Category Archives: Health

Can a video game engage youth in community planning?

(ABOVE: Screenshot from one of the worlds created during the pilot project.)

Ottawa Public Health is hoping that Minecraft will lay the building blocks to getting kids engaged in their community and its health.

A pilot project recently wrapped up at the Stittsville and Centrepointe libraries, where youth aged nine to 17 attempted to re-imagine and build a part of their local community in the popular building game Minecraft. Continue reading


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LINKED: Heartsick couple in their 90s separated by province’s rules

From Bruce Deachman in the Ottawa Citizen:

When Nancy Burgoin spoke to a nurse this week following her father’s first full day at Granite Ridge Care Community, a long-term healthcare facility in Stittsville, she was surprised to hear he’d spent much of his time in his walker, navigating the hallways.

After all, she says, at 94 and legally blind in one eye, Norman Davis typically leans to a more sedentary lifestyle.

But then she discovered exactly why her dad was out on the prowl: he was searching for his 91-year-old wife, Mae. “He couldn’t find her,” the nurse reported.

Norman and Mae Davis married on June 9, 1945, just a month after VE-Day, vowing then that only unto death would they part. He was 22, she was 19, and that end part probably seemed a lifetime away. Yet now, more than 70 years later and for the first time in their married lives, they live apart.

Sadly, the situation will likely worsen before it improves: because of provincial regulations regarding long-term healthcare facilities, Norman and Mae will remain separated for at least three more months, an absence Burgoin fears her heartsick father may not survive.

The reality of the couple’s possible separation came a week before Christmas, when they were living at a seniors’ residence in Stittsville. A room had freed up at Granite Ridge at the same time Mae’s name — but not Norman’s — reached the top of the waiting list.

Upon hearing the news, Norman, sitting at the kitchen table, said only, “Huh. So this is what society has come to. They’re going to separate us.”

Read the full article…


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SPECIAL REPORT: Neighbours express mixed views on Iber Road pot shop

(ABOVE: John O’Dacre lives in Granite Ridge, near the Magna Terra marijuana dispensary on Iber Road. He says he doesn’t oppose marijuana itself but wants a legal framework in place before dispensaries are allowed to open. Photo by Devyn Barrie.)

When Vèronique Pourbaix-Kent, principal of Ecole Paul-Desmarais, learned a marijuana dispensary had opened down the road from her school, she fired off an email to Councillor Shad Qadri to voice her displeasure.

“A shop of this nature should obviously not be near a high school,” she wrote. “I am sure that when the dust settles, the laws and bylaws surrounding the sale of pot will make it illegal for a [dispensary] to open near a school and they will have to close.” Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Marijuana dispensary cited for zoning violation

(Photo: Inside Magna Terra on Iber Road. Supplied photo.)

The Ottawa Citizen reports that the Magna Terra marijuana dispensary in Stittsville has received a notice of a zoning violation from the City of Ottawa.

“Two dispensaries have received notices of zoning violations for operating ‘retail stores’ in industrial zones. City inspectors are also investigating the take-out window in a boarded-up pot shop to see if the operation violates the building code, ” writes Jacquie Miller in Saturday’s Citizen. Continue reading


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It’s flu (clinic) season!

It’s flu season – everybody’s favourite time of year (after Festivus.)

If you’d rather avoid the fever, cough, aches, sores, congestion, occasional vomiting and other… symptoms, you’ll probably want to get the flu shot ASAP if you haven’t already.

Here’s a quick overview of where you can get the shot in Ottawa:

  • Pretty much every pharmacy, including the ones inside grocery stores. All you need is your health card. The Ontario government has a tool mapping all the participating pharmacists…
  • Your doctor’s office.
  • Clinics will be held across the city at schools, hospitals and community buildings.
  • For children under five, Ottawa Public Health provides free clinics by appointment. To register, call OPH at 613-580-6744.

Here is a list of community clinics from the city’s website:

Saturday, October 29 All Saints Catholic High School 5115 Kanata Avenue, Kanata 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tuesday, November 1 Mother Teresa Catholic High School 440 Longfields Drive, Nepean 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 2 Fred Barrett Arena 3280 Leitrim Road, Ottawa 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 3 St. Pius X High School 1481 Fisher Avenue, Ottawa 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 École secondaire catholique Béatrice Desloges 1999 Provence Ave., Orleans 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Monday, November 7 West Carleton Community Complex 5670 Carp Road, Kinburn 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 8 Osgoode Township High School 2800 Eight Line Road, Metcalfe 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 9 Sacred Heart Catholic High School 5870 Abbott Street E, Stittsville 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 10 Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre 2300 Community Way, North Gower 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Monday, November 14 Ottawa City Hall 110 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, November 15 South Carleton High School 3673 McBean Street, Richmond 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 16 Greely Community Centre 1448 Meadow Drive, Greely 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Hospital clinics:

Tuesday, November 1 Montfort Hospital 713 Montreal Road 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p. m.
Wednesday, November 2 Queensway Carleton Hospital 3045 Baseline Road 4 – 8 p.m.
Thursday, November 3 Royal Ottawa Hospital 1145 Carling Avenue 1:30 – 6:30 p.m
Monday, November 7 Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) 401 Smyth Road 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wednesday, November 16 The Perley and Rideau Veterans Health Centre 1750 Russell Road 2:30-7:30 p.m

Don’t worry. This won’t hurt a bit.

