COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

This week, Councillor Gower provides an update as to the status of the downtown situation as at Sunday evening. He shares the news of John Curry‘s passing and his thoughts, also asking residents to share your stories of John with him. Amatur Raheem Salam-Alada was recognized for her advocacy and received a Black History Month Community Builder Award, a link to her CBC interview is below. The incredible volunteerism of Scott Phelan is shared in Councillor Gower’s ‘Making a Difference’ article, a link to it is included below. Also, the City’s Planning Committee will be considering a Zoning By-Law Amendment from Tartan for 6015 Fernbank Road on Thursday, February 10 at 9:30am. And, as always, send your comments and concerns to the Councillor at the provided links or telephone number below.

The situation downtown
On Sunday, the City of Ottawa finally declared a State of Emergency. It reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents, and signals the need for urgent support from other jurisdictions and levels of government.

It’s clear that this is beyond the mandate or capability of Ottawa Police to resolve on their own. We need each level of government to be working co-operatively until there is a solution. The RCMP, the OPP, and other police services are providing officers and resources to help. I would also like to see federal leaders step up to help diffuse this situation.

On Monday, City Council will meet to look at additional next steps. As I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, this occupation needs to end. It affects our entire city, and it is an incredible disruption to people who live downtown who have had to put up with incessant noise and harassment. All councillors are very much engaged in ensuring the safety of residents.

As of Sunday night, the encampment at Confederation Park and the staging area at the baseball stadium were being dismantled. On Saturday and Sunday, police issued more than 450 tickets, for everything from illegal fireworks to seatbelt infractions to insurance violations. Several vehicles were seized or towed. There are nearly 100 criminal investigations underway for more serious offences.

This is good progress, but there’s still a difficult time ahead of us before this is resolved. I will continue to provide updates on my web site and social media channels as we learn more.

Remembering John Curry
I was incredibly sad to hear about the passing of John Curry over the weekend.

John was long-time newspaper writer and editor, history keeper, school board trustee, author, playwright, volunteer. He served our community for nearly half a century with unwavering kindness and generosity. My condolences to John’s family and many friends in the community.

For residents who might not be familiar with John’s story, you should read “John Curry carries on”, an article from published in 2018.

I would like to invite residents to share your memories of John via email at

Black History Month Community Builder Award
Congratulations to Stittsvile’s Amatur Raheem Salam-Alada who was recognized with a Black History Month Community Builder Award for her advocacy for inclusivity in the classroom. Click here to listen to an interview with Amatur on CBC Radio last week.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Scott Phelan and the Stittsville hockey community
For Scott Phelan, president of the Stittsville Minor Hockey Association, life at the rink is more than just the sights, sounds, and the game. For him, coaching hockey is about creating an atmosphere of inclusion, building confidence, and giving children a safe space to develop skills – on and off the ice. Read more from our Making A Difference series…

6015 Fernbank at Planning Committee on Thursday
The City’s Planning Committee will consider a Zoning By-Law amendment for 6015 Fernbank Road on Thursday, February 10 at 9:30am. Tartan is seeking to have an existing zoning exception from 2014 removed. The exception requires that the property be developed exclusively with detached and semi-detached units and the change would allow for greater flexibility to also build about 50 townhomes. Read more, including my comments on the proposal…

Residents are welcome to send comments to the committee, or sign up to speak in-person on Thursday (via Zoom). For details, contact Eric Pelot, at 613-580-2424 ext. 22953 or

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 or leave a voicemail at 613-580-2476. 
Message us on WhatsApp at 613-277-0193.


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