• Cycling safety and speeding are STEP priorities in June

    Ottawa – Cycling safety and speeding are the focus for the City’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) in June as part of its ongoing commitment to keeping Ottawa’s roads safe.

    Cycling safety

    In 2010 alone, six cyclists lost their lives and 243 were injured – 12 of them seriously – on Ottawa roads.

    Speeding

    Speeding or not slowing down for road and weather conditions, took its toll on Ottawa roads in 2010. It was attributed to 2,833 reportable collisions – claiming 20 lives and injuring 863 (63 were serious).

    These initiatives support the larger Safer Roads Ottawa Program, a leading partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.

    Ottawa residents have identified traffic safety as a top priority. The Safer Roads Ottawa Program is committed to using available resources to make Ottawa roads safer for residents.

  • Ottawa Police releases the 2011 Annual Report

    Ottawa – This evening, the Police Services Board received the Ottawa Police Service 2011 Annual Report ‘A Year in Review’.

    The online report provides an overview of police activities and initiatives, as well as preliminary crime and performance statistics for the past year. The Review is a means of reporting progress of our organizational goals related to the 2010-2012 Business Plan to our members, the Police Services Board and the citizens of Ottawa.

    The 2011 Annual Report is now available to the public at www.opsannualreport.ca or in French, atwww.rapportannuelspo.ca.

  • Ottawa Police public survey on policing services results

    Ottawa – The 2012 Public Survey on Policing Services was released today highlighting satisfaction in the community with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) and continued public concerns with speeding and aggressive drivers.

    Consistent with previous surveys, satisfaction with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is very high; more than four out of five residents (81%) are satisfied, with only four percent being dissatisfied. While this number represents a slight decrease from 2008 (86%), it remains high and comparable to 2006 (84%) and is higher than 2002 (72%).

    According to the survey, conducted by Leger Marketing and Research Inc., satisfaction with police services is high for those who have had direct contact with officers. In terms of public confidence in the OPS, three-in-five Ottawa residents (60%) have high or utmost confidence in the OPS, and 33 percent report moderate confidence.

    “This is the sixth public survey we have conducted and all have provided valuable information about what the public expects from our police service,” said Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, Chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board. “The continued overall satisfaction with policing services is good news.”

    The survey indicates that perceptions of crime are the most positive ever reported and will be presented to the Ottawa Police Services Board at its meeting Monday night.

    The top five concerns in the City were speeding/aggressive driving, presence of drugs/dealers, youth crime, street gangs and break and enter.

    “Not only does the survey provide accountability of our performance to the community, it assists us in setting future directions to take in improving our service to citizens,” said Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau.  “I am pleased with the overall satisfaction and I know that residents are asking for more in terms of visibility and interaction with police and traffic enforcement.”

    Further analysis of the Public Survey is currently underway, including an interpretation of key findings at the district and ward levels, and will be available by mid-June.

    The survey was conducted using a mail-to-online format to a total of 16,000 households. A total of 3,147 citizens participated in the survey between February 10th and April 8th 2012, representing a response rate of 20.4 percent (from 15,464 valid mail-outs).  Results are deemed accurate to within a margin of error of ±1.75 percentage points, 19 times out of 20

  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Peter Runia

    Mayor Jim Watson, with College Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Peter Runia for his outstanding contributions and dedication in his Nepean community and the City of Ottawa.

    Mr. Runia is a member of the City View Community Association where he served as president for more than 30 years. He is a member of the Federation of Community Associations and at the City View Community Association he was a driving force behind notable projects in the area, including the new sewer system in City View, the new sidewalk installation plan, and the Centrepointe expansion plan. He was also a member of the transition team at municipal amalgamation.

    A man of deep faith, Mr. Runia has been very active in the Calvin Christian Reform Church and was a key player in helping them set up their Bible Mission Thrift Store on Merivale Road.

    His long history of community concern, involvement and leadership is an admirable example of the energy, generosity and devotion that individuals can bring to making their communities a better place for all.

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  • City’s 2011 financial statements confirm strong position

    Ottawa – The 2011 City of Ottawa Consolidated Financial Statements will be considered by the Audit Sub-Committee on May 24, by the Finance and Economic Development Committee on June 5, and by City Council on June 13.

    Documents released today in advance of those meetings show the City is in a strong financial position that includes higher cash balances, preservation of reserves, manageable debt and a higher accumulated surplus. The City’s credit ratings have also been reconfirmed by Moody’s Investors Service and by Standard and Poor’s.

