• The Very Reverend Father Ghattas Hajal receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, River Ward Councillor Riley Brockington, and Gloucester-South Nepean Ward Councillor Michael Qaqish presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to the Very Reverend Father Ghattas Hajal, the Dean and Pastor of St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral. Father Ghattas has served at the Holy Altar for 40 years and is recognized as a City Builder for enriching the life of the Cathedral and its faithful with his pastoral experience and leadership.

    Father Ghattas was born in Lebanon and ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the Great Feast of Pentecost, May 27, 1977. In 1990, he and his family departed Lebanon to build a new life in Canada. He established Saint Mary’s Church in Montreal where he was their first priest in charge. In 1992, Father Ghattas assumed the pastorate of Saint Elias Cathedral in Ottawa. Under his leadership, the membership increased significantly to 1,800, the new church was completed, and the mortgage paid off. In addition to his pastorship, Father Ghattas holds other leadership positions in the Orthodox Church, namely: Dean of Canadian Deanery of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York, President of the Eastern Orthodox Clergy Association of Ottawa, Spiritual Advisor of the Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch for the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York, Chaplain of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship of Carleton University, and Member of the Interfaith Steering Committee of Ottawa.

    Father Ghattas is an active and outspoken pillar in the Ottawa Lebanese community. His passion for his Orthodox faith and Lebanese heritage are a beacon that guide the entire Lebanese community in Ottawa, not just his parishioners. Under his guidance, the Ottawa Lebanese Festival, chaired by George Hanna, has provided thousands of attendees with an opportunity to experience a glimpse into Lebanese culture and the Orthodox Cathedral. Father Ghattas always found joy in dancing, and every July at the opening ceremony of the Ottawa Lebanese Festival, he proudly and patriotically dances carrying the Lebanese flag. His impact on the Lebanese community, and all that encounter him has been extremely positive.

     

  • Mayor’s Rural Expo and Food Aid BBQ

    June is fast approaching, and the annual Food Aid BBQ and Mayor’s Rural Expo is right around the corner, taking place on Friday June 2 at City Hall. This year’s event will be special, as it is included as one of the FCM conference tour stops. We anticipate up to 100 municipal leaders from across the country to attend. I look forward to this unique day, which provides an opportunity to showcase all that rural Ottawa has to offer in a downtown setting.

    The event is sponsored by Bell Media (CTV, 580 CFRA and Ottawa’s New Country 94). Vendors selling and promoting rural goods and services will be on site starting at 10 a.m. The Ottawa Food Bank’s BBQ lunch, serving THE WORKS burgers will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at a cost of $10. The celebrity milking contest will begin at 12:15 p.m. and Southbound Boots, a local Ottawa band, will be performing live over the lunch hour.

    All lunch proceeds are donated to the Ottawa Food Bank for the purchase of local beef for those in need in our community. I hope to see you all there!

  • Giving Communities a Stronger Voice In Development

    Ontario to Overhaul Land Use Planning Appeals System

    Ontario is taking action to overhaul the province’s land use planning appeals system to give communities a stronger voice and ensure people have access to faster, fairer and more affordable hearings.

    In the coming weeks, legislation will be introduced to create the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, which would, if passed, replace the Ontario Municipal Board. The new tribunal would be mandated to give greater weight to the decisions of local communities, while ensuring that development and growth occurs in a way that is good for Ontario, including Ottawa, and its future.  This would be achieved by eliminating lengthy and costly “de novo” hearings for the majority of planning appeals. The term “de novo” has been used to describe how the Ontario Municipal Board deals with appeals of municipal land use planning decisions, by considering the same issue that was before the municipality as though no previous decision had been made.

    Ontario would also make planning appeals more accessible to the public by creating the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, a new agency that would provide free information and support, which may include representation at the tribunal for citizens who want to participate in the appeal process.

    The new legislation would include additional measures to transform Ontario’s land use planning appeals system, including:

    • Exempting a broader range of major land use planning decisions from appeal, including new Official Plans, major Official Plan updates and detailed plans to support growth in major transit areas.
    • Establishing a mandatory case conference for complex hearings to encourage early settlements, which would help reduce the time and cost of appeals and create a less adversarial system.

