletter


The legacy of Diane Deans 

Longtime Ottawa City Councillor Diane Deans passed away last week, after a 5-year battle with ovarian cancer. Deans’ contribution to the city was significant, and it continues even today. For that reason, I was very pleased that Council unanimously passed a motion to rename the Greenboro Community Centre in her honor.   

There have been numerous tributes made to Diane Deans in the last week. My favorite one comes from former Ottawa journalist Joanne Chianello, who wrote a wonderful piece called Diane Deans was tenacious, passionate, sometimes frustrating – and utterly committed.  

But I’m not writing about Diane Deans today simply to pay tribute.  I’m writing about a specific aspect of the legacy she left behind, one that all councillors should uphold if we are to truly serve our city’s best interests.  

Diane Deans spoke truth to power. And when power tried to mute her voice, she pushed back. Never was this more evident than Deans’ relentless pursuit for truthful answers over Ottawa’s failed procurement of LRT Stage 2. I won’t revisit the details of that saga here, except to suggest that we continue living with insufficient answers to a growing litany of questions over our LRT system. I can tell you that several councillors – myself included – are eagerly awaiting an upcoming joint meeting of the Transit Commission and LRT Sub-Committee on May 31.  

Beyond LRT, there are many issues the City is facing that require relentless pursuit of answers. The true cost – and value – of Lansdowne 2.0 demands ongoing scrutiny. How our city responds to recent reports of a multi-billion-dollar gap in long-term funding of our public infrastructure is another matter. An honest account of the cost of providing services to far-flung suburban and rural wards is yet another.  

Diane Deans served on City Council for 28 years. During that time, she acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill, attributes which served her constituents and her city well when it came time to lean into the microphone and speak truth to power. My genuine wish is that I can join with other Councillors to provide oversight that is as tenacious and passionate as that of Diane Deans. 


In memory of Margaret Rywak 

It seems that Diane Deans is not the only former municipal leader who has left us. Margaret Rywak, a longtime Nepean City Councillor, passed away on May 20th at the age of 88. Margaret Rywak served as a Knoxdale-Merivale Councillor for the City of Nepean from 1976 – 1978, then as a Councillor for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton from 1978 - 1985, and then returned to serve as a Councillor for Knoxdale-Merivale from 1994 – 2000. The Margaret Rywak Community Centre in Manordale-Woodvale is named in her honour. 


Changes coming to Household Waste Management 

As residents likely heard or read on the news, changes are finally coming later this year to the city’s curbside and multi-unit waste diversion policies. On May 21, the Environment & Climate Change Committee approved a revised operational plan which will see a new phased curbside waste policy take effect starting on September 30th, with an information and education campaign to start in June. Here is a summary of how the new policy will roll out:  

  • In this new policy, households will be able to put out three “items” of waste every two weeks. An “item” can be a garbage container of up to 140 liters, or an oversized garbage bag, or a large bulky item. For many residents who use garbage cans, this means you can put out 420 liters of solid waste every two weeks.  
  • While households will be limited to three items every two weeks, there will be no limit on how much material you can place in the blue, black and green bin programs. 
  • Starting October 1, all garbage items left at the curb will be collected, even if the limit is exceeded. Collection staff will record and leave a non-compliance notice informing the household about the limit.  
  • Starting November 1, for households exceeding the three-item limit, collection staff will record and leave one item behind with a non-compliance tag.  
  • Starting December 1, the regular process will commence. Only three garbage items will be collected, with non-compliance tags affixed to excess garbage items left at the curb.  

In our next issue we’ll provide information on the new policy for multi-unit residential buildings.   

Our office will continue to provide information for residents over the summer as we prepare for these changes. And while we are certain that these changes will cause issues for some residents, this is a very important change for the City of Ottawa. And since 85% of Ottawa households are already putting out only 2.1 garbage items every 2 weeks, I am confident that Ottawa residents will adapt well to the new policy.


