Faircrest Heights Community Association

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Provide your feedback on the six ward boundary options

The City is seeking public feedback on six options for re-aligning Ottawa’s wards through an online survey at ottawa.ca/wardboundaryfrom August 19 to September 25 and through virtual public consultation sessions scheduled from September 10 to September 23.
 
Since the last major review in 2005, Ottawa’s population has grown significantly – especially in suburban wards. This has resulted in substantial population imbalances between wards that affect fair and equal representation for voters and their communities.
 
As a result, City Council directed staff in June 2019 to retain an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive, impartial, and unbiased review and establish ward boundaries that could be used in at least three municipal elections in 2022, 2026 and 2030, and possibly a fourth election in 2034.
 
The consultant team of Beate Bowron Etcetera Inc., in association with The Davidson Group and Hemson Consulting Ltd., has developed six options for a new ward boundary model – which are available online at ottawa.ca/wardboundary.

Here are brief highlights of the options:
  • Option 1 increases the number of wards to 25, with 13 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards.
  • Option 2 increases the number of wards to 24, with 12 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards.
  • Option 3 maintains the current number of wards, 23, and includes 11 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards.
  • Option 4 also maintains the number of wards at 23. It also includes 11 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards. The boundaries for each ward are different than those in option three.
  • Option 5 reduces the number of wards to 17, with nine urban wards, six suburban wards and two rural wards.
  • Option 6 increases the number of wards to 24, with 12 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards. It minimizes ward boundary changes.
 This is the second round of consultations. Round 1 took place in March 2020 with an online survey and public consultations to get input on the existing ward boundaries. The consultant team’s Options Report was considered by Council on July 15, 2020. The final report with recommendations for new ward boundaries is scheduled to be considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Council in December 2020.
 
How to give your feedback on the six ward boundary options
 
Online survey and virtual consultation sessions
Give your feedback online at ottawa.ca/wardboundary or register to take part in one of the upcoming virtual consultation sessions on Zoom. Following registration at ottawa.ca/wardboundary, you will receive an email with a passcode and login information. Three of the sessions will invite comments from participants all over the city, while another three sessions will focus on the urban, suburban and rural parts of the city.
 

Engage Ottawa:
The 15 Minute Neighbourhood

The new Official Plan is a document that describes how the city will grow and has a goal to be the most liveable mid-sized city in North America. To achieve this goal, Five Big Moves were adopted to frame new Official Plan, including the concept of 15-minute neighbourhoods.

What do we mean when we say a 15-minute neighbourhood? It is a neighbourhood where you can access most of your day-to-day needs within a 15-minute walk from your home, including when using a wheelchair or other mobility aids, on sidewalks or pathways.

A 15-minute neighbourhood is a neighbourhood where you can walk to get to the grocery store, where you can easily walk to frequent transit, and where children can safely walk to school.

Walkable, 15-minute neighbourhoods reduce our dependency on cars, promote equity, social connections and a greater sense of community, foster physical and mental health, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Learn more about the connection between health and our built environment here.

We'd love to hear what makes a successful 15 minute neighbourhood for you! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey, it will close on
September 4th, 2020.

 


When’s the last time you ordered take-out from a restaurant?

I haven’t personally used any of the sundry “services” which pick up and deliver your meal. Those of you who do often are charged a delivery fee but were you aware of the impact on the restaurants?

I wasn’t until last week when we decided to order some takeout, something we generally do once a week. It was from one of our favourite restaurants on Bank Street which provides not only great food but also great service.

Like most restaurants in Ottawa -- and in many other places -- it is limited to take-out. When I drove down to pick up our order, the place was understandably deserted. It fronts on the sidewalk and there is literally no room for a patio.

There was an Uber Eats driver ahead of me. The restaurant owner told me that in the 30 minutes or so which had elapsed since I called, he had had seven other orders, all to be picked up by Uber Eats.

When I said business seemed steady, he said he was considering shutting down, which took me aback. It seems that Uber Eats takes 30 per cent of the cost which, as anyone familiar with the hospitality trade, essentially leaves him profitless!

I knew there obviously had to be some additional cost associated with Uber Eats (and similar services) but feel that 30 per cent is, frankly, extortionate. 

So, the next time you opt for take-out and the restaurant, regardless of its ethnicity, is fairly close, a drive or bicycle trip could help to ensure that the place is still in business the next time you feel the urge.

 


Tough times ahead? Your input would be appreciated!

The Federation of Citizens Associations (FCA) of Ottawa has, like much of the world, abandoned in-person meetings due to COVID-19 but virtual meetings enable Community Associations (CAs) to stay in touch with what’s going on – or about to – in our city.

