COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

A number of updates are provided by Councillor Gower this week. Read his thoughts on the truck convoy. Learn about events taking place for Black History Month, snowbank removal, dog walkers who park at Holy Spirit Parish, the reason for no winter activities on local stormwater ponds, rec programs are opening up again, request for feedback on the draft Transportation Master Plan, vaccines for children, and, a list of LRT reviews, audits and investigations.

Some thoughts on the truck convoy & protests downtown
For me, the enduring images from the weekend are all negative: protesters disrespecting the War Memorial and Terry Fox statue, racism and profanity, harassment of volunteers at a homeless shelter, and disruption across Ottawa, especially for people who live and work downtown.

I know that we have residents who are angry and frustrated about ongoing pandemic restrictions and public health initiatives. They have every right to protest and for their voices to be heard, but what I saw on the weekend did not reflect my values as a Canadian.

Our freedom in Canada also comes with a responsibility to look out for one another, and to respect our fellow neighbours and citizens. These values were completely missing from the protests over the weekend.

Support, respect, patience, caring and understanding have all been on display in our Stittsville community throughout the pandemic. Let’s keep these values at the forefront during these tough times.

Black History Month
I was glad to attend Saturday’s launch of Black History Month in Ottawa. Local artists and community leaders kicked off a month of activities with a two-hour program celebrating black history and culture under the theme “Claiming Our Space”. (You can watch the event on YouTube.)

There’s a range of events scheduled for this month including music, art, theatre, lectures, and roundtable discussions. I encourage everyone to check out the program at blackhistoryottawa.org.

Snowbank removal
City crews are removing large snowbanks from streets in our community. Please watch for temporary “no parking” signs and follow the instructions so that they can work quickly and efficiently. We’ve been posting daily schedules on Facebook and Twitter to help residents prepare.

Shea Woods – church parking lot
Holy Spirit Parish staff are asking dogs and their owners to avoid parking in the parking lot on Sundays before 1:30pm. Please drive slowly and attentively at all times of the week, and do not park in the lot when snow clearing is underway. Your co-operation is appreciated to ensure the safety of church staff and parishioners.

A misty morning at the Granite Ridge stormwater pond. Photo by Stephany Castilla on Wednesday, September 6. 
(A misty morning at the Granite Ridge stormwater pond. Photo by Stephany Castilla) 

No skating on stormwater management ponds
Stormwater management ponds are not safe for winter activities like skating, sledding or even walking across. The ponds are designed to gather rainfall and surface water runoff and temporarily hold this water, releasing it slowly at a controlled rate. This provides erosion and flood control and helps improve surface water quality.  The water going into the ponds, including melting snow and ice, may contain salt and other contaminants that can make any ice that forms unstable and dangerous. The thickness of the ice is unpredictable and unstable.  For your safety, please stay off.

City recreation programs re-open
With the Province of Ontario relaxing restrictions on Monday, the City has resumed drop-in recreation and cultural activities at most locations with 50 per cent capacity levels. More info…

Share your feedback on active transportation projects and transportation policy
The draft Transportation Master Plan (TMP) policies and proposed active transportation projects are now available online to the project website. Deadline for feedback is February 7. The transportation planning decisions we make today will shape our community of tomorrow! Play an active role in the future of Stittsville and share your feedback today.

Promoting the Vaccine for Children 5-11
The current surge driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, is increasing the likelihood most people will come in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and may become ill with the virus. Right now, vaccination and maintaining public health measures, like masking, avoiding gatherings, and staying home when sick, remain our strongest defense in ensuring children can continue with their normal daily activities for their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Please also complete the school and child care self-screening tool every day (multilingual versions also available, and household members can use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool for screening).

Everyone aged 5 years or older at the time of their vaccine appointment is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe two-dose series for children aged 5-11. First and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are recommended for this age group with an interval of at least 8 weeks apart. Like other vaccines, longer intervals between the first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccines result in a stronger and more robust immune response.  While Ottawa Public Health (OPH) encourages and recommends an 8-week interval, parents may choose a reduced interval option by providing informed consent at one of OPH’s clinics.

OPH’S vaccination efforts have moved to a more targeted approach and added increase vaccine accessibility across the city. Families can drop in and speak to a public health nurse about the COVID-19 vaccine and receive their vaccine at after-school COVID-19 vaccination clinicscommunity clinics, and neighbourhood hubs.  Community clinic appointment times are also available if preferred by booking online or calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. Also check out options available at local pharmacies or your primary care provider.

NOTEBOOK: A complete list of LRT reviews, audits, and investigations
Back in the fall, I asked City staff for a complete list of any LRT reviews, audits or investigations that have been launched by City Council or staff. You can see the list on my web site…

Get in touch!
My team and I are working every day to answer your questions and connect residents with the resources they need. If we can help in any way, please email me at glen.gower@ottawa.ca or leave a voicemail at 613-580-2476. NEW:  Message us on WhatsApp at 613-277-0193 – Councillor Glen Gower


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