The state of Ottawa’s finances 

A few weeks ago, Council received reports from staff that there’s a $3 billion gap in our ten-year investment plans when it comes to maintenance of several categories of our public assets. And that gap didn’t include the reports that had been generated in 2022 when staff prepared asset management plans for three other categories of assets: transportation, drinking water, wastewater and stormwater. When I reached out to staff over the weekend to get an updated calculation based on those 2022 reports, I was told that the true investment gap over ten years is closer to $5 billion. That’s approximately the cost of an entire new Lansdowne 2.0 every year for ten years.  

And last week we had the debate at City Hall over development charges, which are the fees that we charge to developers for building new housing in Ottawa, with those revenues going towards the costs of new infrastructure as well as other municipal costs. In that debate, one side states that Ottawa’s development charges should increase because our city’s charges are lower than most other Ontario municipalities, and that if they’re not raised then property taxes would have to be increased to make up the difference. The other side claims that increasing development charges will result in the cost being put upon new homeowners and will risk the city losing out on federal housing grants.  

To make matters worse, the City of Ottawa lost its court case with taxi drivers over how the city handled the arrival of Uber, and we might now have to pay out as much $215 million.  

Even on good days and with proper fiscal management, it costs a lot to run a city, especially since provincial and federal governments have consistently downloaded more and more responsibilities to municipalities, without providing cities with a larger share of tax revenues.  

Council owes it to Ottawa’s residents to have an honest conversation about the growing pressures on how the city pays its bills. And that would be a conversation about our primary revenue source, which is revenues that we raise from the taxation of property. Yes, we absolutely must continue lobbying other levels of government for better revenue sources for municipalities, but we also need to take a hard look in the mirror about the revenues that we have direct control over. Whether it’s better to spread the need out widely across the entire tax base, or to tax development directly at the source. Or a more equitable demand from each. There needs to be a conversation about getting this mix right, so that we can ensure that the City of Ottawa is properly and responsibly positioned to reach our housing goals while also having the necessary revenue to ensure proper development and maintenance of city infrastructure, as well as the provision of city services. 



Summer Plans: Ward 9 Infrastructure 

The quality and reliability of public infrastructure continues to be a core concern among Ward 9 residents. Based on the requests and inquiries that we get from residents, matters related to infrastructure rank alongside matters related to traffic safety. And by infrastructure, we mean concerns about sewers and stormwater management, the quality and maintenance of roads and residential streets, and of course the lack of sidewalks or streetlights.   

Over the course of this summer, as things slow down at City Hall, our office is going to be focused on the following infrastructure projects:  

  • Roads: We’ll be conducting a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood audit of all the roads and streets in Ward 9, assigning a “grade” to each road. This will help us advocate for future road rehabilitation work, especially as we compare the quality of roads and streets in Ward 9 to wards across the city.    
  • Stormwater management: While there are several isolated streets across Ward 9 that experience stormwater management concerns, there are entire areas in Ward 9 (Parkwood Hills, Carleton Heights, Fisher Heights) where the problem appears to be far more pronounced. Our office has already begun investigations with staff, and will be working with a small group of area residents to help identify root causes of these issues, so that staff might identify solutions for moving forward.  


FireSmart Info Session: Merivale Gardens and The Glens

On June 13th at 6:00pm, Councillor Devine will be hosting a FireSmart Information Session at the Nepean Sportsplex. Residents in Merivale Gardens and The Glens are already aware of the fire safety issues concerning dried out fallen tree debris in Pinhey Forest, especially as we enter wildfire season. As the NCC owns and maintains this land, the City of Ottawa is limited in the actions it can take in this area.  

Recently, our office enlisted the support of Ottawa Fire Service (OFS) to help address safety risks regarding Pinhey Forest. The OFS issued a letter to the NCC earlier this spring and has since learned that the NCC has made Pinhey Forest one of three priority areas for removal of fallen vegetation, with a goal is to have the work completed by spring of 2025. The map below indicates the priority areas of Pinhey Forest. 

