News & Updates

Capital Ward Bulletin: LRT Accountability, Panda Game and Tree-Planting

There are a lot of big issues at City Hall, and it can often seem daunting. Change comes slowly, but it can come. For the past couple of years, we’d been working with city staff and the owners of the vacant West Coast Video building to try to get it torn down so that it can be re-developed. It was a lot of work to get that done, but, in the end, it is a great result for the city.

I share this, because I know how much work residents and community associations put in to making our ward and our city better, and it can be hard to see that work pay off. But we know that it can pay off, and we’ll keep working with you and supporting our communities to keep improving our city. 

Capital Ward Bulletin: West Coast Video Update, and Public Meetings for the Civic Hospital, the New Official Plan, Local Developments…and More

We’re halfway through September now, and the activity at City Hall is back in full swing...virtually. We have a lot of important meetings coming up, public consultations on developments in Dow’s Lake and Old Ottawa East, and other community updates.

Capital Ward Bulletin: The Civic Hospital, the New Official Plan and Construction Around the Ward

Civic Hospital Update

Earlier this summer, our office released our concerns about the proposed development of the new Civic Hospital Campus. Years ago, the location in the Experimental Farm next to Dow’s Lake was chosen as the site of the campus, even though Tunney’s Pasture was identified as the optimal location.

We have three primary concerns about the current development plan for the Civic Hospital:

  • The paving of cherished and declining greenspace in the core, the destruction of more than 500 trees, and the lack of a plan to provide enough replacement for that lost tree canopy;
  • The building of a four-storey parking garage on Queen Juliana Park, when all parking should be underground, as originally promised by the Hospital;
  • The lack of a robust, forward-looking transportation plan. The current plan may lead to serious traffic congestion and parking issues in the neighbouring communities.

The city should not rubber stamp this development at this location until the Hospital provides a modern, thoughtful design proposal that eschews last-century thinking.

Rally for LRT Accountability

In response to the recent problems plaguing Ottawa’s two-year-old LRT system, and the Transit Commission Chair’s refusal to hold a Transit Commission meeting on this important matter that daily affects the lives of residents, Councillors Shawn Menard (Capital Ward) and Catherine McKenney (Somerset Ward) will be hosting a public rally this Wednesday at 11:00 am in front of City Hall.

Councillors Menard and McKenney will be joined by other councillors and transit commissioners calling on transparency from OC Transpo and City Hall on the unrelenting issues experienced on our light rail system.

You are invited to come and join us in our demand for transparency and accountability. Questions about the reliability, safety and operation of LRT must be answered in an open, public forum.

When: Wednesday August 25, 11:00 am

Where: City Hall (Marion Dewar Plaza), 110 Laurier Avenue West

Capital Ward Bulletin: Canada Day, Fire Hall Park and Public Consultations

Summer is coming and the 2020-2021 school year is coming to a close. I know it has been a tough year for all students, whether you’re in elementary school, high school or at a post-secondary institution. I want to commend you all on your work this year, and I especially want to congratulate all graduates. Great work, Class of 2021, your voices seeking change are needed now more than ever!

Capital Ward Bulletin: News About Parks, COVID Updates and More

Patterson Creek Update

The National Capital Commission is beginning work on renovations to Patterson Creek Park near the pavilion. The work will include new flooring, upgraded washrooms, automatic push-button doors in the pavilion, and landscaping work around the pavilion to create a patio/terrace seating area to be used when the bistro will be in operation.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the NCC’s client services at 613-239-5000 or [email protected]

Temporary Bicycle Lanes Coming to Carling Avenue

Councillors Jeff Leiper, Catherine McKenney and Shawn Menard have some good news: Carling Avenue will soon have seasonal bicycle lanes extending from Sherwood Avenue to Cambridge Street South. Traffic cones will be set up along this stretch to separate bicyclists from cars, trucks and buses. These lanes will also provide an extra buffer for pedestrians, who will no longer be forced to walk right beside speeding traffic.

Active Transportation, Construction in Capital Ward and City Hall Updates

Alta Vista—Capital—Somerset Bicycling Network Online Consultation

Join councillors Jean Cloutier (Alta Vista Ward), Shawn Menard (Capital Ward) and Catherine McKenney (Somerset Ward) for a discussion of how we can improve bicycling infrastructure for the residents of Ottawa.

The meeting will be led by city transportation staff as part of their work updating the city’s Active Transportation Plan.

We want to make bicycling safer and easier for all residents, so tell us what routes need infrastructure, what missing links need to be fixed and what sort of facilities will help you get to your destinations safely and comfortably.

Monday May 31, 2021
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The online meeting will be held using Zoom.

Please RSVP here: https://www.shawnmenard.ca/bicycling_network_consultation

Made-in-Ottawa COVID-19 Measures, News About Parks and Trees, and Chances for You to Get Involved // Des mesures relatives à la COVID-19 élaborées à Ottawa, des nouvelles sur les parcs et les arbres, et des occasions de vous mobiliser

La version française suit.

Made-in-Ottawa COVID-19 Measures

Last week, I called for a “Made-in-Ottawa” approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. This came after a ham-fisted announcement by the provincial government that would both shut down playgrounds and also give police officers unchecked power to stop, question and detain people for simply going outside.

These two measures proposed by the province would do nothing to stop the pandemic, but they would inflict harm on residents.

Earth Day: What's happened since the Climate Emergency? // Jour de la Terre: Que ce passe t'il depuis la déclaration d'urgence climatique?

La version française suit.

The pandemic has meant that almost all media and political attention has been focussed on COVID-19. When the pandemic has been declared ‘over’ there will be another large test the world over: our ability to mitigate and adapt to the greatest threat facing us, irreversible climate crisis. Back in April of 2019, many of you rallied (in person!) at City Hall to demand the city take bold and decisive action on climate change. With your help, our office pushed city council to unanimously declare a Climate Change Emergency in Ottawa.

Road Improvements, Ward Boundary Update, Springhurst Park Improvements and More // Améliorations apportées aux routes, mise à jour sur les limites de quartiers, améliorations apportées au parc Springhurst et plus encore

La version française suit.

As we head into spring, there’s more and more activity at City Hall, as we roll out Temporary Traffic Calming measures, fix up our parks and greenspace and work on road renewal. There’s a lot going on, and we’ve included updates about COVID-19 measures and vaccination programs at the end of the bulletin.

The Current Status of COVID-19 in Ottawa//La situation actuelle de la COVID-19 à Ottawa

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Ontario Implements Provincewide Emergency Brake

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a provincewide emergency brake as a result of increasing cases of people contracting Covid-19 and hospitalizations across the province. The provincewide emergency brake will be effective Saturday, April 3, 2021, at 12:01 am. and the government intends to keep this in place for at least four weeks.

The provincewide emergency brake would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives. Measures include, but are not limited to:

The Fight for Paid Sick Days at City Hall

The Fight for Paid Sick Days at City Hall


By Shawn Menard
Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

How to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, Official Plan, Lansdowne Park and Much More // La vaccination contre la COVID-19, le Plan officiel, le parc Lansdowne et bien d’autres nouvelles

La version française suit.

One Difficult Year—Hope is on the Horizon

It has been over a year since COVID-19 really hit Ottawa and the subsequent measures that were implemented. It has been a very difficult time. We have been hearing first-hand about the hardships experienced by people who have lost loved ones, about the mental health challenges, isolation, and the strain on kids, parents, teachers and front-line workers.

Our approach during this time has been to share information with residents and work as a member of the Board of Health to bring about long-term changes such as advocating for permanent paid sick leave and short-term changes improving outdoor spaces for exercise. This has also meant assisting people in navigating the challenges in Capital Ward (such as changes to recreation and facilities, assisting store fronts, public access to the Brewer COVID-19 Assessment Centre while minimizing issues for immediate neighbours to the greatest extent possible).

Recently, the city has moved back into the Red Zone. You can see what that means here.

This has been tough on everyone, but we are going to get through this together. We are almost there. We are going to turn this corner and ensure that lessons are learned.

The Federal-Municipal Gas Tax Fund

The Federal-Municipal Gas Tax Fund

Why it’s so important, and how it could help save the day


By Shawn Menard
Wednesday, March 17th, 2021


Photo by Damien DUFOUR Photographie on Unsplash

Covid 19 Vaccine Rollout February 24 Update

Today city staff gave an update on their vaccine rollout. Highlights included some changes in priority, estimated timeline for vaccination, and locations of several community clinics. Below you can find all of the important information included in the update. 

Failed Reconciliation, the Official Plan and COVID-19 Updates // Échec de la réconciliation, mise à jour sur le Plan officiel et la COVID-19

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A Shameful City Council Meeting

The February 10 council meeting was a shameful affair. A week earlier at the joint meeting of the Planning Committee and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, members approved new lands that would be earmarked for sprawl in Ottawa. The expansion of the urban boundary was never a wise financial, environmental, or developmental choice to begin with, but now, some members wanted to add 445 hectares of land (Tewin lands) that was deemed ill-suited for urban expansion by city staff.

Staying Active in the Snow: Capital Ward Report on Active Transportation Winter Maintenance

Ottawa—Today, the office of Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard released a report on the winter maintenance of Ottawa’s active transportation network—sidewalks, Multi-Use Paths (MUPs), bicycle lanes and pathways.

The report, titled Staying Active in the Snow: Active Transportation Winter Maintenance Survey, is based on the findings of a survey conducted by the councillor’s office in November 2020. More than 500 residents participated in the survey, and the results revealed a level of dissatisfaction with the way sidewalks, paths and bicycle infrastructure are maintained in the winter.

Black History Month in Ottawa, Winter Updates and Mental Health Support // Mois de l’histoire des Noirs à Ottawa, mises à jour sur l’hiver et soutien en matière de santé mentale

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It’s February, and that means snow-clearing, skating on the canal, and committee and council meetings ramping up (virtually) at City Hall. It’s also Black History Month, and the city has a few events for Black History Month that could interest you.

Snow Clearing, QED Opening, Outdoor Rinks, Sprawl in Ottawa, COVID-19 and // L’entretien hivernal, ouverture de la promenade Reine-Elizabeth, patinoires extérieures, l’étalement urbain, la COVID-19

La version française suit

A big "Happy New Year!" to everyone. I know 2020 was a difficult time, and I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2021. There continues to be a very substantial council agenda, with the city consulting on multiple initiatives during the pandemic, as you will see below.

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update

City staff released a memo today outlining COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans in Ottawa. 

Three phases of vaccine distribution were outlined in the memo:

The memo also specifies four clinics for COVID-19 vaccination, beyond the Ottawa Hospital (Civic campus), that are set to begin operations as early as this month, including one at Lansdowne Park in Capital Ward:

the City and OPH will be prepared to launch its four community clinics as soon as mid-January for the population groups targeted in Phase 1. These clinics have been identified as a contingency measure should more vaccine become available (or arrives sooner) than expected. The four clinic sites are identified as follows:
1. Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way
2. Eva James Memorial Centre, 65 Stonehaven Drive
3. Orléans Client Service Centre, 255 Centrum Boulevard
4. Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue

End of Year Wrap-Up from Councillor Menard // Bulletin de fin d’année du Conseiller Menard

La version française suit

Update from the City Council Meeting of December 9

The last meeting of council was certainly a mix of positives and great disappointment.

