• #Ottawa4FortMac tickets now on sale

    Today, Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa Senators player Chris Phillips announced that #Ottawa4FortMact tickets are now on sale. They are in limited quantities and can be purchased online at www.JimWatsonOttawa.ca/Ottawa4FortMac, at Big Rig locations and at the Mayor’s office at City Hall, at the cost of $ 80 each.

    #Ottawa4FortMac is a fundraising event in support the Canadian Red Cross’s emergency appeal and the United Way’s relief efforts directed towards helping the residents of Fort McMurray rebuild their lives and their community.

    Together, Mayor Watson and Chris Phillips are committed to helping those who have been affected by the devastating Fort McMurray fires, and invite you to join them by attending #Ottawa4FortMac.

    The fundraiser will feature an evening of live country music with Kira Isabella, River Town Saints,  The Abrams, Meghan Patrick and Jordan McIntosh, as well as western-themed activities, and refreshments from Ottawa’s craft breweries and offerings from Ottawa’s pizzerias. The fundraiser is taking place on Wednesday, June 8 at the Aberdeen Pavilion, 1000 Exhibition Way, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

     

  • Al and Betty Arseneault, Crystal Beach–Lakeview outdoor rink volunteers, receive Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Bay Ward Councillor Mark Taylor presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Al and Betty Arseneault at today’s City Council meeting.

    The Arseneaults are longtime residents of Crystal Beach-Lakeview. Their love of outdoor sports – hockey, skating and curling in particular – fondness for their neighbourhood, and enthusiasm for building community come together in their commitment as volunteers, working with the City’s Seasonal Recreation branch, to construct, create and maintain an outdoor arena and separate three-sheet curling rink in Lakeview Park each winter.

    Al is well known as the first volunteer rink operator in the city to get his boards in place, the first to coax skate-worthy ice out of an early cold snap, the most meticulous at maintaining the ice (it’s near NHL quality), and very quick to clear any snowfall. This means the retired public servant has to make himself available 24/7 during the outdoor skating season to flood and groom the ice, sometimes trucking loads of Zamboni ice shavings from nearly indoor arenas to fill in spots after a melt. Al also helps the Seasonal Recreation staff to train and coach new rink volunteers each fall at the start of the winter season.

    The curling rink has three full-size sheets with all the correct markings, and the Arseneaults host an annual Lakeview Outdoor Bonspiel that is always fully booked with enthusiastic curlers from all over the Ottawa Valley. Local indoor curling clubs lend the rocks for curling events.

    Thanks to Al and Betty, Crystal Beach-Lakeview and area residents, from young kids wobbling on their first pair of skates to seniors enjoying a game of shinny, are fortunate enough to have free high-quality winter recreation opportunities at their local park.

    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.

  • Mayor Watson announces Ottawa4FortMac, a fundraiser in support of the Fort McMurray relief efforts

    Today at City Council, Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa Senators player Chris Phillips announced Ottawa4FortMac, a fundraising event in support of the Fort McMurray relief efforts. The fundraising event is the Mayor’s direct response to the tragedy that is taking place in Fort McMurray. As a Fort McMurray native and Ottawa resident, Chris Phillips is eager to partner with the City on this initiative.

    Together, Mayor Watson and Chris Phillips are committed to helping those who have been affected by the devastating Fort McMurray fires, and invite you to join them by attending #Ottawa4FortMac.

    The fundraiser will feature an evening of live country music, a pizza dinner catered by local pizzerias, local craft beer sampling and western-themed activities such as wild mechanical bull rides. The fundraiser is taking place on Wednesday, June 8 at the Aberdeen Pavilion, 1000 Exhibition Way, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    Tickets will be available for purchase early next week.

  • Ottawa’s first trade mission to India generates business opportunities for local companies

    The Ottawa trade mission to India, with Mayor Jim Watson and a delegation of 35 business and industry leaders, generated investments and opportunities in technology, education, film production and tourism. The resulting list of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), strategic partnerships and mutually beneficial agreements between Ottawa companies and their Indian counterparts has an estimated total value of over $80 million.

