• Jacob Baylin receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Jacob Baylin was presented with the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting by Mayor Jim Watson and Bay Ward Councillor, Mark Taylor.

    Not many 16 year olds would think of donating their own money to a sports club. However, Jacob Baylin saw the financial challenges facing many families at the Bell Warriors Football Club and he chose to step up. Jacob was an award winning player at the Club and has continued to donate even after his playing days. He recently became the youngest person in the club’s 62-year history to be named a Friend of the Warriors sponsor.

    A key mandate of the Bell Warriors Football Club is to keep the sport “Affordable for All”. The club also aims to instill the value of setting an example through one’s actions. This idea has become a focal point in the Club’s communication efforts and has ultimately led to more than a half dozen sponsors for the non-profit youth sports club.

    True leaders strive to be part of the solution and that’s what Jacob is all about. His selfless contribution has set an example of leadership and thoughtfulness. As one of the team’s most recent alumni, he has learned by example and become a catalyst for change.

     

  • City recognized with Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award

    Ottawa – The Government of Ontario has presented the City of Ottawa with an Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award for its development and implementation of the Older Adult Plan. This is the first year for the Provincial government award, which recognizes communities who have taken steps to make their environments more accessible and age-friendly.

    The communities selected to receive this award are ones that have engaged and collaborated with seniors and community partners to develop plans and initiatives that make cities more welcoming and accessible for seniors.

    The City’s Older Adult Plan, originally created in 2012 and updated in 2015, contains actions items to address the needs of Ottawa’s older residents and is organized under eight age-friendly areas:

    • Outdoor spaces and City buildings
    • Transportation and mobility
    • Housing
    • Communication and information
    • Social, recreational, and cultural participation
    • Civic participation and volunteering
    • Community supports and health services
    • Respect and social inclusion

    Since the beginning, the City has worked with the Council on Aging through the Age Friendly Ottawa initiative to ensure that our mutual efforts are coordinated and go further to responding to the needs of seniors.

    Quotes

    “Ottawa strives to be known as a city that is respective and inclusive of its older adult population. This recognition shows that we are on the right track towards becoming more accessible and age-friendly. In the next 20 years, the population growth of older adults is expected to double in Ottawa. We will continue to invest in projects like our Older Adult Plan to ensure the city has the infrastructure and programs to support this growing population.”
    Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

    “It’s an honour to be awarded this designation as it reinforces the great work that the City has done through its Older Adult Plan. Refreshed in 2015, staff in all departments have been involved in projects and initiatives that make Ottawa a safer, more accessible and more welcoming city for everyone. The City values its older adults and their contributions to making Ottawa such a great place to live.”
    Councillor Diane Deans, Chair, Community and Protective Services Committee

    Key Accomplishments
    Older Adult Plan 2015-2018

    Some of the key accomplishments since 2015 include:

    • 13 facilities around the City that are highly frequented by Seniors have been upgraded to include more accessibility features, including 14 power door operators, stair treads and tactile walking surface indicators, handrails, ramps, and assistive listening devices.
    • 39 accessible benches have been installed in various locations around the City that have high concentrations of older adults.
    • A total of 2,637 curb cuts have been completed to eliminate tripping hazards between sidewalk panels in the city.
    • 152 new accessible benches have been installed at 22 different Transitway Stations across Ottawa.
    • A review of crossing and signal times at intersections across the city resulted in the adjustment of crossing times at 53 intersections with a high concentration of older adults.
    • A total of 81 grit boxes are now located around the city for public use to keep sidewalks safe for walking during the winter.
    • Accessible pedestrian signals and countdown timers have been installed at 48 intersections across that City that have high concentrations of older adults.
    • Multiple affordable housing projects for seniors have been approved and are currently underway including 131 total units, 12 of which will be accessible.,
    • 104 seniors, with and without a disability, have been approved for the Ontario Renovates Program.
    • A second edition of the Guide for Programs and Services for Older Adults was developed and is available in five (5) languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic and traditional Chinese.
    • A one-page flyer was created and distributed to older adults through the Seniors Roundtable, Ethno-Cultural Seniors’ agencies and centres, Seniors Homes, Long-term Care Homes, among others, to promote and educate older adults on 211, 311 and 911.
    • Volunteer opportunities for older adults continue to be advertised on an on-going basis and promotion is a regular part of community relations.
    • 795 (205 in French/590 in English) copies of the Mental Health Caregiver Guide  were distributed to older adult and caregiver service providers, including Anglophone, Francophone, and bilingual agencies.
    • Over 3000 Older Adult Emergency Preparedness kits have been distributed to seniors in the community. Materials are available in six languages; English, French, Somali, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.
    • In Ottawa, there are 14 Community Health and Resource Centre locations, in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health, that offer monthly dental visits and services for older adults.
    • Seniors’ Month has been celebrated annually in June through senior social events hosted by Councillors, and a flag raising ceremony occurs yearly to celebrate the International Day of Older Persons.
    • The Senior of the Year Award is presented annually to an outstanding senior citizen at the Council meeting in June.
    • Four Community Arts Projects were initiated and completed and involved the participation of 40 seniors.
    • Older Adult appropriate fitness equipment was purchased for 17 locations across the City that are highly frequented by adults