    The proposed changes follow extensive public consultations, beginning with the release of a consultation paper in October 2016. The government received more than 1,100 written submissions and held 12 town hall meetings across the province that were attended by more than 700 people.

    Improving the land use planning system is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

     QUOTES

    “We want to ensure the land use planning system is working effectively for everyone. Our proposals would empower communities and municipalities to better determine how their neighbourhoods develop in the future.”
    — Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs

    “Land use planning directly impacts Ontario families and their communities. And so, it is important that residents feel empowered and supported in the decision making process. We want to make sure that the voices of Ontarians are heard by all levels of government and that is why we will soon introduce reforms that would put people and communities first.”
    — Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General of Ontario

    “Land use planning is an important tool for the sustainable long-term growth of our city. We’re pleased to see the province of Ontario take action to ensure that the land use planning appeals system is more efficient and supportive for residents. We look forward to reviewing the proposed legislation to help ensure timely and balanced hearing outcomes in Ottawa.”
    — Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

     

    QUICK FACTS

    • The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal would be an independent tribunal that makes decisions at arms’ length from the government. If the legislation passes, it would replace the Ontario Municipal Board, which began in 1906 as the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board.
    • In 2015-2016 (the most recent year for which data is available), 1,460 matters were referred to the Ontario Municipal Board from across the province.

     ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

     

    Ministry of Municipal Affairs
    ontario.ca/municipal-news
    Mark Cripps, Minister’s Office, 416-585-6842
    Conrad Spezowka, Communications Branch, 416-585-7066
    Ministry of Attorney General
    ontario.ca/attorneygeneral-news
    Clare Graham, Minister’s Office, 416-326-7071
    Emilie Smith, Communications Branch, 416-326-2210
  • My letter asking for a review of the proclamations and flag raising policies at the City of Ottawa

    Rick O’Connor, CMO
    City Clerk and Solicitor
    Office of the City Clerk and Solicitor
    City of Ottawa

     

    Mr. O’Connor,

    I would ask that you undertake an immediate and comprehensive review of the proclamations and flag raising policies at the City of Ottawa.

    I would ask that you provide your recommendations on any changes to these policies within a month.

    Jim Watson
    Mayor
    City of Ottawa

  • Glenn Mooney receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Osgoode Ward Councillor George Darouze presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to Glenn Mooney for his many years of service with Camp Quality, a national charitable organization devoted to providing free camp experiences and year-round programming for children with cancer.

    Glenn Mooney is Director of Camp Quality of Eastern Ontario and he and his wife Pam have been involved with the organization for over 18 years. Camp Quality Canada is part of an international family of organizations originally founded in Australia in 1983 and brought to Canada in 1988. Its mission is to provide programs to support children with cancer and their families, an area not being addressed by any other organization. The aim of Camp Quality is to provide uplifting experiences for kids with cancer, and the primary focus is the incredible opportunity to create a program of empowerment, encouragement and, most importantly, fun for these amazing children.

    Glenn projects a warm, cheerful attitude to campers, parents, volunteers, and everyone he interacts with. He resolves conflicts and handles other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. He loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around him. His willingness to take on difficult projects, such as raising the tens of thousands of dollars required to run the camps, and coordinating with teams of volunteers to see them to succeed, is impressive.

     

  • Property tax deferral program for residents impacted by Ottawa area flooding

    The Ottawa River is now seeing higher water levels over the past few weeks resulting from the snow melt from the northern areas of the Ottawa River and higher than average rainfall over the past month.

    This has resulted in significant flooding in the low-lying areas that are adjacent to the Ottawa River resulting in the flooding of some pathways and roadways.

    To date, about 310 homes in the City of Ottawa have been directly affected by flooding and 75 families have been displaced.  275 of those homes are in West Carleton, 25 are in Cumberland and 10 are in Bay Ward.

    While various city staff assist residents during this time, Revenue staff are preparing to mail out the final property tax bills to all residents of the city of Ottawa.  The property tax bills will be placed in the mail in approximately one week.