    The 35 delegates from Ottawa represented technology companies, academic institutions, business and tourism associations, as well as Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency. During stops in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, participants announced a series of agreements for investments and business cooperation in Ottawa, or to expand operations in India. The delegation focused on building trade linkages and attracting investments, which is a significant component of “Partnerships for Innovation”, the City’s economic development strategy.

    “This has been a successful trade mission, generating a dozen investment announcements and partnerships that are helping to build Ottawa’s global reputation and relationships between Ottawa and Indian companies and organizations,” said Mayor Watson. “The announcements included major deals that represent important access to markets and financial resources in India. They are significant for the businesses and organizations involved, and in many cases, they are the first critical steps in forging lasting and prosperous relationships.”

    Participants met with business leaders, decision-makers and government officials and explored a range of business development opportunities with their Indian counterparts in the technology sector and other industries. The delegation also included Ottawa companies with a focus on film production, online education solutions, as well as water and wastewater management, real estate development and legal services.

    Ottawa technology companies that design and manufacture cellular, satellite and fixed wireless systems were well represented on the five-day mission that took place from April 17 to 22, as well as companies with expertise in hardware, software and optics.

    There are more than 1,700 knowledge-based companies in Ottawa with approximately 68,000 employees. This talent pool, with expertise in hardware, software, semiconductor and optics, can motivate partnerships and leverage investment with the ever growing technology sector in India.

    Representatives from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College, the Kanata North Business Association and TWU Global Education Academy were also on the trade mission, successfully promoting Ottawa as a leading knowledge and innovation centre in Canada.

    The delegation worked to attract investment and build opportunities in training and research for postsecondary institutions. Mayor Watson also met with representatives from several municipal and state governments.

    Following a successful meeting with the three mayors of New Delhi on Monday, Mayor Watson signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the three municipal leaders of Indian’s national capital region to explore collaboration between the City of Ottawa and Delhi’s North, South and East Municipal Corporations in the areas of trade, education, municipal administration and tourism, particularly ahead of Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

    Mayor Watson also met with his counterpart in Bangalore, as well as the Minister for Bangalore Development, and the Principal Secretary for IT, Science & Technology, both from the Government of Karnataka. They discussed challenges in municipal administration, the importance of public transit, and opportunities for collaboration in innovation and entrepreneurship.

    During the mission, delegates had an opportunity to participate in major events and receptions in which all delegates were able to network with Indian government officials, decision-makers, and industry and academic leaders. B2B meetings in each destination city were coordinated in partnership with the Canadian High Commission to India’s trade commissioners, the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber and the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

    Mayor Watson and the delegation visited one of the largest Bollywood film production studios in India, Yash Raj Films, where Mayor Watson promoted Ottawa as a prime Bollywood filming location, due to its low cost and beautiful landscapes.

    Highlights of the Ottawa Trade Mission:

    • Ottawa’s Kivuto Solutions E-learning company will collaborate with Golgotias University in India to expand digital textbook resources in India.
    • Kivuto also formed a reseller partnership with Edukinect India, a Microsoft Learning Partner in technical education.
    • National Jewels in India will establish their Canadian Brand in Ottawa with inCa Synergies with an estimated investment that may exceed $250,000.
    • qEW Films Inc, with diverse coverage of markets in Canada, India and UAE, signed a MOU with Anmol Pictures for a co-production aiming for a 2017 shoot in Ottawa.
    • Clearford Water Systems Inc., a provider of unified water management and sanitation systems, commissioned its first Clearford One™ installation in India, valued at approximately $150,000.
    • EION Inc., a wireless technology company in Ottawa, and Adino Telecom Limited in India formed a strategic partnership worth an estimated $50 million during the period of the partnership.
    • SKILLSdox Inc., an online education company with a team of 22 in Ottawa, showcased their media partnership with School of Skill and the Times of India, valued at $30 million.
    • Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency, announced a MOU with NASSCOM 10,000 Startups (National Association of Software and Services Companies) in India.
    • The City of Ottawa announced an MOU with Amity University to strengthen its presence in Ottawa and facilitate exploration of Amity University locating a campus here in collaboration with a local partner. During the tour of the Amity campus in New Delhi, Mayor Watson was awarded the Amity Distinguished Leadership Award for his dedication to public service and his efforts to strengthen the Canada-India relationship.
    • Invest Ottawa solidified its relationship with Reliance GENNEXT as the parties agreed to jointly evaluate and explore opportunities in relation to marketing, promotion and facilitation of growth of their accelerator programs.
  • Ottawa trade mission to India announces agreements in Bangalore

