NEWSLETTER UPDATE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2020
Below you will find this week’s updates on the COVID-19 situation and other important news.
My team and I are monitoring the situation closely and sharing resources and information here in my newsletter, on our COVID-19 Information Hub, on Facebook.
Our goal is to help you have the latest facts at your fingertips during this challenging time.
Last chance to submit a photo with your name, address and phone number by the 14th of Dec.
NEW THIS WEEK
OTTAWA PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES
- Health Canada Authorizes First Covid 19 Vaccine
- City Council Approves 2021 Budget
- Here comes Santa Clause!
- Letters to Santa
- Solid Waste Master Plan News
- Dreaming of a Green Christmas
- Fire Service Urges Residents to Keep Fire Safety Top of Mind
- Ottawa Public Library Winter Words at Play
- Learn to Skate Programs to Take to the Ice in January
- Government of Canada announces support for Rapid Housing Initiative in the City of Ottawa
- Government Expands Canada Emergency Business Account Loans
- Government of Canada Announces Pan-Canadian Vaccine Injury Support Program
- Ontario Permanently Allowing Alcohol with Food Takeout and Delivery
- Province conducting COVID-19 Safety Awareness and Compliance Campaigns in Ottawa this week
- Ontario Creates and Restores Wetlands
COMMUNITY AND WARD NEWS
- Community Spirit shown towards the Osgoode Care Centre staff and residents!
- Metcalfe Community Association host a Drive Thru Parade
- Helping Vulnerable Residents During Covid19
- Osgoode Township Museum Rooted in Rural
OTTAWA PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES
Health Canada Authorizes First Covid 19 Vaccine
City Council Approves 2021 Budget
- The budget limits the municipal tax increase to three per cent, amounting to an extra $115 for the average urban homeowner and $88 for the average rural homeowner. The average household connected to the City’s water supply will pay an additional $37 per year on their water bill. Rural households not connected will pay an additional $7 per year for their stormwater fee, which pays for culverts and stormwater facilities that help prevent flooding and reduce the amount of pollutants entering waterways.
- For the third year in a row, the budget commits $15 million to develop new affordable and supportive housing units. With an additional $32 million in federal funding, the City will invest $47 million in capital funding for affordable housing. This is in addition to $112 million in support of housing needs, which includes $33 million for community-based housing and homelessness programs and supports.
- Budget 2021 includes funding for 14 new paramedics, to better serve Ottawa’s growing population and address increasing emergency call volumes, along with $25.2 million in community funding for agencies that help residents with the greatest need.
- Investments and work on Stage 2 of Ottawa’s LRT system continue. Once Stage 2 is complete, 77 per cent of residents will live within five kilometres of LRT. The cost of the EquiPass and the Community Pass for Ontario Disability Support Program recipients will remain frozen at 2018 rates for another year.
- The budget also increases funding to maintain and renew infrastructure like roads, sidewalks and facilities by $25 million, for a total investment of $171 million. With increased support for infrastructure maintenance, the City will close the infrastructure gap – the difference between what the City spends and what it needs to spend annually to maintain infrastructure in good repair – in seven years, rather than 10 years. With an additional $19 million in one-time federal gas tax funding, that’s a total investment of $171 million for infrastructure in 2021.
- To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Budget 2021 invests $3 million to retrofit City facilities to reduce energy use and costs, with a net payback of $365,000 a year expected in eight years. An additional $18.7 million will help protect air and land at the Trail Waste Facility, $2 million to conserve natural lands in rural areas and $1.5 million to plant trees and regenerate Ottawa’s tree canopy. These investments complement the $2.6 million that Council committed in October to Energy Evolution projects.
- The City will have one additional ward in the next municipal election, in 2022. Council approved a new ward structure with 24 wards – 12 urban, nine suburban and three rural – that minimizes changes to existing boundaries.
- To mitigate the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Lansdowne, Council approved amending the partnership agreement with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. The amendments do not require any taxpayer funds and will restore the balance and alignment of risk in the partnership.
- According to an audit of the financial partnership for Lansdowne, the City has processes to monitor and validate its financial results. The audit identified a need to increase the frequency of examination and analysis to reduce risks to the City and ensure that forecasted returns are accurately reported.
- Council also received audits on the Stage 1 LRT contingency fund, management of City facilities, by-law enforcement, and Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe and Shenkman Arts Centre.