FireSmart is a national program to address wildfire concerns in the wildland urban interface. The mission is to enhance neighborhood resilience to wildfires and minimize their negative impacts. The program provides practical tools for homeowners, residents, businesses, and communities to reduce wildfire risk. Residents can take specific actions to make their homes more resilient to wildfire. These actions include vegetation management, fire-resistant building materials, and creating defensible space. 

Ottawa Fire Services and its partners from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the National Capital Commission (NCC) collectively apply the principles of the FireSmart Program to identify key locations around the city where residents, neighbourhoods, and communities could be at risk of wildland-urban interface fires. Using the FireSmart principles, Ottawa Fire Services aims to empower homeowners to take steps to collectively provide wildfire prevention and safety. 

This free information session will take place on June 13th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Nepean Sportsplex, located at 1701 Woodroffe Avenue. The event will be in the Richmond Room, which is accessible via Entrance 4 at the rear of the Sportsplex.


OC Transpo Job Fair 

Join OC Transpo for its second annual Transit Job Fair taking place on Saturday, May 25th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the Greenboro Station, Park & Ride.  

This year, OC Transpo is hiring more than 500 new staff members, including bus operators, licensed mechanics, special constables, garage supervisors and more. OC Transpo’s recruitment team will be on hand to connect with you directly about current job openings and will provide information and tips on the interview and job application process.  

Find out exactly what each job is like. Speak to current employees who will be on-site to speak first-hand about what they do and why they love working at OC Transpo. For details, visit


Supervised Beach Hours 

With the outdoor summer recreation season approaching, we are providing the information below with details on the City’s public beaches. The city’s beaches at Britannia, Mooney’s Bay and Petrie Island will be open from June 15th – August 15th. Beaches are supervised Monday – Sunday from 12:00pm – 7:00pm. Beach Pavilion washrooms will be open from May 18th to September 2nd at the three beach sites.  

The City will not be providing lifeguard supervision at Westboro Beach this year. The NCC is advising that due to construction at the site, only reduced unsupervised access to the beach area will be available. The City recommends swimming at supervised beaches only. Water testing will not be completed at the Westboro Beach location. 


Gilbey Park Community Cleanup 

It was a family affair in Upper Gilbey Park on April 13th as about 20 neighbours of all ages came out to spread wood chips along the trails through the forested area. These trails were created by the City of Ottawa in 2012 and needed revitalization. So, this spring when the City was planning to cut and clear much of the dead wood within the forest, Fisher Heights and Area Community Association (FHACA) suggested that the wood chips be left on site and the community would use them to renew the trails. The City carted away the tree trunks too large for the wood-chipper and left two very large piles of wood chips in the park. The volunteers managed to do the spreading in a couple of hours. It was great to see young folks learning what it means to be a good neighbour and volunteer.  

This effort is part of FHACA's long-term commitment to the community parks. Next up, on May 25th, they will be returning to remove invasive Buckthorn in this same area. In the near future, in cooperation with city staff, the community is hoping to plant tree seedlings to revitalize this popular piece of nature.


Highway 417 On-Ramp Closure at Pinecrest 

Residents may have noticed that the westbound Highway 417 on-ramp from Pinecrest Road has temporarily closed as of May 13th and is scheduled to remain closed until August 8th. The closure is required for the continuation of the LRT Stage 2 project. A suggested detour is to continue north on Pinecrest Road to Richmond Road, turn left & continue to the HWY 417 westbound on-ramp near Bayshore.


Hunt Club & Riverside intersection modifications 

We have received an update from City staff regarding the upcoming construction work at Hunt Club and Riverside Drive. The work is scheduled to begin in mid-May and expected to be completed by October. The City will be sending out pre-construction notices to nearby businesses and issuing public service announcements (PSAs) detailing traffic impacts and the planned schedule. 