    Ottawa’s trade mission to India was in Bangalore today, the hub of India’s IT industry, where the delegation focused on helping Ottawa companies in the technology sector expand into India. The trade mission also provided opportunities for Indian startups to consider Ottawa as a prime location to make the jump into the North American market.

    Many of the world’s leading companies, such as Intel, Microsoft, Bosch and Cisco, have made Bangalore their home in India, and the city’s well-developed private sector industries are similar to those that are dominant in Ottawa.

    Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NASSCOM 10,000 Startups (National Association of Software and Services Companies) in India, indicating a desire to jointly evaluate and explore opportunities in relation to marketing, promotion and facilitation of growth of the accelerator programs.

    “Partnering with Nasscom’s 10,000 Startups program gives our ecosystem access to India’s top ICT talent and innovation,” said Bruce Lazenby, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa. “This partnership will bring the best and brightest from Ottawa and Bangalore together to fuel growth and provide Ottawa companies a unique opportunity to showcase their talents in one of the world’s hotspots for innovation.”

    Ottawa’s Kivuto Solutions E-learning company formed a reseller partnership with Edukinect India, a Microsoft Learning Partner in technical education, to increase access to education technology for higher education organizations in India. Schools in India will be able to use Texidium by Kivuto, Canada’s most comprehensive digital textbook eReader platform, through Edukinect to simplify the management of digital course materials.

    “Ottawa is a leading technology and innovation centre in Canada, just as Bangalore is an IT and innovation centre in India, so this is a prime destination for building technology partnerships,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The agreements reached are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential and future partnerships in the IT sector.”

    Mayor Watson also met with his counterpart in Bangalore, as well as the Minister for Bangalore Development, and the Principal Secretary for IT, Science & Technology, both from the Government of Karnataka. They discussed challenges in municipal administration, the importance of public transit, and opportunities for collaboration in innovation and entrepreneurship.

    Kivuto Solutions – Ottawa:
    “We’re excited to be working with Edukinect at this pivotal moment in time as India embraces the move to digital,” says Richard White, President of Kivuto. “Edukinect has deep relationships, a great reputation and tremendous knowledge of education in India. They will be a fantastic long-term partner for us in India“.

    Edukinect – India:
    “Good tools and good training enhance good teaching,” says Phani Krishna, CEO of Edukinect. “Kivuto shares our commitment to hands-on support. We look forward to helping more schools go digital at every step of the way.”

  • Ottawa trade mission in India announces new partnerships

    Mayor Jim Watson and trade mission delegates announced a series of partnerships during two days of site visits and meetings in New Delhi and Mumbai, as part of the Ottawa trade mission to India.

    Mayor Watson and some delegation members met with the three mayors of Delhi yesterday and discussed opportunities for cooperation, especially in the areas of Smart Cities, technology, education and tourism.