Starting with some of the positives (because don’t we all want good news these days?):

Our office ushered through two successful initiatives- one regarding financing mechanisms for Energy Evolution looking to fund projects which save the city money while reducing emissions and the other to look at city of Ottawa divestment from fossil fuels. We are very pleased to have received unanimous council endorsement on these initiatives. We also received unanimous support for a much-anticipated agreement between the City and the French Catholic School Board (CECCE) for a community center in the historic Deschâtelets building (more on that to follow in the newsletter).

As We Heard It: A Report on the 2021 BudgetSpeak Meeting

Councillors Leiper, McKenney, King, Fleury, and Menard
November 26, 2020

Download the PDF here

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The 2021 Draft Municipal budget
  3. Summary of Panel Discussion
  4. Summary of Breakout Room Discussions
  5. Summary of Questions from the Chat Log
  6. Conclusion

 

Introduction

On October 27, Councillors Leiper, McKenney, King, Fleury, and Menard hosted their sixth annual BudgetSpeak meeting. This annual meeting offers residents of the urban wards an important opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions about the draft municipal budget for the upcoming year. The focus of BudgetSpeak 2021 was housing.

Over 200 residents gathered virtually to listen to Isabelle Jasmine, Deputy Treasurer for the City of Ottawa, and Shelley Van Buskirk, Director of Housing Services, give a short presentation about the draft municipal budget for 2021, followed by a panel discussion featuring experts in the affordable housing sector. After these presentations, during which meeting participants were encouraged to share additional ideas and questions in the meeting’s chatroom, participants were randomly sorted into smaller groups to have a facilitated conversation with each other, guided by councillors and/or staff, where they shared additional questions, concerns, and suggestions for prioritizing affordable housing in 2021 and beyond.

This report will provide a brief overview of what meeting participants learned during the presentation and panel before diving into the feedback we received during the meeting. This feedback will help guide the councillors’ votes on the 2021 draft budget, and we hope this report will provide some useful information for residents who want to learn more about how they can support the development of better housing supports and strategies in Ottawa.

Capital Ward Bulletin - November 24 2020

10 Ways the City of Ottawa Budget Needs to Change 

In the coming weeks, city committees and city council will approve a budget for 2021.  

We need to shift our thinking on the budget from tax cuts vs. spending cuts. Instead, we need to think about re-allocating spending so it is more efficient and more effective.  

Recently, I wrote an op-ed for the Citizen talking about how the city needs to re-align budget priorities.  

Lansdowne Financial Analysis

Comparison of City of Ottawa Returns vs. OSEG Returns Under the Waterfall

Under the Lansdowne agreement, the original waterfall was expected to deliver further gains for the city and OSEG. Under the proposal in front of Council, here is who benefits:

 

Investments in Lansdowne

Estimated New Contributions

Estimated return at end of 30-year agreement to 2044

Estimated return at the end of the 10-year extension (40 Years)

OSEG

$152 Million*

$40 Million*

$216.5 Million

$468.4 Million

City of Ottawa

$210 Million

  TBD

$0

$0

*OSEG’s contributions have mostly come from annual operational losses, which are returned to the waterfall as equity which earns interest.

 

What does the 10-year extension mean for the city and taxpayers?

  • With the 10-year extension under the current arrangement, the city will be giving up market rents for the stadium, arena and retail for an additional 10 years until 2054, and continuing to rent those spaces for $1/year.
  • The city will also be foregoing any competitive process, or alternative arrangement to ensure value for Ottawa residents.

 

What does remove the ‘participation rent, and maintaining base rents at current levels’, during the TERM of the retail lease do?

  • This is a concerning clause for Ottawa. This clause would mean that Ottawa would not collect the base rent nor its net profits from the retail operations until the year 2066.
  • Mr. Greenberg has also publicly confirmed that OSEG is looking to sell the retail portion of the site.

 

Benefits to Ottawa?

The city has said that Ottawa will benefit from not having to pay operational deficits. However, the city is predicting profits far above and beyond the operational costs as per the waterfall above. OSEG has also stated profitability will return within a few years.

 

City Assumptions in ‘Default Scenario’

In the default scenario envisioned by the city, the assumption is that no teams would be operating at the site and that the primary source of revenue will be events and concerts, which are expected to be reduced for the next several years.  They assume that the retail subleases would be taken over by the city along with the cost to operate these retail building/facilities and the principal and interest repayment of the retail loan and the loan for the arena (which the city pays regardless) are also included in the net budget pressure.

The city’s default scenario seems very pessimistic over the course of the next 22 years and does not take into account any alternative partner, competitive RFP process, sports team operations, or innovation in operating the site.

 

Analysis

The main goal here is to 1) Have a cohesive, complete and realistic plan for how the City and OSEG are going to address the systemic problems of the project 2) Tie any long-term financial changes directly to the achievement of the 1st goal.

The site has struggled on many levels (retail, non-game day activity) and COVID-19 has exacerbated this. OSEG has requested assistance, however, there is no plan for how they will turn the site around. 

OSEG is asking for the financial terms to change upfront with no guarantee that the operational situation will improve or an outline of what will be done to improve the operations. In any other professional setting this would require a full business plan showing how they are going to fix the current issues before any new long-term investment is made.  The City is considering providing a financial restructuring without asking for a turnaround plan and without full information on covid-19.                                                                                  

The most prudent course of action for the city would be to allow for short term relief, while allowing the working group and sponsors group to consider the implications of the long-term changes being proposed. This should require a complete business plan, community discussion, and be accompanied with a new detailed plan to improve operations at Lansdowne.

 

In the short term the city should:

  • Approve the one-time access to the current capital reserve (lifecycle funds) for immediate relief
  • Approve the working group and sponsors group with minor modifications to include local communities and the Ottawa Farmers Market
  • Move the extension of the waterfall and the city’s foregoing of market rents and retail profits to the proposed working group and sponsors group for consideration, subject to the development of a business plan, full information on OSEG selling off commercial operations, and proper public consultation.
  • Extend the guarantee of the 67’s and Redblacks staying in Ottawa

 

  

For Information - City of Ottawa Top Project Debts:

  • Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Project- current debt is $1.676 billion.
  • Stage 1 Light Rail Transit Project- current debt is $426 million.
  • Lansdowne Stadium and Parking- current debt is $127.6 million. 
  • Central Library- current debt is $92.5 million.
  • Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel – current debt is $75.7 million.
Ten ways the city of Ottawa's budget needs to change

It’s budget season at city hall. COVID-19 has meant some revenues have declined, but the needs of residents haven’t.

We often hear arguments this time of year at city hall to “keep taxes low” all while making sweeping changes that do the exact opposite.

Read my list of ten ways the city of Ottawa's budget needs to change in the Ottawa Citizen here.

Hundreds of Ottawa Residents Join in Councillor Menard’s Public Meeting on the Lansdowne Park Deal

For Immediate Release

Over 200 residents joined an online Zoom public meeting hosted by the office of Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard to discuss changes to the Lansdowne Park deal proposed by city staff.

The staff proposal, framed as a response to the pressures brought on by COVID-19, seeks to change key aspects of the Lansdowne Park Agreement, including extending the term of the deal by ten years to 2054.

Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard expressed concern about the deal after it was released at the last minute without any input from the public or city councillors, worrying that the deal is a “a short-sighted stop-gap measure created out of panic”.

Today, the councillor’s office released a backgrounder on the Lansdowne deal today on the councillor’s website, the document notes:

There are significant problems with the city report that requires more reflection.  

It is very unlikely that OSEG would choose to default, and they have not indicated this. Any decision by OSEG to walk away from its obligations at Lansdowne would represent a default under the Material Agreements that would result in OSEG losing the equity (>$150 million) that it has invested in the project. That is, and will continue to be, the major deterrent to OSEG withdrawing from Lansdowne. 

At tonight’s meeting, residents expressed concerns about the deal, pointing to the lack of financial details and questioning what benefit it would actually bring to the city.

“This is the only time the community will be able to come out and discuss this important issue before the FEDCO meeting. That’s not good governance; that’s not respect for our constituents; that’s just not right,” argues Councillor Menard.

City management declined to attend the public meeting. The city has not held any public consultations on the issue.

“We had over 200 engaged citizens make time and come out on short notice,” he continued, “and city management wouldn’t even come out and participate in the discussion or listen to residents’ concerns. This is no way to run a city.”

OSEG CEO Mark Goudie joined the beginning of the meeting to speak to OSEG’s position, explaining that the pandemic has affected the retail and commercial businesses at Lansdowne, as well as forcing the cancellation of the corporation’s large events, including the 2020 CFL season.

June Creelman, a Glebe resident and member of the Community Association, was also invited to speak at the event. Creelman has been involved in the Lansdowne issue from the community side and expressed concerns about the lack of transparency or consultation from the city and OSEG, noting that “it’s hard to have a public space where you don’t involve the public.”

The staff report will be considered by the city’s Finance and Economic Development on Thursday. If it is accepted, it will go to city council on November 25 for final approval, without any further public consultation events.

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Download this press release [PDF].

Backgrounder on Lansdowne

Lansdowne Summary 

Lansdowne Park is a 40-acre parcel of city-owned land that has been part of Ottawa’s history for 150 years. Centrally located with unique heritage features, green space, local sports, and city facilities.  

The Lansdowne Partnership Plan (LPP) 

On October 12, 2012, the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (the “Partners”) entered a 30-year limited partnership agreement for the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park. 

The City of Ottawa 

  • Funded the renovation of the stadium and the development of the Urban Park 
  • Is responsible for the programming and management of the Urban Park which includes the Aberdeen Pavilion, Horticulture Building, Aberdeen Square, the Great Lawn, skating court, children’s play structure and community garden. 
  • Manages a long-term contract with the Ottawa Farmers Market  
  • Leases the Stadium/arena and retail land to OSEG for $1/year 
  • Retains ownership of all 40 acres of land  

 OSEG 

  • Manages the sports teams on the site (with the city as a 50% silent partner for the 67’s and RedBlacks)The Project Agreement requires that the CFL team be operated for at least 8 years “unless the CFL ceases to operate during such period”. The team has been operated through 6 years being 2014 through 2019. The CFL did not operate in 2020, so two years of operation remain in this obligation. 
  • Is responsible for the operation and programming of the stadium, arena and parking  
  • Built and manages a mixed-use development that includes an office building and a large retail complex with restaurants, stores and a cinema (took out a loan for this). 

The Subsidiary Businesses 

  • Ottawa 67s Limited Partnership (“Ottawa 67s”)  
  • Ottawa REDBLACKS Limited Partnership (“Ottawa REDBLACKS”)  
  • Lansdowne Stadium Limited Partnership (“Lansdowne Stadium”)  
  • Lansdowne Retail Limited Partnership (“Lansdowne Retail”) 

The funding that goes into the partnership does not include: 

  • The sale of condo’s and associated fees on the site (air rights sold to Minto by the city) 
  • The other sports franchises 
  • Annual fees received from loan guarantees to the partnership 

A complicated ‘Waterfall’ structure was set up to provide returns to the City and OSEG. 

