• Mayor Watson’s statement on the passing of Mr. Abdirahman Abdi

    Released on Tuesday, July 26

    I was saddened to hear of Mr. Abdirahman Abdi’s passing on July 25, and would like to express my sincere condolences to his family, friends and neighbours. It is always concerning when a life is lost in our City, and my thoughts are with Mr. Abdi’s family and friends during this difficult time.

    I am confident that Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit will conduct a fair and thorough investigation that will provide comprehensive insight into this tragic incident.

  • Baseball fans remember Max Keeping’s legacy at bridge naming

    July 16, 2016 – Baseball fans who came to RCGT Park this evening to watch the Ottawa Champions host the Rockland Boulders first joined Mayor Jim Watson, president of the Ottawa Champions David Gourlay and Mr. Keeping’s family to remember popular local community builder Max Keeping.

    The game was preceded by a short ceremony on the pitcher’s mound, renaming the Coventry Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge over Highway 417 the Max Keeping Bridge in honour of the late broadcaster, longtime booster of baseball in our city, and tireless advocate and fundraiser for vulnerable and sick children and youth in Ottawa.

    “Max personified the spirit of giving and caring, and his legacy continues to inspire us to be generous and kind, and to help others,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Naming this bridge in his honour is a fitting tribute because he was a great fan and advocate for baseball in Ottawa, and because he brought people together and helped build a strong and caring community.”

    Mr. Keeping helped raise more than $100 million for organizations such as the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Roger’s House, the United Way, the Boys and Girls Club, Operation Come Home and the Cancer Foundation. His own battle with cancer ended his broadcasting career in 2003, but he continued to be an ambassador for his television station and an enthusiastic volunteer for local charities in the decade that followed. He passed away on October 1, 2015 at age 73.

    In recognition of his generosity, the Ottawa Champions will donate $1 to CHEO from each ticket to the game purchased in advance.

    Mr. Gourlay said: “Max will always be remembered as a local hero who changed countless lives for the better. We are all better people for having known him.”

    The Max Keeping Bridge connects the Overbrook community, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park (baseball stadium), the Via Rail station and the future Tremblay Station of the O-Train Confederation Line.

  • Girls+ Skate 613 receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    July 13, 2016 – Mayor Jim Watson and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to skateboarding organization Girls+ Skate 613 at today’s City Council meeting.

    Girls+ Skate 613 builds community, diversity and inclusion by providing a safe space for individuals of all ages, abilities and genders to skateboard in a comfortable, encouraging environment.

    The organization began as Girls Only Sessions at the McNabb Community Centre in 2006. Girls+ Skate 613 is now a permanent initiative supported by the Ottawa Skateboard Community Association (OSCA), and membership has doubled each year since 2013.

    Recognizing that girls, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups do not have the same opportunities in sports, OSCA and Girls+ Skate 613 are dedicated to empowering individuals who might not have other opportunities to participate in this sport. Girls+ Skate 613 and OSCA work together to support barrier-free skateboarding by providing equipment, facilitating spaces for skating, hosting events, providing resources and education, and fundraising.

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created 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.

    For additional information, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


     

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    Three men receive Commendations for Bravery for their role in fire rescue

    July 13, 2016 – Mayor Jim Watson and Cumberland Ward Councillor Stephen Blais presented City of Ottawa Commendations for Bravery to realtor Geoff Walker and asphalting workers Owen Cole and Alex Deschamps at today’s City Council meeting. The three honorees helped to rescue two men from a house fire on Melette Crescent in the Avalon community of Orléans on June 18.

    Mr. Walker, Mr. Cole and Mr. Deschamps happened to be driving by when they heard a dog barking and saw smoke coming from a townhouse. Mr. Walker broke a window and they entered to look for people inside who might be incapacitated. They found and evacuated two men, one of whom was unconscious.

    The fire destroyed four of the six homes in a row of townhouses and significantly damaged the other two, as well as another house behind the row. At least 20 people were displaced because of the fire.

     

     

  • City of Ottawa and Ottawa Champions baseball team invite residents to join in honouring Max Keeping on Saturday

    The City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Champions baseball team are inviting residents to remember popular local community builder Max Keeping, by filling the RCGT Park baseball stadium for the ball game on Saturday, July 16, at 7 p.m., when the Champions will host the Rockland Boulders.

    The game will be preceded at 6:30 p.m. with a short ceremony renaming the Coventry Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge over Highway 417 the Max Keeping Bridge in honour of the late broadcaster, community booster, longtime booster of baseball in our city, and tireless advocate and fundraiser for vulnerable and sick children and youth in Ottawa.

    Mr. Keeping helped raise more than $100 million for organizations such as the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Roger’s House, the United Way, the Boys and Girls Club, Operation Come Home and the Cancer Foundation.

    In recognition of his generosity, the Ottawa Champions will donate $1 to CHEO from each ticket to the July 16 game that is purchased in advance.

    Mayor Jim Watson and David Gourlay, president of the Ottawa Champions Baseball Club, encourage residents to buy a ticket, enjoy the ball game as the Champions play the Rockland Boulders, and take a moment to remember Max — a local hero who changed countless lives for the better.

    The Max Keeping Bridge connects the Overbrook community, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park (baseball stadium), the Via Rail station and the future Tremblay Station of the O-Train Confederation Line.

  • REDBLACKS touchdowns will be converted to trees at Trim Park and Ride

    As if you needed another reason to cheer on the Ottawa REDBLACKS, here is one more. For each touchdown the REDBLACKs score at TD Place Stadium this season, a tree will be planted at the OC Transpo Trim Park and Ride.

    The end result will be The REDBLACKS Forest, a partnership between the City of Ottawa and the REDBLACKS parent company, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG).

    “Ottawa football fans who cheer-on the REDBLACKS can also celebrate the addition of green space, one touchdown and one tree at a time,” said Mayor Watson. “The REDBLACKS Forest is a great example of the City’s commitment to support an environmentally sustainable Ottawa.”

    The trees will be planted in fall 2016 or spring 2017, weather permitting, and will be a mix of different species. They will be planted at the Trim Park and Ride in recognition of the thousands of football fans who use transit services to get to the games.

    “This initiative adds a new dimension to our touchdown story and extends it to the entire community,” said Bernie Ashe, CEO of OSEG. “As fans know, we saw through a log with a chainsaw when we score a touchdown at TD Place and present those log slices (wood cookies), which are symbols of excellence, to community heroes. Now, we’re creating a forest of trees for the future and, with the exciting offence we’ve seen so far, it looks like it could be a very large forest.”

    Last season, the REDBLACKS scored 35 touchdowns at TD Place (10 regular season games and one playoff).

    For more information on the REDBLACKS, visit REDBLACKS.com or connect with the team via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

     

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  • North American Leaders Summit 2016

    On Wednesday, June 29, 2016, I had the privilege and honour to welcome and meet United States President Barack Obama here in Ottawa, during the North American Leaders Summit. The American leader met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto. Together they discussed and developed strategies for clean energy, economic growth and collaboration between the three countries.

    In the receiving line, President Obama and I talked about my tie, the Obama cookie, but most importantly, the need to continue to welcome Syrian refugees in our countries. President Obama concluded his visit by addressing the Parliament of Canada House of Commons with a powerful and compassionate message of unity and respect between our nations.

    I’d like to thank Global Affairs Canada for sharing photos of the greeting.

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