• Bucket Brigade keeping downtown core clean

    Ottawa – City of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson today announced the official start of the City’s Bucket Brigade program during a media event at City Hall. The Bucket Brigade is a crew of summer students hired to reduce litter in downtown neighbourhoods that see an increase in both tourist and pedestrian traffic during the summer months.

    “Ottawa is a vibrant, beautiful city,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “As the weather gets warmer and we head outdoors, it is important to remember that everyone must do their part in keeping our streets litter-free.”

    The Brigade will help maintain the area bordered by Westboro to the west, Vanier to the east, the ByWard Market to the north and the Glebe to the south. The Brigade will be on shifts Monday to Friday until August 31.

    “Residents of Ottawa will see a difference in the cleanliness of our downtown core as a result of the Bucket Brigade,” said Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “But it is everyone’s responsibility to maintain that state by putting litter in its place.”

    Littering costs everyone – the City spends about $5 million a year, on average, cleaning litter. There are ways for residents to get involved in community projects that help keep the City clean and green. The City administers initiatives such as the spring and fall Cleaning the Capital campaigns, the Anti-littering campaign, and the Adopt-a-Park/Adopt-a-Roadway program.

    For more information on the City’s anti-litter initiatives, visit ottawa.ca.

  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – the Majic 100 Morning Show hosts

    Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Steve Desroches and Councillor Allan Hubley, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to the Majic 100 Morning Show hosts, Stu Schwartz, whom everyone knows as Stuntman Stu, Angie Poirier and Trisha Owens for their outstanding community service and public advocacy in raising awareness about bullying.
    Being a victim of bullying himself in high school, Stu knew only too well the effects that bullying can have on a young person. In September 2011 after hearing so many stories in the media about bullying, Stu and his Majic Morning Show co-hosts Angie and Trisha decided to take action to generate public awareness about bullying and to help youth deal with its effects.

    With the creation of the #NoMoreBullies hashtag, Stu, Angie and Trish now spend most Tuesday mornings visiting schools in the Ottawa area reaching out to youth about the reality of bullying. They, and their guest speakers, share their own stories of personal struggles with bullying and how they got help. Their presentations also provide youth with valuable community resources where help is available including violence and abuse prevention programs, the Youth Services Bureau Crisis Line and the Kids Help Line.

    The #NoMoreBullies campaign includes a strong social media presence with its own Facebook page with close to 2000 fans and up to 100 people talking about the topic at any given time. The program has also generated local media interest and celebrity participation bringing the message to an even wider audience.

    The Majic Morning Show team is already in their second year of #NoMoreBullies with no plans of slowing down. Not only are they helping those being bullied, but are also encouraging others to be part of the solution by being an active participant in bullying prevention.


  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Ms. Floralove Katz

    Mayor Jim Watson and Ward Councillor Diane Holmes, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Ms. Floralove Katz for her outstanding community service, philanthropy, public advocacy, and her numerous contributions within the field of arts and culture.
    As a resident of Ottawa for forty-five years, Ms. Katz has contributed thousands of volunteer hours promoting arts and culture within our city and its surrounding regions. She has performed as a cellist in the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra for 23 years, sang soprano for 20 years in the Chorus of Opera Lyra Ottawa, and founded her own Ottawa Klezmer Band in 1978, which had the honour of performing their 35th anniversary concert at the National Arts Centre this past March.

    Her volunteering has also encompassed teaching summer camp and Sunday school children, being a Big Sister, performing for seniors, mentoring aspiring musicians, and providing music therapy sessions with a young brain damaged woman.

    In 2011-12 Floralove Katz produced, edited, directed, and hosted to an audience of 300, a two-hour film-interview she prepared with a local Holocaust survivor. She also developed a Teaching Kit with the DVD that has been used in high schools and community groups to generate discussion about bullying, social responsibility, ethics, genocide and the Holocaust.

    Ms. Katz is the deserving recipient of many awards of distinction including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, Richard Zubrycki Humanitarian Award, and the YM-YWCA Woman of Distinction Awards for Arts and Culture.

  • City Council approves Accountability Framework

    City Council has approved the remaining pieces of the City’s Accountability Framework, as recommended by the City’s Integrity Commissioner, Robert Marleau, continuing its commitment to making municipal government more transparent and accountable to the public.

    The Code of Conduct for Members of Council, Gifts Registry, Council Expense Policy and Community, Fundraising and Special Events Policy, in addition to the existing Public Disclosure of Office Expenses, Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registry, constitute the most comprehensive set of integrity guidelines and practises implemented voluntarilyat the municipal level in the Province of Ontario.

    The final pieces of the City Council’s Accountability Framework, as approved by City Council, include:

     – Code of Conduct for Members of Council: The Code is based on the view that elected officials make decisions with an open mind, with concern for the public good and not personal benefit, and without giving preferential treatment to family, friends and supporters. The Code emphasizes that elected officials should be seen to be open about the manner in which they perform their role as Members of Council, with proactive disclosure being an important tool to increase public trust. The Code will also apply to citizen members of the Transit Commission and Built Heritage Sub-Committee with respect to City business.

     – Gifts Registry: Members will disclose all gifts, benefits and hospitality received which individually exceed $30 from one source in a calendar year. Event tickets of a value exceeding $30 will also be disclosed, listing who attended with the Member or, if donated, to whom or to what organization the ticket was donated. Disclosures will be listed quarterly on ottawa.ca.

    – Council Expense Policy: Will guide how Members of Council spend their Constituency Services Budgets. It reflects current practices and reinforces the existing rules and restrictions surrounding Corporate/Purchasing Cards, as well as a Member’s personal liability with respect to any budget overages and strengthens accounting practices based on audits in other jurisdictions. It also includes adding public disclosure for all City-related business travel, establishing a 3.5% cap for donations and prohibiting contributions to other City-funded programs and services except by Council motion.

     – Community, Fundraising and Special Events Policy: A new, formal policy to govern Member events and Members’ benevolent (charitable) activities. It codifies current accounting practices for specific, sponsored events and prohibits the solicitation or acceptance of donations or sponsorships from a lobbyist, or their clients or employees of the client, with active registrations in the Lobbyist Registry without pre-approval from the Integrity Commissioner. It establishes procedures surrounding third-party organized charitable events sponsored by a Member, and provides additional guidelines for municipal election years, while requiring the annual disclosure of sponsorships and expenses related to some specific Member-organized events.

    The framework reflects extensive consultation with every Member of Council and other integrity officials, as well as collaboration with the City Clerk and Solicitor and his staff.

    The Code of Conduct and its companion pieces will take effect on July 1, 2013.