Ward 9 Presence at Carleton Challenge Conference  

Ward 9 Councillor’s Assistant Megan Wood recently had the privilege of attending a groundbreaking conference focused on climate action and sustainability. Hosted by leading experts and influencers in the field, the event provided a platform for thought-provoking discussions, innovative solutions, and collaborative initiatives aimed at addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Accelerating the Net Zero Transition: James Meadowcroft's opening keynote set the stage for the day, emphasizing the imperative of transitioning to a net zero development pathway. His insights underscored the need for a comprehensive approach that encompasses all facets of society, from energy production to transportation and urban planning. 
  • Economic Implications of Climate Change: The panel discussion on climate change and the economy shed light on the intricate relationship between environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. Experts emphasized the importance of strategic action to mitigate risks and seize opportunities for sustainable growth. 
  • Building Resilience and Adaptation: Another highlight was the panel discussion on resilience and adaptation, which explored strategies for safeguarding communities and ecosystems against the impacts of climate change. Panelists highlighted the role of nature-based solutions, innovative infrastructure, and community engagement in enhancing resilience. 
  • Leadership in the Face of Climate Change: Elizabeth Beardsley's afternoon keynote provided a powerful call to action for leaders at all levels to step up and drive positive change in the face of climate challenges. Her insights on the transformative power of leadership resonated deeply, inspiring attendees to embrace their role as catalysts for sustainability. 
  • National Priorities for Climate Action: The final panel discussion examined the opportunities and challenges in advancing meaningful and sustainable change in Canada. Panelists highlighted key priorities such as urban planning, transformative technologies, and policy frameworks. 

Building on the momentum generated by the conference, we continue to be excited to share updates on our ongoing efforts to promote sustainability and climate resilience in Ward 9 and the greater City of Ottawa. On May 1st, the City Council approved a permanent and enhanced Rain Ready Ottawa program to assist residents in effectively managing precipitation on their properties and mitigating the harmful effects of stormwater runoff. 

To recap: This program offers homeowners opportunities to receive rebates for upgrading their properties to redirect rainwater and enhance permeability, including the installation of rain gardens and permeable driveways. With increased rebate amounts of up to $5,000 and expanded eligibility to additional neighborhoods, more residents can now benefit from the program. We will continue to keep residents informed via newsletter for more information.  


Public Works Big Wheels Expo 

From May 19th to 25th, Ottawa is celebrating National Public Works Week. From maintaining critical infrastructure to improving transportation systems and preserving our natural assets, their work touches every aspect of life in our city. 

To commemorate this event, we are excited to announce the return of the Public Works Big Wheels Expo will take place at The Ottawa Stadium – home of the Ottawa Titans – on Sunday, June 2nd, from 9:30 am to 2:00pm. Admission is free! 

Attendees of all ages will have the chance to explore a wide array of trucks and equipment used by public works professionals, offering both educational insights and hands-on excitement. This event is not only a fun day out for families but also a valuable opportunity for young people interested in pursuing a career in Public Works to learn more about the field from HR staff and operators. 

And starting at noon, attendees will have the chance to secure free tickets to the Ottawa Titans baseball game against the Windy City ThunderBolts at 1:00pm. It's bound to be a day of excitement and community spirit!



Pop-Up Office Hours: Craig Henry 

Just a friendly reminder that your City Councillor, Devine, will be available to meet with residents for Pop-Up Office Hours in Craig Henry at Keepin' It Vegan bakery on Tuesday, May 28th, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Whether you have questions about municipal issues, want to build a relationship with your elected representative, or simply crave some delicious baked goods, this is your chance! 

No RSVP required—just drop by for an informal chat on a first-come, first-served basis. We'll aim to keep each meeting brief to accommodate everyone who wants to chat. Looking forward to seeing you there! 


Arlington Woods Bike Rodeo  

Our office was delighted to participate in the Trend Arlington Bike Rodeo, where the Councillor had the wonderful opportunity to engage with residents. While the Bike Rodeo is designed to be a fun event for kids and families in our community, it also serves a greater purpose. This year, the Bike Rodeo supported FAMSAC, an organization providing emergency food relief to those in need within our community. Every dollar spent at the BBQ or Café, along with 30% of all petting zoo food sales, went directly to this fantastic cause.


