Category Archives: Local Politics

Tonight! #Streetfight for a #liveable City

She is finally here. Janette Sadik-Kahn New York City’s former Dept of Transportation Commissioner is in Ottawa to talk about creating shared, liveable urban space.

Tonight’s event demonstrates that residents are well ahead of City Hall in terms of  recognizing the need for liveability and vision in designing our city. This talk had to be moved to a larger venue due to interest and at latest count 2000 people are registered.  The free event at Landsdowne’s Aberdeen Pavillion will cover the importance of  providing more room for people, bikes and buses.

Janette Sadik-Kahn Streetfight- Handbook for an Urban Revolution

Image courtesy Ecology Ottawa website

The talk is based on Sadik-Kahn’s vast experience, her recent observations and her co-authored book Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. Note the proceeds of copies of her book on sale at the event will benefit Ecology Ottawa who spearheaded tonight’s talk with various other community groups.

Can’t make the talk or want a taster?  Here is Sadik-Kahn’s TedTalk on YouTube (15mins).

Register for tonight’s free event here.

Ecology Ottawa Hosts – Streetfight: The movement for safer more liveable streets
27 April 2016, reception 6PM, keynote 7PM
Landsdowne ParkAberdeen Pavillion

 

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Police Say No to Noise Control

Yesterday Councillor Mathieu Fleury spoke with press about the surprise decision taken by Ottawa Police that – without consultation with the City – from April 2016 they would no longer respond to noise complaints.

As pointed out by the Councillor, responding to noise issues is a standard service provided by municipal police forces across Ontario. This service would be pushed to Bylaw enforcement which does not currently have the resources to handle it as the tax-funded force neglected to consult with councillors and no public discussions or mitigation strategies were established.

Community Police

Engagement – Benefits of Community Policing

Services are crucial to the quality of life in any community.  To step away from a service is unprofessional and, without ensuring that service is handed over effectively, potentially damaging. Direct law-enforcement engagement with the community provides important crime reduction and trust building  opportunities. Foot-patrol barely exists in Ottawa and now is not the time to pull further service and opportunities for our police to engage and connect with the community.

Click here to read Mathieu Fleury’s interview with the CBC.

Community’s Hard-won Battle on Traffic & Safety Threatened – Again

A year and a bit ago Chapel St was opened to traffic at Beausoleil without any notification to the surrounding neighbours -read stories herehere and  here.

bicycles_and_pedestrians_only-svgThe local community donated time & effort for meetings – including one on the street in a snowstorm – interviews and postings to ensure their voice was heard and finally it was… as covered wonderfully here by the Ottawa Citizen’s David Reevely in his article “A Clever Solution to a Dumb Policy“.

On January 14, 2014 Councillor Mathieu Fleury released an email stating, “staff will convert the opening of Chapel Street at Beausoleil Drive into a “cyclist access only” intersection, as proposed by community members. “ Letter from Cllr Fleury’s office

Now all this hard work is being threatened again as the developers approach the City for the street to be re-opened. See here the proposal by the developers to the City to re-open the street. Prop to open Chapel at Beausoleil Parsons

The opening of Chapel St in 2014 led immediately to an increase in cut-through traffic from Lowertown, Hwy 5 & the Market to the 417 resulting in a very busy residential street in the heart of our ward that is already afflicted with traffic issues on King Edward, Waller, Montreal Road and Rideau St. There are 3 schools at the junction of Beausoleil & Chapel and opening this junction to greater vehicular traffic buts a key school crossing at risk.

Rideau was recently redesigned with wide driving lanes and without cycle lanes making this route in addition to being a speedy cut-through of the Ward to being a conduit for big vehicles – say trucks.

Now the proposal to build to towers (26 & 27 stories – if last check is still accurate) at the corner of Rideau and Chapel – in total disregard to the Low Rise Main Street vision that the Community worked on with the City on last year – is asking the city to re-open Chapel at Beausoleil as this will “enhance” the cycling and pedestrian experience (cough-cough) and accommodate the trucks that need to access the retail proposed (two large boxstores) at the bottom of the Towers.

Is this an exercise to see who tires first? The elected officials have heard the community speak loudly and clearly on this issue. Let’s raise the roof beams and ask our City, our Councillor, our Mayor and residents to stand firmly and back the inclusive decision made so recently in face of this blatant disrespect for the voices and hard-work of the local community.

Please note the Ottawa City contact to write to is Erin O’Connell Erin.O’Connell@Ottawa.ca

Sandy Hill Seen first heard of this issue yesterday. Apparently comment to Ottawa City are due today 7 July…

 

 

Tonight: Ward12 All Candidates Debate @Ottvote #Rideau #Vanier

Tonight is the penultimate all-candidates debate for Rideau-Vanier Ward12.