  • The city is currently projected to receive $0 from this waterfall. The city funded $210 million of improvements to the stadium, arena, parking garage, horticulture building relocation and retrofit, urban park, and soft costs. The city took on debt and maintains a loan (Stadium and Parking Garage is $127.6M and $26.4M for the Urban Park), which it pays annual interest on. The only deemed equity considered in the waterfall for the city was $23.75 million for the ‘market value of the retail lands’. 
  • OSEG is now projected to receive $286 million from this waterfall and is deemed to have contributed $152 million. The city is estimating this contribution may increase by $40 million. It is important to note that most of OSEG’s contribution ($97 million) came from annual ‘operational losses’ incurred, which are rolled back into the waterfall for OSEG with an 8% annual return. In the last two fiscal years, operational losses only occurred because of the depreciation of assets in the accounting.  

Financial Deal 

  • The term of the Stadium / Arena Lease is approximately thirty years ending on December 31, 2044 (the waterfall expiry). The City may offer to extend the term on or before the twenty-fifth anniversary of the commencement of the Stadium Lease, taking up to a year to negotiate terms 
  • The lease provided by the city to OSEG for the stadium and arena is $1 per year.  
  • The city also leased 11 acres of prime downtown land to OSEG for the retail at $1 per year. 
  • At the end of the 30 year agreement, the city is supposed to receive base land rent for the retail, as well as 50% of the net retail cashflow (revenues less expenses to operate). 
  • OSEG is responsible for all operating deficits of the LPP, however, this is considered ‘equity’ and put back into the waterfall at a return of 8% per year. 
  • In the last two fiscal years there were positive financial returns but the losses were attributed almost entirely to the write down or depreciation of the assets.  
  • OSEG has a mortgage of $106 million at 3.9% for the Retail Space.  It was secured by a $40 million guarantee from companies affiliated with the OSEG Partners who were entitled to receive annual fees equal to about 2% of the guarantee ($600,000). The loan is up for renewal in October of 2022.    
  • In addition, a related company received “… $300,000 in financing fees in consideration of services rendered in relation to closing of the mortgage”. 
  • No annual audited financial information is available for each of the 4 limited partnerships – only a consolidated report. 
  • The city covers all costs of the Urban Park including the heritage buildings. 

City Managers Report 

Recently, the City Manager’s office released a report on Covid-19 effects at Lansdowne and made several significant recommendations. There was no prior consultation with taxpayers, communities, the local city councillor or the businesses and organizations that occupy Lansdowne.  

The report recommends the following: 

  • Extend the partnership by ten years from 2044 to 2054 
  • Remove the participation rent and maintain base rents at current levels in the event of a permitted transfer of the Retail Component during the term of the Retail Lease 
  • Remove the city’s provision to terminate the Retail Lease without cause 
  • Provide OSEG one-time access to the current capital reserve lifecycle funds (~$4.7M) 
  • Approve the establishment of a Lansdowne Park Partnership Working Group consisting of city staff and OSEG representatives to explore the options to improve the Lansdowne Park Partnership, and a Council Sponsor’s Group  

There are two major risks the city outlines: 

1) That OSEG could default and leave 

2) That the amount of money required to operate the stadium/arena/retail would be a burden on the city (estimated between $4.5 million and $12.5 million annually). 

Analysis 

There are significant problems with the city report that requires more reflection 

It is very unlikely that OSEG would choose to default, and they have not indicated this. Any decision by OSEG to walk away from its obligations at Lansdowne would represent a default under the Material Agreements that would result in OSEG losing the equity (>$150 mil.) that it has invested in the project. That is, and will continue to be, the major deterrent to OSEG withdrawing from Lansdowne. 

The city has not done the analysis of what it would look like to have a not-for-profit entity operate the site in partnership with the city, including sports teams under a similar arrangement prior to OSEG being granted partnership status under the LPP. It is very likely that a favourable arrangement could be struck that better benefits the city than the current deal. 

The deal struck with OSEG has $1 leases for all the spaces it operates, 8% return on equity, while the city is expected to receive nothing back for the investment it madeOSEG also writes down or depreciates the assets, which has led to operational losses which get folded back into the waterfall at an 8% return.  

Under the scenario crafted by the city manager: 

  • The city would be foregoing market base rents of the retail, as well as 50% profit sharing of the net retail cashflow, even under a situation where OSEG transfers control over the retail space to another entity. It makes very little sense for the city to give this up. 
  • The city has cited the $106 million retail loan as a risk, but this loan is secured by OSEG. 
  • The ten-year extension is cited as a positive for the city because it can avoid the operational costs of the stadium and arena, but no calculation is completed for the rent the stadium and arena could generate for the city instead of the $1 per year we currently lease it for. It also doesn’t account for the potential profits that could be derived under a new arrangement. It assumes a steady state based on OSEG operations. 
  • The city is openly talking about more housing, and more opportunities at Lansdowne. Why would these opportunities be relegated to the private sector partner as was done with the sale of air rights to Minto for the homes built on Lansdowne? This is public land and the residents of Ottawa should be the beneficiaries.  

This deal needs more time to analyze. No 10-year extension or retail changes should be granted until there is robust analysis and public discussion.  

 

 

 

Urgent Action Needed on Lansdowne

This week, city staff released a report about the state of Lansdowne Park and the city’s deal with the Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG). Staff are proposing big changes, and it all amounts to a bailout to OSEG. 

We’re worried about this. This proposal was developed without any input from the public or city council. It was developed behind closed doors, and it clearly benefits OSEG, while adding more long-term liabilities to the city. 

The report will be considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) this coming Thursday. We want this deal changed, and we want them to delay a decision until proper public consultations can be done. 

If you’re worried about this, too, please attend our online public consultation on Tuesday. It will be held over Zoom. Please RSVP & register here 

You can also help by sending an e-mail to city council letting them know you’re concerned about this rushed proposal by clicking here 

If you would like to speak at the FEDCO meeting, please contact Carol Legault at [email protected] requesting to register as a 'public delegation'. Public delegations are given five minutes to make their point to committee. 

You can download the staff report here 

 

Stay well, 

Shawn 

Winter Maintenance Survey // Sondage sur l'entretien hivernal

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Experience // Expérience des piétons et des cyclistes

We need to hear from you // Nous avons besoin de vous entendre

La version française suit

Ottawa’s Maintenance Quality Standards, which govern snow clearance and winter maintenance operations, have not been updated since 2003. Roads in Ottawa have obviously changed drastically since then; furthermore, considerations such as sidewalk accessibility and the maintenance of bike paths were not prioritized when these standards were crafted. 

With long awaited upcoming changes to the Maintenance Quality Standards, and the review to inform said changes currently underway, this is your chance to provide input on your experience as a winter pedestrian or cyclist to help inform policy-based changes. 

This survey and subsequent report will supplement our first report on snow clearance and winter maintenance released in early 2020 following a Community Information Session on Snow Clearance in 2019. 

This survey will close November 15th. 


Les normes de qualité de l’entretien d’Ottawa, qui régissent les opérations de déneigement et d’entretien hivernal, n’ont pas été mises à jour depuis 2003. Les routes à Ottawa ont manifestement changé radicalement depuis lors; de plus, des considérations telles que l'accessibilité des trottoirs et l'entretien des pistes cyclables n'ont pas été priorisées lors de l'élaboration de ces normes.

Avec les changements à venir attendus depuis longtemps aux normes de qualité de l'entretien et l'examen pour informer lesdits changements actuellement en cours, c'est votre chance de donner votre avis sur votre expérience en tant que piéton ou cycliste d'hiver pour aider à éclairer les changements fondés sur les politiques.

Cette sondage et le rapport ultérieur complèteront notre premier rapport sur le déneigement et l'entretien hivernal publié au début de 2020 à la suite d'une séance d'information communautaire sur le déneigement en 2019.

Cette sondage se terminera le 15 novembre.

Capital Ward Bulletin//Bulletin de Quartier Capitale

Today is city budget day, when the 2021 budget is presented. We will have full updates on that in the next newsletter. Here are some important updates in the meantime. 

Sunnyside Library Opening Update 

I know many feel that it is well past due that the local Sunnyside library re-open. At the start of the pandemic, all libraries were closed. It was months before any re-opened. The OPL Board had communicated that due to COVID-19 staffing difficultiesthe Sunnyside branch and many others would remain closed. We have met repeatedly with library staff, the CEO, Chair and ad-hoc committee to discuss this issue and pass on concerns from residents.  

I’m happy to say that Sunnyside will be the next branch to open in Ottawa. It will return to full-service (within COVID-19 restrictions) in January of 2021. In the interim, we wanted a plan that would allow for some service at the Branch. The Library Board announced last night that starting November 16, the branch will be open for contactless service, six days a week. Thank you all for your advocacy on this; your voices made a huge differenceLibrary access is so important, but even more so in this moment we are living in.

Capital Ward Bulletin - Oct 20st 2020

Justice for Abdirahman

The need for alternatives to police-led emergency responses in Ottawa is clear. The brutal killing of Ottawa resident Abdirahman Abdi is one example of a situation where a non-police led intervention would likely have led to a different outcome.

On Tuesday October 20th, 2020, Ottawa received the verdict—the Ottawa Police Service officer charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in the death of Abdirahman Abdi: Not Guilty on all 3 charges. It is rare to see law enforcement held to account and it is further evidence that we need alternatives to police-led emergency response calls.

The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition will be holding a press conference Tuesday October 20th at 5pm at 55 Hilda and this Thursday to discuss the verdict.

Council Motion for Police Reform

Councillors Menard and McKenney have brought forward a motion to Ottawa City Council that seeks changes to emergency responses in Ottawa. The motion that calls on the Ottawa Police Services Board to undertake a public consultation and report outlining potential alternative models of community safety response. You can read the motion in full here.

Notice has been given for this motion and it will be debated and voted on at the October 28th meeting of city council. Help us show that this motion coming before council has public support by adding your name to the petition.

Capital Ward Bulletin//Bulletin de Quartier Capitale

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New Splash Pad at Kaladar Park

The city is currently working on designs for a new improved splash pad at Kaladar park. Currently, there are three spray posts at the park, but these will be replaced by a new splash pad—which we anticipate will be larger and will be moved to the north side of the existing play structure. There should also be a new seating area installed near the existing rocks. The project should also include an accessible pathway from Traverse Drive, and an accessible bench near the splash pad.

Designs will be completed over the winter and construction will take place in the spring and summer next year.

Heron Road Bike Lanes

Heron Road, from Data Centre Road to Bank Street, is part of the city’s Cross-Town Bikeway #7. It is a four-lane arterial road with a posted speed limit of 60 km/h where the addition of separated cycling facilities will dramatically improve cyclist safety and comfort.

The City has completed the first phase of the Heron Road cycling facilities project, from Clover Street to Data Centre, and the second phase of construction is underway. The first phase added a protected intersection at Clover Street, a new multi-use pathway connection to connect Heron Transitway Station, and a new eastbound cycle track from Data Centre to Clover. Cycle tracks are now being built from Clover to just east of Gilles Street. Substantial completion of this second phase is expected by the end of the year. The final connection to the planned Bank Street cycling facilities will occur as part of Bank Street renewal in a few years’ time. There are long-term plans to extend the separated cycling facilities west along the Heron/Baseline corridor.

