• Construction milestone for the Rink of Dreams

    -UPDATE –

    Ottawa – Today, Mayor Jim Watson, Cyril Leeder, Ottawa Senators President and Danielle Robinson, President of the Sens Foundation, placed three pins in the Rink of Dreams before concrete was poured over the area. This is the next major milestone before the outdoor refrigerated rink opens at the end of January in time for the 2012 NHL All Star Game.

    The three pins – one from the City of Ottawa and two from the Ottawa Senators – signify the partnership between the two groups, who have been working in collaboration to bring Ottawa’s newest downtown attraction to life. The City will operate the rink and is contributing $250,000 towards constructions costs. The Sens Foundation along with local partners and construction companies will contribute the remainder of the design and construction budget for the Rink of Dreams project.

    – 30 –

    Posted on October 5, 2011

    Ottawa – The city’s newest downtown attraction is one step closer to reality today following the groundbreaking of the Rink of Dreams at City Hall by Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Diane Holmes, Cyril Leeder, Ottawa Senators President, Jim Durrell, Chair of the Hockey Canada Gala Committee, Danielle Robinson, President of the Sens Foundation and Todd Jackson, Senior Manager of Member Services for Hockey Canada.

    “The Rink of Dreams will serve as a hub and attraction for residents and tourists alike, breathing new life into Marion Dewar Plaza and our downtown core,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “It also creates new opportunities for us to collaborate with the community and host exciting events that complement the many festivals and attractions held in our city.”

    Once completed, the 12,500-square-foot refrigerated ice surface will be open for skating until March and serve as a community space during the spring and summer months. The refrigerated rink will be open again for skating in November 2012.

    “We are extremely pleased that in less than a year we have completed the fundraising, finalized design, rallied support across the community and are commencing construction,” said Cyril Leeder, Ottawa Senators President. “Every organization and individual that we approached to be involved with this project said yes and each one of them asked ‘what else can we do?’ – all evidence that the Rink of Dreams is an important project for our community.”

    “The goal of the Hockey Canada Foundation’s Gala and golf tournament held this past June was to raise funds to make the Rink of Dreams a reality,” said Jim Durrell, the chair of the Hockey Canada Gala Committee. “As a result of those events, more than $400,000 in funds will be directed to this very significant project.”

    The City will operate the rink and is contributing $250,000 towards constructions costs. The Sens Foundation along with local partners and construction companies will contribute the remainder of the design and construction budget for the Rink of Dreams project.

    For more information on the Sens Foundation, visit www.sensfoundation.com. For more information about the Hockey Canada Foundation, visit http://www.hockeycanada.ca/foundation.


  • Public Works Department implements $1 million in savings

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Steve Kanellakos, Deputy City Manager of City Operations, along with CUPE 503 President, Brian Madden, and CIPP Executive Director, Sheila Stanislawski, are recognizing staff from the Public Works Department for their participation in ServiceOttawa’s Service Improvement Initiative.

    “The City of Ottawa is committed to improving services for our residents while staying focused on the bottom line,” said Mayor Watson. “The ideas that staff brought forward have generated an annual savings of $1 million, and speak to the innovation and skill of our employees to find greater value for taxpayers.”

    The Service Improvement Initiative was launched in May 2010, engaging staff from the Public Works Department in a process of identifying and implementing innovative management, and operating and business practices to improve performance and reduce costs.

    Through this process, more than 200 Public Works staff worked on many initiatives, including: utilizing technology such as a pavement edger used for gravel and asphalt shoulder repairs; standardizing products such as hockey nets, vehicle tires and purchasing in bulk; and purchasing automated traffic counters to replace manual traffic counts.

    “The ServiceOttawa Service Improvement Initiative is about engaging all staff to identify and implement innovative strategies and ideas that lead to safe, efficient and effective delivery of services to our residents,” said John Manconi, General Manager, Public Works Department.  “Following on the success achieved by our Public Works staff, this approach can be applied to all City departments through the ServiceOttawa Program.”

    The process was done in partnership with two of the City’s major unions CUPE 503 and CIPP.

    “This initiative improves the value added services that we deliver on the front lines.  The real experts are the staff who do the work each and every day,” said Brian Madden, President of CUPE 503. “They know how to get the jobs done in the most effective way and at the best value to the taxpayers of this city.”