Survey: Ward 9 Seniors Summit  

On October 1, our office will be hosting the Ward 9 Seniors Summit. As part of our preparations and planning for this event, we invite older adults and other interested stakeholders to participate in a brief online survey that our office has launched, so that we might gather useful information to make the event as successful and as relevant as possible. Please complete the survey by Friday, June 14th.  


What’s new at Engage Ottawa?  

If you are just curious about the various policies, programs, and projects being developed in and around the city or if you want to get more involved and provide your thoughts on what the city is up to, you should check out Engage Ottawa. Engage is the one-stop shop for all consultations going on around the city. You’ll see project descriptions, backgrounders, surveys, and schedules of public engagement events. All at your fingertips. Right now, you can check out conversations about everything from the Shenkman Arts Centre to Rural issues to the city’s Climate Resiliency Strategy. Engage makes it easy to stay on top of the current issues and get involved!


Celebrating AccessAbility Day and Enhancing Accessibility 

Building a city where everyone can navigate, participate, and enjoy their community is essential to our quality of life. That's why the City of Ottawa is committed to ensuring accessibility for those living with disabilities and fostering an environment where all residents can thrive. 

As part of this commitment, the Accessibility Office is updating the City's Municipal Accessibility Plan to determine accessibility status and identify existing barriers within our programs, services, goods, and facilities. Join us virtually for the 2024 AccessAbility Day event on Thursday, May 30 from 10 am to 2:30 pm to celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities. Watch the live stream of the morning ceremony on the City of Ottawa's YouTube channel.  

Stay informed about the Accessibility Office's efforts by signing up for the Accessibility Spotlight newsletter, delivering monthly updates straight to your inbox. 


Survey: YOW Customer Engagement  

The Ottawa International Airport Authority is looking for feedback from community stakeholders. They are currently running a survey to gather feedback on a number of key issues. It won’t take you long to fill it out and this will give you an opportunity to provide your input. You can do the survey in either French or English, you can do it all at once or pause and come back, and your answers will be kept confidential. You can find the survey by following this link.



Respiratory Illness Update 

Good news! While there may be a lot of people suffering from seasonal allergies right now, the levels of COVID-19 in the community are remaining at lower levels than they have been in quite some time. Similarly, we seem to have finally emerged from the flu season with rates of infection low and dropping. RSV, however, is picking up slightly. As always, it’s never a bad idea to be cautious when you are sharing air with a larger group of people. Open a window or three, use filters, and use a good mask when you’re sharing the air.


9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Hotline 

In recent years, we have become more aware and more engaged with mental health. Increased awareness is so important to building a more supportive, more understanding community. One of the newest supports that has been rolled out, coast-to-coast, is a national suicide crisis helpline. This new service has been in operation for six months and is easily accessible from any telephone. All you have to do is call or text ‘9-8-8' and help is there. The service is for anyone who is suffering or knows someone who is and could use some support in assisting them.


Stay Active and Healthy with Free Chair Exercises for Seniors! 

Looking for a fun and convenient way to stay active and improve your health? Join us for free drop-in chair exercises at the South Nepean Satellite Community Health Centre starting May 14th! 

  • When: Tuesdays, 3:00 pm - 3:45 pm 
  • What: Led by peer instructors from Family Physio, these sessions will focus on range of motion, rhythm, coordination, strength, and balance. Plus, there will be standing exercises specifically designed to enhance balance. 
  • In-Person Classes: Join us at the South Nepean Satellite Community Health Centre for an energizing and social workout session. 
  • Virtual Classes: Can't make it in person? No problem! Virtual classes are available on Zoom on weekday afternoons. For more information and to access virtual classes, please contact Grace Kowalczyk at [email protected]

Stay active, stay healthy, and join us for chair exercises tailored for seniors. We look forward to seeing you there!