    “Our strong balance sheet is a sign of continued responsible financial management and respect for taxpayer dollars by Council and staff and is reflected in the reconfirmation of our strong credit ratings,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

    “I am gratified that these audited year-end financial statements paint a picture of a healthy and robust City,” said Councillor Rick Chiarelli, Chair of the Audit Sub-Committee. “The people of Ottawa can be confident that we are on a solid financial footing.”

    The audited financial statements show that financial assets rose almost 11 per cent to $1.79 billion in 2011 while net debt rose 4.4 per cent to $1.098 billion. The City had revenues of $3.226 billion and expenses of $2.805 billion in 2011 and is responsible for $11.3 billion in capital assets.

  • artsVest™ program an investment in Ottawa’s cultural economy

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Business for the Arts President and CEO Nichole Anderson were on hand to celebrate Ottawa’s success in securing the artsVest™ program. They were joined by Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Chair Dave Donaldson and Jean-Claude Des Rosiers, Président du Conseil d’administration, Le regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale Nationale as well as government funding agencies, local businesses and cultural organizations.

    The program will offer free sponsorship training to help Ottawa’s local cultural organizations build mutually beneficial partnerships with the business community. Cultural organizations will also be invited to apply to artsVest for a total of $100,000 in matching incentive grants. When matched with sponsorship from the local business community, artsVest has the potential to flow more than $200,000 of investment into Ottawa’s cultural sector this year.

    “This is an exciting opportunity to bring the public, private and cultural sectors together with a common goal of enhancing Ottawa’s cultural offerings,” said Mayor Watson. “ And since these investments can be generated as soon as next year, Ottawa residents and visitors are the real winners here.”

    According to Business for the Arts, Ottawa has the ingredients to be a success story with growing potential for business benefactors and sustainable, diverse arts, heritage and culture offerings. “The jury evaluating Ottawa’s application was really excited about the breadth and range of local cultural programs that could benefit from artsVest’s matching grants,” said Business for the Arts President Nichole Anderson. “Ottawa’s bilingual character is also attractive as it will allow artsVest to reach a greater Francophone population.”

    A recent economic study reported that Ottawa-Gatineau’s cultural industry (non-profit and for-profit) represented approximately 4.1 per cent of GDP, totalling $1.98 billion. In 2010, attendance and participation in Ottawa’s local cultural activity totalled 4.1 million, and 21,861 volunteers provided 519,755 volunteer hours (valued at $9.1 million) to the local cultural sector.

    Other cities selected to be part of the 2012 Ontario artsVest program include Windsor, North Bay, Midland and Elliot Lake.

    artsVest is a program of Business for the Arts and delivered with funding from the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Canadian Heritage. Ottawa’s application was sponsored by the Council for the Arts in Ottawa, the Arts Ottawa East Arts Council and the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa.

    For more information on the artsVest program, visit www.artsvest.com.

  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Emily Tieu

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Kanata South Ward Councillor Allan Hubley, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Emily Tieu for her outstanding charity fundraising and dedicated volunteer work in the community.

    At 14 years old, Emily has raised more than $74,000 for research for sialidosis a rare enzyme disorder affecting children. There is no treatment and it so rare that only one known child in Canada, Tyler Huneault, is battling it.

    In April 2005, when Emily was seven years old, she became aware of Tyler’s illness and that he is the only child in Canada suffering with the disease and began the first of a series of garage sales and fundraisers. In that first year, Emily raised $91. In 2006, she held her second annual garage sale and raised $150. In 2007 she raised $2,600 and in 2008 Emily held her fourth sale and raised $4,060. In subsequent years, donations and fundraising proceeds have flowed in and so far Emily has raised more than $74,000.

    The only research being conducted on this disorder is at McMaster University by biology professor Dr. Suleiman Igdoura. All proceeds raised at Emily’s garage sales go to McMaster University to fund sialidosis research. Dr. Igdoura’s research team is working on a gene therapy that will replace the defective gene in sialidosis sufferers.

    Emily impresses all those around her positive energy and highly developed social conscience. Her desire to help others, her caring, positive attitude, and her generosity with her free time serves as an example to her peers and an inspiration in her Bridlewood community. She also volunteers with Valerie’s Flutter Foundation, a charity that raises awareness for all types of cancers, especially rare types that lack funds.

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