- Based on the mid-term governance review, Council approved re-establishing the Debenture Committee to improve the City’s access to financial markets and reduce debt-servicing costs. Other outcomes of the review include changing recruitment and hiring practices for resident appointments to advisory boards and taskforces, implementing a new performance review process for the City Manager and Auditor General, and adding optional sections in Committee reports for climate, economic, and Indigenous, gender and equity implications.
- Following Councillor Jenna Sudds’ resignation as Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee, Council appointed Councillor Matthew Luloff to chair the Committee. Councillor Sudds replaces Councillor Luloff as a Deputy Mayor.
- Council delegated authority to the City Clerk and the Manager of Council and Committee Services to hire staff and approve spending for College Ward for the rest of this Term of Council.
- Council approved a motion to conduct an environmental assessment and design an interim multi-use pathway for the Prince of Wales Bridge. The City hopes to secure funding from other levels of government to create this additional active transportation link between Ottawa and Gatineau.
Here comes Santa Clause!
Santa has been given a special exemption for Christmas this year.
Letters to Santa
- Due to overwhelming demand, the Letters to Santa kits were sold out.
- If you would like to watch the video and follow in other holiday fun.. watch youtube here and follow me for more city updates.
- The final video, in English and French, is now featured on the City of Ottawa Archives YouTube channel
Solid Waste Master Plan News
- The Solid Waste Master Plan page on Engage Ottawa has been a steadily growing source of information.
- You’ll find anything you may want to know about project timelines, reports and technical data, as well as FAQs and backgrounders on various waste management related topics, trends, challenges and solutions.
- One of the latest additions is an overview of the consultation process so far, including how we adapted to virtual engagement practices.
- A second update pertains to the plan’s Stakeholder Sounding Board (SSB), composed of 19 member organizations.
Dreaming of a Green Christmas
- Reducing your environmental impact during the holiday season is easy. Here are 10 tips how to create less waste and save money.
- Looking for a Christmas tree? Consider a live potted fir or pine that you can re-use for years to come and plant in the garden once it’s getting too big.
- Give plastic- and glitter-free decorations a try.
- Save natural resources by buying less.
- Avoid products with excessive packaging.
- Choose battery-free gifts.
- Give immaterial presents like a poem, a self-made video or tickets for an online event.
- Regift unopened things sitting in your basement.
- Upcycle things you already own.
- Use newspapers, paper bags, cardboard or old dish towels as gift wrap and string for ribbons.
- Feed your green bin with your food waste.
Fire Service Urges Residents to Keep Fire Safety Top of Mind
- The threat of fire is real, let’s work together to keep our homes and our loved ones safe this year.
- As we head into the holidays and winter months, Ottawa Fire Services urges residents to be vigilant in preventing fires in your home.
- Fire safety planning and early detection through smoke alarms are your best defenses.
How to protect yourself and your loved ones
- Reduce fire risks in your home:
- Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of home fires. It is easy to get distracted while cooking, set a timer to remind you to check on your meal.
- Keep a close eye on anyone drinking alcohol and attempting to cook or smoke.
- Encourage smokers to smoke outside the home and outside the garage. Thoroughly extinguish all smoking materials in water or sand.
- If someone is smoking indoors ensure a smoke alarm is installed in the area you smoke.
- Use battery operated candles whenever possible, always blow out candles before leaving the room.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets. Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection. Avoid running electrical cords under rugs, which can damage the cords and cause a fire.
- Ensure items that can burn are at least one metre away from space heaters.
- Chimneys and heating systems should be cleaned and maintained annually.
- Make sure your alarms work:
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Only working alarms can give you the early warning you need to safely escape a fire in your home.
- Practice your home fire escape plan:
- Ensure everyone knows two ways out of each room, if possible.
- All exits must be unobstructed and easy to use.
- Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults and anyone who needs assistance to escape.
- Choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for.
- Call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or a neighbour’s home.
- Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.
- If you live in an apartment or high-rise building talk to the building superintendent to learn about the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan.
- For more information, contact: FireMediaRequests@ottawa.ca
Ottawa Public Library Winter Words at Play
- This selection of videos with suggested readings, songs, rhymes and winter book picks will warm the heart and spirit and hopefully go some distance to reconnect with our dear library customers and add to the festive fun of the season.
- Children alone or with members of their family will find much to delight and discover in this virtual winter wonderland of stories and songs presented by OPL’s dedicated children’s programmers. Here is a sample of what you will find:
- Lights for Gita read by Veena from Beaverbrook Branch
- Walking in a Winter Wonderland sung by Kristal from the Stittsville branch and Brianna from the Munster branch
- The Snowman, read by Kristal Greely from the Metcalfe branch
- Visit the OPL YouTube channel to let these wonderful videos light up this darkest time of the year.
