Here is what my week at city hall looked like.
On Tuesday at Community Service Committee there was a motion for a sponsorship naming of the Kanata Recreation Complex to Tony Graham Automotive Group Recreation Complex. It seems like an unlikely name for a place to take your kids to summer camp or to go for a public swim, but it is a source of revenue for the city of $1 million to be spread over ten years which will be used for youth sports programs. Councillors joked about someone calling the centre and thinking they got the wrong number as they try to find out what time skating lessons start.
The Community Services Committee also received a mandatory report on declaration of compliance on our city operated Long Term Care facilities. A update report on the Long Term Care operations will be coming later in the spring and I will be asking about specific programing to help residents with dementia.
On Wednesday I had the opportunity to ask questions at the LRT Subcommittee which has been tasked to oversee the recommendations from the LRT Commission Inquiry. There have been many lessons learned from Stage 1 LRT that can be applied to Stage 2 including the treatment of noise from the trains. We also heard about the Delegation of Authority and the importance of council being informed. The major news is the new O-Train south extension will see completion of construction on stations, rail installation and commencement of testing on the full lines. On the east extension, rail and the overhead catenary system will be installed, allowing for vehicle testing by the end of year. On the west extension, rail installation will begin, and progress will continue on the cut-and-cover tunnel.
Forecasted schedules for the extensions with the following anticipated completion dates:
- South extension: fall 2023
- East extension: early 2025
- West extension: late 2026
Emergency Services Committee dealt with a report on lessons learned from major weather events like the derecho. With climate change we could see more extreme weather events in our city and need to be prepared. This includes working closely with our partners such as Hydro Ottawa and finding better ways to communicate in these situations.
Transportation Committee is holding a special meeting on Monday April 17 on the Transportation Master Plan. I will be watching closely to ensure that active transportation links are prioritized. I have heard from residents on the importance of having walkable neighbourhoods as well as safe bike routes, especially for children. There are many good proposed cycle and pedestrian links in this transportation plan and I hope to see them implemented as soon as possible.
On Monday evening April 3rd my office will be hosting a Bay Ward Inner Urban Planning Meeting. The meeting will be led by the City’s Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development (PIED) staff who will provide a planning overview specific to the Bay ward community with a focus on Inner Urban sections as defined in the Official Plan. The intention is to help residents have a better understanding of the planning process and how they can engage using policy to help support discussions. Hope you can join us.
To register for this meeting and receive the Zoom link please visit here.
Finance and Corporate Services Committee is meeting Tuesday and the controversial item on the agenda is giving a grant from the city to Germain hotels (Arc) to build near the airport with a connection to the terminal. I share the concern of using this type of incentive when there are so many important investments to be made in our city, the most important being affordable housing. I get that we want attractions such as nice hotels near the airport but the question is, is giving grants the only way to attract them? It will be an interesting debate.
Planning and Housing Committee has a full agenda this coming Wednesday. Most of the applications are not highly controversial.
There will be no newsletter next Friday due to the holiday but we will return the following Friday. Hope everyone has a great week and Happy Easter to those who celebrate this holiday.