    In Mumbai, the financial epicentre of India and heart of the Bollywood film production industry, qEW Films Inc, a creative productions house for all commercial and communication mediums, with multi-disciplinary expertise and diverse coverage of markets in Canada, India and UAE, signed a MOU with Anmol Pictures to bring together the creative forces of both companies on a co-production aiming for a 2017 shoot in Ottawa. The partnership highlights ways to market Ottawa as a film and television production destination, while providing professional development opportunities for Ottawa crews, and experience with international artists and technicians.

    Mayor Watson and the delegation also visited one of the largest Bollywood film production studios in India, Yash Raj Films, where Mayor Watson promoted Ottawa as a prime Bollywood filming location, due to its low cost and beautiful landscapes.

    “The Ottawa trade mission to India is opening doors and providing important access to key business leaders and decision-makers that is generating investments, partnerships, and a great deal of interest in business development opportunities in Ottawa,” said Mayor Watson. “I am impressed with the business acumen and level of interaction with our Indian counterparts, and with the diligent work of our City representatives and delegation members, who have truly seized this opportunity.”

    EION Inc., a wireless technology company in Ottawa, and Adino Telecom Limited in India announced they were forming a strategic partnership to provide e-governance wireless solutions for smart cities, rural and remote communities in India. EION and Adino will bring world-class wireless technology and best practices to India with the expectation that over 500 jobs will be initiated, worth over $50 million during the period of the mutually beneficial partnership.

    SKILLSdox Inc., an online education company with a team of 22 in Ottawa, showcased their existing business partnership with School of Skill and the Times of India. The signed media investment, which is valued at $30 million, will promote School of Skill to hundreds of millions of people across India through newsprint, radio, digital media and Television.

    Clearford Water Systems Inc., an Ottawa-based provider of unified water management and sanitation systems, announced that it will be commissioning its first Clearford One™ installation a village in the state of Gujarat, India. This demonstration system, valued at approximately $150,000, is an attempt to capture a portion of a significant business opportunity to provide sanitation and water management solutions to rural India.

    Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency, solidified its relationship with Reliance GENNEXT, part of Reliance Industries Limited, a multi-billion dollar Indian conglomerate, as the parties agreed to jointly evaluate and explore opportunities in relation to marketing, promotion and facilitation of growth of their accelerator programs. The partnership is designed to help local companies expand into India and offer Indian startups a springboard into the North American market.

    Members of the delegation have continued on to Bangalore, the hub of India’s IT industry, where its well-developed private sector industries are similar to those that are dominant in Ottawa. Many of the world’s leading companies, such as Intel, Microsoft, Bosch and Cisco, have made Bangalore their home in India.

     qEW Films Inc. – Canada:
    “Saniya Ansari, Producer of qEw Films Inc. is thrilled to announce her partnership with Nina Bains and Michael Baker of Anmol Pictures, on the co-production of The Betel Nut Warriors, to be directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Shashanka Ghosh. This project, aiming for a 2017 shoot in Ottawa, brings together the creative forces from both Bollywood and Canada’s Film industries.” (Saniya Ansari, Writer/Producer)

    Anmol Pictures – India:
    “We are excited to develop an international film co-production between India-Canada for 2017. This project will help diversify the cultural landscape of film production in Ottawa,” said Navjot (Nina) Bains, Producer, Anmol Pictures.

     EION Inc. – Ottawa
    “EION is excited about the strategic partnership with Adino to strengthen the relationship towards bringing world class wireless solutions for secure networks and e-governance,” said Kalai Kalaichelvan, President & CEO, EION Inc. “Adino’s existing networks and operations at ground level provides a natural synergy for EION to add value on-the-top and introduce innovative and useful wireless solutions to smart cities, remote and rural communities.”

    Adino Telecom Limited – India:
    “Adino and EION are strengthening their existing relationship since 2004, with strategic partnership that brings the companies to the forefront of providing world class technology infrastructure in the fields of wireless, ITES and secure smart cities. Working with Adino enables one to stay connected and stay ahead.”