Among other things in a July 3 email, the FCA points out that City Council received an update June 24 on Ottawa’s financial situation, including the prospect of a $192-million deficit for the current budget year. “This deficit must be covered in the 2121 budget, which will make that budget process all the more challenging,” the FCA says. Anticipating service cuts, CAs are being advised to speak to their Councils about community priorities before the draft 2021 budget is released in the fall.

Another issue is the Ward Boundary Report which has given five preliminary options for Council to consider in time for the 2022 municipal election. These include expanding some ward and contracting others. The report is scheduled to go to the Finance & Economic Development Committee on July 7 and then to full Council July 15 before it's published for public consultation. The report is accessible athttps://engage.ottawa.ca/ward-boundary-review-2020. Faircrest Heights CA has told Councillor Cloutier that we are comfortable with the current Alta Vista ward size.

Further out on the horizon is the acknowledged need for a waste management plan as Ottawa’s population is forecast to increase by 400,000 in the next 30 years. At that rate, current landfills will be need to replaced by 2041 and a projected cost of $500 million. A survey on this issue is available until July 7 athttps://engage.ottawa.ca/solid-waste-master-plan.

Since we too are eschewing actual meetings, please forward your concerns and/or suggestions to FHCA President Ken Pole (kenpole@bell.net)


INFORMATION FROM COUNCILLOR JEAN CLOUTIER

 As Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa continue to move forward in our response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are writing to provide greater clarity on a number of communications and ask for your support in sharing information with members of your community.

 It is important to recognize that the COVID-19 situation is evolving very quickly. Please refer to OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus to stay up-to-date on the latest information. For information relevant to businesses and workplaces, please visit: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/workplacecovid19

Social Distancing

Ottawa Public Health is urging everyone to practice physical (social) distancing. More information on physical (social) distancing for you and your family can be found on our website.

The province of Ontario is ordering non-essential workplaces to close-down as of Tuesday March 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Further details can be found on the OPH website for workplaces.

Our efforts are needed as a community. The actions you take will affect not only you but your loved ones and our community’s most vulnerable residents. While we appreciate that people are thinking of their loved ones, now is not the time to visit them in person. Luckily, we have technology on our side, which enables us to communicate in other creative ways like video chats and group phone calls.

Physical (social) distancing by all is IMPERATIVE to limit transmission in the community, to protect older adults, vulnerable populations and outbreaks in institutions. We must “flatten the curve” so we don’t see spikes in cases. This means that we want to slow down transmission of the virus and reduce the number of cases in the community that happen at the same time, so that our health system continues to work properly. Here are some ways that you and your family can practise physical (social) distancing:  

·         Take precautions to maintain distance in shared spaces in multi-unit dwellings;

·         Avoid crowded elevators (wait for an empty one if you can). 

·         Avoid using the mail room or laundry room at the same time as other residents (keep to a small number at a time to maintain distance).  

 Physical (social) distancing does not mean emotional distancing. Check in with others by phone or other technology. Check in with yourself. It’s ok not to be ok. Please know that help is available, and we encourage you to reach out to Distress Centre of Ottawa to connect with someone at 613-238-3311 if needed.

 Self-Isolation

Many people are returning home from March Break or winter travel and will need groceries and essential items. It is imperative that all returning travellers self-isolate for 14 days, so groceries and essential items should be picked up by a family member or friend, or through on-line ordering options. Visit our website for further guidance on self-isolation. We have been working with the Ottawa International Airport to ensure this is being communicated clearly to returning travellers.

You also need to self-isolate if you live with, provided care for, or spent extensive time with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, OR is suspected to have COVID-19, OR who has respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of travel outside of Canada.

 Human Needs Taskforce

Our community partners are working together through the City’s Human Needs Task Force for those requiring assistance.  The task force is receiving, assessing and triaging all social and human needs inquiries, while mobilizing and supporting community organizations to address urgent community needs. The Human Needs Task Force aligns internal city resources, external partners, existing funding and new funding to community need.

 Outreach to Isolated Seniors

The Good Companions’ Seniors Centre Without Walls has expanded its services with a focus on outreach to vulnerable and isolated seniors and other populations. Emotional and practical support is provided via telephone. In addition, they have trained 20 agencies (32 staff) to do similar outreach calls through various programs.

Rural Ottawa Support Services is working with Good Companions to provide similar telephone outreach and practical supports to isolated seniors through their A Friendly Voice program, which does wellness calls connecting seniors to local services and programs.

Ottawa Community Housing has facilitated wellness check phone calls to approximately 2,700 residents, focusing on people identified on the Fire Evacuation List.

 Food Security

Ottawa Food Bank is supporting the emergency food centres and are coordinating with other task force members to sort and deliver food where needed. Demand has increased by 30 per cent across community food banks. They are working with the Salvation Army to support distribution of food hampers offered by local restauranteurs. The City is providing facility space for safe storage of food hampers.