The Changing Landscape of Old Ottawa East

Old Ottawa East - WikipediaLast week was a big one for Old Ottawa East. At two consequential meetings, committees voted to rezone the Deschâtelets building on the former Oblates property for school use, and remove the chapel wing on the eastern side. There are ambitious plans underway for the site that my office has been involved in since the election in 2018. This has included securing $10.5 million for a new community centre through development charges. The Ottawa French Catholic School Board (Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est) is looking to open a 350-student facility in Fall of 2021, while the City hopes to co-locate a community center in the building and build a gym to the north. The School Board is also working actively with community partners and Ottawa Community Housing to potentially locate affordable housing for seniors on the top floors.  

Bank Street Canal Bridge Safety Improvements Approved by City Council


Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard is pleased to announce that city council has approved the proposed design changes to the Bank Street Canal Bridge. The new design will provide more space for pedestrians and bicyclists, and improve the overall safety of the bridge. The design was approved unanimously by Transportation Committee last week.

Bank Street Canal Bridge Survey

We need to hear from you.

The Bank Street Canal Bridge has long been a source of concern for the residents of Capital Ward (and residents across the city). There is often speeding on the bridge, there is no safe space for bicyclists, and the sidewalks can be too narrow for pedestrians and for people using wheelchairs.

With upcoming maintenance work on the bridge, this is our chance to make needed improvements, so this is your chance to provide input.

Last month, we released a new design for the bridge that should better satisfy all the uses of the bridge while also improving safety for all road users.

The proposed design would have two northbound lanes, one southbound lane and expanded multi-use paths (MUPs) on each side. This would provide extra safety to pedestrians and bicyclists, while still providing the necessary space for trucks, buses and motor vehicle traffic:

For full information on the proposed design, as well as alternative designs that were considered, please visit the Bank Street Canal Bridge Improvements web page.

Survey

Do you like the design? Do you see areas for improvement? Please, let us know.

No final decisions on the design of the bridge have yet been made. Tell us how the design of the bridge could best serve your needs--click here and fill out the survey.

The survey will close August 7, 2020.

Changes to Policing and Police Budget Process in Ottawa

We have seconded a motion from Councillor McKenney at city council that seeks to have council call on the province to restore oversight powers to the city and to develop alternative models of non-police led community safety responses to 911 calls which do not involve weapons or violence, amongst other things. You can read the motion in full here.

Notice has been given for this motion and it will be debated and voted on at the August 26 meeting of city council.

Capital Ward Bulletin - July 13 2020

The weather has been hot in Capital Ward these past couple of weeks, and things are heating up at City Hall, too, with a loaded City Council agenda for this Wednesday that will be dealing with several major items. You can stream City Council meetings live here. There will be much to report back after this Wednesday, but there are also several things to report since our last bulletin.

Urban Boundary Vote - The Final Push

This Wednesday, city council will make its most important decision this term—whether to expand the urban boundary and by how much. As a refresher, the urban boundary is a line drawn on the outer rural and suburban areas which sets limits on development lands which are serviced by infrastructure like sewers, roads, water and public transit. Essentially, it sets the limit for sprawl.

If we vote for the largest expansion in modern Ottawa history (as the Planning Committee and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) recently recommended), it will mean more sprawl, more pollution and a more expensive city.

To read more on my thoughts on this, you can read my most recent column on urban boundary expansion here.

EKOS Poll: Majority of Ottawa residents opposed to urban boundary expansion

(Ottawa-5/25/2020) Residents of Ottawa have expressed clearly their concern that expanding the land available to developers for housing will put new pressure on the delivery of City services, and increase greenhouse gasses, taxes and traffic congestion.

In a poll conducted by EKOS Research Associates, 52% of residents say they oppose an expansion of the urban boundary compared to 31% who support it. The poll was commissioned by Councillors Catherine McKenney, Shawn Menard and Jeff Leiper.

Hold the Line on the Urban Boundary

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The urban boundary decision is the most consequential choice that council will make this term, and it’s an opportunity for Ottawa to fight urban sprawl. Expanding the boundary—which is the decision staff are recommending as the “balanced” option—will result in the loss of precious green space and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Also, it will put even more upward pressure on property taxes for years to come just to maintain current levels of city services.

Developers are spinning this approach as “smart growth” because the profits will be theirs, while the costs will be on us. There is significant benefit for them in pushing this line. Meanwhile, it is the residents in suburban and urban Ottawa who will feel the financial burden of building new roads, sewers, schools, and recreation infrastructure, rather than using existing resources in our built up areas. Our city can not afford to keep going down this path. 

Call to reopen green space in public parks

We've been hearing from residents about how essential it is to have public green space to relax, exercise and enjoy locally while following physical distancing requirements. This issue is particularly pressing for those without green space on their properties. There's been some discussion and movement internally on Ottawa's policy of closing parks to walk-through, and today we sent this letter to the Province and City manager calling for the re-opening of green spaces in parks (not equipment or sports amenities). The letter is co-signed by six other Councillors, and we are confident that changes are on the way. See the full text of the letter below: 

Capital Ward Bulletin//Bulletin de Quartier Capitale

Bank Street Survey

Since the start of the pandemic, our office has been looking for ways the city can assist residents during this difficult times. (We have put together a list of support programs here.)

We have also been working with the staff to provide residents with more space to maintain physical distancing when accessing essential services—an initiative supported by the Ottawa Board of Health and city council. So far, we have provided more space by opening up the curb lanes on the Bank Street Canal Bridge for active transportation (walking, biking and rolling).

We are now moving towards opening a three-block stretch along Bank Street to allow for pedestrian distancing on narrow sidewalks and near the most accessed essential services. The southbound curb lane (on the west side of the street) would be pedestrian space from Glebe Avenue to Third Avenue to provide greater access to Shoppers Drug Mart, Home Hardware, McKeen’s Metro and the Glebe Apothecary.

Bus stop access for buses and transit riders would be maintained and moved slightly.

What do you think? Do you support it? Are you against it? We have set up a survey on our website to get your views.

Letter to Businesses and Communities About Bank Street Transportation

This has been a difficult time for everyone in our city. We understand that the realities of the pandemic and the responses from all three levels of government have an impact not just on residents, but particularly on businesses, and we understand that our local small businesses will disproportionately feel the brunt of the economic impact compared to large national and multi-national corporations.

At the city, we’ve been working on some ways to help local businesses. We have been supporting a buy-local campaign, and in our Capital Ward Bulletin we have been providing residents with lists of businesses they can access online and in the community for services and goods. At city council, we passed a motion providing commercial property tax relief. We’ve also released a simple guide for employees who may have been let go from businesses to help assist average residents with federal, provincial and municipal funding: www.shawnmenard.ca/covid_19_resources

We know that many businesses will not be able to manage these ongoing expenses while they are getting reduced or no revenue. We want to see our businesses make it through the pandemic.

The pandemic also poses a significant public health challenge for our neighbours. Residents are being asked to refrain from going out, but they will still need to go outside at times. They will need to shop at the stores that remain open in order to access necessities, and they need to be able to move around outside for the sake of their physical and mental health. While outside, they need to be able to practice physical distancing in order to reduce transmission.

Last week, the Ottawa Board of Health re-iterated the need for residents to be outside and maintain physical distancing, expressing its formal support for providing extra space for pedestrians and active transportation, including for accessing essential services. This should help reduce the incidences of people walking in the street to distance, posing another safety risk.

Recently in Capital Ward we acted to change the outside curb lanes for active transportation over the Bank Street Bridge. The lanes have been converted to pedestrian and bicycle lanes. With car traffic down by over 60%, this measure will have no impact on traffic flow in the Glebe or Old Ottawa South. Since its implementation, we have heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from residents—and we have witnessed the tremendous benefit this has provided, making it easier for people to keep distance while crossing the bridge to shop at our local stores.

Capital Ward Bulletin//Bulletin de Quartier Capitale

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Ottawa Board of Health Support for Active Transportation

This week, I worked with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and the Ottawa Board of Health Chair Councillor Keith Egli to pass a motion in which the Board of Health expressed its formal support for measures to increase pedestrian space and active transportation. This recognizes the large reduction in traffic and parking that has occurred and can better help people practice physical distancing. We have already seen the success of opening space on the Bank Street Canal Bridge and along Queen Elizabeth Drive (more on that below).

It has been difficult to get support from senior levels of city hall on these measures, but hopefully with the support of the Board of Health, we will be able to open more sections of our streets to active transportation.

City Council and Ottawa Board of Health ask the Province to Allow Community Gardens

City Council unanimously passed a motion on April 22 to ask the province to lift the current restrictions on community gardens and allow them as essential services under proper physical distancing measures. The motion was introduced by Councillor Brockington and seconded by Councillor Egli, and rules of procedure were suspended to allow it as a walk-on item given time sensitivity around the spring growing season. A similar motion passed unanimously at the Board of Health meeting on April 20th, moved by Councillor Egli. Our office has heard extensively from residents on this issue, and sent a letter to the province on April 9th, so it’s good to see consolidated pressure coming together on this issue. For updates, check justfood.ca, who have been instrumental in calling for local food security measures in the midst of the pandemic.

Capital Ward Bulletin//Bulletin de Quartier Capitale

La version française suit

Please find the Capital Ward update below. If you need anything during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office.

Take care,

Shawn

Space on the Bank Street Canal Bridge for Physical Distancing

We have heard from hundreds of residents that they need more room in our community to be able to practice physical distancing.

After much work, the city has agreed to re-purpose the two outer curb lanes for active transportation. This will give more space for people to practice physical distancing as they walk, roll and bike. The project will be paid for out of my office’s budget for Temporary Traffic Calming (TTC) measures.

Obviously, this is a difficult time for everyone in Ottawa. As much as possible, people should be staying at home. But when they do need to go out, this is a key street with many essential services.

There have been long-standing safety issues over the bridge, as the sidewalks are relatively narrow with high pedestrian traffic. There is fast, close-passing traffic, and bicyclists have difficulty biking in traffic lanes over the steep incline of the bridge.

With COVID-19 and the reduction in traffic, residents’ desire to practice physical distancing, and the fact that many residents were walking in the street to give each other space, it made even more sense to act.

This is a first step in the process of creating physical distancing space in our ward. 

This measure should be in place within the week. In the meantime, we are taking any comments you may have on this issue and physical distancing, in general.

We would like to thank the community advocates who have sought this change for many years, and who have really pushed to have this happen, now.

Capital Ward Bulletin//Bulletin de Quartier Capitale

La version française suit

I hope you are taking care during these very difficult times.

Alliance to End Homelessness

The Alliance to End Homelessness has penned an open letter to the Mayor and City Council to urge the purchase of hotels for both immediate COVID-19 response for people who are homeless and also the possibility of adding to the permanent supportive and affordable housing stock in the future. 

We fully support this initiative. We must do more to help our community members who are homeless, especially in this time. If you would like to help, please consider writing to the mayor and your Member of Parliament. We will be following up on this in the near future.

Community gardens should be an essential service

Our office has sent a letter to the province calling for community gardens be identified as an essential community food service and be exempt from the recent closure of recreational spaces. Community gardens provide an essential function by supplementing residents’ diets, increasing access to more culturally appropriate food, making grocery dollars go further, and increasing local resiliency.