(This post originally appeared on our sister site, OttawaStart.com.)


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Food inspector warns of possible tampering of baby formula at Kanata Walmart

(Press release via CFIA)

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has become aware of a report from a Walmart store located in Kanata, Ontario of tampering by product substitution in an infant formula product. This type of issue is not typically associated with the manufacturing process but can occur occasionally when a consumer returns altered products to the retail store for a refund. Continue reading


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Q&A: If marijuana dispensaries are illegal, why aren’t they being shut down?

We’ve had a lot of questions from readers about the legal status of Magna Terra, the marijuana dispensary that’s set to open soon on Iber Road. If marijuana dispensaries are illegal, why are they allowed to continue operating in Ottawa? The answer: it’s complicated!

Is marijuana legal in Canada or not?
Marijuana for recreational use is illegal; marijuana for medical use has been legal in Canada since 2001. Continue reading


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COMMENT: Marijuana shop may be illegal, but risk to community is low

(PHOTO: If it wasn’t for all the media coverage you might never know this was a marijuana dispensary.)

I stopped in at Magna Terra’s open house over lunch today. Owner Franco Vigile was there along with one of his staff (a registered nurse) serving finger sandwiches and bottled water to visitors.

Magna Terra is the new medical marijuana dispensary on Iber Road that’s scheduled to open later this month. The facility, and others like it, are operating illegally — at least until the Liberal government finalizes new legislation for the sale and use of marijuana. Continue reading


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LETTER: Marijuana dispensary owner responds to councillor’s comments

(ABOVE: Franco Vigile, owner of the Magna Terra marijuana dispensary on Iber Road, is holding an open house on August 2 and 3.)

Re: Marijuana dispensary too close to schools, says Qadri

It’s really unfortunate to see certain attempts made to install fear into the community after all of the efforts I have made to ensure this facility will be ran safely and responsibly with full regard for the surrounding communities. I would like to make a couple clarifications to Councillor Qadri’s comments. Continue reading


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Marijuana dispensary too close to schools, says Qadri

(Shad Qadri shared these comments in his weekly newsletter to residents today.)

As many of you may be aware, a new medicinal marijuana dispensary, Magna Terra, is slated to open soon at 83 Iber Road.
This will be the City of Ottawa’s sixth unlicensed marijuana dispensary of a potential nine in the coming months. Licensed dispensaries, such as the one in Smiths Falls aptly named “Tweed”, operate on a mail-order basis. Doctor’s prescriptions can be submitted and product is handled and packaged in a plant before being delivered directly to its recipient. These services are safe, reliable, and ensure that all operations are within the guidelines sanctioned by the government of Ontario.

Unlicensed dispensaries, alternatively, do not operate within these same regulations. Continue reading


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Open house at Iber Road marijuana shop August 2 & 3

(via Magna Terra Health Services)

I would like to invite the residents and businesses of Stittsville to Magna Terra’s two day community engagement event whereby all are welcome to come by our west end location at 83 Iber Rd. and have an opportunity to ask questions and see the facility on August 2nd and 3rd from 12pm to 7pm. Continue reading


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COMMENT: Marijuana benefits are real, but so are the risks

(PHOTO: Lemon kush / photo by Mark via Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.)

(Editor’s note: A medical marijuana dispensary called Magna Terra will be opening soon on Iber Road. Most of the public reaction we’ve seen online has been overwhelmingly positive, but there has been some concern as well. Here’s some context from Kanata resident Liz Hall, who works in the health care field.)
Continue reading


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Medical imaging centre will open this fall on Stittsville Main Street

Here’s a note from Councillor Shad Qadri about a medical imaging centre opening at 1609 Stittsville Main Street later this year. That’s next door to the Dynacare medical lab next to Greco:

***

I am pleased to announce that a new Stittsville Medical Imaging Centre will be opening this fall. Services offered will include X-rays and ultrasound exams, including prenatal 3D ultrasounds.

Last year I connected with the business’ new owners and asked for Stittsville’s thoughts on such a service which was received with an overwhelmingly positive response. Now, I will continue to work closely with the owners to ensure that the needs of Stittsville continue to be met.

The branch will be located at 1609 Stittsville Main St and I will be certain to provide more details including a grand opening date as the time nears.