The debate is from 7-9PM at 159 Murray in the Guigues Centre. Should be another corker of an evening. If you’ve attended several, like us, or this is your first you are likely to enjoy the evening with insightful engaged candidates and residents that are committed and pushing hard for good things in their ward.

Hope to see you there and be warned come early if you want a seat.

An @Ottvote issue requiring urgent coverage & action – @crdottawa

Last week Ward 12 resident Thierry Harris stood up at the All Candidates debate and through his questions revealed a watershed moment in terms of the imbalance between the rights of the individual versus those granted to corporate builders while the City of Ottawa stands by .

Our house shook for a few months when Stewart St was torn up. The noise was incredibly irritating and slightly concerning yet absolutely nothing in comparison to what these neighbours to the St Partick / Bruyere Claridge Homes WaterStreet build have been subjected too over the last 11 months.

courtesy crdOttawa.org

courtesy crdOttawa.org

The homes of Thierry Harris and at least 4 of his neighbours literally move and shake. The sound of industrial machinery is relentless and deafening. The ceiling of his neighbour’s well-appointed office has collapsed covering work and computers. Entry handles are dismantled and re-assembled when doors no longer open and close properly. Floors tilt as heavy machinery drills down underneath to accommodate underground parking. Walls with many deep cracks and crumbling portions are duct-taped to prevent further erosion and keep cold air at bay. Recently the waterproof membrane was torn from Harris’ foundations by the considerate builders of the 5-storey condo that has penned in his small yard and completely eradicate his  view as the build is literally up to his property line.

Citizens for Responsible Development (CRDOttawa.org) are doing an excellent job providing an online showcase for the damage, the frustration and the helplessness of these home-owners. Please visit the CRDOttawa website and browse the portfolio images and video – the few words here do not do justice to this situation.

The current councillor, Mathieu Fleury, cannot advocate for these resident as he has declared a Conflict of Interest where this particular builder is concerned. However I would say this goes beyond the issues of one Councillor and one Ward. This is a City wide problem that requires action.

It really doesn’t matter which ward you live in – City-wide regulation is clearly desperately needed to protect home-owners and provide clear enforceable guidelines for new-builds particularly those that dwarf and compromise the existing architecture in a neighbourhood. No one builds a two-storey town home to the specifications to withstand this sheet metal piling and drilling required for a condo tower.

Harris is a Rideau Vanier resident but this could happen any where in a city where many municipal candidates and even our Mayor have campaigns bankrolled and/or endorsed by Developers. All Ottawa residents should have up-front protection against such invasive developments and stop-work regulations should be issued long before this level of damage is ever incurred.

It’s time for change in regulations and it’s time for change in how elected officials fund their campaigns if residents are to expect political will in their favour. The electorate deserve representation that speaks up to protect individuals over corporations and in this instance Ottawa’s current municipal politicians must take decisive action to protect these peoples’ homes.

Please visit Citizens for Responsible Development Ottawa for comprehensive coverage.

Eye Spy: Rideau-Vanier Candidates Debate Tonight 7-9 @OttVote

The advanced voting has kicked off and the end is in-sight for this exciting and engaged Municipal Election. Rideau-Vanier candidates still have (at least) 3 more debates and one is tonight in the heart of Sandy Hill.

VoteSo come out listen to the issues and share your own from 7-9PM at the Sandy Hill Community Centre where the focus will be on Transit, Employment and access to good food and affordable housing in Ward 12.

 

A shout out to Vanier Community Service Centre, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre and Lowertown Community Resource Centre who organized tonight’s debate.

All-Candidates Debate
7-9PM, October 2nd
Sandy Hill Community Centre, 250 Somerset Street East

Go Gold this Sunday

We’ve written several times about Overbrook neighbour Phoebe Rose Doull Hoffman and her childhood cancer  challenges.GoGold

Unfortunately, she and her family will not be able to attend this year’s awareness raising event in Ottawa due to Phoebe’s relapse treatment in Denver, Co. However we urge the neighbourhood and beyond to come out in droves to Parliament Hill this Sunday at 5:45PM for the Childhood Cancer Awareness rally for a wonderful, fun and important evening. There will be music, puppets, speakers, face-painting, bubbles and more.

Serious though this topic is GO GOLD is a heart-warming gathering and  fun event that needs your presence to make it’s message heard. -So please come alone, with friends, with kids, for a short visit or stay the duration but please come out and see the Peace Tower GO GOLD in support of all those and their families afflicted by Childhood Cancer