    For more information on the Older Adult Plan, you can call 3-1-1 or email olderadults@ottawa.ca.

     

  • Expanded Green Bin Program would provide better service for residents

    Ottawa – The City of Ottawa’s Green Bin Program could expand under a revised contract with Orgaworld Canada Ltd., according to a report that the Environment and Climate Protection Committee will consider on Monday, March 26.

    Starting in mid-2019, plastic bags and dog waste could be included in green bins for weekly pick up, eliminating the need for special liner bags and reducing odour and pest concerns. This expanded service, would cost the City an additional $626,000 per year, working out to 15 cents a month for the average household.

    “An improved, more convenient waste-collection service, and better value for money, are significant benefits of the proposed revised contract with Orgaworld,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I am pleased that the City is recommending in this report an improved approach to organics diversion, making it easier for residents to keep this material out of our landfills and ending an ongoing legal conflict with our contractor.”

    “Diverting organic waste from landfill sites is one of the most important things the City can do reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while also extending the life of our landfill, one of the City’s most significant assets,” said Councillor David Chernushenko, Chair of the Environment and Climate Protection Committee. “An expanded program, capable of handling plastic bags and all dog waste, will make it easier for residents to use the green bin, especially residents in multi-unit residential buildings.”

    To address potential odour issues from accepting plastic bags, Orgaworld would invest $3.9 million to upgrade the plant for enhanced service and to improve odour control, and submit a mitigation plan to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the City. The City would also hire a third-party independent consultant to review the plan.

    The Green Bin Program has diverted more than 533,000 tonnes of organic waste since 2010, and put it to use as compost and other beneficial products. Under the revised contract, Orgaworld would continue to provide 2,000 tonnes of AA compost each year. The product derived from the organic waste could also be used in fertilizers and soil enhancers.

    The revised contract would end current arbitrations, avoiding  costly litigation.

    The remaining 12 years of the contract would provide better value to the City, thanks to proposed amendments:

    • Reducing the processing rate for plastics and dog waste from $151 to $124 per tonne
    • Lowering the minimum tonnage of organics that the City must provide to Orgaworld from 80,000 to 75,000 tonnes per year, saving $2.7 million in unnecessary costs until 2022
    • Increasing flexibility during peak seasons of leaf and yard waste by converting the daily limit of 540 tonnes to a weekly limit of 2,700 tonnes

    The revised contract would divert more waste, helping to extend the life of the Trail Road landfill and meet new provincial diversion targets. Staff will update Council on new provincial legislation for municipal waste diversion later this year.

    Following the Committee’s meeting on March 26, the City will hold a media availability about the revised contract.

    City Council will consider the report at its meeting on Wednesday, March 28.

  • International Women’s Day

    International Women’s Day is a day on which we honour all women for their accomplishments and pay tribute to inspiring women who have led – and continue to lead – the way forward towards a more equal and just society.

    It was my immense pleasure to welcome her Excellency Susan Jane le Jeune d’ Allegeershecque,  British High Commissioner, her Excellency Kareen Géraldine M.L. Rispal, Ambassador of France and her Excellency Sabine Anne Sparwasser, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany as distinguished speakers at my Annual International Women’s Day Celebration this morning at City Hall. The three women are pioneers in their field as they are the first women appointed to their diplomatic positions, and an inspiration for the next generation of leaders.