Somerset Ward mailer volume 8: Protecting indie music promoters and upcoming community events

Dear neighbour,

I hope you are as thrilled about the sunshine as I am. It has been so great to cycle to work at City Hall every day and see the number of people on bikes increase exponentially.

Festival season is well underway – last Friday I was at Lebreton Flats to help officially launch the Ottawa Children’s Festival. And earlier in the week, I was at the NAC for the official kickoff to Italian Week, which will take place on Preston Street in June. Right now is peak flower season and expect the area near Dow’s Lake and along the canal pathways to be packed with Tulip Fest visitors. It is such a pleasure to see the city come alive in this way.

Dear neighbour,

I hope you are as thrilled about the sunshine as I am. It has been so great to cycle to work at City Hall every day and see the number of people on bikes increase exponentially.

Festival season is well underway – last Friday I was at Lebreton Flats to help officially launch the Ottawa Children’s Festival. And earlier in the week, I was at the NAC for the official kickoff to Italian Week, which will take place on Preston Street in June. Right now is peak flower season and expect the area near Dow’s Lake and along the canal pathways to be packed with Tulip Fest visitors. It is such a pleasure to see the city come alive in this way.

At last Wednesday’s City Council meeting, we had a few contentious conversations. One was about the timeline for implementing the High Performance Development Standard – a series of environmentally sound building regulations that will have a significant impact on mitigating climate change and improving construction standards. Did you know that full 45% of Ottawa’s emissions come from buildings?

Unfortunately, Council opted to pause implementing these new standards, in an effort to harmonize our own policies with new legislation we are expecting to come down from the provincial government. I hope that this will not cause too much of a delay.

The climate crisis can’t wait any longer for us to get serious about reducing GHG emissions. And better built homes save owners and renters serious money. The new Ottawa Community Housing building on Gladstone is net zero and tenants only pay $15 a year in energy costs. (Yes, you read that right.)

Another big issue that we discussed at Wednesday’s council meeting is the city’s new Nightlife Economy Action Plan, which passed unanimously. I introduced an amending motion (which passed unanimously) to add specific recognition of and support for Ottawa’s independent music promoters and performers. We have lost so many small music venues in our city over the last few years, and I wanted to ensure that up-and-coming musicians will get a chance to benefit from any investment in our nighttime arts and entertainment scene.

I have been receiving your emails with concerns about the city’s proposed new garbage bag tag system. We are collecting all of your questions and will get answers from city staff. The proposal doesn’t go to the Environment Committee till next month and then it will have to rise to Council. Our office is determined to ensure that your voices are heard, and your questions are answered before the city makes a final decision on this issue.

Hope you can enjoy the gorgeous weather this week and I hope to see you out in the community.

Warmly,

Ariel

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First Baptist Church plant sale

Calling all plant lovers! First Baptist Church (140 Laurier Avenue West) will be hosting a plant sale on Saturday, June 3rd from 10am to 12pm to benefit local refugee support.

A better Lansdowne

Over the next two months, there will be a lot happening with the proposed Lansdowne 2.0 re-development. Lansdowne 2.0 proposes to build three skyscrapers and additional retail space in order to raise funds to build a new event centre, re-build the north side stands and make some changes to the public realm in the park.

There are serious concerns about the proposal, and we do not think city council should approve it, as is. However, if we make some improvements to the proposal—including enhanced public realm improvements; preservation of greenspace; thoughtful and respectful development; a proper transportation plan; and deeply affordable housing—we can move toward the original goal for the Lansdowne Park redevelopment: a thriving, urban village.

With that in mind, Councillor Shawn Menard has launched a new website: A Better Lansdowne. There, you can learn about the Lansdowne 2.0 proposal, our five improvements for the plan and some background information on the Lansdowne P3 deal.

Sign the petition for a better Lansdowne here.

Have your say on OC Transpo routes

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been significant changes to how often and how many customers use transit. Considering this, and the upcoming opening of Stage 2 O-Train extensions, there is a need to review the transit planning principles that are used to shape the bus route network. These principles are things like how far you walk to get to a bus stop, how frequently the bus runs, and the maximum number of people on the bus. Once this review is complete, OC Transpo will have an updated service planning framework. This will guide potential changes to the bus route network in 2024, and beyond, that may be considered in light of changing travel patterns and O-Train expansion.  

Complete the survey today!

Minto Park sale

It’s that time of year! We’re excited to announce that this year’s Minto Park Sale will be held on June 10, from 9am to 3pm at Minto Park. The sale is a beloved Centretown tradition, and we’re pleased to bring it back for this year. The annual no yard, yard sale is a great opportunity to bring out all your odds and sods and see if they can find new life with another neighbour.   

To fill out a request for a table, please fill out the form below. If you have difficulty filling out the form, or are unable to do so, please reach out to us at [email protected] . Please note that tables will be booked on a first come first serve basis. FILLING OUT THE FORM DOES NOT GUARANTEE A TABLE SPACE – you will receive a follow up email with more information, and to confirm your space. If there is sufficient interest, we will open up a wait list.

You can find more info, RSVP and register for a table here.

Ottawa Health Coalition: Public Hospital Vote

The Ottawa Health Coalition is organizing a public referendum – a community opinion vote – to ask people to express their wishes on the plan to privatize our public hospitals’ core services. Our communities have spent a hundred years fundraising and volunteering to support our local public hospitals and build services closer to home. Now the Ford government is planning to take thousands of surgeries and diagnostic tests out of our local public hospitals and privatize them to for-profit hospitals and clinics. We don't need to privatize. Operating rooms in our public hospitals are closed evenings, weekends - sometimes even permanently - due to underfunding. For-profit privatization is a fatal threat to our cherished system of Canadian public health care for all and is more expensive. We believe we can stop this if we work together.

We believe many people support our public hospitals, so we will be asking: Do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics? Yes or No

The referendum will be held in community voting stations across the province on Friday May 26 and Saturday May 27, staffed by volunteers. We will also be organizing workplace votes and roving ballot box votes in as many places as possible throughout the month of May. In early May, people will have the opportunity to vote online at www.publichospitalvote.ca

More information is available at www.publichospitalvote.ca and www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca

Please reach out to [email protected] and help us defend our public medicare system.

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