Tag Archives: comment

COMMENT: Opportunity, momentum and passion for a revitalized Stittsville Main

About 45 people packed into Quitters on Monday night to take part in a panel discussion called Re-Inventing Stittsville Main.
I organized the event along with the Stittsville Village Association, the West Ottawa Board of Trade and Rick Tremblay from Quitters, with a goal of starting a conversation about the future of Stittsville Main. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: The good and the bad of Ottawa’s proposed new water rates

(Construction is underway for the Kanata West Pump Station on Maple Grove Road, part of a $60-million sewer infrastructure project in Kanata-Stittsville. This photo is from last April.)

Four things stand out after Ottawa’s Environment Committee recently unanimously approved a new water, wastewater and stormwater fee structure. (Council will consider this issue on October 26.) Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Five places to enjoy the great outdoors on Thanksgiving Monday

(PHOTO: Lookout over the marsh at the head of Poole Creek, along the Trans Canada Trail just west of Stittsville.  Photo by Glen Gower.)

As I sit down to write this it’s a very crisp (1°C) but bright Thanksgiving Monday. I hope you can take some time today to get outside for a run, a walk or a bike ride and enjoy one of the many trails we have close to us in Stittsville. (Bring your camera too – the fall colours are incredible.) Here are five of my favourite paths nearby. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

NOTEBOOK: Landfill proposal could mean even more downtown trucks

A number of people have asked me this summer about the status of the Carp Road landfill expansion, or as Waste Management (WM) would prefer us to call it, the West Carleton Environmental Centre (WCEC).  

The only development is that last month, Waste Management asked the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for permission to import construction and demolition waste (known as “C&D”) from Gatineau to the current Carp Road facility.  You can read the application here…

The idea is to take the waste material and recover any recyclable materials before shipping the rest to a landfill.  Ross Wallace, a spokesperson for Waste Management, tells me that they want to be on a level playing field with other waste and recycling businesses that are allowed to take C&D waste from Western Quebec.

This brings to mind two concerns:

1) Truck traffic.  Every load of garbage coming from Gatineau to Carp Road will be crossing bridges over the Ottawa River and using downtown streets. The timing of this proposal is ironic given that City Councillors are currently reviewing a $2-billion tunnel plan to reduce the number of trucks that cut through the core and choke up King Edward Avenue.

2) Waste transfer and jurisdictions. When WM first applied to expand the current landfill, it committed to serve Ottawa and close western neighbours like Lanark County.  Opening the door – even slightly – to garbage from Quebec is worrisome.  It contradicts the business model proposed by WM in the approved Environmental Assessment and Environmental Compliance Approval, where only Ontario waste was considered.

Environmentalists and waste industry watchers have been saying for a while now that increasing capacity at Ontario landfills (like the one on Carp Road) would lead to importing waste from farther and farther away. Do we really want our City to be the destination for garbage from other provinces or even the United States?

As Lando said in the Empire Strikes Back, “This deal is getting worse all the time!” The expanded landfill is going to look way different from what WM first described when they started the approval process: we’re hearing there’s no recreational land until the landfill is closed, recycling capability will be drastically reduced, and now they’re asking to expand the collection boundaries.

Residents can comment on WM’s application until October 3, either online or by mail.  Here’s how to get in touch.

***

The next update to watch for is what’s happening with the Host Municipal Responsibility Agreement (HMRA). That’s the legal agreement between WM and the City that sets terms and conditions for the landfill’s operation. The company has been negotiating with the City’s lawyers, and at some point the agreement will need council approval. It’s not clear how (or even if) the public will be able to give any input.


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: New street names should honour community leaders

(PHOTO: Warner-Colpitts Lane is named after Sterling Warner and Ian Colpitts, two Stittsville volunteers who were instrumental in building the Johnny Leroux Arena. We should recognize more of our community leaders – past and present – with commemorative street names.)

You have just under two weeks to submit your street name ideas to the City of Ottawa. Back in June, city staff gave residents an extended deadline of August 12 to send in their suggestions for five local streets. That was after staff received a lot of negative input about the original suggestions.

The city was right to re-open the suggestion process. Stittsville ended up with un-inspiring names like “Foilage”, “Plaintain” and “Boxty” (the Irish Pancake) in the first round. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Ice those plans for changes to minimum snowplow standards

(Snow removal in Fairwinds. Photo by Hien Hoang.)

Forgive me for being cynical, but when you schedule a presentation about snowplow service during the first week of July, and only tell the public about it two days before the long weekend, my first thought is that you’re trying to bury some bad news.

That’s exactly what it looks like the City has done with a KPMG report scheduled to be tabled at a Transportation Committee meeting on Wednesday.   Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Public high school is about giving parents a real choice

A public high school for Stittsville has finally hit #1 on the public school board’s priority list.

At tonight’s Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) meeting, parents, trustees, the local councillor and even a representative from Jack Maclaren’s office were all singing from the same songbook. Now we’ll see if the Ministry of Education joins in. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Seven reasons why a proposed drive-thru doesn’t fit on Stittsville Main

Is a drive-thru appropriate on a traditional main street? In some places yes, but the drive-thru proposed for Stittsville Main Street falls far short of what city planners say should be allowed.