Upcoming Community Events 

With summer on its way, be on the lookout for a lot more outdoor community events. Here are a few items that are popping up across Ward 9:  

  • On Saturday, May 25th come join us at General Burns Park for the annual General Burns Fun Day, taking place from 11:00am – 3:00pm at General Burns Park (107 Chesterton).   
  • On Saturday, June 1st it’s time for Spring Things, brought to you by the Trend Arlington Community Association. Spring Things will include a Seed & Soil giveaway, along with their Community Clean-Up and a Clothing Drive. The events take place from 9:00am – 12:00pm at Trend Arlington Community Centre (50 Bellman Drive).  
  • On Saturday, June 22nd we’ll see you at Parkwood Hills Fun Day for a free community BBQ with live entertainment and an info booth fair. This event takes place from 1:00pm – 4:00pm at Inverness Park (76 Inverness Drive).  

If you’d like to invite Councillor Devine to your community event, please send an email to [email protected]


Ottawa’s 1st Adaptive Living Expo 

On June 1st, come out to the Nepean Sportsplex for the Adaptive Living Expo to discover the latest in health, safety and mobility products for older adults and others interested in adaptive living.

Plant Sale at Merivale United Church 

We're excited to announce the upcoming Plant Sale at Merivale United Church! Join on Saturday, June 1st, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, at 1876 Merivale Road, conveniently located at Merivale and Huntclub. 


  • Date: Saturday, June 1st 
  • Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm 
  • Location: Merivale United Church, 1876 Merivale Road, Merivale at Huntclub 
  • Offerings: Explore a wide variety of plants including perennials, herbs, house plants, vegetables, and don't forget to check out our treasure table! 

Don't miss this opportunity to add some greenery to your home and garden while supporting Merivale United Church. Mark your calendars and spread the word! 

See you there!


Join Us for The Big Give 2024 at Woodvale Church! 

Get ready for an exciting community event! The Big Give 2024 is happening at Woodvale Church, and you're invited! 

  • When: June 1, 2024 
  • Time: 9 am to 11 am 
  • Where: Woodvale Pentecostal Church, 205 Greenbank Road, Nepean 
  • Rain or Shine: No matter the weather, the fun continues! Join us indoors or outdoors for a fantastic time. 

This FREE event has something for everyone; free garage sale, free BBQ, bouncy castles, free haircuts, free cotton candy and more! Additionally, for the garage sale, don't worry about transporting large items! We offer free delivery within 10 km of Woodvale Church. 

Mark your calendars and bring your friends and family for a day of community, generosity, and fun at The Big Give 2024. See you there!


Tree Giveaway 

Please join Ecology Ottawa at the Great Glebe Garage Sale on May 25 to receive a free native seedling! This tree giveaway is an opportunity for Ottawans to plant a native seedling on their property and help strengthen Ottawa’s tree canopy. Ecology Ottawa will be distributing five species of seedlings, along with planting and care instructions. More information—including RSVP—is on their website. For those interested in a seedling but unable to participate this time, Ecology Ottawa plans to hold two more giveaways in late summer, one in the east end and the other in the west end.


Let's Bike Month  

June is EnviroCentre’s Let’s Bike Month!  Whether it’s for commuting, running errands, training or just for fun, you can track your rides and see the impact a bike ride can have on our planet.   

Thanks to amazing community sponsors, EnviroCentre will be giving away thousands of dollars worth of prizes throughout the month of June.  You can see a list of our prizes and sponsors here!  

How to get involved:  

  • Sign up as an individual or start a team to encourage your community to join in  
  • Log your bike rides and see the impact YOU make by choosing to bike   
  • Like or follow Let’s Bike Ottawa on Facebook, X or Instagram 
  • Share your rides on social media and use the tag #letsbikeottawa   
  • Join us for one of our free workshops or events!  
  • Help us spread the word!  

Mark your community calendars: We’ll be celebrating all our kilometres pedalled and emissions averted at our new community celebration event – Bikes and Bites, June 26 5-8PM @ the Horticulture Building, Lansdowne.   

Happy cycling!

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