If you are interested in learning more about the services being offered or if you are a talented sonographer, X-ray technician or administrative staff who live in the area looking for full time or part time work, please contact Dr. Gregory Davies at gdavies@stittsvilleimaging.ca.


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Marijuana dispensary opening soon on Iber Road

(Photo via Facebook.)

From beads to buds… Magna Terra, a medical marijuana dispensary, will be opening soon at 83 Iber Road, in the space formerly occupied by Dragon’s Lair Beads. Here’s their Facebook page.   Technically it’s still illegal to open a storefront marijuana store in Canada.

(Thanks Brad S. for the beads to buds line!)

Here’s an article from the Ottawa Citizen:

Stittsville is also about to get a marijuana dispensary, which will bring to six the number of store-front businesses illegally selling marijuana in Ottawa. The Ottawa stores all cater to medical marijuana patients. Medical marijuana is legal in Canada, but only for patients with a doctor’s prescription who purchase it from growers licensed by Health Canada, who send the medicine by registered mail.

Coming soon is a sixth Ottawa dispensary, on Iber Road in Stittsville. There will be an open house to launch Magna Terra Health Services, probably later this month, said majority owner Franco Vigile. Vigile said he talked to Coun. Shad Qadri and the community policing officer for the area to assure them the business will operate safely and responsibly.

Qadri, in a telephone interview, said he advised Vigile to check with city bylaw officials. “At this point in time, the drug is illegal,” he said. “Based on that, I am not in favour of the (dispensary).”

Vigile is also part owner of Ottawa Medical Dispensary on Carling Avenue, which was the first marijuana dispensary in town when it opened in November 2015. OMD has 1,000 patients, and many travel from the west end, so Vigile said he thought a Stittsville location was needed. Read the full story…

UPDATE: Councillor Shad Qadri shared these additional comments in his weekly newsletter to residents.

I feel it is important to state that while it is known to be our current Federal government’s plan to legalize marijuana sale in the near future, the drug – as well as its dispensaries – at the present time still remains illegal. To that end, I am not comfortable with an unlicensed business of this nature operating within our community at the present time.

Although I can appreciate the medicinal qualities and pain relief these products may offer, there are sufficient distribution channels and networks already available to receive those medications such as Tweed, a licensed mail-order dispensary based in Smiths Falls.

If/when these establishments obtain licenses, the federal government will put markers in terms of distribution that will facilitate operations. However, until that time, I will be working very closely with Ottawa Police Service and City of Ottawa By-Law departments to ensure that proper enforcement is in play.

I have been in contact with the owners and have been assured that this particular facility will include a doctor on site and should only be servicing people with pre-existing prescriptions for purchase. In my initial conversations with owner, Franco Vigile, I had mentioned to him to go and consult with our planning department and to hold a public consultation session before moving forward.

I have now been advised that once opened, the owners will be inviting the public in to see their operations as an open house setting with no displays of product.

Until that time, I will remain in communications with Mr. Vigile and will be providing community updates as those conversations progress.


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Precautionary Boil Water Advisory in effect for Carp communal well water users

(via Ottawa Public Health)

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has issued a precautionary Boil Water Advisory for the users of the Carp communal well water system. The advisory is being issued due to a loss of pressurization within Carp communal well water system. Investigation into the cause is underway. This advisory affects approximately 715 households and is in effect until further notice.

The advisory is in effect for all residents of village of Carp.

City staff are on location in Carp village delivering notices to affected residents.

Water users in the affected area are asked to bring their water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for all consumption purposes, including drinking, making juice, ice and infant formula, as well as for use in food preparation.

After boiling, if water is not needed immediately, it should be placed in clean containers to cool in the refrigerator. Boiled water should be used when brushing teeth. Boiled water should also be used to rinse dishes after washing. Other non-consumption uses, such as showering, are safe.

If you are unable to boil water, you should consume only bottled water.  More info available here:What you should know during a boil water advisory.

This advisory will be rescinded once Ottawa Public Health is satisfied that water quality has been restored and tap water is safe to drink. 

Additional information is available at ottawa.ca, or by calling 3-1-1, or Ottawa Public Health at613-580-6744.  You can also connect with Ottawa Public Health on Facebook and Twitter(@ottawahealth).


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Precautionary Boil Water Advisory in effect for Kings Park communal well water users in Richmond

UPDATE: The boil water advisory has been lifted as of Sunday evening.

(press release from Ottawa Public Health)

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has issued a precautionary Boil Water Advisory for users of the communal well water system in the Kings Park community in Richmond. The advisory is being issued due to a depressurization in the communal well system in the area. This advisory is in effect until further notice.

City staff will be on location in Richmond delivering notices to affected residents.

Water users in the affected area are asked to bring their water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for all consumption purposes, including drinking, making juice, ice and infant formula, as well as for use in food preparation.