    I am proposing that those residents affected or displaced by the flood have their final property tax due dates deferred to December 7, 2017 to mirror that of the City’s Farm Grant Program.  This will provide some temporary relief to residents most affected by the flood during this time of need so they can focus on  rebuilding their lives and properties.

    Over the course of the next few months,  properties affected by the flood  will be identified and a process developed to extend the due dates.

    I have asked Councillor Stephen Blais (Cumberland), seconded by Councillor Mark Taylor (Bay), to introduce a motion at Council on Wednesday that will direct staff to develop the tax deferral program over the course of the next 30 days and to bring it back to Council via FEDCO for final approval.

    I will be asking that Council waive the Rules of procedure to allow for immediate consideration of this motion and to fast-track the implementation of the tax deferral program for residents impacted by the 2017 flood.

     As Councillor El-Chantiry has been personally affected by the flooding, he has advised us that he has a conflict of interest in this matter, so please do not include him in your discussions on this initiative.

  • Information sessions for Ottawa residents affected by spring flooding

    The City of Ottawa will host information sessions for residents affected by the spring flooding.

    In attendance will be representatives from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, Ottawa Public Health, the City of Ottawa’s Public Works and Environmental Services Department and the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, which is responsible for the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians Program.

    Time and locations:

    Tuesday, May 9

    • 1 – 2 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex, Hall C and D, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue
    • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. R.J. Kennedy Arena, Main Hall, 1115 Dunning Road, Cumberland
    • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Fitzroy Harbour Community Association Community Centre, 100 Clifford Campbell St, Fitzroy Harbour

    Wednesday, May 10

    • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Constance and Buckham’s Bay Community Centre, 262 Len Purcell Dr, Woodlawn

    If residents can’t attend any of the information sessions, they can visit  ottawa.ca for more information.

    Information about the province’s Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians Program is available at Ontario.ca/disasterassistance.

  • My statement on the Province of Ontario’s announcement on reforming the Ontario correctional system

    I strongly support the Province’s decision to start from scratch and build a new multi-purpose holistic correction facility in the City of Ottawa. I am pleased to see that the Province will be implementing a correctional services environment anchored in evidence-based decision-making, and will address how best to serve Ontario’s diverse inmate population.

    The new facility will be instrumental in the rehabilitation and reintegration of those individuals who are in the correctional system’s care and custody.

    I am also pleased to see that the Province will be updating the legislation to help improve outcomes and clearly set the goals for reform and treatment for inmates.

    The City of Ottawa looks forward to collaborating with the Province and assisting with all planning requirements.

    Click here to read the Province of Ontario’s News Release.

     

  • Discover Secret Eats, experience Early Nations food and entertainment, and take a Wine & Words Tour, all in rural Ottawa

    Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to announce four new Agri 150 experiences. Tickets for the Early Nations culinary experience, the Secret Eats Rideau-Goulbourn Tour, the Secret Eats Cumberland Tour, and the Wine & Words Tour will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 5, 2017.

     

    Early Nations Culinary Experience

    Saturday, June 17, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    966 Cameron St. (along the Ottawa River in Cumberland)

    This farm-to-table culinary event along the Ottawa River in the Village of Cumberland will invite guests, through food and entertainment, to reflect on the early nations who influenced Canada’s development.

    A four-course meal will be prepared by:

     

    • Chef Noah John Para, a Northern Cree from Saskatchewan and one of the leaders of modern aboriginal cuisine in Canada, working in partnership with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health;

     

    • Executive Chef Ramsay Sillini of Ze Kitchen, Cumberland’s newest restaurant, which brings fusion design while embracing French flavours;

     

    • Chef Stephane Frelon of Signatures Restaurant at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute.

     

    Christine Friday, a professional dancer of 25 years of Temagami First Nation, will choreograph performances that incorporate both traditional and contemporary movement, representing Indigenous, English and French dance.

     

    Tickets for the Early Nations culinary experience are $170*, or $200* with wine pairings (*plus tax and service charges).

     

    Presented in collaboration with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and Savour Ottawa.

     

    Secret Eats Tour – Rideau-Goulbourn

    Sunday, June 25

    First Tour: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Bilingual)

    Second Tour: 12:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. (English only)

    Tour shuttles will depart from OC Transpo’s Greenboro Transitway Station, at the Park & Ride level.