Our office has been in touch with Ottawa Public Health, who have indicated that if the Province were to allow the opening of gardens later this spring, they would be prepared to provide guidance for their use to minimize COVID-19 risk.

Marking Holy Days During the Pandemic

With the arrival of Easter, Passover and Ramadan, we understand that we are in a time of deep spiritual importance for many residents. While we recognize the value of communal worship, during this pandemic, we must ask all residents to observe their holy days while maintaining proper physical and social distancing practices—gatherings should be held to a limit of five people (or however many live in your household). We know this will put an added strain on many, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation and sacrifice to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Complete Guide to Financial Help for Regular Ottawans Webpage Launched

With the spread of COVID-19, it is clear that many people will need financial help, as they experience temporary or permanent job loss, or reductions in their income. All three orders of government—municipal, provincial and federal—and community groups have established programs to ease the financial hardships of people struggling during this difficult time.

Because it can be difficult to keep track of all the various support programs, we have launched a webpage to act as a clearinghouse of these programs, listing the various support options, along with link for how to access them. In addition, their links to in-kind methods of support.

You can access the webpage here (en français).

We will keep this webpage updated as more programs and information become available. This is just one way we are trying to help residents during the pandemic.

Download this press release here [PDF].

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Capital Ward Bulletin//Bulletin de Quartier Capitale

La version française suit

It’s a strange time in our city. For the past two-and-a-half weeks, many non-essential businesses and some city services have been shut down. Schools have closed. Residents have been asked to remain inside as much as possible, and practice physical distancing (staying two meters away from other people) when they do go out.

During the past two weeks, we have been sending out twice-weekly updates on the spread of the novel coronavirus and what the city is doing to manage the pandemic. In fact, our communications have been almost exclusively about COVID-19.

As we ease into April, we are becoming more used to the fact that this is how things will be for the next little while. The good news is, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Vera Etches recently commented that what we’ve been doing seems to be working. We must keep this up to avoid the worst as we are seeing in other jurisdictions.

Nonetheless, the business of the city marches on. For this reason, our communications are switching back to our regular Capital Ward Bulletin. We’ll still keep you updated on COVID-19, but we’ll also be telling you about other important local matters. Perhaps, thinking about issues other than COVID-19 will help us get through this.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE // MISE À JOUR sur le nouveau coronavirus (COVID-19) – 2020/03/27

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The City of Ottawa declares state of emergency for Ottawa due to COVID-19

On Wednesday, a state of emergency was declared for the City of Ottawa due to the spread of COVID-19. This aligns with Ontario’s announcement on Monday, March 23rd that they are expanding the state of emergency to shut down all non-essential businesses and services.

Declaring a state of emergency will help the city deploy its emergency operations and staff in a nimble fashion. It will enable a flexible procurement process, which will help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders as it becomes available in the coming weeks.

Ottawa Public Health now has laboratory confirmation of the community spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa. Ottawa Public Health recommends all residents practice physical (social) distancing or self-isolate, if applicable, to help stop the spread of the virus. Information about laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 is available at OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus.

Click here for key messages from the city.

Provincial Government Assessment Tool

If you are concerned that you might have contracted COVID-19, the provincial government has an online self-assessment tool. You can access it here.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE // MISE À JOUR sur le nouveau coronavirus (COVID-19) – 2020/03/24

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Reminder: Our City Hall remains closed, but our staff is working remotely. Due to current circumstances, some responses from city staff may be delayed. For up-to-date information about the novel coronavirus and what is happening in Ottawa, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s website.

Impacted City Facilities and Services

Visit the city's website to learn how city facilities and services have been impacted by COVID-19.

Hydro Ottawa—Time of Use Rate

On March 24, 2020, the provincial government announced a temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak. Please note that as of March 24, 2020, households, farms and small business who pay Time-of-Use electricity rates will pay only the lowest rate or off-peak rate (10.1 cents/kWh) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As you know, Hydro Ottawa has already taken pro-active measures to support customers, including:

  • Extending the provincial winter disconnection ban scheduled to end on April 30, 2020, by an additional three months (July 31, 2020) for all residential and commercial customers.
  • Suspending all collection actions until July 31, 2020.
  • Offering flexible payment plans in order to provide customers with more time to pay outstanding balances on their account if needed.
  • Reminding customers experiencing financial hardship that we offer several financial assistance programs, including emergency relief.

Looking to Help Out

A reminder that if you would like to find ways to support your fellow residents, you can sign up through our website, and we will connect you with volunteering opportunities.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE // MISE À JOUR sur le nouveau coronavirus (COVID-19) – 2020/03/19

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REMINDER: For up-to-date information about the novel coronavirus and what is happening in Ottawa, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s website.

New Parking Regulations

All overtime parking, signed or unsigned, will no longer be enforced on residential streets until further notice. This is to encourage and support residents to stay at home to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.

All other parking restrictions remain in effect, including:

  • No Stopping
  • No Parking
  • Fire Route
  • Accessible Parking
  • Hydrants
  • Sidewalks.

Traffic management is essential to ensure emergency access and traffic flow.

Brewer Arena Neighbour Concerns 

With the opening of the Community Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena, there are some understandable concerns about traffic flow and process. After hearing from neighbours, my office asked city staff to review the situation. They have now implemented measures for local traffic only around Glen Avenue, Grove Avenue and Seneca Street. For people wishing to get tested at Brewer Arena, they are being directed to use the Bronson Ave entrance.

Changes to City services to help prevent spread of COVID-19

In response to the Government of Ontario’s emergency declaration, and to help protect the public from COVID-19, the City of Ottawa is making changes to in-person services as of Tuesday, March 17.

Emergency and essential services will continue to protect and serve the needs of all residents in Ottawa. In order to help practice social distancing to limit community spread of COVID-19, all in-person and non-essential City services are closed until further notice.

Services that can be offered remotely (by phone, e-mail, mail or online) will be maintained. Some in-person services are available in a reduced or altered capacity. Transit remains open, and OC Transpo continues to offer customer service online and by phone. Please check our list of services to find out how to access City services.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE // MISE À JOUR sur le nouveau coronavirus (COVID-19) – 2020/03/16

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I hope you are taking care during these challenging times. My office will try to keep everyone updated while the news is evolving very quickly on this issue.

After opening the first Community Assessment Centre on Friday in Capital Ward, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has announced there are at least 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. This number shows us that there are likely more travel-related cases that have gone on to cause local transmission of the virus in Ottawa. 

More importantly, OPH has stated the number of actual cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa could be higher than one thousand.

With this in mind, OPH has asked that all residents increase their practices of social distancing, and not go out for any non-essential reasons to reduce the spread of the virus. Social distancing includes, but is not limited to:

  • Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home where possible.
  • Avoid sending children to daycare, if you are able to.
  • Avoid visits to Long-Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes, Supportive Housing, Hospices and other congregate care settings unless the visit is absolutely essential.
  • Avoid non-essential trips in the community.
  • If you have to go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare, be sure to keep the windows down.
  • If possible, limit or consider cancelling group gatherings.
  • If you have meetings planned, consider doing them virtually instead of in person.
  • When possible, get fresh air outside but in settings where people can maintain a 1-2 metre (3-6 feet) distance from each other.

It takes all of us doing our part to limit the spread and the damage of COVID-19. While you may not feel sick, please be mindful of the members of our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. We are all in this together.

We will be keeping residents up-to-date on the latest developments, but you can also keep yourself apprised of the latest city information by visiting Ottawa Public Health’s website.

The website has been updated with information about social distancing to provide further guidance to the public.

Coronavirus Update: City of Ottawa COVID-19 Response and Brewer Park Community Assessment Centre

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Brewer Park will be used as Ottawa's first COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre

With now two confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ottawa, the city has entered into Active Operations. This means that all city departments will be engaged in the response to the Coronavirus, and the Emergency Operations Centre is being activated to support these efforts.

The city will be opening its first COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre at the arena at Brewer Park (the rink). Ottawa Public Health contacted city recreation staff to identify a location, and Brewer Park was identified as the most suitable in the core. It was selected because of its proximity to hospitals in the core, and the facility can accommodate the transportation demand, while being close to Transit at Carleton University.

In addition to using the arena, the adjacent building, formerly home to the Westboro Academy, will also be used as part of the Community Assessment Centre.

There is new signage going up to direct people to the appropriate place upon entering Brewer Park from Bronson Ave

This is the reason the ice rink at Brewer was closed early and recreational activities that would normally use the arena moved to other locations. As there is little to no risk to residents in the area, the pool (separate facility) remains open, as does the playground

The directive to prepare a Community Assessment Centre was given by The Ottawa Hospital last Friday. Our hospitals had been overwhelmed by people seeking assessments. We are expecting the Community Assessment Centre to be opened in the next couple of days, with the goal being Friday (tomorrow).

The Ottawa Hospital is the lead organization for the Community Assessment Centre and is encouraging people to go there for testing if they feel they may have the virus and they do not have severe symptoms. If showing signs of severe symptoms, people should be visiting the emergency room at the hospital. Ottawa Public Health will continue to oversee the city's overall response to COVID-19.

We have discussed the issue of parking and traffic with city staff, and plans are being formed to keep traffic flow as smooth and efficient as possible. Parking enforcement will be dispatched to ensure that there is sufficient parking for those visiting the Community Assessment Centre. We ask neighbours and residents for their patience and cooperation during the disruption.

Capital Ward Bulletin//Bulletin de Quartier Capitale

La version française suit

Lansdowne Park Update

OSEG has withdrawn its proposal to manage the programming and operations of the public spaces at Lansdowne Park. Instead, they have pledged to work in collaboration with the community, city and our office to see if there’s a better approach for improving Lansdowne. I commend them for taking this approach.

Last spring, our office released a vision document for Lansdowne Park, A Place forPeople. We believe that in working openly with the community, city staff and OSEG, we can realize many of these goals together. We anticipate broad consultations on the entire 40 acre site to come.

Lansdowne is one of those rare sites in Ottawa that really allows you to dream big when it comes to city-building. We want to continue fostering a multi-functional, creative community space that is integrated into the urban fabric.

Bank Street Transportation Forum--As We Heard It

As part of his 2018 Election Platform, Capital Ward Councillor supported “improved connectivity and safety for cycling and walking in Capital Ward.” In various debates, Bank Street and the Bank Street Bridge were raised by all candidates in the election as issues that needed to be addressed. As part of his ongoing efforts to make Capital Ward the safest ward in Ottawa for active transportation, Councillor Menard convened a public forum on Bank Street transportation through the Glebe and Old Ottawa South.

All too frequently, Bank Street is not meeting the transportation needs of Ottawa residents. The transportation failures affect road users of all modal types—pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and motorists—severely hampering mobility along this Traditional Main Street and throughout our communities.

The transportation issues on Bank Street have a deleterious effect for the communities living in these areas. Bank Street is the main street through these communities, and without a vibrant, livable, functional main street, these communities suffer. Further, the current transportation situation hurts neighbourhood businesses, as fewer customers will visit their stores than otherwise would, and employees suffer challenges attempting to make it to work on time.

It is past time for the city to address these longstanding issues, and any remedies implemented must be done so with proper input from communities and merchants.