    SKILLSdox Inc. – India:
    “Education is going to become a very important part of Canada’s export initiatives now that SKILLSdox has established the largest marketing reach for any online educator,” stated Brad Loiselle, President & CEO of SKILLSdox Inc.

    School of Skill – India:
    “Everyone has the right to quality education and we are opening a world of access to top educators led by Canadian innovation.”

    Clearford Water Systems Inc. – Ottawa:
    “Commissioning of our first system in India is a major milestone for our company,” said Clearford CEO Kevin Loiselle “We believe that an operational site demonstrating the advantages of our technology will be a catalyst to the widespread adoption of the Clearford One system in India.”

  • Ottawa trade mission to India shows early signs of success

    Mayor Jim Watson’s trade mission to India was off to a good start Monday with the announcement of agreements between Canadian and Indian companies during its first day of business in New Delhi. The delegation is focused on building trade linkages and attracting investments which is a significant component of “Partnerships for Innovation”, the City’s economic development strategy.

    One of the highlights of the day was a meeting with the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, where matters of mutual interest including ‘Smart Cities’ were discussed. Mayor Watson also briefed the Chief Minister on the composition and objectives of the trade mission.

    Ottawa’s Kivuto Solutions E-learning company used the opportunity of business development sessions to announce details of a new collaboration with Golgotias University in India, with plans to expand digital textbook resources in India with Texidium Platform, which is in use by many educational institutions across Canada.

    “Investing in India means investing in the future of education. By 2025, India will have 120 million students ready to enter university,” says Richard White, President of Kivuto. “We’re very excited to work with Galgotias University to shape the classrooms of tomorrow.”

    “Texidium is a great fit with our commitment to delivering high quality student education using innovation,” says Suneel Galgotia, Chancellor of Galgotias University. “We take pride in using transformational technology to train transformational leaders.”

    The City of Ottawa announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Amity University to establish its presence in Ottawa and facilitate exploration of Amity University locating a campus here, in collaboration with a local postsecondary institution. Amity University is a private and leading education group in India, with more than 100,000 students in multiple campuses, and more than 100 linkages with universities, laboratories and research centres across the world. The University of Ottawa and Amity University also signed an MOU for a student exchange program starting in 2016.

    “These agreements are significant in terms of building Ottawa’s global reputation, and relationships between Ottawa companies and the vast markets and financial resources that can be accessed in India,” said Mayor Watson. “The announcements are incredibly important to the businesses and organizations involved as they represent significant deals and the first critical steps in developing a lasting and prosperous relationship.”

    National Jewels in India announced it will work with inCa Synergies Ottawa to help them establish their Canadian Brand, ESENCIA JEWELRY in Ottawa. National Jewels will invest in Ottawa to establish their brand and hire local employees to begin their operation in the summer of 2016. The estimated value of this investment may exceed $250,000.

    The day also saw an agreement signed between ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce of India) and Invest Ottawa to facilitate trade development opportunities between India and Ottawa.

    Quote from InCa Synergies – Ottawa:

    “The founders at National Jewels are very professional in their approach and are looking to grow exponentially in Canada. We are pleased to be associated with them,” said Raj Narula, founder and CEO of InCa Synergies.

    Quote from National Jewels – India:

    “InCa Synergies has a very clear vision towards business partnerships that bring economic growth for both countries. We are happy to work along with the company and its experienced founder.”

  • More transportation choices: Ottawa opens the door to companies like Uber and Lyft, while modernizing taxi regulations

    I’m pleased to tell you that Ottawa has become one of the first Canadian jurisdictions to adopt regulations for Private Transportation Companies like Uber and Lyft. ‎We’ve also cut fees and red tape on the traditional taxi industry in order to allow it to compete and innovate. The new regulations come into effect on September 30.