    Guests are invited to eat their way through the Rideau-Goulbourn Ward!

    Hosted by Scott Moffatt, the Councillor for the area, this Secret Eats tour will take participants to four stops where they will eat, visit, and learn about the people and places that contributed to the history and character of Rideau-Goulbourn.

    Foodies will tour each destination on this Secret Eats adventure and sample some of the delectable local cuisine that awaits in rural Ottawa.

    Tickets for the Secret Eats Rideau-Goulbourn Tour are $40 (plus tax and service charges). A tour ticket enables free use of any OC Transpo bus route and the O-Train Trillium Line, to and from Greenboro Station. Tickets are to be shown to the bus operator when boarding. Free service is available from three hours before the tour until three hours after the tour.

     

    Wine & Words Tour

    Saturday, July 15

    First Tour: 11:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. (Bilingual)

    Second Tour: 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (English only)

    Tour shuttles will depart from OC Transpo’s Trim Road Park & Ride.

    Calling lovers of wine, literature, and local foods! This tour will take participants to three different vineyards located within Ottawa: Vignoble Clos du Vully, Domaine Perrault and Jabulani.

    At each winery visitors will learn about the different ways the harvest is grown, selected and blended. Participants will also learn about the fermentation process that turns your everyday grape into something truly divine.

    Chosen authors will read from their works against the backdrop of these charming wineries as guests savour the local terroir. Wine tasting will be accompanied by local food products.

    Santé! Cheers!

    Tickets for the Wine & Words Tour are $80 (plus tax and service charges). A tour ticket enables free use of any OC Transpo bus route, to and from the Trim Road Park & Ride. Tickets are to be shown to the bus operator when boarding. Free service is available from three hours before the tour until three hours after the tour.

     

    Secret Eats Tour – Cumberland

    Sunday, August 6

    First Tour: 11:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. (Bilingual)

    Second Tour: 12:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. (English only)

    Tour shuttles will depart from OC Transpo’s Place d’Orleans Transitway Station, located across from Place D’Orleans on the north side of Hwy 174.

    Hosted by Cumberland Ward Councillor Stephen Blais, this Secret Eats tour will tantalize the taste buds and introduce a new world of agri-tourism destinations, just a short drive from downtown.

    This culinary adventure will consist of four stops, where participants will tour a Secret Eats location, and sample a local delight from among the diverse and delicious offerings of Ottawa’s bountiful countryside.

    Guests will eat, visit, and learn about the people and places that contributed to making Cumberland what it is today.

    Tickets for the Secret Eats Cumberland Tour are $40 (plus tax and service charges). A tour ticket enables free use of any OC Transpo bus route, to and from the Place D’Orleans Station. Tickets are to be shown to the bus operator when boarding. Free service is available from three hours before the tour until three hours after the tour.

     

    To purchase tickets, visit Ottawa2017.ca.

    Agri 150 is an Ottawa 2017 program stewarded by Just Food to boost rural tourism during the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital and for years to come. More than 20 unique events will take place over the course of the year to allow people to discover Ottawa’s rural communities in all four seasons, and enhance their knowledge and appreciation of rural resources, while enjoying rejuvenating adventures.

    Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

    Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario (www.ontario.ca/150 #ontario150) and the Government of Canada (www.canada.ca/150 #canada150) for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

    To download the free Ottawa 2017 App, visit: The App Store, Google Play or Ottawa2017.ca.

    Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit ottawa2017.ca, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.

  • Design and programming partners revealed for Ottawa 2017’s Inspiration Village

    Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to reveal details about the design and program partners for Inspiration Village.

    A core site for Ottawa 2017 programming from May 20 to September 4, this ephemeral entertainment locale on York Street will be the site of a succession of FREE special exhibits and performing arts events showcasing Canadian culture and Canada’s provinces and territories.

    The edgy-looking hub is being built out of 41 sea containers transformed into an aesthetic artistic installation. See the video: https://vimeo.com/215008391.