As a first step in this process, the Bank Street Transportation Forum was held the evening of December 18, 2020, at the Old Ottawa South Community Centre. Representatives from Bike Ottawa, Ottawa Transit Riders, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, OC Transpo, the Glebe BIA and the City of Ottawa Transportation Services Department attended and participated in the forum. Approximately 50 residents attended the forum.

You can download the full report here [PDF].

Capital Ward Bulletin//Bulletin de Quartier Capitale

La version française suit

Getting Around in the Winter: Winter Operations & Snow Clearing Report

This week, my office released a report on the city’s Winter Maintenance Operations (WMO) titled, Getting Around in the Winter: Winter Operations & Snow Clearing Report. Informed by the Information Session on Snow Clearing hosted last winter by the urban councillors, the report offers residents input on how the city could improve snow clearing efforts.

In the report, we lay out five key principles that should guide our efforts on winter maintenance: Accessibility. Equity. Sustainability. Climate Change Resiliency. A Healthy and Livable City.

Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard Releases Report on Snow Clearing

Ottawa—Today, Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard released a report on urban snow clearing and Winter Maintenance Operations (WMO) in the City of Ottawa. The report is informed by staff information and resident feedback presented at the 2019 Information Session on Urban Snow Clearance, which was hosted by the offices of Councillor Menard, Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney, Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper, Rideau-Vanier Ward Councillor Mathieu Fleury and Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward (which was without a councillor at the time).

The report is released in anticipation of the city’s review of it’s Winter Quality Maintenance Standards (WQMS). The city’s WMQS have not been updated since 2003, and the inadequacy of these standards were fully exposed in the winter of 2018-2019.

With the pressures of population growth and intensification, and the ever-increasing effects of climate change, it is imperative that new winter maintenance standards are forward-looking, seeking to foster winter mobility and active, sustainable lifestyles.

Capital Ward Bulletin - February 6th

La version française suit

Ottawa is changing. This past year, we’ve recognized the dual threats of climate change and the housing crisis. We’ve launched LRT, but questions swirl about the partners we’ve chosen to deliver these projects. And the development of the new Official Plan will set the tone for Ottawa’s growth for the next ten years. 

 

Urban Boundary

This term of council, Ottawa is developing a new Official Plan (OP). The OP will set the direction for Ottawa for the next decade. It covers everything from housing to environmental policy to transportation, and it’s important that we get this right. This document will guide all city-building efforts.

As part of this, city council will establish a new “urban boundary”. The urban boundary sets the edge for development and sprawl within the city. The lands within the urban boundary are serviced by piped sewer and water service, transit and major roads.

Capital Ward Bulletin - January 24th

La version française suit

Life at City Hall is getting back to its usual busy self. Committees are back meeting, city council will resume next Wednesday and there are a lot of important issues coming up.

Housing Emergency

City Council will be sitting again on Wednesday January 29. There, Somerset Councillor Catherine McKenney will be presenting a motion to declare an Affordable Housing and Homelessness Emergency.

With this motion, the City of Ottawa will:

  • declare an affordable housing and homelessness emergency in Ottawa;
  • acknowledge that we do not possess the resources to manage this crisis alone and that we must call on the Provincial and Federal governments to assist us by providing the City with an immediate increase in emergency funding for housing, housing supports and housing allowances as well as a long-term financial plan to meet the needs of the community;
  • resolvs that the update to the ten-year housing and homelessness plan includes aggressive targets to:
    • preserve and increase the affordable housing supply;
    • increase access to housing affordability;
    • prevent the occurrence of homelessness and eliminate by 100 per cent chronic homelessness by 2024; and
    • ensure people are supported to achieve housing stability and long-term housing retention.
Request for Cost and Implications of RTM Contract Changes

January 22, 2020
John Manconi
GM, Transportation Services Department
1500 St. Laurent Boulevard, Floor 1
Ottawa, ON
K1G 0Z8

CC: City Council

Mr. Manconi,

Section 2 of Schedule 23 to the Project Agreement for Stage 1 of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project sets out the method for determining the compensation to be paid on termination of the P3 agreement for city default or convenience.

I am requesting that City staff provide a detailed breakdown of the estimated cost to the City should we terminate the contract with RTG/RTM for convenience, or for any other avenue of termination that is currently available to the City through the Project Agreement. Further, I am requesting an estimate of the cost of a negotiated purchase of the controlling interest in RTG/RTM through purchase of equity.
Finally, I request that this information be made available at, or in advance of, this Thursday’s meeting of the Transit Commission.

Sincerely,
Shawn Menard
Councillor/ Conseiller Shawn Menard
Ward 17, Capital
City of Ottawa | Ville d’Ottawa

PDF version here.

Capital Ward Bulletin - January 9th

La version française suit

Welcome to 2020, Capital Ward. We did a lot of good work in 2019—implementing measures to protect the environment, increasing safety on our streets, taking steps to address the housing crisis in the city, just to name a few—and now it’s time to get to work to making 2020 another successful, productive year for our community.

Here’s what’s happening at City Hall and around Ottawa in the coming weeks:

Declare a Housing Emergency

City Council will be sitting again on Wednesday January 29. There, Somerset Councillor Catherine McKenney will be presenting a motion to declare an Affordable Housing and Homelessness Emergency.

Capital Ward Bulletin - December 13th

La version française suit

Welcome to the final Capital Ward Bulletin of 2019. We just saw the 2020 budget passed and there are a few more meetings and legislative issues coming up in the next week, but our office will close from December 23 to the New Year. If, during that time, you have an urgent matter, please call 311 or email [email protected]. Otherwise, we will be back in 2020, working with you to make a better Capital Ward and a better city.

Have Your Say on Public Health

The Ministry of Health is looking for input on modernizing #PublicHealth in Ontario. Ottawa Public Health has launched an online tool to hear from Ottawa residents.

This is an important opportunity to communicate that the Ford government's cuts to public health / healthcare are unacceptable!

Click here to share your thoughts: https://engage.ottawa.ca/publichealth

BudgetSpeak 2020: As We Heard It

On Tuesday, November 5, Councillors Leiper, McKenney, King, Fleury, and Menard welcomed a record number of participants for the annual BudgetSpeak event. We rely on this event to get valuable feedback from residents of the urban wards about what their budget priorities are, so the councillors can best advocate on their behalf during the budget process.

Download the PDF version of the report here.

Capital Ward Bulletin - November 28th

Public Consultation: Bank Street Transportation

It's time to consider the future of transportation along Bank Street. How can Bank Street best support sustainable transportation in Ottawa? Come out and join in the community discussion.

When:
December 18, 2019 at 7pm - 8:30pm

Where:
OOS Firehall, 260 Sunnyside Ave

RSVP here

Rental Accommodations Study Update // Des nouvelles sur l’Étude sur les logements locatifs

La version française suit

The City staff report on the Rental Accommodations Study was voted on and approved last week (on Friday, November 15th) at the Community and Protective Services Committee. The staff report can be viewed here. The specific recommendations for long term-rentals can be found here, and for short-term rentals (e.g. AirBnB) here. The summary of the votes at the meeting can be viewed here. The Recommendations included a proposal for a registration regime to better regulate AirBnBs, something our office supported, and something that we had committed to fight for during the 2018 election campaign. Now that the recommendations have passed committee they will go to City Council for a final vote on November 27th.

Capital Ward Bulletin - November 18th

It’s snowy and the days are getting shorter...but the work keeps on going on at City Hall. We’ve got the budget, LRT, snow clearing and Lansdowne keeping us busy, these days.

Lansdowne Park Update

In the last newsletter, I wrote about some proposed changes for Lansdowne Park. This proposal would have given authority to city staff to strike a deal to hand over control of operation, rent control and programming of the “city side” of the park to OSEG.

Well, you all stepped up. Hundreds came to a community organized public consultation, opposing this move. Residents wrote to Councillors and the mayor. They showed up a rally we held before the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) meeting, and then they came in and gave thoughtful, passionate delegations in defense of public space.

Capital Ward Bulletin - October 31st, 2019

Happy Hallowe’en!

I love Hallowe’en...and not just because I love candy. It’s one of those times when residents come together and take over the neighbourhood, in the spirit of community and festivity. I love seeing all the kids out in their costumes, excitedly running from door to door.

I hope everyone has a good night tonight, and a safe and fun Hallowe’en.

Tonight may be about trick-or-treating, but there’s still other things we need to talk about.

Protect Lansdowne Park Rally and Petition

The recent proposal from City staff to transfer operations, programming and city control of the remaining public space at Lansdowne. This is one more step towards privatization of this great public asset. Like many residents, I am very concerned about this proposal and the manner it is being rushed through City Hall.  

I have some concerns about this proposal and the current process being rushed through FEDCO and city council. 

Before the city enters into negotiations with the intent of relinquishing the control of the park, the problem statement should be clear, the public deserves to be consulted on a new vision for Lansdowne, and we deserve some answers. 

City Looks to Give Away Full Control of Lansdowne Park to For-Profit Partners

For Immediate Release

October 25, 2019
Updated November 4, 2019

CITY LOOKS TO GIVE AWAY FULL CONTROL OF LANSDOWNE PARK TO FOR-PROFIT PARTNERS

Ottawa—In a staff report coming to the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) on November 5th, 2019, the city is seeking to direct staff  to strike a deal with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) to transfer operations, programming and city control of half of the site over to OSEG. This would mean Aberdeen Pavilion, Aberdeen Square, the Horticulture Building, the Great Lawn and other areas of Lansdowne would be transferred in a commercialization of the remaining public space at Lansdowne. No business plan has been presented for such a move. No vendors who rent the space have been informed and zero public consultation has taken place. 

Upcoming Meetings about the Future of Lansdowne Park (Updated Location) and the 2020 Budget

It’s a busy time in the city and in Capital Ward, and there are a couple of important public meetings coming up that I’d like you to know about: 

Changing the Deal at Lansdowne? 

At the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) meeting on November 5, the committee will receive a report in which city staff seek permission to negotiate a deal with OSEG to hand over control of operations and programming of the entire site to OSEG.

This is a significant change that could have serious detrimental impacts to our ward and our city. The city should be serving residents and the community rather than for-profit private sector entities.

Capital Ward Bulletin - October 17th

We’re a month into fall. Schools back. The leaves are changing. And things are really picking up at City Hall. Much of the work this Fall will be around the city budget, which will be finalized in December. Other important topics will include Lansdowne Park, Springhurst Park and re-deisgning Bank Street south of Riverside Drive.

Budget Consultations

I’ll be taking part in two public consultations to discuss the 2020 City Budget, which is like to invite to:

Ottawa South councillors (Capital Ward actually stretches out to Walkley Road) will be gathering for a consultation at the Jim Durrell Centre on Tuesday October 22. Doors open at 5:45 pm and the presentation begins at 6:00, with a Question & Answer session following.

Then on Tuesday November 5, the five urban councillors will be hosting Budget Speak in Jean Pigott Hall at City Hall from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Our office is hiring for a Councillor's Assistant

Please see a description of the job, and instructions as to how to apply, at the link below.

The Return of the Mutchmor Rink!

For Immediate Release

Ottawa—It is with great pleasure that Councillor Menard, Trustee Evans, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) and the City of Ottawa announce that a boarded hockey rink will be returning to the schoolyard at Mutchmor Public School this winter. The schoolyard, located between Fourth and Third Avenues in the Glebe, had been home to a rink since the 1930s, but the rink was removed in recent years as necessary work was completed on the school.

