Thanks again to all who sent congratulatory messages to my office on my re-election. It’s great to be back focusing on issues in our community. My staff and I appreciate your support. I want to give a special shout out to McKellar Heights who are also a new neighbourhood to Bay Ward. McKellar Heights is the community east of Maitland and south of Carling Ave with Clyde Ave to the west. To make sure we have all contacts I am asking all community associations, condominium boards and apartment and neighbourhood groups to send us your latest contact information so we can keep in touch. My office staff and I are working on our upcoming schedule and hope to have Bay Ward wide meetings coming up in the new session.
Bill 23 and beyond
There are many issues to discuss with new city budgets and the recent legislation on Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act
There is much to digest in this bill and many of you have already been made aware of the focus on eliminating R1 housing (single family homes), also known as exclusionary zoning. Many of Bay Ward’s neighbourhoods fit into this category. Despite the promise of more housing this bill does not focus on affordability which is a major concern in our community, especially for young families. The bill asserts that more housing means lower prices but there are no guarantees. City staff are currently digesting what the implication are of this bill on our upcoming plans. One concern for the city is the loss of development charges which means a loss of city revenue for the infrastructure that is needed to serve intensified areas. As well, I am concerned on how to ensure that green spaces and tree canopy is protected. I will be discussing this legislation with the Ottawa Federation of Citizen Associations and welcome the feedback of individuals and community associations as we strive to keep our communities liveable.
I had my first coffee chat meeting today at Britannia Coffeehouse. This was the first opportunity post-election to do this and was well attended with many interesting questions and comments from residents who joined. My office is planning to do more of these meet-ups across the ward in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!
Remembrance Day, Friday, November 11th
Last year the pandemic restrictions meant that there was no local Remembrance Day ceremony at Carlingwood Mall. In its place my office organized a community Remembrance Day ceremony at Britannia Park at the flag pole near the Trolley Station. It was a simple but meaningful way to allow residents to gather and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. Due to popular demand, we will again have a Remembrance Day ceremony at this Britannia Park location but this time it will be held at 9am to allow residents enough time for those who would also like to attend the Carlingwood Mall Ceremony or the National Remembrance Day service downtown, both at 11am.
The Remembrance Day location in Britannia Park is very special because it has a low ceramic wall insert in the form of a circle of poppies surrounding the flag pole. This artwork was done by local artist, Karl Cesiuk, who lives in the community. All community members are welcome to this ceremony. We encourage veterans to wear their medals so we can recognize their service to our country.
Stage 2 LRT Update
This past Tuesday the Finance, Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) heard an update on the progress of the Stage 2 LRT construction. It was confirmed that the western section running through Bay Ward is delayed by 17 months. This is disappointing news but not surprising given the delays in construction related to labour shortages, supply change gaps in material and a strike by labourers on the project. Like many workplaces Covid cases means more sick days with fewer workers to replace those off sick. My concern of the delay is the effect on the communities surrounding this massive construction project. The ongoing noise and construction detours have been hard on everyone, and we need to continue to respect the impact this has on the wellbeing of residents. Director of Rail Construction, Michael Morgan, responded that much of the heavy impact noise has happened and more of the upcoming work will be interior work on the newly built tunnels. I will continue to work with residents on concerns and disruptions as we move forward.