A fast food drive-thru is proposed for Stittsville Main in front of Brown’s Independent. It will be the first real test of the new Stittsville Main Community Design Plan (CDP). Approved in 2015, the CDP (and its cousin, the Stittsville Main Street Secondary Plan) is supposed to provide a framework for development over the next few decades on our traditional main street. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Clearing up some misconceptions about Bradley-Craig heritage

(Photo: Barn at the Bradley-Craig farmstead, September 2015.)

UPDATE: The heritage committee has rejected the proposal to move the barn. The demolition will now be considered at a Planning Committee meeting in January.

***

This morning, the city’s Built Heritage Subcommittee will consider a proposal to demolish the barn at the Bradley-Craig farmstead, and move it to Munster.

The city’s heritage staff opposes the move, but Councillor Shad Qadri supports the plan.  I’ve read a few comments and arguments over the past few weeks that deserve a bit more context and clarity.
Continue reading


SHARE THIS

GUEST POST: Knocking on doors, answering questions about pipeline

(Photo: Mike Fletcher is a volunteer with Ecology Ottawa. Along with other volunteers, he’s knocked on over 6,000 doors to talk to residents about the proposed Energy East pipeline.)

I FOUND OUT ABOUT THE PROPOSED ENERGY EAST PIPELINE TWO YEARS AGO, and after researching it, came to the conclusion that this project must be stopped.

My “get off the couch moment” saw me joining Ecology Ottawa and joining people in Stittsville and West Carleton to oppose the project that’s a complete no win for our community and our country. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Happy first birthday to Quitters!

(ABOVE: Dog owners gather for a pack walk in front of Quitters last October. Quitters owner Kathleen Edwards is wearing a white shirt in the middle. Photo via Janet Burns / Dog Dayz Daycare and Training.)

If you’re in town this weekend, make a point of stopping in at Quitters and saying “thank you” to owner Kathleen Edwards and her staff.

It was Thanksgiving weekend last year that she first opened the coffee shop on Stittsville Main Street just south of Abbott Street. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Watered-down wildlife construction protocol lacks teeth

EDITOR’S NOTE: This photo shows a development site off Terry Fox Drive in Kanata that was recently clear cut during the height of the birthing season for mammals. Last month, the city’s planning committee approved a new Wildlife Construction Protocol with guidelines on “best practices” that developers should take to protect wildlife in construction areas.  Donna DuBreuil is the president of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, and doesn’t think the protocol is strong enough.

The jury will remain out on Ottawa’s Wildlife Construction Protocol, at least until the public sees whether its recommendations are put into force.

It’s disappointing that the main implementation tool in the draft protocol has been eliminated in the revised version.  Originally, developers were required to submit a Wildlife Mitigation Plan and Construction Site Management Plan. That’s been replaced only by ‘best practices’ guidelines, which will substantially eliminate the most effective means to reduce direct harm to wildlife during construction. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Ottawa lags behind in heritage funding

(Above: Dr. Bruce Elliott gives a tour of the St. John’s cemetery on Sandhill Road in Kanata.)

The City of Ottawa needs to step up the resources it provides for preserving heritage buildings in our community. That was a recurring theme at Heritage Ottawa’s annual forum at St. John’s Anglican Church in Kanata on Saturday. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

RESPONSE: Accusations of vandalism unfair to teens

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column comes from Connor Boudreau,  a Grade 12 student at Sacred Heart High School.  We invited him to submit it in  response to an article published last week, ‘Bored teenagers’ excuse is getting tired’

***

One thing that I particularly like about Stittsville is the scenery. Whether it be the glorious water tower or the many serene parks, there is little doubt in my mind that Stittsville is one of the best places to live. I consider myself fortunate to live in Stittsville. The schools are first rate and my working relationship with my peers have often evolved into enduring friendships.

With that being said, I have noticed that teenagers have been blamed, sometimes rightly, for a recent increase in vandalism in the Stittsville area. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: ‘Bored teenagers’ excuse is getting tired

EDITOR’S NOTE: Vulgar language spraypainted on a church, car break-ins, damage to a heritage home, overturned mailboxes, destruction of a trail cam, benches knocked over along Stittsville Main Street, stolen lawn ornaments… there’s a long list of recent acts of vandalism, minor thefts and property crimes in our community. Sometime overnight from Saturday to Sunday, someone smashed the window at Gaia Java (above). They didn’t break in or take anything, they just broke the window. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Safety campaign is a sign of failure

EDITOR’S NOTE: The “Please Stop For Us” signs are sprouting up like wild parsnip all over Stittsville and other parts of the city.  The sign pictured above is on a lamp post across the street from Par-La-Ville Park in Fairwinds, right under a stop sign that nearby residents say is routinely ignored by motorists. 

Here’s a guest post from Ottawa writer Jonathan McLeod, who says these signs are a symbol of failed policy and road design.  (This post was originally published on his blog on August 3.)   Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Traffic lights at Huntmar & Maple Grove are major safety upgrade

(Above: Photo of a collision at Huntmar and Maple Grove on August 14 just before 9:00am.)

The traffic lights at Huntmar and Maple Grove were activated on Thursday morning. Less than 24 hours later, at the end of the morning commute, two cars collided at the intersection.

A number of readers have complained about the lack of turning lanes or advance green signals. Some drivers say the intersection is making their commute slower, especially if they’re driving from Maple Grove. (Although the drive home on Huntmar during the evening rush hour was quite a bit smoother Thursday and Friday.) Continue reading


SHARE THIS