Capital Ward Bulletin - September 19th

Taking a Moment to Pause and Reflect

It’s been a busy nine months at city council. As we roll into the fall, we thought we’d start compiling a list tracking what our office and our community has been able to achieve so far.

City of Ottawa’s Women & Gender Equity Community Forum

The City of Ottawa’s Women & Gender Equity Community Forum is confirmed on September 30th at Ottawa City Hall, Jean Pigott Place. This event is one of several activities taking place to engage residents in our City and use their input to inform our strategy.

Capital Ward Bulletin - September 4th

Summer may have come to an end, but things are starting to heat up at City Hall.

Five New Polls for OP Feedback

There are 5 new polls for the public to provide feedback through on the Official Plan site. There is a quick poll on each of the 5 Big Moves. The deadline to complete these polls is September 16th. Please take some time to give your feedback to the city.

Five new Polls for OP Feedback

There are 5 new polls for the public to provide feedback through on the Official Plan site. There is a quick poll on each of the 5 Big Moves. The deadline to complete these polls is September 16th. Please take some time to give your feedback to the city.

Capital Ward Bulletin - August 15th

La version française suit

I took a bit of time this summer to be with family and friends. I’ve returned to city hall feeling refreshed and re-invigorated in going to work for Capital Ward residents and for the city. 

Here are few things to keep an eye out for: 

Official Plan—The 5 Big Moves 

This past week, the city released a new document about big policy changes that could be included in the new Official Plan. This document, The 5 Big Moves, will help explain the direction the city is taking as it looks towards shaping the future of Ottawa. 

 

Capital Ward Bulletin - August 2nd

I hope you’re having a good summer, so far. At City Hall, summertime means fewer meetings, and so I’ve been able to spend a bit more time with family, enjoying our lovely city. But just because City Hall is a bit quieter in the summer doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot going on in our ward.

Chamberlain, Catherine and Isabella Consultation Summary

On June 6, 26 people attended the Public Open House on the re-design of Chamberlain, Catherine and Isabella. Although work won’t begin for at least another eight years, this is an important project for Capital Ward and the entire city.

Currently, these streets buffering the Queensway are hostile to pedestrians, bicyclists and city life, in general. We are working with staff to create streets that will better serve residents and vulnerable road users. Coupled with the work being done on the Bank Street Height and Character Study, we can lay the groundwork for a more vibrant, more livable streets in our ward.

We’ve been working closely with city staff on this project, and we will continue to collaborate with them throughout the summer and beyond.

You can see a summary of the consultation at the project website.

Capital Ward Bulletin - July 18th

Well, it’s been an interesting week or two at City Hall. We've seen the 10 Oblats proposal in Old Ottawa East get rubber-stamped at Planning Committee and City Council, ignoring all the hard work the community put into the Secondary Plan. City Council allowed the unpopular expansion plans for the Chateau Laurier to go ahead. And we’ve heard that RTG plans to handover LRT this summer.

Old Ottawa East Community Plans Broken

The recent decision at Planning Committee and at City Council to rubber-stamp the developer’s request to alter the years of work that went into the community design plan in Old Ottawa East is one reason that I am calling for the break-up of the Planning Committee.

The Old Ottawa East community came out in large numbers to speak to the committee. It was wonderful to see such passion and engagement from residents. It is unfortunate that their reasoned and thoughtful words could not carry the day.

 

Is it time to split up Ottawa's planning committee?

I debated my colleague Scott Moffatt this morning on my proposal to break up the planning committee at City Hall. We deserve more representative decision-making regardless of the outcome; Moffatt supports the status-quo.

Check out the debate at CBC.ca here.

 Menard: Break up planning committee and bring democracy back to Ottawa City Hall

City Hall belongs to you. City Hall is your building. Council members work for the public and should be tasked with putting the needs of the people first over other demands.

That’s democracy. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.

But you live in Ottawa, so you know that too often, City Hall isn’t a place for people, at least not all people. Too often, City Hall is a place for developers.

Read the full article at the Ottawa Citizen here.

Approval in Principle for a New Pedestrian Crossing in Old Ottawa South

In another step towards making Capital Ward the safest place for active transportation in Ottawa, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the City of Ottawa have come to an Approval in Principle for a new intersection pedestrian signal (IPS) to facilitate crossings of Colonel By Drive at Seneca Street.

The crossing point will include a traffic signal to control vehicles on Colonel By Drive, and a pedestrian crosswalk and cycling crossride to access cycling and pedestrian facilities along Seneca street.  This is a big improvement from original designs which only included a PXO (pedestrian crossing). There is also agreement in principle to reduce the traffic speed along that stretch of Colonel By. This will provide safe and comfortable means for residents to access the Multi-Use Path (MUP) on the south side of the Rideau Canal.

“The Old Ottawa South Community Association’s Traffic and Safety Committee has been working diligently for some time now to see a safe crossing implemented at this intersection. Once again, we see what communities can achieve when residents are motivated and properly supported by governments,” said Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard. 

Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard Calls for the Break-Up of the Planning Committee

For Immediate Release

Ottawa—In a report released on the planning and development process in the City of Ottawa, Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard calls for democratic reform to representation at City Hall. The primary recommendation is to split the Planning Committee in two, creating more representative decision-making.  

This proposal is one of a number of recommendations in the report, alongside increasing transparency, employing a grassroots approach to development planning, by-law and legislative changes, a focus on the environment, and looking to other cities for best practices. 

It's Time to Shake Up the Planning Process

Today, I am releasing a report on the Planning and Development Process in the City of Ottawa. As we've repeatedly seen, no longer does the planning process properly serve the needs of residents. We need to do better.

Shortly after coming into office, I hosted a forum comprised of residents who have devoted their time to working on development issues in the city. They shared their insights, experiences, concerns and suggestions for improving the process. This report distills what was learned from that forum, highlighting seven ways to improve development in Ottawa: breaking up the Planning Committee, increasing transparency, employing a grassroots approach to development planning, by-law and legislative changes, a focus on the environment, and looking to other cities for best practices.

Click here to download the report [PDF].

New Rideau River MUP Underpas is Open for Use!

Today, the new Multi-User Path underpass at Bank Street and Riverdale is opened for pedestrians and bicyclists. The MUP, located on the south side of the Rideau River runs adjacent to Riverside and goes underneath the Billings Bridge. A collaboration between the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa, this project will give vulnerable road users the ability to avoid high-traffic intersection at Bank and Riverside when travelling along the well-used path.

Capital Ward Bulletin - July 5th

I hope everyone had a good Canada Day. It’s always a great way to kickoff summer in our city—there’s so much to do and so many great places to visit. It’s a great time to be outside, enjoy the sun and relax. 

Flora MacDonald Footbridge 

In case you missed it, the Flora MacDonald Footbridge opened on Friday, two months ahead of schedule! This is a great way to connect two neighbourhoods, Old Ottawa East and the Glebe (at Clegg and 5th), and add to our active transportation network, helping people get around our city while also getting a bit of exercise. It’s only been open a week, but already it’s been well-used. This will be a valued and important piece of our community for generations to come.

Developers Win Again at Ottawa City Hall

For Immediate Release

Ottawa—It’s another sad day for communities in Ottawa, as the city’s Planning Committee has abandoned a collaboratively-derived aspect of our city’s Official Plan. The Secondary Plan for Old Ottawa East was created in consultation with the community a few years ago and precludes buildings from exceeding six storeys, but the Planning Committee today approved Regional Group’s desire for a nine-storey height limit on more than 13 acres of land. They did so despite broad opposition from the community, including from residents, the Community Association, neighbouring property owners, the neighbouring university, the ward councillor and the local MPP. 

Flora Footbridge Opens This Weekend

"Pedestrians and cyclists in Ottawa should have another option for crossing the Rideau Canal by Canada Day.

Coun. Shawn Menard tweeted Monday that the Flora Footbridge, which connects Clegg Street in Old Ottawa East to Fifth Avenue in the Glebe, has a tentative opening of 5 p.m. Friday."

Read more here at CBC.ca

Capital Ward Bulletin - June 20th

The school year is winding down and the Canada Day long weekend is almost upon us, but the city never stops! There are a number of items coming up in the next two weeks, so let’s dive right in.

Bank Street in the Glebe: Height and Character Study

The second public consultation for the Bank Street Height and Character Study is happening tonight at the Glebe Community Centre. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Come out and have a say on the future of this important street in our community.

Patterson Creek Bistro Open House

You may have heard about the National Capital Commission’s plans to create a Pop-Up Bistro in Patterson Creek. Crews showed up earlier this week to do some work in the park without warning. That work has been paused and the NCC is inviting the community to an information session on Monday June 24 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Patterson Creek.

Vision Zero Motion
By Councillors McKenney and Menard

We have heard from many residents from across the city who are anxious to have a Vision Zero Policy implemented in the City of Ottawa.  As a result we have worked with staff on a revised motion to be debated at Council.  While there are revisions to the motion, if passed by Council, staff will be required to bring recommendations for a Vision Zero Policy to Committee and Council no later than Q42019. This would be a significant step forward in how we design and redesign our roadways to achieve zero deaths or catastrophic injuries.

We're Hiring!

(PDF version here).

Councillor’s Assistant

Salary: $45,000 and excellent benefits package.

Job Summary:

Under the general direction of the City Councillor, the Councillor’s Assistant will help to organize, coordinate, and manage day-to-day operations of the Councillor’s Office.

The Councillor’s Assistant provides a comprehensive range of administrative services in support of the Councillor and the Councillor’s office, including support in communications and policy development, maintaining the Councillor’s calendar, triaging the ward e-mail account, answering phones, managing the office budget, and taking on case work within the Heron Park community.

This is a 12-18 month contract with a start date of July 8th.

June 6th Capital Ward Bulletin

It has been an extremely busy time at city hall, please find an update below.

Pop-Up Office: I’ll be having a Pop-Up Office at Life of Pie (1134 Bank Street) Friday June 7 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. Stop by for some coffee, a snack and a chat. RSVP here.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Motion: In the past year, the provincial government announced cuts to support for families with children on the autism spectrum. This is a short-sighted and damaging move by the province that will harm families and individuals in our city. This month, my motion to have Ottawa City Council ask the province to pause implementation of their cuts and to conduct proper public consultation with the communities affected was passed. With Ottawa, Toronto, and other municipalities, calling on the province to reconsider, we are optimistic that the province will hear us and the people we represent.

Rental Accommodations Study - Public Consultations Underway

Public consultations for the Rental Accommodations Study have now been announced! This is a chance for people to have a say regarding Air B&B, student housing, 'bunkhouse' developments, and the need for landlord licensing!

Unfortunately, very little notice has been provided by the City's consultants: the first public consultation (on student housing and bunkhouses) takes place THIS Monday, May 27th, across the street from Billings Bridge (600-1355 Bank St). Register here: https://ottawa.ca/en/student-housing-workshop-1

The second consultation, on short-term rentals (e.g. Air B&B), will be taking place the following day, May 28th, at the Heron Road Community Centre (1480 Heron Rd). Register here: https://ottawa.ca/en/short-term-rental-workshop-1

Get involved in the public process and help shape our public policy. Landlords, developers, and corporations like Air B&B, have their boosters already signed up, so we need average folks to be there as well (spaces are 'limited', so register without delay).