- You may recognize Shannon from Greely and Metcalfe branches, in your neighbourhood, leading The Snowman action/rhyme.
Learn to Skate Programs to Take to the Ice in January
- The City’s COVID-modified Learn to Skate programs will take to the ice in January at 10 indoor arenas and the outdoor Lansdowne Skating Court.
- The full listing of group or private skating lessons for the young and young-at-heart will be online at Join.ottawa.ca on Monday, December 14.
- Registration opens on Wednesday, December 16 at 9 pm.
Government of Canada announces support for Rapid Housing Initiative in the City of Ottawa
- Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home.
- The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that affordable housing is key to Canada’s recovery as major cities across the country including Ottawa are dealing with the devastating impacts of rising levels of homelessness and housing need.
- Under the Major Cities Stream of funding, $500 million is allocated to pre-identified municipalities with the highest levels of renters in severe housing need and people experiencing homelessness.
- Municipalities can flow funds through a third-party (including a provincial or territorial government).
- Rapid Housing Initiative
Government Expands Canada Emergency Business Account Loans
- Since the spring, the Canada Emergency Business Account has helped almost 800,000 small businesses and not-for-profits in Canada.
- Starting on Friday, December 4, 2020, eligible businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can access a second CEBA loan of up to $20,000 – on top of the initial $40,000 that was available to small businesses.
- Half of this additional financing, up to $10,000, will be forgivable if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.
- This means the additional loan effectively increases CEBA loans from the existing $40,000 to $60,000 for eligible businesses, of which a total of $20,000 will be forgiven if the balance of the loan is repaid on time.
- As announced in the Fall Economic Statement, the application deadline for CEBA has also been extended to March 31, 2021.
- To apply, eligible businesses and not-for-profits need to contact the financial institution that provided their initial CEBA loan and provide the appropriate information and documentation.
Government of Canada Announces Pan-Canadian Vaccine Injury Support Program
- Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is implementing a pan-Canadian no-fault vaccine injury support program for all Health Canada approved vaccines, in collaboration with provinces and territories.
- Building on the model in place in Québec for over 30 years, the program will ensure that all Canadians must have fair access to support in the rare event that they experience an adverse reaction to a vaccine.
- This program will also bring Canada in line with its G7 counterparts with similar programs, and ensure the country remains competitive in accessing new vaccines as they become available.
Ontario Permanently Allowing Alcohol with Food Takeout and Delivery
- The Ontario government is supporting jobs at local restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries during the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding opportunities in alcohol sales, including making the sale of alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders permanent.
- The province is now permanently allowing licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order.
- Ontario Permanently Allowing Alcohol with Food Takeout and Delivery | Ontario Newsroom
Province conducting COVID-19 Safety Awareness and Compliance Campaigns in Ottawa this week
- The Ontario government is conducting an education and enforcement initiative, ensuring retailers and malls have safety protocols in place to help protect consumers and employees from COVID-19.
- The Province will be working with the City and Ottawa Public Health for the education and enforcement visits. The inspections will assist with ensuring retail businesses are complying with the provincial Reopening Ontario Act and Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
- Some of the measures in these regulations include:
- Proper crowd control and capacity limits to ensure proper two-metre physical distancing
- Proper use of masks and cleaning/disinfection practices
Ontario Creates and Restores Wetlands
- The Ontario government is providing $30 million to help conservation organizations create and restore wetlands in priority areas across the province.
- The new Wetlands Conservation Partner Program will focus on restoration projects in the Great Lakes watersheds and support municipalities with stormwater management.
- In the first year of the five-year program, the province will partner with Ducks Unlimited Canada, an internationally recognized wetlands restoration organization, and provide $6 million to support wetlands projects in the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie drainage basins.
- Ducks Unlimited has a suite of over 60 projects that are fully scoped and ready to be implemented immediately.
COMMUNITY AND WARD NEWS
Community Spirit shown towards the Osgoode Care Centre staff and residents!
Another local organization generously donated 130 hot delicious meals today just in time for lunch. It was a pleasure to be on hand and joined by Councillor Diane Deans as we helped off load the meals.
Metcalfe Community Association host a Drive Thru Parade
NROCRC Helping Vulnerable Residents During Covid19
Osgoode Township Museum Rooted in Rural