    As this summer destination takes shape, a first glimpse was offered today at the artistic renderings and the following programming partners were announced:

    Algonquin College Mini TFO
    Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene
    Bell Media Ontario 150
    ByWard Market Ottawa Festivals
    Canada Science and Technology Museum Ottawa Mission
    Canadian Museum of History Ottawa School of Art
    Canadian War Museum Parks Canada
    Carleton University RCMP
    CIBC Rent Frock Repeat
    Destination Cape Breton Tale of a Town
    Destination Nunavut Tourism Prince Edward Island
    La Cité Travel Manitoba
    Manitoba Mukluks World Wildlife Fund

    Inspiration Village will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m. (until 10 p.m. on Canada Day) with exhibits, demonstrations and performances. Among the many activities, visitors will be able to:

    • step inside a sound studio and share stories about Canada and their vision for the future of our country;
    • enjoy culinary demonstrations showcasing Canadian food culture from across the nation;
    • dress-up in Canadian-themed costumes and props at the Inspiration Village Photo Booth;
    • take a guided virtual tour of Parks Canada’s natural and cultural treasures from coast-to-coast-to coast;
    • express their creativity and imagine the next great Canadian invention at the Build A Nation Station;
    • take their photo in cut-outs of polar bears and beluga whales;
    • take-in live dance, musical and artistic performances representing all provinces and territories as well as local up and coming artists and previews of Ottawa area festivals;
    • discover and connect with the incredible diversity of land, history and awe-inspiring places to explore and experience in Canada;
    • and much, much more!

    The full list of activities and daily performances on the main stage will be available in mid-May.

    The public spaces of Inspiration Village will remain open and accessible 24-hours. The site will serve as a gathering place to meet up with friends, to enjoy the sights and sounds of the area, to sit back and enjoy programmed entertainment, to pick up lunch/dinner or coffee/tea in the ByWard Market and to enjoy the outdoor seating areas.

    Inspiration Village by the numbers

    5071     Weight (lbs) of an empty 20’ sea container
    880       Hours the event is open over 15-weeks, from May 20 to September 4
    440       Hours of stage and common area programming
    110       Consecutive days the event is open
    41         Sea containers on York Street
    28         Days it will take to load-in and construct
    28         Staff required to operate the exhibits
    24/7      Days each week the common areas are open to the public
    15         Weeks the event is open to the public
    8          Hours the event is open each day
    1          VERY BIG EVENT!

    QUOTES

    “Inspiration Village will animate the ByWard Market like never before, and will be a gathering point for the millions of visitors who will come to Ottawa this summer. It will showcase the beauty of Canada’s regions and the diversity of Ottawa 2017 partners while entertaining and educating passersby about the people and places that make this country so great,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

    “The Ottawa 2017 Inspiration Village will offer Ottawans and visitors alike a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Canada 150. I encourage everyone to attend the diverse artistic events being held in the ByWard Market, one of the city’s historic neighbourhoods,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

    “What sets Canada and Ontario apart is our rich cultural diversity and inclusive spirit.   Inspiration Village is an eco-friendly and innovative way to share with our families and the rest of the world what makes this country such a great place to live, work and visit. We are proud to be part of Inspiration Village with our Ontario150 sea container to help mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.  This is a great opportunity to remind ourselves how much we, as Ontarians, have to be proud of living in Canada’s largest province and the incredible things we can accomplish when we come together,” said the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport.

    “Canada’s rich and diverse culture and heritage are the building blocks of our great nation. We are incredibly proud to help bring this showcase of creative talent and expression of shared pride to Ottawa 2017 celebrations,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC.

    “One of Ottawa 2017’s goals is to foster a better appreciation and understanding of the cultural diversity we find across our country by creating new meeting places for interaction. Through transforming our city with creative urban design, we will emerge from Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations with a greater sense of pride for reimaging our public spaces. Our appreciation to the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada for suggesting that York Street would make an ideal new public space,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

    Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

    Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario (www.ontario.ca/150 #ontario150) and the Government of Canada (www.canada.ca/150 #canada150) for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

    To download the free Ottawa 2017 App, visit: The App Store, Google Play or Ottawa2017.ca.

    Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit ottawa2017.ca, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.

Page 1 of 612345...Last »