    “CIPP was pleased to join with CUPE 503 and the City of Ottawa in this Service Improvement Initiative,” said CIPP Executive Director, Sheila Stanislawski.  “We believe that involving the employees of the Public Works Department and their representatives has generated invaluable ideas and produced significant results for the City.”

  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Fran Squire

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Gloucester-Southgate Ward Councillor Diane Deans, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Fran Squire for her outstanding volunteer work, fundraising and contributions to the community.

    Ms. Squire has worked with the Parkinson Society Ottawa for seven years on the Board of Directors as Chair and as Vice-Chair of Parkinson Society Canada for six years. She has also served as editor of the Parkinson’s newsletter, which is distributed across Canada and published quarterly. The Parkinson Society Ottawa helps those afflicted with the disease learn about their condition and manage how to live with it.

    Over the past 10 years, Ms. Squire has personally raised $26,200 in the Ottawa Parkinson’s SuperWalk. These funds help more than 100,000 Canadians with Parkinson’s disease through education, support services, advocacy and research funding.

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created by Mayor Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.


  • Curtains rise on bigger and better Centrepointe Theatres

    Ottawa – John Baird, Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean, along with the Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure and Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean and His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, participated in an official ceremony today to recognize the successful completion of thousands of infrastructure projects across Ontario that have received federal and provincial funding through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The event also marked the recent expansion of the Centrepointe Theatre in Ottawa, a project that has nearly doubled the size of the world-class venue.

    “Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, our Government delivered timely and targeted investments that created jobs and boosted the economy,” said MP Baird. “We are proud to have supported more than 2000 projects across Ontario through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The Centrepointe Theatre expansion is great news for the entire community, and will encourage the development of local artists and the presentation of local works for many years to come.”

    “Through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, our government has made strategic investments throughout the province to support our communities, strengthen the economy, create thousands of jobs and provide sustainable, quality infrastructure that Ontarians can rely on for decades to come,” said Minister Chiarelli. “As one of many successful projects now complete in the Ottawa Region, this expansion will allow Centrepointe Theatre to enhance its position as a cultural and theatrical landmark in our community, and provide even more opportunities to serve residents, visitors and performers.”

    “Centrepointe Theatres are a vital part of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “And it is great to see all three levels of government come together to invest in the future of our artists and this important element of our local economy.”

    Already the second largest performing arts theatre in the National Capital Region, Centrepointe Theatres now boast a 253 seat, state-of-the-art studio theatre behind the main stage — ideal for intimate performances, business functions, lectures, rehearsals and workshops. The expansion also saw the installation of a new production centre, with expanded loading dock, workshops, storage rooms and a stage-door reception area; a catering kitchen; two large dressing rooms; a double green room to serve both theatres; a volunteer lounge and kitchen; barrier-free washrooms; a first-aid room; public elevators and administration offices.

    The governments of Canada and Ontario each committed $4 million toward the project through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The City of Ottawa matched these funds. The City’s $4-million share of the project is funded through a grant of up to $363,636 and a low-interest loan of up to $3,636,364, both from the Green Municipal Fund administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

    Combined, the governments of Canada and Ontario have committed funding to a total of more than 2000 projects in communities across Ontario. Projects have been completed in every corner of the province, creating jobs when the economy needed them most — from the rehabilitation of water infrastructure in Kingston, to upgrades of municipal roads in Sudbury, to the construction of a new transit facility in Oakville, to a new facility for the Boys and Girls Club of Niagara.

    The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Thanks to Canada’s Economic Action Plan and our strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has recovered from the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. Canada has been a leader amongst G-7 countries throughout the recovery with nearly 600,000 net new jobs created since July 2009.

    This project also supports Building Together, the Government of Ontario’s long-term infrastructure plan to repair, rebuild and renew the province’s roads and highways, bridges, public transit, schools and postsecondary institutions, hospitals and courthouses. Ontario is investing $12.8 billion in infrastructure projects in 2011-12, bringing the government’s total infrastructure investments since 2003 to $75 billion. Building modern, efficient infrastructure has created or preserved close to 100,000 jobs each year, on average, making Ontario’s economy more productive and improving quality of life, now and in the future.

    For additional information about investments in infrastructure, visit infrastructure.gc.ca.

    For further information about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit actionplan.gc.ca.

    To download a short broadcast-quality video highlighting a few of the many successful infrastructure projects across Canada, visit infrastructure.gc.ca/video/video-eng.html.

    For more information on how Ontario is revitalizing its infrastructure, visit ontario.ca/infrastructure.