The full list of consultations ('workshops') is available at the link below, as are links to the online surveys:

https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-engagement/projects/rental-accommodations-study

City Council Passes Declaration of Climate Emergency

Today, Ottawa city council took the important step of passing Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard’s motion to declare a climate emergency. Ottawa now joins Halifax, Vancouver, Hamilton, Kingston, Richmond, Edmunston, NB, and a host of cities around the world who have formally recognized the ever-growing threat of climate change.

Update on Derelict Buildings

Many of you will recall that dealing with the ‘West Coast Video’ eyesore in Old Ottawa South, and derelict buildings broadly in Ottawa, was a major campaign issue for us during the 2018 election. We have been making progress on this file. Our office has been working with City staff to ensure that existing regulation is enforced on the West Coast Video site--hence the recent removal of signage--but we are also pushing for further reforms that would make the long-term maintenance of vacant and derelict buildings untenable going forward. 

Through working with City staff and other councillors, we expect to see a bylaw review of the regulation of derelict buildings make it into the Community and Protective Services Committee's (CPSC) bylaw review work plan which will be voted on in August. We have reason to suspect that this item will be prioritized in the work plan, and our allies will be ready to intervene with a motion if it is not. Previous reforms have not gone far enough, as buildings like the West Coast Video building remain in place, and so our office is pushing for the City to review and consult on the possible implementation of a permit system (similar to the one that exists in Winnipeg) that will see property owners pay an increasingly large sum of money to the City the longer that they allow these properties to lay dormant. The bylaw review is the next step toward having such a system implemented here in Ottawa.

PSA - Brantwood Park Flooding

Image result for brantwood park ottawa

Please see the following PSA from the City of Ottawa:

Keep children away from flooded wading pools and play structures

OTTAWA --- The City of Ottawa is asking residents to ensure that children are kept away from City wading pools and play structures located near a river.   A rise in water levels, particularly of the Rideau River, has resulted in water backups in at least one wading pool and three park areas with significant water in the play structure area.   The water in the pool cannot be drained: it is two to three feet deep and poses a hazard to young children. The water in the park play areas have standing water which is approximately 4-6” deep and also poses a hazard to young children.

The pool in question is: Strathcona Wading Pool, corner of Laurier Avenue East and Range Road.

The parks in question are: Riverain Park (N River Road, Sandy Hill Area), Brantwood Park (Onslow Crescent and Burnham Rd) and Strathcona Park (Corner of Laurier Ave East and Range Road).

Our office has also received reports that basements have been flooding in the area. Our office has reached out to City staff and have been informed that staff is clearing catch basins in the area to help ameliorate the situation.

Motion Declaring a Climate Emergency

Photo: Ben PowelessCOUNCILLOR SHAWN MENARD TO PRESENT A MOTION DECLARING A CLIMATE EMERGENCY

Ottawa— On April 16, Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard will present a motion at the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management declaring a climate emergency. If this motion is approved by the committee and city council, Ottawa will join Halifax, Vancouver, Hamilton, Kingston, Richmond and Edmunston, NB, as Canadian cities declaring climate emergencies. 

Report on Snow Clearance Forthcoming

On behalf of the Capital Ward office, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Information Session on Snow Clearance. Your participation made this event a success. The event saw a full room participate in a critical and productive dialogue. We have our work cut out for us moving forward.

Lansdowne: A Place for People. A Place for Families. A Place for Mobility. A Place for City Life.

A Visioning Exercise for Lansdowne Park—April 2, 2019

Overview

The re-development of Lansdowne Park was undertaken as a partnership between the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG). The agreement between the two parties called for revenue distribution to follow a “waterfall” method, whereby the costs of capital investments would be paid back before other payments were made. The city would receive payment on accrued interest on “deemed equity”. Further down the waterfall, OSEG and the city would split any profits.

With the 2017 Lansdowne Partnership Annual Report comes news that the economic and financial outlook of the park has been adjusted. It is now predicted that the City of Ottawa will not receive re-payment for interest accrued on deemed equity, nor will we earn any profits throughout the life of the 30-year agreement. Further, OSEG is not expected to receive re-payment on $120M worth of capital investment.

Councillor wants City of Ottawa’s auditor general to probe LRT Stage 2 procurement process

The OC Transpo light rail train in Ottawa Friday, May 3, 2002 makes its way though Ottawa.

Capital ward Coun. Shawn Menard gave notice to his council colleagues on Wednesday that he’ll soon ask for their support in requesting that Auditor General Ken Hughes “launch an investigation into the procurement process that was executed to award the LRT stage 2 contracts.”

Read the full story at Globalnews.ca here

Open Letter to Doug Ford Re: LPASC

Dear Premier Ford,

I am dismayed at your decision to close the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC). This centre provides residents from all neighbourhoods with a source of information to help them with their appeals.

Statement on Mosque Shootings

It is with deep sadness that I learn about the mass shootings at Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. This despicable act of Islamophobia must be condemned, as too must be the rhetoric of hatred and bigotry that fuels these terrorists. We cannot tolerate that in our society and in our world such crimes of hate are accepted, shrugged off, downplayed or ignored. Islamophobia, and the structures that embolden it, must be confronted and eradicated.

On behalf of Capital Ward, I offer our deepest condolences to the victims, their loved ones and the Muslim communities that were targeted by this vicious and abhorrent attack. Our heart breaks for those whose lives have been stolen, for those seriously injured and traumatized by this heinous act, and for those who will live with the pain and suffering inflicted upon them.

We stand with our local Muslim community, as well as all oppressed and vulnerable people who endure bigotry and violence. Terrorist violence is perpetrated by hateful individuals and groups, but we must also oppose the systemic factors that create a fertile ground for them. Our sadness—and accompanying anger at such racist and xenophobic attacks—will feed our resolve; we will work for a better a community and a better world for our fellow community members, their children and all of our children.

Newsletter March 12th, 2019

I have so much to update you on since our last newsletter:

Official Plan Update

Did you know that Ottawa’s Official Plan is being updated? It’s the city’s primary planning document that guides our growth and development as a municipality. It will look at how we grow, what we want out of our city, and how we can use city planning to make Ottawa a better city for generations to come.

Deferring the LRT Stage 2 Vote

Today, several city councillors, including myself and Councillors Chiarelli, Deans, Leiper, McKenney and Meehan, announced that we would seek to defer until March 27 the report recommending approval of stage 2 LRT. This contract is critical to Ottawa’s sustainability and it is important that we get it right.

Menard: LRT Stage 2 is at risk of becoming another SNC-led boondoggle

With recent news highlighting that current LRT cars are experiencing major challenges in winter weather, it is more clear than ever that the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) is going to miss its March 31 deadline for handover of the Confederation Line to the city. It begs the question: Who knew about this and why weren’t councillors informed of this major impediment in advance of approving Stage 2? As city residents are painfully aware, this project is already well behind schedule and over-budget.

 

Read the full article in the Ottawa Citizen here

Stage 2 LRT Public Information Session

Residents of Capital Ward are invited to attend this information session on Stage 2 of LRT.

City Council and the public have been given only 12 days to evaluate and deliberate on a proposal for a P3 project that will cost the City $4.6 billion, with commitments to private partners that will span almost 30 years; this information session will be one of the only opportunities for community members to learn more, as well as raise questions and concerns, before the deal is voted on at the same time as the budget on March 6th. Please consider attending.

You can RSVP for the event here.

Capital Ward Forum on Snow Clearance Replaced by Information Session on Snow Clearance for Urban Wards

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Due to the Special Meeting of City Council on Wednesday February 27, 2019, the Capital Ward Forum on Snow Clearance will need to be postponed until the evening of Wednesday March 20th. It will be held in City Council Chambers from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

We apologize for the inconvenience and for the short notice, but it won’t be feasible to hold the Forum on the same day as the Special Meeting.

However, this delay allows us to expand the Forum. We have spoken with other urban councillors who have expressed interest in participating, and we will have greater access to city staff to provide information about current snow clearing protocols.

We appreciate that this is a significant issue with which all residents have been struggling for the past two months. We appreciate your understanding about this scheduling change, and we look forward to the expanded format of this Information Session.

In the meantime, we’d love to start collecting some of your experiences with snow clearing and suggestions for improvement. You can send them to us at [email protected] with the subject line “Snow Forum”.

RSVP for the event here

Facebook event is here

Councillor removes 'beg buttons' at Old Ottawa South crosswalks

Pedestrian safety shouldn't be jeopardized to improve traffic flow, Shawn Menard says

 

Read the CBC article here

Winter Weather Advisory - February 13, 2019

The major snowfall we received overnight has affected city operations. Here are some weather-related updates:

Councillor supports Transit Week Challenge group's call for OC Transpo fare freeze

At least one city councillor is jumping on the idea of an OC Transpo fare freeze following an eye-opening “Transit Week Challenge” that set out to highlight the importance of accessible transportation services.

 

Read the article in the Citizen here

Newsletter February 12th, 2019

There are four recurring themes to this week’s newsletter: street safety, the city budget, public consultations and snow (will we ever get a break from all the white stuff!?!). So here are some of the things happening for Capital Ward.

Press Release: 2019 Transit Challenge - Councillor Shawn Menard calls for an OC TRANSPO fare freeze in the upcoming budget

OTTAWA—The 2019 Transit Week Challenge concluded with a renewed call for more reliable, more affordable and more equitable transit service in Ottawa. For the week of Monday February 4 to Sunday February 10, city councillors were asked to use OC Transpo for all transportation, other than walking.

Councillor stresses need for Ottawa transit changes, as fares rise while ridership drops

Shawn Menard wants to see changes to the city's transit fare system that reflect the level of service

Read the article at OttawaMatters.com here

Menard: Yes, public transit is a gender issue – and a climate issue too

A bit of a controversy arose at Ottawa city council recently when I suggested the Transit Commission reconsider a proposed public member based on his public views on abortion and climate change. Despite the vitriol and hyperbole that has ensued, these are important issues.

Read the article in the Ottawa Citizen here

Open Letter to Doug Ford

January 28th, 2019

Re: ‘For the Students’ Announcement

Dear Premier Ford,

...

 

Newsletter - January 25th, 2019

Well, we’re almost through January, and the city has been busy digging out from some pretty big snow falls (and some freezing rain). It’s still a lively time in the city, though, and there’s lots to tell you about, but first, let’s talk snow removal.

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Newsletter - January 7th, 2019

Happy 2019!

I’m excited to kick off the first full calendar year in Capital Ward. After a busy first month getting acclimated to City Hall life, my team and I are eager to help make this a fantastic year for our ward and the city of Ottawa.

Let’s take a look at what’s coming up in the weeks and month ahead…

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Newsletter - December 14th, 2018

We're wrapping up the second week of working for the residents of Capital Ward--and what a two weeks it has been. The team in the Ward 17 office has been busy reviewing council documents and reports, meeting with city staff to get up to speed on the projects in the ward and, of course, working with you on the issues you face everyday--from traffic safety to garbage collection to snow clearing, and everything in between!

Here's a round-up of the two weeks that were:

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