Meals on Wheels has been increasing offers of frozen food for seniors in the Ottawa area and connecting with Ottawa Food Bank to provide hamper supplies and deliveries. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they are delivering 100 fresh and 700 frozen meals daily. These services have ensured a supply of full dinners for those individuals in need.

 Urgent Transportation

Working with other non-profit organizations, the Good Companions and Champlain Community Support Network are coordinating urgent transportation to medical appointments, assessment centres, and food centres/grocery stores for those with financial constraints, transportation difficulties, and/or health and mobility issues.

Services can be accessed by contacting Good Companions website or by telephone at 613-236-0428.

 Volunteer Coordination

The City and United Way of Eastern Ontario are developing a plan to support volunteer coordination during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteer Ottawa has established a pool of pre-screened volunteers and will continue to accept new applicants.

  Stay Updated

Information is changing rapidly and Ottawa Public Health is working around the clock to provide information to the public as soon as possible.

Please share this information and receive the latest updates by:

-          Visiting OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus frequently

-          Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/ottawahealth

-          Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/ottawahealth

 

Reduce the spread of germs including the flu and COVID-19

·          Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer. 

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands. 

·         Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.

·         Stay home if you are sick. 

 Thank you for your partnership.


Coyotes: here to stay? Bet on it.

By KEN POLE

One Faircrest Heights resident reported seeing a pack of five coyotes in her back yard last month and, more recently, another encountered a pack of four strolling down Briar Avenue while he was walking his dog. Then, this past Monday evening, I saw a lone coyote dart across Highridge Avenue at Crestview before disappearing between two houses abutting Billings Park.

This evidently is part of an increasing presence of Canis latrans in urban areas as municipalities push out their boundaries and it seems to be most prevalent in the south end of Ottawa, where coyotes have been spotted rooting through garbage. This could be due to a reduced inability to catch their usual prey, such as rabbits and mice, because of the snow and ice buildup in our parks and other greenspace.

Should you be concerned? Some wildlife experts say otherwise but it’s a good idea to take precautions with children and small pets. Is it coincidence that we seem to have an increased number of cats reported “missing” in Faircrest Heights in the past year or so? I don’t think so, even though cats generally aren’t normal prey for coyotes. But, again, there is the coyotes’ apparent difficulty in capturing their usual prey.

Coyotes will take feral cats or the occasional domestic one which has been left outdoors or insists on being out. And they will go after small dogs. So if you hear one barking in your neighbour’s back yard, it might be worthwhile letting them know about this.

Like other parts of our municipality, Faircrest Heights has a lot of greenspace which is an effective corridor for coyotes, which don’t need a cohesive area such as a single park. They thrive if there’s enough food and shelter and can have ranges of 40 square kilometres.

The Urban Coyote Initiative, which monitors the animals throughout North America, says that research with more than 1,400 scats indicated that “the most common food items were small rodents (42%), fruit (23%), deer (22%), and rabbit (18%).” Only about 2% of the scats had human garbage and 1.3% showed evidence of cats. “Apparently, the majority of coyotes in our study area do not, in fact, rely on pets or garbage for their diets,” the UCI researchers said.

However, they acknowledged that coyotes have become habituated and overly bold – such as the pack wandering down Briar recently. The homeowner who saw them said they were almost going door-to-door to check out whatever might smell good.

John Pisapio, formerly with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forests (OMNRF) and now senior wildlife biologist with the Newfoundland & Labrador Department of Environment & Conservation, once told The Ottawa Sun that upswings in coyote populations are a natural phenomenon. "These animals are regarded as being highly intelligent and adaptable,” he said. “They are here to stay. They're part of the ecosystem, and they've been part of the urban landscape for a number of decades too."

The OMNRF cautions against feeding squirrels because as those rodents proliferate they attract larger predators. A male coyote can weigh up to 20 kilograms, a female up to 18kg.

So what to do if you encounter a solitary coyote or a pack? For one thing, don’t approach them. If there’s any indication of interest on their part, shout and make yourself as “large” as possible. Carry an umbrella which can be used to frighten the animals when you open it. Consider a ski pole as a deterrent. And walk away slowly if that’s a option. Never run because that, as with just about any canine, is an invitation to chase.

In cases where coyotes pose a clear threat to you or pets, homeowners can hire an approved agent (the OMNRF doesn’t do it) to destroy a coyote if it poses an obvious threat. You can check out that option at https://www.ontario.ca/page/harass-capture-or-kill-wild-animal-damaging-private-property.

That said, you are legally entitled to protect yourself, family, pets or property but there’s a catch: Ontario law states that this must be done “humanely”. The only real option there is a gun but the OMNRF points out that there are bylaws against discharging firearms within the City, so they recommend calling the police if there is an imminent danger.

 

 

 

 

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President - Ken Pole
Webmaster - Tom Saikaly