    If a Private Transportation Company like Uber or Lyft want to operate in Ottawa, they’ll be required to follow some common-sense rules:

    • Commercial insurance
    • Police checks for drivers
    • Vehicle inspections
    • 11¢ per-ride licensing fee (to cover the cost of administration)
    • Per-ride fee to support accessible services such as Para Transpo (to be negotiated; in lieu of directly providing 15% wheelchair-accessible cars)

    At the same time, we’ve heard from taxi drivers and passengers that the status-quo is simply not working. That’s why we’re removing several restrictions on the taxi industry to allow it to compete and innovate:

    1. Allow taxi companies to offer reduced fares when rides are booked through an app
    2. Eliminate the $1.50 credit and debit card fee
    3. Reduce the taxi driver license fee by 40% (from $170 to $96)
    4. Waive the taxi driver license fee for accessible taxis (from $170 to $0)
    5. Allow companies run their own customer service training, instead of the $820 standard taxicab driver multi-week course at Algonquin College
    6. Eliminate interior and trunk size requirements for vehicles (more flexibility)
    7. Increase maximum vehicle age from 8 to 10 years (more flexibility)

    I have every confidence that the traditional taxi industry can compete under these new rules, especially as they retain the exclusive right to pick up street hails, use taxi stands and receive payment in cash.

    You may have heard some of the traditional taxi industry’s concerns about the original proposal. Their feedback led to a number of changes to the proposed rules to deal with Private Transportation Company issues such as enforcement, compliance, taxes, and delaying the implementation date for several months.

    The City’s role is not to ban competition. We should set fair rules for all transportation categories, and then allow you, the customer, to make your own informed choices. Ottawa should be a place where competitive, effective transportation options are available for all.

  • National Capital Commission Board

    April 11, 2016 was a historical day for the Mayor of Gatineau Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin and I as we signed the National Capital Commission (NCC) Declaration, which welcomes our participation on their Board on an ex-officio, non-voting basis. I’d also like to thank Minister Mélanie Joly for her warm welcome. My first NCC Board meeting will be on April 28, 2016.

  • Ottawa’s first trade mission to India poised to make history

    Mayor Jim Watson is set to lead a trade mission to India to attract investment for Ottawa businesses and build opportunities in training, research and tourism. The 35 delegates represent technology companies, academic institutions, business and tourism associations, and Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency.

    The delegation is working to attract investment and build opportunities in training and research for post-secondary institutions. Mayor Watson will meet with government representatives and, along with Ottawa Tourism President & CEO Michael Crockatt, will encourage tourism to Ottawa ahead of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation in 2017. Mayor Watson expects a number of partnerships and agreements to be signed during the mission.

    Ottawa technology companies that design and manufacture cellular, satellite and fixed wireless systems are represented on the five-day mission that takes place from April 17 to 22, as well as companies with expertise in hardware, software and optics.

    Participants will explore business development opportunities with Indian counterparts in the technology sector and other industries. The delegation also includes Ottawa companies with a focus on film production, online education and E-learning solutions, as well as water management, real estate development and legal services. Mayor Watson will also be meeting with some of his counterparts and officials from other levels of government.

    “India is a market that requires a fair degree of relationship building to forge trust and demonstrate serious intent,” said Mayor Watson. “I am pleased with the technologies, services and expertise of participating companies and I am confident this trade mission will help local companies to open doors and establish credibility much faster than venturing into this vast market on their own.”

    More than 1,700 knowledge-based companies in Ottawa deliver cutting-edge technologies and services to the world. They employ over 68,000 people in our community, 35,000 of which operate in the telecom sector alone.

    The talent pool in Ottawa, with expertise in hardware, software and optics can motivate partnerships and leverage investment with the rapidly growing technology sector in India.

    Representatives from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College, the Kanata North Business Association, and TWU Global Education Academy are also on the trade mission to promote Ottawa as a leading knowledge and innovation centre in Canada.

    During the mission, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in major events and receptions in which all delegates will be able to network with Indian decision-makers, government officials, and industry and academic leaders. B2B meetings in each destination city have been organized in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission to India’s trade commissioners.

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