COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

This past week has been a week like no other in our capital city. Councillor Gower shares his thoughts on the events and asks residents to support the affected businesses and restaurants with a visit downtown to shop or enjoy a meal. He highlights upcoming development meetings for Fringewood and on Maple Grove; garbage pick-up delayed by one day this week; local organization updates; tax information for small businesses; and, congrats to the Starlight Synchronized skating team as they depart for Calgary to compete in the Nationals.

Looking back on the occupation –

“We promised earlier this week that we would clear our streets and give them back to residents.
And we promised that we would return our city to a normal state.
With every hour we are getting closer to our goal.
Please know that our entire police service remains committed to the community healing that still needs to be fostered in the days to come.”

Interim Chief Steve Bell, Ottawa Police (Sunday, February 20)

Some of my thoughts following the end of the occupation downtown:

  • To people who live downtown, work downtown, or who have family and loved ones whose lives were disrupted for nearly a month: We’ve let you down. You felt unsafe in your own community for days on end, and you felt left behind by every level of government and law enforcement. It went on for far too long, and we have much work to do to make amends and to ensure this doesn’t happen again. (City Council has already approved an independent investigation into the response to the demonstration.)
  • I am feeling incredibly grateful for the professionalism and dedication of Ottawa Police and their partners from across Canada. What an incredible effort over the weekend to take back our streets. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the efforts to remove the occupation.
  • Downtown businesses are hurting. Wednesday at Council we’re introducing several measures to help, on top of the federal relief programs already announced. I’m asking Stittsville residents to make a trip downtown if you can to support one of the shops or restaurants affected by the occupation.
  • Thank you to Stittsville residents for your thoughtful feedback and words of encouragement. This has been one of the most challenging periods this term and I appreciate the many emails and phone conversations I’ve had with residents.
  • I’ll finish this off with a quote I saw last year that bears repeating:
    “We are not all in the same boat. We are in the same storm. Some have yachts, some have canoes, some are drowning. Just be kind and help where you can.”

COVID-19 vaccine boosters now available for youth aged 12 to 17
Effective immediately, youth aged 12 to 17 can receive their third (booster) dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Ottawa Public Health vaccination clinics. Drop-ins are welcome at all the clinics. Please visit the Ottawa Public Health webpage for clinic locations and hours.

Open office hours
I’m hosting open office hours for residents next Friday, March 4 from 11am-1pm at my ward office at CARDELREC. No appointment necessary. Meetings and phone calls are also available by appointment – see below under ‘Get in touch’ for contact info.

Waste collection delayed this week
Due to the Family Day holiday, collection of green binrecyclinggarbage or bulky items is delayed by one day for the remainder of the week.

Pre-construction meetings
Construction is beginning soon on two developments in our community and we are hosting Zoom meetings with the builder to share information about expected impacts and timelines. On March 1 we’ll meet about Campanale’s 5 Orchard development in Fringewood, and on March 8 we’ll meet about Mattamy’s development at 1837 Maple Grove Road in Fairwinds.

Fairwinds-Poole Creek Community Association AGM
The Fairwinds-Poole Creek Community Association is hosting a virtual annual general meeting on March 2 at 8pm. Everyone from the Fairwinds and Poole Creek communities are welcome to attend. To receive a link to the meeting, email to info@fairwindscommunity.com.

Congrats to the Starlight Skaters
On Sunday I dropped by to the Starlight Skaters’ morning practice to wish them good luck as they head to the nationals this week in Calgary! Two synchro teams will represent the Goulbourn Skating Club this year.

Goulbourn Museum is Hiring
The Goulbourn Museum is looking for three post-secondary students to fill the following summer positions: Collections Assistant: Duties include working with the collection, cataloguing artefacts, supporting research requests, and daily operations; Program Assistant: Duties include the development and delivery of public programs and events and facilitating visitor experiences; and Assistant Museum Administrator: Duties include updating social media channels and the website, supporting communications and marketing, and assisting with operational administration. For more information, or to view all job postings, visit: https://goulbournmuseum.ca/connect/careers/.

WOCRC seeks board members
The Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre offers health and social services and programs to benefit individuals of all ages in far west Ottawa. Leadership of the Centre is provided by a Board of Directors. The Centre is currently looking for candidates who reflect the full diversity of the communities that we serve to fill vacancies on the Board of Directors for our 2022-23 year, and are also seeking Directors with specific expertise in the areas of Law and Human Resources. More info: https://wocrc.ca/wocrc-board-recruitment-2022-23/.

Province will match City’s Small Business Property Tax Subclass
The Province of Ontario has now confirmed they will match the municipal property tax reduction with a corresponding 7.5% reduction in the education tax portion of the property tax for eligible small business properties for the 2022 tax year. Read more…

Vacant Building Strategy Review
The City is conducting a review of the Vacant Building Strategy. This strategy introduced a proactive inspection and enforcement regime for vacant buildings and lots, with the aim of reducing community nuisance and public health and safety issues for these properties. Do you own a vacant building or lot? The project team would appreciate your input on this review. More info…

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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1 thought on “COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower”

  1. Thank you to the truckers who are 99% vaccinated, also to the doctors, nurses, retail workers
    who keep us well fed, safe and healthy. Three cheers!!!

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