After boiling, if water is not needed immediately, it should be placed in clean containers to cool in the refrigerator. Boiled water should be used when brushing teeth. Boiled water should also be used to rinse dishes after washing. Other non-consumption uses, such as showering, are safe.

If you are unable to boil water, you should consume only bottled water. More info available here:What you should know during a boil water advisory.

This advisory will be rescinded once Ottawa Public Health is satisfied that water quality has been restored and tap water is safe to drink.

Additional information is available at ottawa.ca, or by calling 3-1-1, or Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.  You can also connect with Ottawa Public Health on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth).


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ALC honours former student with new Buddy Bench

(Photo: The Jude family, left to right: Steve, Mason (8), Colby (6) and Dev. They’re sitting on a Buddy Bench at A. Lorne Cassidy elementary school named in memory of Bryce Jude, who passed away in 2012 after a battle with leukemia. Photo via A. Lorne Cassidy School.)

The family of Bryce Jude helped students at A. Lorne Cassidy school unveil a new “Buddy Bench” named in his honour. Jude passed away in 2012 at the age of 7 after a battle with leukemia.

“It’s nice to know his memory will hopefully live on,” says his mother Dev Jude. The Jude family, including Dev’s husband Steve and Bryce’s brothers Mason and Colby, were on hand for the unveiling on Thursday.

“It has been happy. For anyone who loses a child, it’s always nice when you can remember them. Your biggest fear is that they may be forgotten,” says Jude.

She says that the school originally planned to plant a tree in memory of Bryce until she heard about Buddy Benches being installed at other schools. She credits ALC principal Andrew Canham for his support and leadership to make it happen.

“A tree would have been lovely. I asked the principal: ‘What do you think of this idea instead of a tree?’ And that’s what we did. They painted it red because it was Bryce’s favourite colour – the Sens were his favourite team and they came to CHEO to see him,” she says.

“The rules surrounding this bench, called a ‘Buddy Bench’, are pretty simple. Within a few minutes, any student sitting on the bench will to approached by a fellow student and asked to play. In simpler terms, when you don’t have anyone to play with, you go to the Buddy Bench and a friend will come along to play,” explained Canham at the unveiling ceremony for the bench.

Bryce Jude
Bryce Jude

Bryce was diagnosed with leukemia a month into Junior Kindergarten, and ended up missing most of the year while he was getting treatment. He attended school for a few months in Senior Kindergarten, and then started his Grade 1 year when he had a relapse. Although he would never return to school, he continued to do schoolwork from home with the support of his teachers.

Meanwhile, the school community organized fundraising events to help the family. Neither Jude nor her husband Steve were able to work because of the time and travel spent helping Bryce in the hospital. Dev Jude says that they were incredibly grateful for the support from friends and family, and their efforts have inspired her family to continue to give back.

“We’ve formed Refuse2lose, initially formed when my husband and I both could not work. [Friends] did some fundraising when Bryce was sick and my only requirement for accepting it was that we would pay it back in time. We try to raise $50,000 each year,” she says.

The entire family gets involved. Bryce’s brothers Mason and Colby took part this week in the Inside Ride, an indoor stationary cycling fundraiser that raised $120,000 towards Candlelighters, in support kids and teens treated at CHEO who are living with cancer.

Dev Jude’s remarks at the opening ceremony on Thursday:
I’m so excited to be here today. Originally, we were going to plant a tree in memory of Bryce and while this was a lovely idea I was reading in the newspaper about a 2nd grader called Christian who had heard about the Buddy Bench all the way from Germany. He presented the idea to his principal who loved the idea – now these Buddy Benches are being installed all across North America. I believe A Lorne Cassidy is the first school in Stittsville to have a Buddy Bench installed and it’s so very special to our family that this bench is in memory of Bryce. He loved school and even though he wasn’t always at school he had a teacher from ALC come to teach him at home and he loved receiving all the cards and support many of you and your families sent him while he was at CHEO.

Making friends or asking a friend to play can be hard sometimes, especially if you are new to the school or your usual friends are not around. If ever you don’t have a friend to play with during recess or feel a bit lonely, all you now have to do is go sit on the bench.

And then this is where ALL of you get to help – each and every person – if you happen to see someone at the bench – ask them if they want to join in your game or come play. Or maybe just check in with them to see if they are OK.

There was a saying on one of the benches that I loved and said “The only way to have a friend is to be one”. Put your hands up if you think you can be a friend? Great! Each and every one of you will help to make this Buddy Bench work – it’s up to all of you and I am confident you will all do a great job as I see how caring and what great friends you all are.

I know Bryce would be happy to see this bench and I love the fact that his brothers Mason and Colby can have it here during their time at ALC. Thank you all so much for honouring Bryce in this way and enjoy the bench!


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